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University of Iowa News Release

July 27, 2004

Two New Grants Will Support Iowa Archaeology Projects

Two recent grants to the Office of the State Archaeologist will support an archaeological survey in O'Brien County and the annual Iowa Archaeology Month, a statewide celebration of Iowa's rich archaeological history.

A research unit of the University of Iowa, the Office of the State Archaeologist (UI-OSA) coordinates public involvement in archaeology statewide through education and outreach, conducts basic and applied research, and maintains a database of more than 21,000 archaeological sites in Iowa along with related photos and research material.

A $4,900 grant from the Iowa Academy of Science will support additional research and surveying of two O'Brien County sites in the database. The sites represent a permanently occupied village and raised garden bed belonging to a 1,000-year-old Indian culture in northwest Iowa referred to as Mill Creek. The garden site is the only known example in Iowa, and the village site is one of only two unplowed Mill Creek villages. A high-resolution mapping and nondestructive geophysical survey of the sites will assist in documenting detailed features found at both sites. The UI-OSA welcomes volunteer participation in this project during the spring of 2005. For more information, call 319-384-0561.

Humanities Iowa and the National Endowment for the Humanities have awarded nearly $13,000 to UI-OSA to support Iowa Archaeology Month 2004, which will be celebrated from Sept. 18 to Oct. 16. Iowa Archaeology Month, the unit's premier outreach event attracting thousands of participants each fall, will explore the world and lifestyles of the state's earliest American Indian inhabitants and the now-extinct megafauna with which they shared an Ice Age landscape. Special weekend celebrations in selected communities, major museum programs and partnerships with supporting organizations throughout the state will offer opportunities for all Iowans to take part. Featured events for 2004 include the recent giant ground sloth discovery by UI Museum of Natural History and the new mammoth exhibit at the State Historical Museum in Des Moines.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011,; Program: Lynn Alex, UI-OSA, 319-384-0561