Early Farmers and Traders: Iowa 2000 Years Ago

2000 Year Trunk Overview of Contents

The Middle Woodland period (100 B.C.-A.D. 300) in Iowa is noted for its refined artworks, complex mortuary program, and extensive trade networks linked with Hopewell centers in Illinois and Ohio. Hopewell network participants exchanged exotic raw materials such as Knife River flint from North Dakota, Gulf Coast marine shell, Great Lakes copper, mica from Appalachia, galena from the Dubuque and Galena localities, and several pipestones derived from Minnesota, Illinois, and Ohio. Middle Woodland peoples probably lived in small communities or farmsteads, focusing their subsistence economy on food resources in large river valleys and tending gardens of squash, tobacco, marshelder, and goosefoot. 

This Discovery Trunk captures this archaeological period of early farming and trading with a variety of replica and authentic artifacts that demonstrate the technology of the time, such as spear points and chipped stone tools; an atlatl and replica spear; flint knapping tools; pottery-making tools and replica Hopewell pot; seeds, nuts, and fibers; and a gourd rattle. Print and DVD resources provide educators and students with background information to enhance the learning experiences of both the provided and customizable lessons that can be adapted for K-12 audiences.

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Note: There is a $25 service fee for all trunks borrowed from the Office of the State Archaeologist. This service fees covers staff time to maintain the traveling trunk program, including processing requests, preparing trunks for shipping, inventorying and replacing items, and making upgrades to trunk contents and lessons. We cover shipping to the trunk's destination, but it is the responsibility of the borrower to return the trunk to OSA via shipping or drop-off.

Marine Shell
Replica Copper Celt
Replica Hopewell Pot