by Michael J. Perry 
© Copyright 1996 The University of Iowa. All rights reserved. 


Location of Glenwood locality within the Nebraska phase region
The archaeological remains of late prehistoric populations living along the Missouri River and the lower reaches of its tributaries in eastern Nebraska and southwestern Iowa represent the Nebraska culture. Using the Willey and Phillips (1958) method of culture-historical integration, archaeologists commonly classify the Nebraska culture as a "phase" of the Central Plains "tradition". The Central Plains tradition comprises a number of broadly similar archaeological manifestations of earthlodge dwelling-farming populations living in Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa during roughly the 10th through 14th centuries A. D. The Nebraska phase represents one of the most intensively studied prehistoric cultures, both in the state of Iowa, and among the various Central Plains manifestations. Nebraska phase sites are scattered over a much more extensive area in eastern Nebraska and northeastern Kansas, and occupations both predating and postdating the occupation of the Glenwood locality have been recognized (Blakeslee and Caldwell 1979). In Iowa, Charles R. Keyes (1951) referred to the earthlodge sites as the Glenwood Culture, after the county seat of Mills County, near which most of the Nebraska phase components in Iowa have been found (Figure 1). Glenwood is still a commonly used name for the Nebraska phase in Iowa, although archaeologists prefer to consider Glenwood one of a number of localities containing Nebraska phase sites (Blakeslee and Caldwell 1979).

Brief History of Major Investigations 

Published descriptions of Iowa's earthlodge culture date to the 1880s (Dean 1883; Proudfit 1881a1881b, 1886a1886b). Amateur archaeologist Paul Rowe hunted the hills and ravines around Glenwood from at least the early 1920s through the early 1960s, leading to the location of over 200 sites (Green 1992:3). Rowe's efforts led to the accumulation of a major collection of Nebraska phase materials and several published descriptions of excavations he conducted (Rowe 1922, 1951, 1952a1952b; Davis and Rowe 1960; Billeck and Rowe 1992). The Rowe Collection is now housed in the Mills County Historical Museum and in Iowa City at the Office of the State Archaeologist. Through both personal visits and correspondence dating from the 1920s through the 1940s, Rowe brought to the attention of Charles Keyes the archaeological richness of the Glenwood area (e.g., Keyes 1924, Rowe 1933, 1942). As a result, Keyes arranged for his associate, Ellison Orr, to conduct an intensive survey of the Glenwood locality in 1938, which would include both site location, mapping, and excavation. The materials recovered by Orr are in the Keyes Collection, presently housed at the Iowa City office of the State Historical Society of Iowa, forming a second major collection of Nebraska phase materials. Orr completed a manuscript report of his survey (Orr 1942), which was later included in a microform publication (Orr 1963) of his activities for the Iowa Archaeological Survey. A number of sites identified by Rowe, Keyes, and Orr have recently been verified and correlated, providing an important link between modern site records and the archival information provided by these early researchers (Tiffany et al.1990; Billeck 1992a). 

Anderson conducted excavations in the Glenwood locality in the mid 1950s as part of his graduate studies at the University of Iowa (Anderson 1954; Anderson and Anderson 1960), and again in 1969 with the onset of highway construction work on U.S. 34 west of Glenwood (Anderson 1973). Both Anderson's (1961) and Zimmerman's (1977a) graduate studies included analyses of ceramics recovered by Orr. Anderson and Zimmerman collaborated (1976) in an analysis of Glenwood locality settlement pattern that also employed Orr's site location data. Zimmerman (1977b) later expanded the Anderson-Zimmerman settlement model into a computer simulation model attempting to explain the factors that led to the known distribution of Nebraska phase components in Iowa at the time. 

Recent archaeological investigations at Glenwood have been conducted under cultural resource management programs by government agencies. The proposed development of a number of erosion control structures in the Pony Creek watershed led to surveys and excavations by Brown (1967) and Fulmer (1974). Construction of U.S. 34 west of Glenwood led to further excavations at additional Nebraska phase earthlodges (Hotopp 1978a, 1978b, 1982). Billeck recently analyzed artifacts recovered by Hotopp's U. S. 34 excavations and conducted test excavations at 13ML360 and 13ML361 as part of his doctoral research (Billeck 1993). Most of the recent investigations in the Glenwood locality were prompted by proposed local road improvements, including grading along Mills County route L31 (Perry 1983, 1984, 1987; Morrow 1995) and bridge replacements along Pony Creek (Perry 1990). 

Spatial and Temporal Range of the Nebraska Phase in Iowa 

Location of Glenwood locality within the Nebraska phase region
Keyes (1951) reported that Glenwood culture artifacts could be found along the bluffs bordering the Missouri valley from Monona to Fremont Counties. A recent survey Marcucci (1990) resulted in the location of possible Nebraska phase sites in Pottawattamie County just north of Council Bluffs, but to date, Keyes' distribution has not been confirmed. Most of the known Nebraska phase components in Iowa lie in a roughly 9 x 3 mile (14.5 x 4.8 km) area in the loess hills of western Mills County (Figure 1). Pony Creek roughly bisects this region of rugged hills and narrow valleys. The actual number of Nebraska Phase sites is uncertain, since the area has not been thoroughly surveyed. With modern archaeological survey methods, buried Nebraska phase sites are now being located in areas that previously had been overlooked (e.g., Perry 1990).

