Time and Tradition: Earthlodge Peoples of Western Iowa

The University of Iowa Mobile Museum

In 2013, the OSA, along with the Pentacrest Museums, was tasked by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development to develop, implement, and manage the University of Iowa Mobile Museum. As a major partner in this endeavor, our Education and Outreach Program curated the exhibit, Time and Tradition: Earthlodge Peoples of Western Iowa. This exhibit highlighted the OSA's recent Glenwood culture research project involving the analysis and write-up of field notes and artifacts from excavations conducted along Highway 34 near Glenwood from 1969-1972. The ongoing research was made possible by an Iowa Department of Transportation Statewide Transportation Enhancement grant. 

The exhibit toured from April 1-October 31, 2014, and reached over 33,000 visitors at over 60 stops in about one-third of Iowa counties. OSA staff traveled with the Mobile Museum to 46 events, actively engaging with visitors about all three exhibits and Iowa archaeology in general. The 46 events that OSA staff participated with reached 29,355 visitors in 30 counties. In addition to serving as docents, OSA staff gave six free community presentations on Iowa archaeology as extensions of Mobile Museum visits across rural Iowa in Allamakee, Polk, Pottawattamie, Sioux, Winnebago, and Winneshiek counties. These community presentations would not have been possible without the Mobile Museum partnership!  

For the exhibit, we created two short videos highlighting OSA researchers, Dr. Joe Tiffany and Dr. Melody Pope.  Their expertise in ceramics and lithic analysis is helping to build exciting new knowledge regarding the 18 earthlodge sites excavated from 1969-1972!

Exhibit Photo Gallery