Iowa Archaeology Month 2015

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Iowa Archaeology Month Partners

University of Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist University of Iowa Museum of Natural History
Sanford Museum and Planetarium Archaeological Institute of America Iowa Chapter
Meskwaki Tribal Museum Iowa Archeological Society
Western Historic Trails Center Wickiup Hill Outdoor Learning Area
DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge University of Iowa Department of Anthropology
University of Iowa Department of Classics Iowa Tribe of Kansas & Nebraska
Check back for our growing list of partners!  

List of Events

To be updated as more events are scheduled!


For the General Public

September 12 

Archaeology at the War of 1812 Siege of Old Fort Madison

  • Staff from the University of Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist will display artifacts from archaeological excavations of the Fort Madison fort and battlefield site (13LE10) at the War of 1812 Siege of Old Fort Madison event. Stop by to learn about the archaeology of one of Iowa's most significant historical sites and explore our Fort Madison Discovery Trunk before it is launched to the public!
September 13

Recovering History: The Story of the Steamboat Bertrand

  • Celebrate Iowa Archaeology Month at the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge in Missouri Valley, IA by learning about the steamboat Bertrand. Listen to a curator talk and visit the steamboat Bertrand discovery site! Meet at DeSoto's Visitor Center at 11:00am, 316th Lane, Missouri Valley. Admission is $3/vehicle.
September 17

Archaeology at High Noon

  • Join Megan Stroh, archaeologist at the Sanford Museum, at the Sioux City Public Museum at 12:00p.m. Megan will lead you on a trip through time and introduce you to the cultures that once lived in Northwest Iowa.
September 19-20

Iowa Tribe of Kansas & Nebraska Pow-Wow

  • The Ioway Tribal Pow Wow is in White Cloud, Kansas, Saturday and Sunday September 19-20.  Dancing begins at 11am on Saturday, with grand entries at 1pm and 7pm on Saturday and 1pm on Sunday. There will be crafts, food, and camping as well. Check out the Pow-Wow flier here!
September 21

AIA Lecture Series: The Chumash Rock Art of South-Central California: An Introduction and Discussion of the Archaeological and Environmental Context

  • Michelle Wienhold of the University of Iowa will speak at 7:30pm at Art Building West. Her topic: Polychromatic pictographs of the Chumash culture are considered some of the most complex in the world. As an artifact fixed within the terrain, rock art has a potential connection to its environmental setting and associated archaeology which are both integral aspects of rock art analysis. The aim of this presentation is to discuss an interdisciplinary approach to Chumash rock art studies integrating archaeological and environmental data, geographic information, and ethnohistoric/ethnographic literature.
September 27

Little Sioux River Archaeology Day

  • This exciting event at the Prairie Heritage Center in O'Brien County, will have a series of indoor come-and-go speakers featuring archaeology, as well as outdoor activities such as flintknapping, atlatl throwing, pottery making, and soil identification. This event will be fun for the whole family!  1:00-4:00p.m.
October 1

Fact and Fiction: Excavation of the 19th Century Third Street Cemetery

  • Robin Lillie, OSA bioarchaeologist, will present a program about the excavation of a forgotten cemetery in Dubuque, Iowa. This talk is based on the book she co-wrote with Jennifer Mack, Dubuque's Forgotten Cemetery: Excavating a Nineteenth-century Burial Ground in a Twenty-first-century City, published by the University of Iowa Press last March. Robin will unravel myths and history of the cemetery and talk about the analysis of the human skeletal remains, which gives us a picture of life and death for Iowa's early Euroamerican settlers. This talk also coincides with the Smithsonian Institution's "Exploring Human Origins" exhibit, on display at the library.
October 2

OSA Brown Bag: An Analysis of Historic Indian Locations in Iowa

  • Bill Whittaker from the University of Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist (OSA) will discuss the Iowa Historic Location Database of 624 historic Indian archaeological site locations, 385 of which have Tribal affiliation. These data reveal the general location of historic Indian sites, changes in Tribal territory, and regions of conflict in Iowa from the 1700s until the 1900s.
October 7

Conservation Workshop: Labeling Artifacts

The Northwest Chapter of the Iowa Archaeological Society will meet at the Sanford Museum in Cherokee, IA, at 6:00p.m. for this workshop. Labeling artifacts with location and other information is just as important as finding them. For this meeting, bring your own artifacts to label, or help the Sanford Museum label some in their collection. They will provide the archival supplies.  All are welcome to join the Northwest Chapter, only $3 per person for the calendar year!

October 9

OSA Brown Bag: Ceramics in the Red Wing Locality: Analysis of the Silvernale Site (21GD03) Assemblage

  • Kyle Harvey, University of Iowa Department of Anthropology Ph.D. student, will present an OSA Brown Bag on Friday, October 9. The Red Wing locality consists of at least 14 late prehistoric village sites (AD 1000-1400) in Southeastern Minnesota and Southwestern Wisconsin. The three largest sites, Silvernale (21GDO3), Bryan (21GDO4), and Mero 1 (47PI2), contain ceramics and other materials related to a number of cultural groups in the Upper Midwest (Mississippian, Oneota, Plains, Effigy Mound, etc.). Previous analyses in this locality have primarily focused on the Bryan and Mero 1 sites. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected from a large sample of rim sherds from Silvernale (601) and a small sample from Bryan (31), with a focus on rim and neck forms, orifice diameters, manufacturing techniques, and decorations. This information was then compared to materials and data collected from Bryan and Mero 1. This research is part of a larger project to investigate the transition from Late Woodland to Oneota in the Red Wing locality and to determine the amount of influence Mississippian and Plains groups had on this process. The results of this paper generally support an argument for Oneota (Bartron phase) evolving out of a base of Mississippian and Plains influenced people (Silvernale phase).
October 12-13