Most acceptable radiocarbon dates of Nebraska Phase sites fall within the period A. D. 1000 to 1300 (Hotopp 1978b:119), but both earlier and later dates have been reported (Brown 1967). Billeck (1993) completed the most recent analysis of the available radiocarbon evidence and suggested a temporal span of approximately 150 calendar years, with a calibrated age range of 800?650 B. P. (A. D. 1150-1300). The Iowa Site File contains records of 609 sites Mills County, of which 273 are identified as earthlodge, Nebraska phase, or Glenwood Culture sites. However, Billeck (1993:10) estimates that the region may contain the remains of between 500 and 1000 earthlodges created by a population of roughly 350?500 people over a 150 year period. 



Projectile points from Glenwood locality sites.
Chipped and ground stone tools recovered at Nebraska phase sites in Iowa are typical of the Late Prehistoric period. Small triangular unnotched, side notched, and multi-notched projectile points were produced for hafting to arrow shafts used for bow and arrow hunting (Figure 2). In the Glenwood locality unnotched projectile points are generally larger than notched points and may be technologically unfinished (Billeck 1993:185-186). Billeck (1993) seriated the projectile points from ten reliably dated Glenwood locality Nebraska phase components, and found that multi-notched points were more common on early sites. As occupation of the locality progressed the use of notching on projectile points diminished. Billeck also noted similar trends in projectile point notching in contemporary Mississippian and Late Woodland occupations, lending support to his use of projectile points for seriation studies of Nebraska phase components.

Chipped stone tools from Glenwood locality sites.
Other chipped stone tools (Figure 3) found in the Glenwood locality include drills, celts, double bevel knives, and corner-tang knives (Anderson and Tatum 1978). Less formal bifaces may also have functioned as cutting tools or represent unfinished preforms. Scrapers were produced on thick flake blanks and given a narrow ovoid or tear-drop outline and presumably used for hide processing. Informal, expedient flake tools for generalized cutting and scraping purposes, including long, narrow blades, have also been identified in Nebraska phase lithic assemblages.







Miscellaneous artifact types from Glenwood locality sites.
Pecked and ground stone tools found at Nebraska phase sites include paired arrow shaft smoothers, sandstone abraders (Figure 4), celts, hammerstones, manos, metates, and pitted anvilstones. Hammerstones were produced from either chert or igneous cobbles. Ground and striated hematite fragments and ground stone beads have also been reported from Glenwood locality sites.








Nebraska phase utilitarian ceramics include globular jars, broad shallow bowls, and narrow-mouthed seed jars. The earthenware vessels were presumably produced by coiling or mass modeling a paste of clay tempered with grit, sand, or crushed mussel shell, followed by malleating with a cord-wrapped paddle. The cord-roughened pots were often partly or completely smoothed over. Decoration was applied to the rim exterior, consisting of incising, tool or fingertip impressing, or occasionally pinching or noding. Bodies were usually left undecorated. Billeck (1993) has suggested that pots with shell tempered paste appear both early in the occupation of the locality due to the influence of contemporary Mississippian/Steed-Kisker phase populations, and late in the occupation through contact with or influence by Oneota groups. The influence of Mississippian related, or later Oneota groups, is also reflected in body sherds with trailed/incised line motifs or chevrons that were placed on the shoulders of a few vessels at early or late sites (Billeck 1993:247-249). Sherds with cord impressed decoration similar to Late Woodland Missouri Bluffs Cord Impressed ware occur in low frequencies throughout the occupation of the region. 

Nebraska phase ceramic vessel types.
The early Glenwood locality ceramic analyses (Ives 1955; Anderson and Anderson 1960; Anderson 1961) employed variations of Gunnerson's (1952) original classification scheme in which sherds and vessels are classified by vessel type, with subtypes based on decorative treatments. Four wares/vessel types are recognized: McVey (direct jar rims), Beckman (collared jar rims), Swoboda, (collared and channeled or S-shaped jar rims) and Debilka (bowls, seed jars) (Figure 5). Zimmerman (1977a) used a similar approach, but concluded the typology was not sufficiently sensitive to permit successful seriation efforts, and called for a re-evaluation of the typology. Later researchers (Blakeslee and Caldwell 1979; Billeck 1993) relied upon attribute analyses for seriation purposes.





Despite its apparent short-comings for temporal seriation studies, the Gunnerson typology is still a useful means of describing Nebraska phase ceramics. McVey ware includes vessels with rims that are either vertical or flaring. McVey ware vessels occasionally display tabs or loop handles. Decorated McVey ware vessels display tool or fingertip impressions around the upper rim or lip (Figure 6), or incising or trailing on vessel shoulders executed in styles reminiscent of Mississippian or Oneota designs (Figure 7). Beckman ware vessels display a vertical rim profiles with a wedge-shaped exterior collar encircling the lower rim. If decorated, the decoration was usually applied to the collar panel area and consisted of tool or fingertip impressions (Figure 7), nodes, incised crosshatching, or incised parallel horizontal lines. Swoboda ware vessels display rims with S-shaped profiles due to the addition of an exterior collar and an interior channel along the upper rim. The distinction between Beckman and Swoboda ware rim sherds is often difficult, as large collections of collared rim sherds tend to exhibit a continuum from sherds that are strongly S-shaped to sherds that are vertical with only a slight collar or channel. Decoration on Swoboda ware pots is similar to that of Beckman ware. Debilka is something of a catch-all type consisting of the rather divergent vessel types of vertical or incurving rim bowls, and seed jars with their insloping profiles and narrow orifices. Decoration on Debilka bowls and seed jars usually consists of exterior trailing or incising. 

