Exploring Glenwood Archaeology

Glenwood Trunk Contents

Around A.D. 1,000 the climate was becoming warmer and rainier, excellent for growing corn and other crops. People began to rely more and more on farming. The greater reliability of the food supply encouraged an increase in population. During the Plains Village period from about 1100 to 700 years ago, one of the cultural groups that lived in western Iowa was known as the Glenwood culture. Glenwood peoples lived in earthlodge settlement along the dramatic loess bluffs paralleling the Missouri River in southwestern Iowa and southeastern Nebraska. This location would have been particularly favorable to horticultural groups tilling the fertile, alluvial bottomland along the river. In general, they relied on farming but also continued to hunt, fish, and trap animals and to gather wild plants for many different uses.   

The Plains Village traditions seem to have disappeared around A.D. 1400. The climate appears to have become hotter and dryer. These changes probably made it harder to grow crops in western Iowa. This, along with pressures from other groups in the surrounding areas may have eventually forced these villagers to move away. As they did, they probably met new people and environmental conditions that changed their lives and cultures.

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Glenwood Fish and Turkey
Glenwood Arrowhead
Glenwood Vessel