2015 Meskwaki Symposium

  • The Meskwaki Symposium will be held on Monday (Columbus Day) and Tuesday, October 12-13, 2015, and is a celebration of Meskwaki heritage and provides a rare opportunity for tribal members and the general public to hear directly from Academic experts as well as Tribal members and staff about research that has been done, and also meet and interact with those researchers.  This occasion also provides a chance for those researchers to meet, talk, and share with the people and culture they have researched.  The overarching focus of this symposium is to disseminate information and promote education for a deeper understanding of the Meskwaki Tribe’s past and present with emphasis on history, language, art, food systems and land use.

    The Meskwaki, an Algonquian-speaking tribe from the Great Lakes region, have a rich history under investigation by leading humanist scholars.  New scholarship by these historians, anthropologists, archaeologists, linguists, and artists generates perspectives on the past and present experiences of the Meskwaki.  The primary objective is to host presentations and activities, which examine different periods and events in Meskwaki history and engage audiences in discussions of the documentary, archaeological, and oral evidence for it.  Reinforced throughout for the all participants is the importance of learning, interpreting, and, ultimately, transmitting personal, family, and tribal histories and how doing so strengthens and renews human experiences that link people together across time and across cultures.

October 17

International Archaeology Day - Iowa City: Ancient Technology from pre-AD 1500

  • International Archaeology Day at the University of Iowa, 12-5pm, at the UI Pentacrest and Macbride Hall. The Iowa Society of the AIA, Office of the State Archaeologist, the UI Pentacrest Museums, Iowa Archeological Society, and the UI Departments of Anthropology, Classics, Religion, and Arts and Art History will team up to present information and hands-on activities about Archaeology to the general public. The Ancient Technology theme will showcase a variety of active displays including Flintknapping, hide scraping, cat tail processing, dart throwing with atlatls, Native American and Historic Pioneer games, bone marrow extraction, grain grinding, weaving and spinning, wool carding, bow making, Roman bread cooking in terra cotta oven, pottery making, and several more. Specialists will be on hand to answer questions and offer hands-on participation.

Native American Historical Pathways with Kelly Schott at Wickiup Hill

  • Western Great Lakes Woodland Indian Cooking: 9:00am-noon. Historical Pathways will demonstrate traditional methods used for cooking. These methods will include open flame for cooking rabbit and squirrel. The demonstration will also include the cooking and processing of food dishes: hickory nut soup, hominy, wild rice, corn bread and puddings. The program will cover many other food stuf and related items, including cooking with bear oil/grease, how to render tallow, and many other cooking and food processing methods. Pre-registration is required by October 14. Cost: $10.
  • Twined Bags: Western Great Lakes Twined Bags: 1:00pm-4:00pm. Continue the day with this program that will cover the history of these wonderful and unique bags that have no seam yet are strong enough to carry heavy loads and can even hold water. A brief PowerPoint will cover these bags in their beauty in more detail, while after the program an opportunity to learn the process of how to construct a small bag will be held for those interested. Pre-registration is required to reserve a bag kit. Cost: $20. Call Gail at 319-892-6488 to pre-register by October 14. Cost for both programs is $25.

Professional Meetings

Central Iowa Chapter of the Iowa Archaeological Society September Meeting

  • The September meeting of the Central Chapter will be Sunday, September 20, 1:30-3:00pm, at the 3rd floor classroom B of the State Historical Society of Iowa at East 6th and Locust Streets, Des Moines. The September 20 program will be presented by Dan Higginbottom, Archaeologist with the State Historic Preservation Office. He will share his recent research on the history and preservation of rural cemeteries in Iowa.  For information on joining the Central Chapter, contact Fred Gee.

Iowa Archeological Society Fall Meeting

  • The Iowa Archeological Society (IAS) fall meeting and special symposium will be held on Saturday, October 17, at the Sheraton in Iowa City. On-site registration begins at 7:00am. The IAS meeting will be held at 7:30am. A special Iowa Archaeology symposium begins at 8:30am, as part of the Plains Anthropological Conference. There will be a special one-day registration fee of $25 for IAS members who do not wish to attend the Plains Anthropological Conference as a whole. Members can register the day of or in advance at the UI Center for Conferences Website. Not yet a member of the IAS?  Join online

The 73rd Annual Meeting of the Plains Anthropological Conference

  • This year's Plains Anthropological Conference will be held in Iowa City from October 14-17 and is jointly organized by Matthew E. Hill of the University of Iowa and Matthew G. Hill of Iowa State University. Highlights include a new student poster competition and student workshop, a pre-conference field trip to the Meskwaki Tribal Museum in Tama and a post-conference bus tour on the archaeology of Iowa City with OSA's Bill Whittaker. 

K-12 Education

October 6

openminds, opendoors: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Conference for Young Women: REGISTRATION REQUIRED

  • OSA's Cherie Haury-Artz is leading one of many fantastic STEM workshops for middle school girls at this annual event sponsored by Grant Wood AEA at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, "Think Like an Archaeologist." Archaeologists learn about people by examining the artifacts they left behind. Could learning about the past be in your future?

    A complete list of workshops will be available on September 1. Registration is required for this conference.