Decorative variations of McVey rim sherds.
Miscellaneous Nebraska phase sherds.


Nonutilitarian ceramics found on Nebraska phase components include miniature pots, spoons or ladles, pipes, and figurines. Pipes were tubular or elbowed and occasionally decorated with incising or anthropomorphic or zoomorphic effigies. The pipes suggest the use of tobacco among Glenwood locality populations. Ceramic figurines have been found in human, waterfowl, and turtle forms. McNerney (1987) postulated complex relationships between Nebraska phase populations and Mississippian, Caddoan, and southwestern populations as the impetus for the production of the figurines. 

Bone, Antler, and Shell Tools 

Miscellaneous artifact types from Glenwood locality sites.
The calcareous or non-acidic nature of the soils in western Mills County tends to promote good preservation of faunal remains on Nebraska phase sites. Excavations therefore commonly encounter bone artifacts such as pendants, fish hooks, scapula hoes, deer mandible sickles, awls, harpoon points, and antler tine flakers (Figure 4). Nebraska phase populations also worked freshwater mussel shells into tools such as spoons, digging tools and scrapers. Shell effigy pendants and beads have also been reported.







Despite the generally good preservation conditions that have been noted for the loess hills area of western Mills County, Nickel's (n. d.) analysis of botanical remains from several of the U. S. 34 sites excavated by Hotopp (1978a) was the only Glenwood locality archaeobotanical study until the 1990s. Along with 13ML176 (this volume), the recently excavated sites 13ML175 (Asch and Green 1995) and 13ML361 (Billeck 1992b) are the most recently investigated sites that have yielded analyzed floral remains. Asch and Green (1995:68) suggest that the paucity of archaeobotanical studies was due in part to use of only dry screening excavated soils and feature fills over relatively course mesh, precluding the possibility of recovering most floral remains that could be used as indicators of subsistence resources. 

Flotation processing of feature fills and other cultural deposits using fine mesh recovery screens is now common practice in archaeological research. These methods provide data useful for the reconstruction of both prehistoric diets and paleoenvironments. As a result, new discoveries of exploited plant remains are occurring with greater frequency. The analyzed U. S. 34 collection plus assemblages recently excavated sites 13ML175 and 13ML361 provide a glimpse into the kinds of plant resources used in the Glenwood locality (Table 1). Nebraska phase populations exploited a broad spectrum of floral resources that may be tentatively grouped into domesticates, cultivated wild species, and collected wild species.

Table 1. Types of Identified Subsistence Plant Remains at the U. S. 34 Sites, † 13ML175,* and 13ML361.**
Domesticates Cultivated Wild Species Collected Wild Species
corn little barley amaranth
common bean barnyard grass (possibly) cordgrass
sunflower knotweed elderberry
goosefoot marshelder goosefoot (possibly)
gourd   panic grass
squash   porcupine grass
tobacco   purslane

† Nickel n.d., cited in Adair 1988 
Asch and Green 1995:69 
** Billeck 1992b

Some of the species that were important to prehistoric Glenwood locality residents, such as little barley, are now extinct; others are considered weeds by modern people. Its likely that Glenwood sites are characterized by floral assemblages that include some species common to many of the other sites, while other species may occur uniquely or are found at only a few other sites (Asch and Green 1995:69). The commonly known prehistoric domesticates corn, beans, and squash, were undoubtedly important in the diets of Nebraska phase populations throughout the locality, but the seeds of cultivated and collected wild species also contributed significantly. 

Faunal remains, including mammal, fish, bird, and reptile bone and mussel shell, were usually recovered in past excavations, but analyses of the materials have been limited to identification of tools or ornaments (e.g., Anderson 1961). Few past investigators analyzed the faunal assemblages, but a growing number of researchers are focusing on Glenwood locality faunal data for both paleoenvironmental information and prehistoric subsistence practices (e.g., Bardwell 1981; Cordell et al. 1995; Hirst 1995). The 13ML175 faunal assemblage provides a preliminary impression Nebraska phase faunal exploitation (Table 2). As with floral remains, considerable intersite variability in species presence and frequency may be expected among faunal assemblages from Nebraska phase sites of the Glenwood locality. Clear evidence of bison exploitation has not been encountered in the Glenwood locality, but selected bison elements, such as scapulae, have been noted. Such elements were usually made into tools, and may have been acquired through trade.

