Michael J. Perry

Adjunct Research Associate

B.S. Anthropology, Iowa State University 1976

Research interests: Central Plains tradition settlement patterns, Woodland ceramics and settlement patterns, and Midwestern geoarchaeology.

Mike retired from the OSA in 2016, after 36 years serving as an archaeologist here. Mike’s interest in archaeology emerged during schoolwork at Ames High School, where he first learned about the ancient civilizations of the Near East, Mediterranean, and Mesoamerica. His first archaeological fieldwork was in 1972 at a Central Plains tradition earthlodge site in northeastern Kansas. After completing undergraduate studies at Iowa State, Mike joined the OSA staff in 1980 as a project archaeologist. His research interests include Central Plains tradition archaeology, Woodland ceramics and settlement patterns, and Midwestern geoarchaeology. Mike’s significant publications include “Late Woodland Ceramics in Southeastern Iowa: A Perspective from the Lower Skunk Valley” (Journal of the Iowa Archeological Society 34:57–62, 1987); “Middle Woodland Field Camps in the Cedar Valley” (Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science 98 (3) 109–117 1991; “An Archaeological Survey of the Lower Pony Creek Valley: Implications for Glenwood Locality Settlement Pattern” (Central Plains Archaeology 6:35–56, 1998); “South Central Iowa: Environmental Background and Archaeological History” (Journal of the Iowa Archeological Society 48:45–58, 2001); “Overview of the Late Late Woodland Period in South Central Iowa” (Journal of the Iowa Archeological Society 48:79–94, 2001); “A Pony Creek Settlement Model” (Journal of the Iowa Archeological Society 50:129–138, 2003); “Barbour Terrace Revisited” (Plains Anthropologist 51:89–100, 2006); and “The Hook Mound Group (13LA40) Lost and Found” (Journal of the Iowa Archeological Society 62:33–40, 2015). A lithic analysis contribution to the Wall Ridge earthlodge (13ML176) volume co-authored with Toby A. Morrow is in press at the University of Utah Press. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Mike assisted in the development, maintenance, and expansion of the OSA Comparative Chert Collection. More recently, Mike undertook several cataloging projects involving avocational archaeological collections housed in local museums. Mike served three years as Membership Secretary and ten years as Journal Editor for the Iowa Archeological Society. In 2012, he was presented with the Keyes-Orr Award in honor of his contributions to Iowa archaeology and the Iowa Archeological Society. He served as President of the Association of Iowa Archaeologists in 2013. Presently, Mike serves as a part-time archaeologist for the State Historic Preservation Office and contributes to OSA’s ongoing research effort using the excavation data recovered from the U.S. 34 excavations in Mills County in the late 1960s and early 1970s.