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Release: July 22, 2002

(Image: A section of the winning poster; click for high resolution full image)

State archaeology office wins poster contest, plans celebration

The Office of the State Archaeologist at the University of Iowa has won a national award for its poster commemorating Iowa Archaeology Month 2001, "Hunting and Gathering for Iowa's Past." The poster, which depicts a collage of more than 100 native animal species, placed third in a competition sponsored by the Society for American Archaeology.

The image on the Iowa poster is attributed to the early 19th century Meskwaki leader Wacoshashe. The original is a pen and ink drawing now curated by the State Historical Society Museum, Des Moines, as part of its Davenport Collection. It will be displayed along with the first- and second-place winners in the Department of the Interior Museum in Washington, D.C.

The Office of the State Archaeologist organizes and sponsors Iowa Archaeology Month each September. Last year 70 historical, cultural, and natural history organizations throughout the state as well as libraries and schools hosted Iowa Archaeology Month events.

This year's celebration, "Bags, Bowls, Boxes, and Baskets: Life Before Plastic," will highlight the importance that containers of various styles, shapes, and kind have played throughout Iowa history and the evidence they leave in the archaeological record. Beginning with the woven basketry, ceramics, skin bags, and wooden boxes of Native Americans through the glass bottles, wooden trunks, and metal buckets of early pioneers, containers from throughout Iowa's history provide interesting examples of items that met similar functions but were executed in widely varying shapes and styles.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the statewide event celebrating Iowa's rich cultural heritage. For information about hosting or participating in an Iowa Archaeology Month event, contact Lynn M. Alex, public archaeology coordinator, Office of the State Archaeologist, University of Iowa, 700 Clinton Street Building, Iowa City, Iowa 52242;; 319-384-0561.