Table 2. Types of Identified Faunal Remains at 13ML175.*
Fish Birds Mammals Reptiles/Amphibians Mussels
catfish blackbird deer frog/toad pink paper shell
gar buteo hawk wapiti turtle pocketbook 
sucker duck family muskrat snake lady slipper
sunfish    cottontail rabbit    
family   short tail shrew    
    eastern mole    
    pains pocket gopher    
    hispid pocket mouse    
    southern bog lemming     
    prairie vole     
     Franklin's ground squirrel    

*Cordell, et al. 1995; Hirst 1995

Sites and Settlements 

Nebraska phase sites in Iowa are usually associated with remains of houses termed earthlodges. Nebraska phase earthlodges were constructed using the typical Central Plains tradition pattern of four central support posts surrounded by shorter, closely spaced, outer wall posts. The central support posts were usually substantial oak, walnut, or elm timbers that were charred at the base and set into postholes. Charring the post bases may have helped prevent rot, and may also reflect the method of felling the trees used or sizing the posts (Hotopp 1978a). These vertical members supported large cross beams, and smaller rafters that were interwoven with twigs to form walls and a roof that were plastered with wattle and daub, a mixture of grass and mud. Access to the lodge interior was gained through a similarly constructed extended entryway, often south-facing. Lodges were built on both level and sloping topography. Excavation of the upper few inches of soil presumably provided the material for the wattle and daub wall chinking. Where the site of a lodge was sloping, such excavation involved the removal of considerable amounts of soil at the upslope end of the house area to create a more level living surface. Due to such site preparation, earthlodges are sometimes referred to as semi-subterranean structures. 

The floor plan of a Nebraska phase earthlodge was square to rectangular in outline, with rounded corners. A central roof opening permitted the escape of smoke from a fire hearth located roughly in the center of the enclosed floor space. Several storage pits with vertical or bell-shaped profiles were usually contained within a lodge. Sleeping spaces were located along the perimeter walls. The nature of Nebraska phase people's use of space outside their earthlodges is poorly understood due in part to lodge-focused research (cf. Gradwohl 1969). Hotopp (1978b:115) tested lodge exterior areas during the U. S. 34 excavations, but only one exterior pit feature was encountered at 14 lodge sites. Abundant remains were recently encountered in lodge-exterior areas at 13ML175, including three features (Morrow 1995). Perry (1998) suggested that lodge exterior areas may contain important data on activities such as flintknapping, food processing, and refuse disposal. Considering the limited amount of useful space within a lodge for activities other than cooking or sleeping, it seems likely that many social and domestic functions took place outdoors. 

Histogram of Glenwood locality lodge floor areas.

Archaeologists have developed various formulas using measurements of lodge floor areas or perimeter lengths to estimate the number of occupants (Blakeslee 1989; Naroll 1962; Wedel 1979). Thirty-six excavated Glenwood locality earthlodges yielded floor areas ranging 306-1849 ft2 (28.4-171.8 m2) (Hotopp 1978b:113; Crismon and Green 1992). A majority of these lodges ranged 300-800 ft2 (27.9-74.3 m2), but a frequency histogram of lodge floor area ranges in 100 ft (9.29 m) increments yields a bimodal distribution pattern of both large (over 900 ft [83.6 m2]) and small (less than 700 ft2 [65.0 m2]) lodges (Figure 8). This bimodal distribution pattern has been noted throughout the Nebraska phase region (Blakeslee and Caldwell 1979; Hotopp 1982). At 5 m2 (Wedel 1979) per person, large Glenwood locality earthlodges may have housed at least 16 people, and small lodges could have held no more than 11 people. Such household populations suggest that the lodges were occupied by extended families. 

The Nebraska phase settlement pattern may be generally described as earthlodges located on upland ridge summits and spurs or on footslopes or terraces above valley floodplains. The lodges occur both isolated and in clusters that are often arranged in linear patterns (Blakeslee and Caldwell 1979; Brown 1967; Sterns 1915; Wedel 1956, 1959, 1961; Wood 1969). Earthlodges located on uplands have historically received the most attention, since their locations were often marked by shallow depressions and were therefore easily located by researchers and local residents (e.g. Orr 1963). Sedimentation, both modern and prehistoric, has obscured lodge sites on lower-lying landforms. Hotopp (1978b:115) reported that none of the lodges located along new U. S. 34 contained obvious surface indicators. 

Archaeologists have debated the nature of Nebraska phase settlement pattern throughout the history of archaeological inquiry in the area (Perry 1998). At issue is whether the clusters of lodge represent villages, hamlets, or simply the result of replacement of single lodges during a lengthy occupation of a localized area (Anderson and Zimmerman 1976:153; Blakeslee 1990). Researchers such as Proudfit (1881b) simply assumed that clusters of lodge depressions represented villages without any objective means of verifying contemporaneity among the lodges. With reference to the large lodge cluster at Kullbom hollow, later investigators (e.g., Anderson 1961:67) were just as lax. Orr (1963) had difficulty locating lodges anywhere but on uplands, where surface artifact scatters or depressions were easily discerned. Those that Orr investigated were never closer together than about ¼ mile (400 m), and he therefore argued that the settlement pattern could not have included villages. Anderson and Zimmerman (1976), and Zimmerman (1977b), used Orr's site distribution map to argue that the settlement pattern was dispersed, and that clusters of earthlodges were much more likely to represent serial occupation of favored locations. 

Perry (1998) showed that the past settlement pattern analyses were hampered by several factors. Perhaps the biggest problem, one that still plagues settlement pattern research in the region, is that of establishing contemporaneity of the lodges in a cluster. Additionally, the sample of known lodge sites used by the past researchers was very incomplete and biased in favor of dispersed upland locations. The data generated by Paul Rowe, including maps of the numerous site locations, were overlooked or not readily available. The density of Nebraska phase sites in areas subject to sedimentation was not adequately evaluated (c.f. Bettis 1990). 

