WATCH: SunWatch, seen from the air, shows how Native Americans here lived

The SunWatch Indian Village/Archaeological Park is nestled in mature trees along the Great Miami River south of Dayton. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Photo: Ty Greenlees

Nestled in mature trees along the Great Miami River, the village is believed to have been occupied for only 20 years or so by Fort Ancient culture people who occupied much of the Ohio River valley between 1000-1650.

New poles have replaced the 800-year-old astronomically aligned markers in the center of the village. The SunWatch Indian Village/Archaeological Park is nestled in mature trees along the Great Miami River south of Dayton. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Photo: Ty Greenlees

During archaeological excavation, remnants of posts in the center of the village were found that aligned with astronomical events. The posts were later replaced and stand today with alignments marking solstice and equinox dates.

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Recreated lath and mud daub structures with grass thatched roofs stand in the exact same location as the originals. The SunWatch Indian Village/Archaeological Park is nestled in mature trees along the Great Miami River south of Dayton. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Photo: Ty Greenlees

Other excavations revealed stockades and structures that have been recreated to reflect how the village looked. Five lath and mud daub structures with grass thatched roofs stand in their original 13th century places.

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A Pow Wow Arbor was added for the annual "Keeping the Tradition" Pow Wow The SunWatch Indian Village/Archaeological Park is nestled in mature trees along the Great Miami River south of Dayton. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Photo: Ty Greenlees

A more modern structure added to the park is the Pow Wow Arbor used for The Miami Valley Council for Native Americans annual “Keeping the Tradition Pow Wow” in June.

» RELATED: The mound builders of Fort Ancient

SunWatch was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 and became a National Historic Landmark in 1990. SunWatch is operated by The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery and is open year-round, Tuesday through Saturday.

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