Historic Euro-American

Exploring Mormon Trails Across Iowa

by Chérie Haury-Artz, University of Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist

Between 1846 and 1869, over 70,000 members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), also called Mormons, made their way across Iowa, westward bound for the Great Salt Lake where they established a permanent home for the church headquarters. The migration occurred in multiple waves, following several routes across Iowa. This westward movement is one of the greatest overland Euroamerican migrations in American history, and has both state and national significance.

Why Archaeologists Love Digging Up Privies

by Anson Kritsch, University of Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist

So what is a privy?

You may know it by a different name: head, john, latrine, lavatory, outhouse, potty, restroom, the can, throne, washroom, water closet... Simply, a privy is an outdoor toilet. Before you hurl back in disgust, let me explain why privies are so interesting to archaeologists. You may already be privy, wink wink, to the fact that archaeologist are interested in people’s trash. But, a person’s toilet is an entirely different kind of trash. This is precisely why we love privies.

All Hands on Deck! Cataloging begins for the Hubbard Park Project

by Anson Kritsch, University of Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist
 
Now that all the artifacts recovered from Hubbard Park are clean, it’s time to start cataloging. Cataloging is a process of identifying, organizing and recording artifacts. Cataloging is done for several reasons. First, it creates a preserved record of all the things found during excavation.

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