A thoroughly satisfactory means of establishing contemporaneity may never emerge, but cross-matching artifacts between lodges may be the best evidence one could hope for, as the excavations along U. S. 34 accomplished at two sites near the mouth of Pony Creek (Hotopp 1978a). The cross-matched sherdsprovided the first solid indications of a contemporaneously occupied lodge cluster in the locality. Perry (1990) used archival data from the Keyes Collection, including maps by Paul Rowe, and extensive test excavations, to locate additional buried sites near the mouth of Pony Creek. The lower Pony Creek valley was thus shown to be one of the most extensive occupational areas in the Glenwood locality. The lower Pony Creek valley data were later used in the context of Billeck's three subphase temporal model to suggest the presence of an early subphase village, and to suggest a developmental model of the settlement of the Glenwood locality (Perry 1998). 

Temporal and Spatial Distributions 

Anderson (1961) produced the first seriation of Glenwood locality ceramics by comparing vessel type (ware group) frequencies at sites located throughout the locality that were excavated by Orr, and later by himself. The result was the postulated three sequential phases called Keg Creek, Pony Creek, and Kullbom. Working without any direct radiocarbon evidence, a long temporal span for the Nebraska culture in Iowa was suggested, ranging roughly A. D. 800-1500. From earliest to latest, Keg Creek phase sites contained high percentages of Beckman and Swoboda wares; McVey ware predominated among the Kullbom phase sites and also contained shell tempered Oneota or Oneota-like ceramics. Sites in Pony Creek valley were intermediate between Keg Creek and Kullbom in terms of collared versus direct rim vessel frequency ratios. The analysis suggested spatial as well as temporal arrangement of Nebraska phase sites in the Glenwood locality, with the sites of the Keg Creek phase located near the mouth of Keg Creek, the Pony Creek phase sites lying in the middle reaches of Pony Creek valley, and the Kullbom phase site clustered in the Kullbom hollow and extending southward along the Missouri bluffs to the mouth of Pony Creek. 

Using somewhat different seriation approaches, Brown (1967) and Zimmerman (1977a) questioned Anderson's temporal span and phase ordering. Brown's analysis of sites in the Pony Creek valley led him to suggest two subphases for the recently defined Nebraska phase, early and late. Brown disagreed with Anderson's interpretations, placing sites like Kullbom into the early subphase and those from Keg Creek into the late subphase. As dates for the Glenwood locality began to accumulate (Brown 1967; Hotopp 1978a1978b), the temporal span of the occupation of the region compressed, and Anderson?s phases, which were based on ceramic seriation, could not be considered valid. 

The excavation of 15 sites along the new Highway 34 corridor provided a suite of radiocarbon dates for the locality which prompted Hotopp (1978a1978b) to reject both Anderson's and Brown's temporal phases. Billeck's (1993) analysis of the radiocarbon evidence and review of previous ceramic seriation studies led him to conclude that ceramic seriations based on vessel form typology would never yield an ordering of the sites that coincides with an ordering based on radiocarbon ages. Billeck proposed three new temporal subphases for the Glenwood locality, designated early, middle and late (Table 3).

Table 3. Proposed Glenwood Locality Subphases*.
Subphase Corrected Radiocarbon Age Calendar Date
Early 730-800 B. P. A .D. 1150-1220
Middle 680-730 B. P. A. D. 1220-1270
Late 660-680 B. P. A. D. 1270-1290

*After Billeck 1993:182

Relying instead on detailed attribute analyses of ceramics, backed with a seriation of projectile point notching styles, Billeck found a variety of vessel form and decorative attributes that changed during the radiocarbon dated span of occupation in the locality. Those attributes included collared jar (Beckman and Swoboda wares) panel height, direct jar (McVey ware) rim height and protrusion ratio, position of tool or fingertip impressions, frequency and type of decoration on collared vessels, percentage of shell tempered vessels, and the percentage of bowl forms and sherds representing trade wares (Table 4). The attributes changed continuously over the course of the occupation of the locality, so the division between subphases based on ceramic attribute frequencies is rather arbitrary. 

Ceramics of the early subphase were dominated by direct jar vessels with short, flaring rims and by collared jars with low panel and rim heights. Tool or fingertip impressed decoration was usually placed at the lip-rim juncture on direct rim jars, and collared rim jars were more frequently decorated with incising or trailing on the collar panel. During the middle and late subphases, rim heights increased and protrusion ratios on direct rim jars diminished; the rim and panel heights of collared rim vessels also increased. The use of tool and fingertip impressed decoration increased, and was placed at the lip, at the lip-rim juncture, or on the side of the rim of direct rim jars. Collared rim jars became more frequently decorated with tool impressions rather than incising. These trends are paralleled by changes in projectile point notching styles, with multi-notched points occurring more frequently during the early subphase. Middle and late subphase projectile points display fewer notches. 

Table 4. Attribute Trends of Glenwood Locality Ceramics Through Time*.
Vessel Type Early Subphase Middle Subphase Late Subphase
Direct Jars (McVey ware) % Plain Rim + % Plain Rim + % TI Rim +
  % Protruding Rim Vessels + % Protruding Rim Vessels - % Protruding Rim Vessels Ø
  Rim Height 1.0-1.2 cm Rim Height 1.3-1.5 cm Rim Height 1.6-2.3 cm
  % Shell Tempering + % Shell Tempering - % Shell Tempering -
Collared Jar (Beckman and Swoboda wares) % Plain Panel - % Plain Panel + % Plain Panel +
  % Cordmarked Panel + % Cordmarked Panel Ø % Cordmarked Panel -
  % Incised Panel + % Incised Panel -  % Incised Panel Ø
  % Plain Panel Base +   % TI Panel Base +
  % Handled Vessels -   % Handled Vessels +
Bowls (Debilka ware) % + % - % -
Trade Wares % + % + % -

* After Billeck 1993:232?260 
TI = Tool/Fingertip Impressed + = High - = Low Ø = No Specimens Observed

Billeck also noted that the early subphase sites were located in the southern part of the region near the mouth of Pony Creek. Late subphase sites were located in the northern portion of the region near the Kullbom hollow, and middle subphase sites were located along Keg Creek. This pattern suggests that occupation of the Glenwood locality moved progressively northward through time. Reasons for the south to north migration of the occupation of the locality are yet uncertain, but the temporal pattern, with its supporting artifact attribute trends, is the first workable model of the history of the numerous Nebraska phase sites in the Glenwood locality. 

Perry (1998) extended the temporal model to the Glenwood locality settlement pattern, postulating the presence of a village at the mouth of Pony Creek. Pioneering Nebraska phase populations moving into the Glenwood locality from the west, where the culture was already well established (Blakeslee and Caldwell 1979:108), would have encountered the lower reaches of valleys like Pony Creek and Keg Creek first, and may well have found conditions suitable to settlement. The problem of establishing the contemporaneity of lodge occupations was minimized by noting that all of the dated bottomland sites at the mouth of Pony Creek fell into the early subphase (Billeck 1993:180), along with several others with ceramic assemblages that are within the range of the early subphase. The high concentration of sites at the mouth of Pony Creek may have been the result of replacement of several contemporaneously occupied lodges over the course of the early subphase. If so, the random arrangement of houses, typical of the Nebraska phase, may have comprised a village similar to Chang's (1958) unplanned village type. 

Perry (1998) further postulated that settlement expanded into both upland and upvalley locations, with a northward progression, through the middle and late subphases. The topography of the uplands and the narrow valley floor along the upper reaches of Pony Creek precluded the establishment of closely spaced contemporaneous lodges, and the settlement pattern changed to one consisting of more dispersed homesteads. 


Knowledge about the culture of a prehistoric population inhabiting earthlodges in the hills of western Mills County has grown steadily over the past century. What was once thought to be an ancient society that remained in the territory for centuries is now recognized to be a relatively recent culture that lasted a rather brief 150 years. They took advantage of the richness and diversity of some of the most scenic landscapes in the Midwest. We don't know yet why they left the Glenwood locality. But during their stay they left behind a record of their activities indicating the considerable complexity of their lives. That record has captured the attention of both archaeologists and non-archaeologists, resulting in scholarly debate, museum construction, earthlodge replication, grade school study programs, and dozens of reports, articles, and books in both the popular and scientific realms. 

References Cited 

Adair, Mary J.
1988 Prehistoric Agriculture in the Central Plains. Publications in Anthropology 16. Department of Anthropology, University of Kansas, Lawrence.

Anderson, Adrian D.
1954 Stone Artifacts from the Glenwood Area. Journal of the Iowa Archeological Society 4(2):2-16.
1961 The Glenwood Sequence: A Local Sequence for a Series of Archaeological Manifestations in Mills County, Iowa. Journal of the Iowa Archeological Society 10(3):1-101.
1973 Phase Three Highway Salvage Archaeology: 1966-1969. In Archaeological Explorations Along Iowa Highways, by Marshall McKusick, James Boylan, and John Hotopp, pp. 20-26. Office of the State Archaeologist, The University of Iowa, Iowa City. Report submitted to the Iowa Department of Transportation, Ames.

Anderson, Adrian D., and Barbara Anderson
1960 Pottery Types of the Glenwood Foci. Journal of the Iowa Archeological Society 9(4):12-39.

Anderson, Adrian D., and Larry J. Zimmerman
1976 Settlement-Subsistence Variability in the Glenwood Locality. Plains Anthropologist 21:141-154. 

Anderson, Duane C., and Lise S. Tatum
1978 An Analysis of the Stone Tool Assemblage from 13ML155, A Nebraska Phase Earthlodge from Southwestern Iowa. Research Papers 3(2):1-27. Office of the State Archaeologist, The University of Iowa, Iowa City.

Asch, David L., and William Green
1995 Archaeobotanical Analysis. In Phase III Excavations at 13ML118 and 13ML175, Mills County, Iowa. Contract Completion Report 469, pp. 59-69. Office of the State Archaeologist, The University of Iowa, Iowa City.

Bardwell, Jennifer
1981 The Paleoecological and Social Significance of the Zooarchaeological Remains from Central Plains Earthlodges of the Glenwood Locality, Mills County, Iowa. Unpublished Master's thesis, Department of Geology, The University of Iowa, Iowa City. 

