Iowa Archaeology Month

Iowa Archaeology Month 2016 Logo

The celebration of Iowa Archaeology became an OSA tradition in the 1990s with a week of activities across the state. In 1999, we decided to expand it to an entire month!  This year's theme is Heritage Matters. We are taking this opportunity to bring awareness to the importance of not only Iowa's archaeological past, but also our cultural and historical richness. Learning about heritage matters. Teaching about heritage matters. Celebrating heritage matters. Visiting and providing support for your local heritage programs and institutions matters!

Iowa Archaeology Month Partners

University of Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist Sanford Museum and Planetarium
Archaeological Institute of America Iowa Chapter Iowa Archeological Society
State Historical Society of Iowa University of Iowa Pentacrest Museums
Mahaska CCB/Friends of Mahaska CCB Wickiup Hill Outdoor Learning Area/Linn CCB
African American Museum of Iowa Prairie Heritage Center/O'Brien CCB
National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library Clayton CCB
Mitchell CCB Jones CCB
Jefferson CCB/Iowa DNR  

Check back for our growing list of partners! 

List of Events

To be updated as more events are scheduled!


For the General Public

September 11 1st Annual Mammoth Day Celebration and 5K, Oskaloosa, 2:00-5:00 p.m.

  • Come out to Caldwell Park on this afternoon to learn all about Woolly Mammoths and to have fun outdoors! The Friends of Mahaska County Conservation will be holding a 5K and other fun runs as a fundraiser for Mahaska County Conservation Board’s Environmental Learning Center. The ELC will house a collection of bones to three mammoths found right here in Mahaska County!  Other building displays will teach about nature and showcase a Conservationist Hall of Fame.  Come join us!  Caldwell Park is located at 2342 Hwy. 92 East, Oskaloosa, Iowa. The Office of the State Archaeologist will be there with our "Iowa's Earliest Residents: 13,000-3,000 Years Ago" Discovery Trunk on display, so visitors can learn about Iowa's first peoples who hunted mammoths! More information will be provided as this date nears. 

September 24 Cedar River Rendezvous, Milton R. Owen Nature Center, Osage

  • See the past come alive at the Cedar River Rendezvous! This event is a celebration of the history of Iowa. Throughout the day, visitors will experience that history through hands-on activities and way-of-life demonstrations like blacksmithing, soap making, black powder shooting, historical reenactors, and much more! Since the main focus of our event is education, we do not charge a fee for attendees. All profits for this event are based on donations. As part of a promotion for the 2016 Cedar River Rendezvous, the staff and volunteers are hosting a raffle with thousands of dollars in prizes! For a $20 donation, participants in the raffle receive a ticket. Winning tickets will be drawn on Saturday, September 24. For more information, contact the Mitchell County Conservation Board at 641-732-5204, visit the website, or check out their Facebook page.

September 24 National Public Lands Day at Bloody Run County Park, Marquette, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

  • Following a brief talk on the history of the Conservation Corps and Public Land, visitors will be invited to hike the rugged and beautiful 1.3 mile Well's Hollow Trail across the bluff tops and through the forest. Bloody Run County Park, 29857 128th Street, Marquette, IA. For more information, visit www.claytoncountyconservation.org.

September 25 Archaeology Day at the Sanford Museum, Cherokee, 1:00-4:00 p.m.

  • Join the staff at the Sanford Museum and Planetarium for a whole day of archaeological activties! There will be indoor speakers and outdoor activities.

Sanford Museum Archaeology Day

September 26 Public talk on Homo naledi, Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, 7:00 p.m.

  • Sarah Traynor from the University of Wisconsin, Madison will speak about the recent discovery in South Africa of a new human ancestor, Homo naledi, Monday the 26th of September at 7:00 p.m., Ballantyne Auditorium, Iowa Hall, Kirkwood Community College. The bones of this new species were located in the Rising Star cave system in South Africa's Gauteng province in a remote chamber that can only be accessed via several steep climbs and fissures. This program is a Connections Series event cosponsored by many local colleges and conservation organizations.

September 29 Makerspace Thursdays: Littlebits, University of Iowa Museum of Natural History, Iowa City, 6:00-8:00 p.m.

  • Introducing Makerspace Thursdays, our newest program series! Do you like to create new things? Join us for Makerspace Thursdays and unlock your inner architect, engineer, or artist. Find new connections between technology, engineering, art, science, craft and creative problem solving while having fun with high-tech and low-tech tools. All ages are welcome. No reservations are needed, but supplies for some programs will be limited. On September 29, come play with Littlebits, easy-to-use electronic building blocks that empower you to invent almost anything. September's Makerspace program is in partnership with Makers by Mail from UI Libraries.

October 1 Journey to Freedom, Wickiup Hill Outdoor Learning Area, Toddsville, 5:30-8:00 p.m.

  • Imagine you are a runaway slave traveling Iowa’s Underground Railroad in 1853. On this journey, you will encounter slave catchers, farmers, and bounty hunters while trying to navigate your way to Canada. Participants will be transported back in time to experience perils and triumphs on your escape from slavery. On this journey, you will learn to navigate using the stars and build a fire from a number of abolitionists “conductors” helping you along your way. You will hide from slave catchers in the Iowa terrain and encounter farmers and bounty hunters while trying to navigate your way to Canada. Who can you trust? Will your group make it to freedom? Or will they be captured and sent back into slavery? This program is cosponsored with the African American Museum of Iowa. If you are interested in signing up for this event, please contact Krystal Gladden at 319-862-2101 x 226 or kgladden@blackiowa.org. You can also find registration forms online the African American Museum of Iowa.
October 1 A Paddle Back Through History - the annual Fall Colors Paddle, south fork of the Maquoketa River, 9:00 a.m.
  • Join the Jones County Conservation Department Staff on our annual fall colors river outing. This year we will travel back through history as we paddle 10 miles of the Maquoketa River, quietly passing by the long deserted but not forgotten town of Clay Mills. Be spellbound by Iowa's beautiful fall colors as we transition from croplands and pastures to heavily wooded bluffs, boulders, limestone outcroppings, and soaring cliffs. Bring a snack or your picnic lunch and enjoy a break as we stretch our legs on a sandbar and learn about the people and place that was once the small thriving community of Clay Mills. Participants should bring their own kayaks or canoes, paddles, pfd's, dry bags, extra dry clothing, warm aquatic footwear, sunscreen, and sunglasses. A limited number of canoes and equipment are available for use by those who do not have their own. This outing is river level and weather dependent. Those planning on attending should pre-register by emailing or calling Michele at (319)481-7987 or naturalist@co.jones.ia.us prior to noon, Sept. 30th.

October 7 Night at the Museum: Cabinets of Curiosity, University of Iowa Museum of Natural History, Iowa City, 6:00-9:00 p.m.

  • Trek through the Museum of Natural History after dark for a fun evening of discovery! Each month, we explore a different area of science, technology, history, and culture with interactive demonstrations, fun activities, and hands-on materials. Each child will receive an official MNH Miner Helmet with head lamp to keep, and the group will traverse the darkened mammal gallery as part of the evening’s activities. Museum staff, volunteers, and occasionally UI scientists and scholars lead each program. Parents drop off children at the beginning of the night and pick them up when the program is over. There is a fee for this program and advance registration is required. The program is designed for children in grades 1-5. Gilbert Street Papa John’s Pizza in Iowa City sponsors Night at the Museum.

October 8 Freedom Float, lower Des Moines River in SE Iowa, 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

  • During the Civil War thousands of slaves rode the Underground Railroad to freedom. The Underground Railroad was not a railroad at all but was a network of safe houses, barns, root cellars, and similar places where people who had escaped from slavery were hidden during their flight to safety. Most of us associate this path to liberty with Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee. The “railroad” however had some of its important routes right here in the Iowa. Join us for this paddle and uncover the legends and stories of the Underground Railroad in Southeast Iowa. Led by naturalist Brittney Tiller. Registration is required for this event and is limited to twenty boats. Canoes are free by way of funding from the Iowa DNR. Solo kayaks may be rented through ‘Paddle, Pedal and More’ with a rental fee of $20. The paddle is open to everyone but children under age 16 must be accompanied by an adult. The route goes from Austin Park to the Keosauqua Boat Ramp and pre-registration is required. For more information or to register call (641)-472-4421 or email Brittney Tiller at DMRiverWaterTrail@gmail.com

October 8-9 42nd Annual Osborne Heritage Days, Elkader

  • Osborne Heritage Days takes visitors back in time to glimpse Iowa during the pioneer era through living history demonstrations in Osborne's Pioneer Villiage. Heritage Days is a free event held on the second full weekend of October each year offering demonstrations, crafts and skills of long ago, fun contests, old time entertainment, and old-fashioned goodies for a “taste” of pioneer life! Featured events include an old fashioned medicine show, Saturday's chili cook-off and storytelling, and on Sunday a pioneer church service, Pumpkin Contests, auction, and the Iowa Championship Buffalo Chip Throwing Contest! This free event is held at Osborne Park, located 5 miles south of Elkader on Highway 13. For more information, phone 563-245-1516 or visitwww.claytoncountyconservation.org.

October 14 Night at the Museum: Cabinets of Curiosity, University of Iowa Museum of Natural History, Iowa City, 6:00-9:00 p.m.

  • Trek through the Museum of Natural History after dark for a fun evening of discovery! Each month, we explore a different area of science, technology, history, and culture with interactive demonstrations, fun activities, and hands-on materials. Each child will receive an official MNH Miner Helmet with head lamp to keep, and the group will traverse the darkened mammal gallery as part of the evening’s activities. Museum staff, volunteers, and occasionally UI scientists and scholars lead each program. Parents drop off children at the beginning of the night and pick them up when the program is over. There is a fee for this program and advance registration is required. The program is designed for children in grades 1-5. Gilbert Street Papa John’s Pizza in Iowa City sponsors Night at the Museum. 

October 15 Talk on Sacagawea, Osborne Nature Center, Elkader, 3:00 p.m.

  • Bev Hinds, a dedicated historian of the Lewis and Clark expedition, will be giving a fascinating talk on Sacagawea at the Osborne Nature Center on Saturday, October 15th, at 3:00 p.m. The program is funded by Humanities Iowa and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Bev Hinds will share her incredible depth of knowledge on the subject, gained in part by serving as a member of the Louis & Clark Heritage Trail Foundation since 1971. In this talk, she will explore fact and fiction surrounding the life of Sacagawea, a member of the Shoshone tribe and the only woman on the legendary expedition from 1803-1806. 

    The Osborne Nature Center is located on Hwy 13, about five miles south of Elkader, IA or ten miles north of Strawberry Point, IA, at 29862 Osborne Road, Elkader, IA 52043. For more information, visit www.claytoncountyconservation.org or their Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/claytoncountyconservation.

October 16 Tails and Stones, Prairie Heritage Center, Peterson, 2:00 p.m.

  • O'Brien County Conservation Board is hosting a "Trails and Stones" event on Sunday, October 16, beginning at 2:00 p.m. at the Prairie Heritage Center in O'Brien County. During this event, participants can take part in flint knapping, making small decorative items out of soap stone, and weaving mats and decoys out of cat tails.

October 22 International Archaeology Day: A Celebration of Ancient Technology, Coe College Quad, Cedar Rapids, 1:00 p.m.

  • Celebrate ancient technology around the world, from medieval times back thousands of years! This year's event is all about ancient technology, anything before AD 1500. We will be featuring activities such as flint knapping, hide scraping and processing, fire starting processing, bone marrow extraction, early Euro-American and Native American games, spinning and weaving, Roman oven cooking, an artifact/archaeology display tent from the Office of the State Archaeologist, and more. This event is being organized by the Archaeological Institute of American-Iowa Chapter. The Coe College Quad is located at 1220 1st Avenue NE in Cedar Rapids.

