Dr. W.H. Over, South Dakota's first archeologist, sketched maps of two 1600s' Omaha earth-hut villages in present-day lower Sherman Park. He also outlined a 51-feet in diameter Omaha dance bowl or circle in the upper park.
Formal ceremonial dances evolved among many prehistoric native cultures. Early Euramerican observers recorded a variety of ritualistic dances among the Plains Indians. Dances by warriors before and after warfare, initiation dances, buffalo hunting dances, and worship
dances such as the sun dance were noted. Other dances honored animals including the eagle, rabbit, and bear.
Most dances were performed in a large circle and only by men. Music provided with flutes, drums, gourd rattles, and bone or wood whistles accompanied chanting by the dancers and drummers.
In 2005 Renee Boen of the South Dakota Archeological Research Center reviewed Dr. Over's original map. Although no trace of the dance circle remains today, she calculated that it had been located 40 yards northeast of this spot.