Bettis, E. Arthur III
1990 Holocene Alluvial Stratigraphy and Selected Aspects of the Quaternary History of Western Iowa. Guidebook, Midwest Friends of the Pleistocene 37th Field Conference, Council Bluffs. Iowa Quaternary Studies Group Contribution 36, Iowa City.

Billeck, William T.
1992a Archaeological Survey of Paul Rowe Sites in Mills County, Iowa. Journal of the Iowa Archeological Society 39:66-90.
1992b Excavations at the Millipede Site: A Nebraska Phase Earthlodge in Mills County, Iowa. Iowa Archeological Society Newsletter 42(1):1-2.
1993 Time and Space in the Glenwood Locality: The Nebraska Phase in Western Iowa. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation. University of Missouri-Columbia.

Billeck, William T., and Paul R. Rowe.
1992 Excavation Reports by Paul Rowe: 13ML272, 13ML297, 13ML299, and 13ML396. Journal of the Iowa Archeological Society 39:91-98.

Blakeslee, Donald J.
1989 On Estimating Household Population in Archaeological Sites, with an Example from the Nebraska Phase. In Plains Indian Historical Demography and Health: Perspectives Interpretations and Critiques, edited by Gregory R. Campbell, pp. 3-16. Plains Anthropologist Memoir 23. Plains Anthropological Society, Lincoln. 
1990 A Model for the Nebraska Phase. Central Plains Archaeology 2:29-56.

Blakeslee, Donald J., and Warren W. Caldwell
1979 The Nebraska Phase: An Appraisal. Reprints in Anthropology 18. J & L Reprint, Lincoln.

Brown, Lionel
1967 Pony Creek Archaeology. Publications in Salvage Archaeology 5. River Basin Surveys, Smithsonian Institution, Lincoln, Nebraska.

Chang, Kwang-Chih
1958 Study of the Neolithic Social Grouping: Examples from the New World. American Anthropologist 60:298334. 

Cordell, John L., Carmen Langel, and Toby Morrow
1995 Analysis of Vertebrate Faunal Remains. In Phase III Excavations at 13ML118 and 13ML175, Mills County, Iowa. Contract Completion Report 469, pp. 52?54. Office of the State Archaeologist, The University of Iowa, Iowa City.

Crismon, Sandra, and William Green
1992 Rediscovering Glenwood Earthlodges: The "McDowell Digs," 1938?1947. Journal of the Iowa Archeological Society 39:15-65.

Davis, Donald D. and Paul R. Rowe
1960 Further Notes on the Glenwood Culture: The Stille Site. Journal of the Iowa Archeological Society 9(3):13-17.

Dean, Seth
1883 Antiquities of Mills County, Iowa. Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution, pp. 528-532.

Fulmer, Darrell W.
1974 A Central Plains Earthlodge13ML124. Unpublished Master's thesis, Department of Anthropology, The University of Iowa, Iowa City.

Gradwohl, David M.
1969 Prehistoric Villages in Eastern Nebraska. Publications in Anthropology 4. Nebraska State Historical Society, Lincoln.

Green, William, Cherie E. Haury, and John L. Cordell
1992 Documenting Southwestern Iowa Prehistory through the Paul Rowe Collection. Journal of the Iowa Archeological Society 39:1-14. 

Gunnerson, James
1952 Some Nebraska Culture Pottery Types. Plains Archaeological Conference News Letter 5:34-49.

Hirst, K. Kris
1995 Mussel Shell Analysis. In Phase III Excavations at 13ML118 and 13ML175, Mills County, Iowa. Contract Completion Report 469, pp. 55-58. Office of the State Archaeologist, The University of Iowa, Iowa City.

Hotopp, John A.
1978a Settlement Patterns, Structures, and Temporal Placement of the Central Plains Tradition in Iowa. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation. The University of Iowa, Iowa City. 
1978b Glenwood: A Contemporary View. In The Central Plains Tradition: Internal Development and External Relationships, edited by Donald J. Blakeslee, pp. 109-133. Report 11. Office of the State Archaeologist, University of Iowa, Iowa City.
1982 Some Observations on the Central Plains Tradition in Iowa. In Plains Indian Studies: A Collection of Essays in Honor of John C. Ewers and Waldo R. Wedel, edited by Douglas H. Ubelaker and Herman J. Viola, pp. 173-192. Smithsonian Contributions to Anthropology 30. Smithsonian Institution, Washington D. C. 

Ives, John C.
1955 Glenwood Ceramics. Journal of the Iowa Archeological Society 4(3-4):2-32.

Keyes, Charles R.
1924 Field notes dated June 30, 1924. Mills County File, Keyes Document Collection, State Historical Society of Iowa, Iowa City.
1951 Prehistoric Indians of Iowa. The Palimpsest 32:281-344.

Marcucci, Derrick J. 
1990 Technical Report on the Historical Documentary Research and Archaeological Investigations of the Proposed I-29 Sanitary Landfill Site, Crescent Township, Pottawattamie County, Iowa. The Cultural Resources Group, Louis Berger and Associates, Marion, Iowa.

