Trip Planner:   USA  /  Ohio  /  Dayton  /  Sunwatch Indian Village

Sunwatch Indian Village, Dayton

4.5
SunWatch Indian Village / Archaeological Park is a reconstructed Fort Ancient Native American village next to the Great Miami River in Dayton, Ohio. The dwellings and site plan of the 3-acre site are based on lengthy archeological excavations sponsored by the Dayton Society of Natural History, which owns and operates the site as an open-air museum.Amateurs had found some prehistoric materials at the site in the 1960s. Professional excavation began in 1971 as a salvage operation when the city planned a sewage treatment plant. With the discovery of significant artifacts and the remains of a stockaded village, the city changed its plans to preserve the site. Excavations continued through 1988 and are generally completed, although additional small studies have been done. The studies have revealed much about the original people's dwellings, social organization, diets, burial practices and other aspects of their lives at the site. The circular village, surrounded by defensive palisades, was occupied for about 20 years, with a total population of about 250. They depended on farming and hunting.Scholars have named it Sun Watch because, since studies of the 1980s, they believe that a complex of posts in the plaza related to astronomical measurements. The Fort Ancient culture people, whose society was based on agriculture, would have planned rituals around a solar calendar.With reconstructed dwellings, a plaza and gardens, and an interpretive center, the village was opened in 1988 to the public as an open-air museum. Interpretive tours are offered as well as a variety of educational programs and special events developed in collaboration with Native American and other groups. Archaeological excavations are ongoing in the area, with special opportunities for school groups, graduate students, and adult learners.
Arrange to visit Sunwatch Indian Village and other attractions in Dayton using our Dayton trip itinerary planner .
Source
Create an itinerary including Sunwatch Indian Village
map
Sunwatch Indian Village Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
101 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Sunwatch is an authentic site, but it is small. I would plan maybe an hour to an hour and a half. There is a small indoor museum with information. Some of the outdoor trails are covered in mulch, maki...  more »
  • Very sad to see such an important archaeological site not kept up. Huts falling down signage faded and some very hard to read. Locals need to restore this village to it's former grandeur.  more »
  • The historical significace of this sacred site is immeasurable. As a first time visitor we were impressed with the modest reception/exhibit area. A 12 minute video was conducive to introducing us to w...  more »
Google
  • Very quiet and peaceful. My family and I enjoyed learning the history and experiencing the past. We had a mini lesson with our son involving the science and history of sun dials and how they were used in the past. Great place!!!
  • Went to Sunwatch Indian village Pow Wow. It was very nice. Got to see Indians in their native dress. The food was great. The dancing was very good. A very enjoyable experience will definitely do it again.
  • Wonderful place. The museum was great. Loved the Pow Wow in June.
  • The content of information provided here is great. However, the presentation of the information is dated compared to modern museums.
  • No easy to find...sort of tucked back with the water treatment plant...once you arrive there is a large parking lot, nice museum, and then the awesome Ft. Ancient village. Well done displays and plaques explain everything. Very informative. If you are interesting in ancient Native American culture you must see this!

Plan your trip to Dayton

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Dayton

Modern hotels with both executive suites and standard rooms are conveniently located downtown. Just outside this area are family-owned bed and breakfasts, which have fewer rooms but an abundance of character. Both locations offer easy access to sites in the downtown area.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in Dayton by other users

2 days in Dayton BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 19 days in United States BY A USER FROM CYPRUS August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Dayton BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, popular PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 60 days in Ohio, San Diego & Nashville BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, kids, popular PREFERENCES: March, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Dayton BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, kids, popular PREFERENCES: January, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in Dayton BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, teens, kids, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: February, teens, kids, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 7 days in Dayton BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, teens, kids, outdoors, relaxing, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: February, teens, kids, outdoors, relaxing, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Dayton BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, culture, historic sites, museums, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: November, culture, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 4 days in Ohio BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: November, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Dayton BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, culture, relaxing, romantic, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: December, culture, relaxing, romantic ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 3 days in Dayton BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans