Iowa Archaeology Month

Iowa Archaeology Month 2017

2017 Iowa Archaeology Month Logo

**This will be updated throughout IAM - Check back for event and partner updates!**

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!  During Iowa Archaeology Month, we 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
African American Museum of Iowa Iowa Archeological Society
Louisa CCB Wickiup Hill Outdoor Learning Area/Linn CCB
Mitchell CCB Clayton CCB
Polk CCB Motor Mill Foundation/Motor Mill Historic Site
Jones CCB Meskwaki Cultural Center and Museum
Quad Cities Archaeological Society Archaeological Institute of America Iowa Society
Jefferson CCB Iowa Department of Transportation

Check back for our growing list of partners! 

List of Events

To be updated as more events are scheduled!


For the General Public

September 20 History at the Grove: Oktoberfest: Past and Present, Big Grove Brewery & Taproom, Iowa City, 5:30 p.m.

  • Kick back and relax while you listen to local experts chat about beer, breweries, and beer culture. Expand your beer knowledge while sipping on tasty brews, it doesn't get much better than that! To kick off our History at the Grove series we welcome Glenn Ehrstine from the UI Department of German to share all he knows about Oktoberfest's Past and Present. Learn about how the tradition started in Europe and how the U.S. adopted the tradition. 

    This lecture series is organized by the Archaeological Institute of America Iowa Society, with support from the Office of the State Archaeologist, the University of Iowa departments of Anthropology, Classics, Religion, Art and Art History, the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History, and the Iowa Academy of Science.

September 21 Protection of Ancient Human Remains in Iowa, Columbus Junction Civic Center, Columbus Junction, 6:00-7:00 p.m.

  • The Louisa County Conservation Board has an Archaeology Program Series! This presentation by Lara Noldner, Bioarchaeology Director at the University of Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist, will be a summary and brief history of the Iowa Code sections that provide protection for ancient human remains in the state. Also discussed will be how the state legislation is implemented, along with examples of the sites it serves to protect. 

September 22-24 Cedar River Rendezvous & Outdoor Days, 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, wood carving, historical reenactors, and much more! Since the main focus of the event is education, admission is free. Friday, September 22, is Education Day, and the Rendezvous is open to the public at 3:00 p.m. The event opens at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday and closes Sunday at 3:00 p.m. For more information, contact the Mitchell County Conservation Board at 641-732-5204, visit the event listing on their Facebook page.

September 22 Journey to Freedom, Wickiup Hill Learning Center, Toddville, 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 triumps on our escape from slavery. On this journey, you will learn to navigate using the stars and build a fire from a number of abolotionists "conductors" helping you along your way. You will hide from slave catchers in 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? To sign up for this event, please contact Krystal Gladden at 319-862-2101 x226 or kgladden@blackiowa.org. You can also find registration forms online.

September 23 Choose Your Own Adventure: Historic and Prehistoric Places to Visit Along the Lower Des Moines River

  • Explore the lower Des Moines River region with OSA Archaeologist Cherie Haury-Artz. This presentation will examine the history and prehistory of the lower Des Moines River, highlighting some important historic and prehistoric sites that interested individuals can visit. Whether it is a hike in the woods or exploring nearby towns, this region has many significant locations that can fascinate those who know the story. This presentation is sponsored by the Jefferson County Conservation Board and Iowa DNR.

September 24 Little Sioux River Archaeology Day and Iowa Archeological Society Fall Meeting, Silver Sioux Recreation Area near Cherokee, 1:00-4:00 p.m.

  • The Iowa Archeological Society presents Archaeology Day! As part of the IAS fall meeting, there will be indoor speakers and outdoor activities. The event is free and open to the public. Not yet a member of the Iowa Archeological Society?  Learn more and join today!

Promotional flyer for Little Sioux River Archaeology Day

September 25 AIA Iowa Society Lecture: Holy Places on the Land and in the Cosmos: Prehistoric Native American Cosmograms in Earth Features (Geoglyphs) and Pottery Decorations, 7:30 p.m., Iowa City

  • David Benn from Bear Creek Archaeology in Cresco, Iowa will present, Holy Places on the Land and in the Cosmos: Prehistoric Native American Cosmograms in Earth Features (Geoglyphs) and Pottery Decorations.

    The Northern Prairies Spiritual tradition was a belief system shared by various ancestral Siouan speakers of the Chiwere group, the Dakota group, the Mandan group, and the Crow-Hidatsa group who lived and hunted throughout the northern half of the Midwestern prairie-plains during the Woodland culture periods (ca. 150 B.C.–A.D. 1200+).  Evidence for this tradition consists of legendary beings and animal and anthropomorphic spirit beings described in oral traditions and manifested as effigy mounds, intaglios, soil geoglyphs, petroglyphs/pictographs, tattooed images, and boulder figures.  Evidence of ritual sites from Wisconsin to South Dakota is discussed. 

    This talk is part of t​​​​​he Archaeological Institute of America Iowa Society Lecture Program, with support from the Office of the State Archaeologist, the University of Iowa Departments of Anthropology, Classics, Religion, Art and Art History, the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History, and the Iowa Academy of Science.  These events are free and open to the public.

September 26 Life Along the Rivers: Archaeology of Southeast Iowa, Black Hawk Historic Site, Rock Island, IL, 7:30 p.m.

  • Cherie Haury-Artz from the UI Office of the State Archaeologist will present at the Quad Cities Archaeological Society monthly meeting. Cherie will present an overview of southeast Iowa's archaeological past, from the Paleoindian through Historic periods. This presentation is free and open to the public. For more information, contact:  Ferrel Anderson, President; Quad Cities Archaeological Society; (563) 324-0257

September 30 Motor Mill Art Show, Motor Mill Historic Site, Elkader, 1:00-5:00 p.m.

  • Mark your calendars for Motor Mill’s first art show on Saturday, September 30th from 1:00-5:00 p.m.! Photography and artwork inspired by the Historic Motor Mill will be displayed from area artists with some art available for purchase. Art created at Bent Willow Studio & Gallery’s beginners and intermediate classes will be displayed as well. During the show, artists are invited to come and paint at Motor Mill’s beautiful site. Thank you to Bent Willow Studio & Gallery and Thrivent Financial for sponsoring this event. For more information, phone 563-245-1516 or visit www.claytoncountyconservation.org or www.motormill.org

October 9 Meskwaki Art and Culture Symposium, Meskwaki Settlement, Tama County, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

  • We we ni to tti ki" or "Those who make beautiful things" is the title of the upcoming Meskwaki Art and Culture Symposium to be held on Monday, October 9. This free event will be held from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. at the Meskwaki Veterans Convention Center and Red Earth Gardens at the Meskwaki Settlement in Tama County, Iowa.  Join in this celebration of Meskwaki art and artists on Indigenous People’s Day.

    Tribal members and the broader public will hear directly from a wide range of Meskwaki artists, including Duane Slick of the Rhode Island School of Design and Brenda Ackerman from Iowa State University, as well as artisans who engage in traditional wood carving, weaving, beadwork, ribbon applique design, painting, singing, and other art forms. Historical and contemporary tribal art exhibits will be positioned throughout the Symposium area in the form of over 30 individual display tables, a gallery of fine art and a series of panel discussions by Meskwaki artists. During the day there will be demonstrations on making Cattail Mats conducted by Kickapoo women from Shawnee, Oklahoma, who will make a special trip to Iowa for this event. 

    We look forward to seeing you at this event. American Sign Language interpreters will be present. For more information call (641) 484-3185.

October 14-15 43rd 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!

    New this year, come "Play Ball" with Historian Tom Melville from Milwakee who will be inviting the public to join him in authentic 1800s style cricket games, once the most popular American team sport before the Civil War. Other featured events include Saturday's chili cook-off, Purdy River Bluegrass Band, 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 visit www.claytoncountyconservation.org.

October 14 Hands-on History at Toolesboro Mounds National Historic Landmark, Wapello, 1:00-3:00 p.m.

  • Hands-on History is a family-oriented event sponsored by the Louisa County Conservation Board. The event will include activities such as traditional toys and games, flintknapping, atlatl/spear throwing, and cordage making. Cherie Haury-Artz from the Office of the State Archaeologist will give an indoor presentation focused towards adults.

October 16 AIA Iowa Society Lecture: Near Eastern and Aegean Interaction during the Iron Age, 7:30 p.m., Iowa City

  • James F. Osborne from the University of Chicago will present this year's Kershaw Lecture in Near Eastern Archaeology, Near Eastern and Aegean Interaction during the Iron Age.

    One of the most exciting developments in Mediterranean archaeology of the past decade has been a reevaluation of how the Near Eastern world interacted with its Aegean neighbors and contemporaries during the Iron Age (ca. 1200-600 BCE). For the late second millennium, there is now accumulating evidence that members of the so-called “Sea Peoples,” who famously migrated to Israel and became the biblical Philistines, also settled in Cilicia and the Amuq Valley of southern Turkey, greatly transforming our understanding of this migration event. Meanwhile, for the early first millennium BCE, archaeologists have begun to realize just how influential the Syro-Anatolian city-states of the east were on the cultural development of the classical world to the west, which is becoming more and clear with new excavations and fresh interpretations of old finds.  

    This talk is part of t​​​​​he Archaeological Institute of America Iowa Society Lecture Program, with support from the Office of the State Archaeologist, the University of Iowa Departments of Anthropology, Classics, Religion, Art and Art History, the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History, and the Iowa Academy of Science.  These events are free and open to the public.

October 16 Landscapes that Shape Us: Mitigation Efforts for U.S. 20, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Correctionville

  • The Iowa Department of Transportation is debuting the mini-documentary, Landscapes that Shape Us, across the state! Join them for a viewing and Q&A with project partners at the River Valley High School auditorium in Correctionville.

    About the movie: This video tells the story of a cultural resources discovery identified during the planning stages of the U.S. 20 expansion project in Woodbury county. Discover how government agencies, Native American tribes, historians, and archaeologists worked together to balance transportation needs while protecting cultural resources and the integrity of the land.

    Historical finds from the area and unique perspectives on the significance of this location are highlighted within the video.  The consultation process under the National Historic Preservation Act is discussed, and viewpoints about the project, land, and human history of the area are shared.

October 17 Landscapes that Shape Us: Mitigation Efforts for U.S. 20, 6:00-7:00 p.m., Cherokee

  • The Iowa Department of Transportation is debuting the mini-documentary, Landscapes that Shape Us, across the state! Join them for a viewing and Q&A with project partners at the Sanford Museum in Cherokee.

    About the movie: This video tells the story of a cultural resources discovery identified during the planning stages of the U.S. 20 expansion project in Woodbury county. Discover how government agencies, Native American tribes, historians, and archaeologists worked together to balance transportation needs while protecting cultural resources and the integrity of the land.

    Historical finds from the area and unique perspectives on the significance of this location are highlighted within the video.  The consultation process under the National Historic Preservation Act is discussed, and viewpoints about the project, land, and human history of the area are shared.

October 18 Landscapes that Shape Us: Mitigation Efforts for U.S. 20, 6:00-7:00 p.m., Des Moines

  • The Iowa Department of Transportation is debuting the mini-documentary, Landscapes that Shape Us, across the state! Join them for a viewing and Q&A with project partners at the State Historical Society of Iowa auditorium in Des Moines.

    About the movie: This video tells the story of a cultural resources discovery identified during the planning stages of the U.S. 20 expansion project in Woodbury county. Discover how government agencies, Native American tribes, historians, and archaeologists worked together to balance transportation needs while protecting cultural resources and the integrity of the land.

    Historical finds from the area and unique perspectives on the significance of this location are highlighted within the video.  The consultation process under the National Historic Preservation Act is discussed, and viewpoints about the project, land, and human history of the area are shared.

October 18 History at the Grove: Ancient & Medieval Beer/Hops/Preservatives, Big Grove Brewery & Taproom, Iowa City, 5:30 p.m.

  • Kick back and relax while you listen to local experts chat about beer, breweries, and beer culture. Expand your beer knowledge while sipping on tasty brews, it doesn't get much better than that! We welcome Sarah E. Bond, UI Assistant Professor of Classics, to enlighten us about the ancient world of brewing!

    This lecture series is organized by the Archaeological Institute of America Iowa Society, with support from the Office of the State Archaeologist, the University of Iowa departments of Anthropology, Classics, Religion, Art and Art History, the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History, and the Iowa Academy of Science.

October 19 Landscapes that Shape Us: Mitigation Efforts for U.S. 20, 7:00-8:00 p.m., Iowa City

  • The Iowa Department of Transportation is debuting the mini-documentary, Landscapes that Shape Us, across the state! Join them for a viewing and Q&A with project partners at the Visual Arts Building (Room 125) at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.

    About the movie: This video tells the story of a cultural resources discovery identified during the planning stages of the U.S. 20 expansion project in Woodbury county. Discover how government agencies, Native American tribes, historians, and archaeologists worked together to balance transportation needs while protecting cultural resources and the integrity of the land.

    Historical finds from the area and unique perspectives on the significance of this location are highlighted within the video.  The consultation process under the National Historic Preservation Act is discussed, and viewpoints about the project, land, and human history of the area are shared.

October 20 Landscapes that Shape Us: Mitigation Efforts for U.S. 20, 6:00-7:00 p.m., Decorah

  • The Iowa Department of Transportation is debuting the mini-documentary, Landscapes that Shape Us, across the state! Join them for a viewing and Q&A with project partners at Luther College (Olin 102) in Decorah.

    About the movie: This video tells the story of a cultural resources discovery identified during the planning stages of the U.S. 20 expansion project in Woodbury county. Discover how government agencies, Native American tribes, historians, and archaeologists worked together to balance transportation needs while protecting cultural resources and the integrity of the land.

    Historical finds from the area and unique perspectives on the significance of this location are highlighted within the video.  The consultation process under the National Historic Preservation Act is discussed, and viewpoints about the project, land, and human history of the area are shared.

October 21 Jones County Fall Colors and Archaeology Paddle, Hopkinton/Monticello, 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

  • Join Jones County Conservation Department staff on our annual fall colors outing. This year we will paddle 10 miles of the Maquoketa River from the Dunlap Access in Hopkinton to the Mon Maq Access in Monticello. Be spellbound by Iowa’s beautiful fall colors as we travel past heavily wooded bluffs, boulders, limestone outcroppings, soaring cliffs and quite croplands and pastures. Learn about the archaeology of the area through interpretation from a local archaeologist as we stretch our legs on a sandbar during our lunch/snack break.  
     
    Participants should bring their own kayak or canoes, paddles, PFDs, dry bags, extra dry clothing, warm aquatic footwear, sunscreen, sunglasses, snacks, and lunch. 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, October 19th. 

November 4 Native American History Day, Yellow Banks Park in Pleasant Hill, 2:00-3:30 p.m.

  • Celebrate the history of Native Americans at Yellow Banks Park. Try building a tipi or throwing an atlatl. We’ll also take a short hike to the last remaining burial mound in the park. FREE. No registration required. Organized by Polk County Conservation Board.

    Ongoing and Temporary Exhibits

    August 26, 2017-July 27, 2018 If Objects Could Talk, African American Museum of Iowa, Cedar Rapids

    • This temporary exhibit offers a glimpse of the AAMI's collection of thousands of objects, documents, and photographs. Each item tells a unique story about African American history, communities, and culture in Iowa. The exhibit will show how time can transform everyday objects into invaluable records that help us learn about local history, change over time, and our state’s diverse communities and people.

    Now through October 31, 2017 Oneota Archaeological Connections in the University of Iowa Mobile Museum

    • Poster for Oneota Archaeological Connections Exhibit
      Our state was named after the Ioway Indians, whose ancestors are known to archaeologists as the Oneota. Explore what University of Iowa archaeologists know about these communities of innovative farmers and hunters who lived in villages across Iowa from about A.D. 1000-1650. See incredible artifacts on display, and learn how archaeologists work with Iowans and descendent Native American tribes to make sure all places, people, and artifacts connected to archaeological sites are well-cared for and respected.

      The Mobile Museum tours through Iowa until October 31. See the schedule of events or request a visit to your community!

    Ongoing Iowa Hall at the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History, Iowa City 

    • 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.

    Ongoing Sanford Museum and Planetarium, Cherokee

    • The Lower Level of the Sanford Museum tells the prehistory of Northwest Iowa! The exhibits focus on the lives of early people who lived in Northwest Iowa, using artifacts from the Sanford Museum collections. The Sanford Museum also hosts monthly meetings of the Northwest Chapter of the Iowa Archaeological Society. Events for members and the public take place the first Wednesday of every month at 6pm, and membership is only $3 annually! 

    Ongoing Toolesboro Mounds and Museum at Toolesboro Mounds National Historic Landmark, Wapello

    • The Hopewellian mounds at Toolesboro are among the best-preserved and accessible remnants of an ancient culture flourishing from around 200 B.C. to 300 A.D. The five-acre site includes several large surviving mounds, a museum and a prairie demonstration plot.  The museum is open seasonally but the grounds are open to visitors year round. Museum hours: Memorial Weekend - Labor Day, 12:30-4:30, Wednesday-Sunday; Labor Day - October 31, 12:30-4:30, Saturdays only. Closed remainder of the year except by appointment for groups.

    Ongoing Meskwaki Cultural Center and Museum, Meskwaki Settlement, Tama County

    • The Meskwaki Cultural Center & Museum was opened in 2010 (in part) as part of the Iowa Great Places designation received by Tama County.  Our mission is to give visitors a glimpse into our Tribe’s rich, cultural legacy.  Through the museum, we seek to share traditions, promote equality and encourage cultural awareness. We are extremely proud of our heritage and invite you to visit us. Museum hours: Monday – Friday, 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM, Other times by appointment.

    Professional and Avocational Meetings

    September 24 Iowa Archeological Society Fall Meeting, Silver Sioux Recreation Area near Cherokee, 1:00-4:00 p.m.

    • This year the IAS fall meeting is concurrent with Little Sioux River Archaeology Day (above).  

      The Fall business meeting will take place from 4:30-5:30, after the Archaeology Day event.

      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.