The researchers are working with a 4-foot-by-8-foot section of a wall from a house built in Custer County in 1902 or 1903.
Professor Dave Wedin says the sod house section offers a rare chance to study plant and soil samples from more than 100 years ago.
Other researchers will try to learn more about the bugs and other pests that bothered pioneers.
Several students from schools in Custer County have also been able to participate in the research. Ansley Public Schools teacher Brandon Grosserode says the project taught students about the history of the area.