McNerney, Michael J.
1987 The Effigy Complex of the Nebraska Phase and the Problem of Nebraska Phase-Mississippian Relationships. Journal of the Iowa Archeological Society 34:23-50.

Morrow, Toby
1995 Phase III Excavations at 13ML118 and 13ML175, Mills County, Iowa. Contract Completion Report 469. Office of the State Archaeologist, The University of Iowa, Iowa City.

Naroll, Raoul
1962 Floor Area and Settlement Population. American Antiquity 27:587-589. 

Nickel, Robert K.
n.d. Botanical Remains from Sites in Mills County, Iowa. Manuscript on file, Office of the State Archaeologist, the University of Iowa, Iowa City.

Orr, Ellison
1942 Report of an Archaeological Survey of Mills County, Iowa. Copy on file, Office of the State Archaeologist, The University of Iowa, Iowa City.

1963 Iowa Archaeological Reports 1934-1939 with an Evaluation and Index by Marshall McKusick, edited by David Baerreis. Archives of Archaeology, Society for American Archaeology, Microcard Series 20. University of Wisconsin Press, Madison.

Perry, Michael J.
1983 RS-6026(4), Mills County Local Roads. Project Completion Report 7(113). Office of the State Archaeologist, The University of Iowa, Iowa City.
1984 Letter of March 16, 1984 to David L. Cook, Historic Preservation Specialist, Office of Project Planning, Iowa Department of Transportation, Ames. Copy on file, Office of the State Archaeologist, The University of Iowa, Iowa City.
1987 Phase II Test Excavation at Sites 13ML11813ML122,and 13ML175, Local Roads Project RS-6026(6), Mills County, Iowa. Project Completion Report 10(122). Office of the State Archaeologist, The University of Iowa, Iowa City.
1990 A Phase I Archaeological Survey of Local Systems Project LC-9091-4 and LC-9293-3, Mills County, Iowa. Project Completion Report 13(113). Office of the State Archaeologist, The University of Iowa, Iowa City.
1998 An Archaeological Survey of the Lower Pony Creek Valley: Implications for Glenwood Locality Settlement Pattern. Accepted for publication, Central Plains Archaeology.

Proudfit, S. V.
1881a Earthworks on the Missouri River. American Antiquarian 3:139.
1881b Antiquities of the Missouri Bluffs. American Antiquarian 3:271-280.
1886a The Lodge Dweller. American Antiquarian 8:222-228.
1886b Pottery Vessels at Glenwood, Iowa. American Antiquarian 8:229.

Rowe, Paul R.
1922 Decorative Markings on some Fragments of Pottery from Mills County, Iowa. Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science 29:53-59.
1933 Letter of June 27, 1933, to Charles R. Keyes, Director, Iowa Archaeological Survey, State Historical Society of Iowa, Iowa City. Microfilm copy on file Office of State Archaeologist, The University of Iowa, Iowa City.
1942 Letter of July 19, 1942, to Charles R. Keyes, Director, Iowa Archaeological Survey, State Historical Society of Iowa, Iowa City. Microfilm copy on file Office of State Archaeologist, The University of Iowa, Iowa City.
1951 Notes on Early Man and Archaic Sites in the Glenwood Area. Iowa Archaeological Society Newsletter 3-4:4-6.
1952a Early Horizons of Mills County, Iowa, Part I, Evidences of Early Man. Journal of the Iowa Archeological Society 1(3):6-13.
1952b Early Horizons of Mills County, Iowa, Part II, Pre-Pottery Sites. Journal of the Iowa Archeological Society 2(1):3-10.

Sterns, Frederick H.
1915 The Archaeology of Eastern Nebraska, with Special Reference to the Culture of the Rectangular Earth Lodges. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation. Harvard University, Cambridge.

Strong, William D.
1935 An Introduction to Nebraska Archaeology. Smithsonian Institution, Miscellaneous Collections 93(10):1-323. Washington, D.C.

Tiffany, Joseph A., Shirley J. Schermer, and Debby Z. Baker
1990 Documenting Archaeological Sites in the Charles R. Keyes Collection. Journal of the Iowa Archeological Society 37:88-92.

Wedel, Waldo R.
1956 Changing Settlement Patterns in the Great Plains. In Prehistoric Settlement Patterns in the New World, edited by Gordon R. Willey, pp. 81-92. Viking Fund Publications in Anthropology 23. Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, New York.
1959 An Introduction to Kansas Archaeology. Bulletin 114. Bureau of American Ethnology, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C.
1961 Prehistoric Man on the Great Plains. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman.
1979 House Floors and Native Settlement Populations in the Central Plains. Plains Anthropologist 24:85-98.

Willey, Gordon R. and Phillip Phillips
Method and Theory in American Archaeology. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Wood, W. Raymond
1969 Ethnographic Reconstructions. In Two House Sites on the Central Plains: An Experiment in Archaeology, edited by W. Raymond Wood, pp. 102-108. Plains Anthropologist Memoir 6. Plains Anthropological Society, Lincoln.

Zimmerman, Larry J.
1977a The Glenwood Local Sequence: A Re-examination. Journal of the Iowa Archeological Society 24:62-83.
1977b Prehistoric Locational Behavior: A Computer Simulation. Report 10. Office of the State Archaeologist, The University of Iowa, Iowa City.