    Ongoing and Temporary Exhibits

    Opening September 8 Hawkeyes in Space: UI Physics, Past and Present opens Thursday, September 8, with a reception from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Ready for some space travel?  Join us for light refreshments and the official opening of our newest exhibit.

    Opening September 8 German Iowa and the Global Midwest opens Thursday, September 8, with a reception from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Explore the new exhibit and enjoy gallery talks, music, and refreshments inspired by Iowa's German heritage.

    Ongoing Faces of Freedom: The Czech and Slovak Journey at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library. Sit on a bunk in a steamship. Find out what it would have been like to be a Czech or Slovak immigrant to America. Listen to the radio in a WWII-era Czech-American living room. View a Tatra secret police car, an authentic JAWA motorcycle, garnets, and more; experience cutting-edge interactive displays; hear stories by people who witnessed history being made; and celebrate the rich Czech and Slovak culture found both overseas and in the United States. Hours: Monday - Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.; Sunday, 12:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. Cost: Regular admission - $10/adults, $9/seniors, $5 students/military/veterans, $3/youth ages 6-13, free for ages 5 and under.

    Ongoing Iowa Hall at the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History: Iowa Hall, on the first floor of the Museum of Natural History in Macbride Hall, recreates 500 million years of Iowa's natural and cultural history with exhibits of geology, native cultures, and ecology. The Native Cultures of Iowa exhibits highlight peoples of Iowa from 12,000 years ago to the present.


    Professional Meetings

    September 15-17 Preserve Iowa Summit, Davenport

    • The Preserve Iowa Summit is the premier statewide annual conference for professionals and volunteers involved in historic preservation in Iowa. Held at a different location in the state each year, this conference presents a range of educational sessions on preservation topics, tours, demonstrations and opportunities to network with fellow preservationists.

      Attend the 2016 Preserve Iowa Summit September 15-17 in Davenport, Iowa. The summit will feature more than 35 educational sessions held in or near downtown Davenport. Greg Werkheiser of Preservation50 and Megan Brown of  the National Park Service will deliver keynote addresses.

      Learn more and register online via the City of Davenport.

    October 6-8 Midwest Archaeological Conference, Inc., Iowa City

    October 8 Iowa Archeological Society Fall Meeting - "Iowa Archaeological Society Day" at the Midwest Archaeological Conference, Inc., Iowa City

    • This year the Midwest Archaeological Conference, Inc. (MAC) will hold its annual meeting at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Iowa City October 6-8. In coordination with the IAS Executive Board, Saturday October 8th has been designated “Iowa Archaeological Society Day” at MAC and all IAS members are invited to participate! This event serves as the IAS Fall Meeting.

      The IAS is serving as a sponsoring organization for MAC so there will be no individual registration charges for IAS members* to attend on the 8th. Papers and poster presentations will begin at 8:30 am (we may have as many as three or four concurrent sessions in progress at any one time so lots of Midwestern archaeology to hear about!) and go to 11:30 am. Lunch is “on your own” and then the afternoon sessions start at 1:30 pm and go to 4:00 pm. The IAS fall business meeting will begin at 4:00 pm. A cash bar will commence at 5:30 pm and the banquet buffet (reservation required, $45/person) will start at 6:30 pm. The banquet includes hearing our special guest speaker for this year, Dr. Steve Shackley, Professor Emeritus, UC Berkeley talk about the anthropological implications of his XRF investigations of Southwestern US stone tools. 

      *IAS professional archaeologist members who are not registering for the full annual MAC meeting but who wish to attend on just Saturday October 8th can register onsite under the single day rate, see: http://www.midwestarchaeology.org/2016-MAC-am 

      Not yet a member of the Iowa Archeological Society?  Learn more and join today!

     

    Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in program at the University of Iowa, please contact Linda Langenberg in advance at 319-384-0732.