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Utz Site facts for kids

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Utz Site
Nearest city Marshall, Missouri
Area 200 acres (81 ha)
Built 1400
NRHP reference No. 66000424
Quick facts for kids
Significant dates
Added to NRHP October 15, 1966
Designated NHL July 19, 1964

The Utz Site, designated by the Smithsonian trinomial 23SA2, is a major Native American archaeological site in Saline County, Missouri, located on bluffs overlooking the Missouri River. Partially preserved in Van Meter State Park, it is the site of one of the largest early Contact Native villages in the region, which was occupied by the Missouri tribe from c. 15th to the late 18th centuries, and was probably the principal village area occupied by them at the time of their first contact with Europeans. The site was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964.


The Utz Site is located in central Missouri, north of the city of Marshall and south of Miami. The site is roughly 200 acres (81 ha) in size, most of which is privately owned land. A small portion is included in an outlying part of Van Meter State Park, whose main feature is the so-called Old Fort; the rest is on private land. It is set on a series of grassy hills, roughly 2 miles (3.2 km) south of the present course of the Missouri River.

The site was first noted in the documentary record by French explorers, beginning with Pere Marquette, whose 1673 map placed "Messourit" Indians here. It appears to have been abandoned about 1728, around the time a French fort on the river to the north was also abandoned, as there is a distinct absence of European trade goods from after that time. The site has been known for some time, due in part to its proximity to the Old Fort's distinctive earthworks, and was first studied archaeologically in the 1940s.

The ancestral people preceding the Missouri tribe, who also lived on the Utz site, are defined as Oneota.

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