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

Sunwatch Indian Village, Dayton

(95+ reviews on the web)
Historic Site Tourist Spot
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.
See Sunwatch Indian Village and all Dayton has to offer by arranging your trip with our Dayton tour planner.
Source
Create a full Dayton itinerary
map

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.

Plans in Dayton by other users

1 day in Ohio BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Ohio BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 11 days in Mount Gambier & Ohio BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Ohio BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Dayton BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, teens, popular PREFERENCES: August, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Dayton BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Ohio BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Dayton BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Ohio & New Jersey BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Ohio BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Auburn Hills & Ohio BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Ohio BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans
Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This is a very popular location for school field trips. There are some reconstructed Indian structures based on actual post holes. You get a good idea of life here several hundred years ago.  more »
  • We visited Dayton for the express purpose of seeing the Air Force Museum. We decided to lift our heads above the water and see if Dayton had anything else of interest. My son spied the Indian Museum a...  more »
  • Three of us went yesterday to the Sunwatch. It was a very interesting place to visit. The exhibits are small the knowledge about the exhibits is amazing. The rebuilt huts and the outdoor area was so e...  more »
Google
  • 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!
  • This is the most extensive Fort Ancient Indian village remake in the area. It's not just a replica, but a rebuild over the exact locations of buildings, structues, graves, etc. Very cool. Worth a visit.
  • My experience at SunWatch Village was phenomenal thanks to William (Bill) Kennedy. My boyfriend and I asked the first person we saw to take our picture without realizing we were talking to the curator of anthropology. Bill explained the history of the site in a way that was engaging, exciting, intelligent, and passionate. He was incredibly generous with his time and it was so very appreciated. I just hope everyone who visits has a similarly wonderful experience. Give yourself 2 hours if you like to read all posted information. If you are short on time, move more quickly through the first "room" of the museum since a lot of the information is repeated in the outdoor exhibit and the 12 minute video.
  • Nice place to take family and learn about history