2301 W. River Road
Dayton, OH 45417
(937) 268-8199


9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Sunday: noon-5:00 p.m.
Closed on Mondays

Closed except for special events or by appointment.Call 937.268.8199 to book your group visit or field trip!

Closed: New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Easter

General Admission

Adults $7.00
Seniors (60+) $6.00
Students (6-17) $6.00
Members are always Free!


2019 Lecture Series: She Blinded Me with Science

Join us for the 2019 Archaeological Institute of America/SunWatch lecture series, featuring an all-female line-up of experts in their field!

Thanks to the generosity of the Archaeological Institute of America and an anonymous donor, admission to the Lecture Series is free and open to the public.
Schedule subject to change.

Topics and Presenters:

Transforming Landscape, Dynamic Place: Exploring the Neighborhoods of Cahokia
Saturday, January 12, 10:30 a.m.
Presented by: Dr. Melissa Baltus, University of Toledo

Cities of the past, much like the present, are vibrant places comprised of varying and changing neighborhoods. Arguably, these neighborhood dynamics fuel the creation and transformation of the city. Salvage and CRM excavations at Cahokia, the only known Indigenous city north of Mexico, have revealed information on three different neighborhoods of “Downtown”. Our recent exploration of a fourth neighborhood located west of the heart of the city will be discussed in the context of these known neighborhood dynamics to explore the ways in which past Cahokians altered their landscapes and shaped their city.  

The Battle of the Wabash: Working Towards a New View with Archaeology
Saturday, February 9, 10:30 a.m.
Presented by: Christine Thompson, Ball State University

The Battle of the Wabash was a Northwest Indian War battle (1791) that was a resounding victory for the American Indian alliance, and yet has been popularly known for over 200 years as St. Clair’s Defeat. Ball State University has conducted archaeological and preservation research at the site of the Battle of the Wabash (in modern day Fort Recovery, Ohio) since 2010.  Our research focuses on landscape analysis, both in the context of the location of recovered artifacts and in the role the landscape played in the battle strategies of both the American Indian alliance and U.S. forces. Research results have helped in forming a more nuanced interpretation of the battle, one that more fully recognizes and balances the involvement and decisions of both the American Indian tribes and the U.S. military.

Grave Bj 581: The Viking Warrior that was a Woman
Saturday, March 9, 10:30 a.m.  
Presented by: Dr. Charlote Hedenstierna-Jonson, Archaeological Institute of America’s Forsyth Lecturer, University of Uppsala, Sweden

Recent DNA analysis of a Viking-age burial interpreted as that of a warrior excavated in Birka, Sweden in 1878 determined that the remains were not male as had always been assumed, but female. The burial was marked by a large boulder on a highly visible promontory. Within the underground wooden burial chamber the deceased was dressed in garments with silk and silver thread decorations, propped up in a seated position, surrounded by weapons, and framed by shields at the head and foot of the chamber. Gaming pieces were found in the lap of the deceased along with the possible remains of an iron-fitted gaming board alongside the body. Outside the burial chamber two horses bridled for riding were placed on a platform.

DNA analysis proved not only that the remains were female, but also that she was not local to the region, instead from southern Scandinavia. The archaeology shows a high-status individual suggesting close connections to the eastern part of the Viking World, but is the standing interpretation of the grave as that of a high-status warrior still valid?

Tomb Robbery in Ancient Egypt
Saturday, April 6, 10:30  a.m.
Presented by: Dr. Kate Liszka, Archaeological Institute of America’s Abemayor Lecturer, California State University, San Bernardino

Ancient Egyptians believed that their name, their body, and their memory needed to be preserved to ensure life after death.  So that their memory would persevere for the rest of eternity, they were frequently buried in large visible tombs with the often-luxurious objects that they needed in the afterlife.  These wealth-filled tombs acted like a beacon of opportunity for criminals.  Learn how various tombs were broken into in antiquity, how the Egyptian designed their tombs in an attempt to ward off tomb robbers, and how the tomb robbers were tried and punished for their crimes.