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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 3, 2006

Iowa Archaeology Month Features Statewide Events

To celebrate Iowa Archaeology Month 2006 the Office of the State Archaeologist, University of Iowa is commemorating the centennial of the American Antiquities Act by recognizing the many organizations and individuals who help protect and preserve Iowa's archaeological past.

Several events across the state are scheduled. Events scheduled for October 2006 include canoe floats past scenic archaeological locations, weekend spelunking through prehistoric rock shelters, behind-the-scenes tours of museum collections, and guidance for local collectors and private landowners in the recording and protecting of archaeological sites.

The Office of the State Archaeologist (OSA) is co-sponsoring these activities with partnering individuals and organizations around the state, encouraging awareness, understanding, and protection of Iowa's nonrenewable archaeological resources. Major partners include the Iowa Archeological Society, Association of Iowa Archeologists, and State Historical Society of Iowa, as well as local libraries, museums, county conservation centers, and historical societies statewide. Over the past 14 years, Iowa Archaeology Month programming has reached estimated audiences of over 200,000 Iowans, according to Lynn Alex

This year's Archaeology Month, "Protecting and Preserving the Past" celebrates the American Antiquities Act, which was signed into law by President Theodore Roosevelt on June 8, 1906. It was the first legislation protecting the archaeological resources of the United States. It resulted from 25 years of lobbying and negotiation in and outside of Congress and among the archaeological community. Iowa Congressman John Fletcher Lacey, who practiced law in Oskaloosa, Iowa, introduced the Antiquities Act securing support for its passage. It paved the way for the establishment in 1949 of Iowa's only national monument, Effigy Mounds National Monument

A research unit at the UI, the Office of the State Archaeologist conducts archaeological research and public programs around the state, preserves ancient burial sites, and examines and re-inters ancient human remains. The OSA also maintains the state archaeological repository, manages data on all known archaeological sites in Iowa, and publishes technical and popular books on Iowa archaeology.

Most events are free of charge. A complete copy of the Iowa Archaeology Month 2006 Calendar of Events may be downloaded from the OSA web site at or requested from the OSA. Contact the OSA at 319-384-0561 for more information.

Upcoming Archaeology Month events include:

---Archaeology Float on the Maquoketa River, 10 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 7, From Canton Access to the Royertown Access on the Maquoketa River in Jones County

The Jones County Conservation Board hosts a canoe float down the Maquoketa River in Jones County, as archaeologists and a geologist show highlights of the area along the way. Contact: Michele Olson, (563) 487-3541 or

--Events at the Effigy Mounds National Monument, Effigy Mounds Visitor Center, 151 Highway 76, Harper's Ferry in Allamakee County. Marching Bear Hike, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Oct. 7. Join a ranger for a hike to the Marching Bear Group, the best-preserved group of effigy mounds in the area. This is a moderately strenuous, 4-mile hike. A second hike begins at sunset, Oct. 7, for a walk along the Fire Point Trail. The Late Woodland effigy mound-building culture, impact of historic settlement, and moonlit views of the Mississippi and Yellow river valleys are featured. Reservations are required and will be taken beginning on Monday, Oct. 2.

Other presentations at Effigy Mounds include ancient tool demonstrations, including atlatl throwing, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., Oct. 14; Rock Art of Northeast Iowa 7 - 8 p.m. Oct. 14; a Sny-Magill Mound Hike, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Oct. 21; and a presentation about the 1906 Antiquities Act and the establishment of Effigy Mounds National Monument, 5 - 6 p.m. Oct. 21. Free admission to the hikes and presentations; park admission is $3 per person or $5 per vehicle. Call the Visitor Center for more information (563) 873-3491

--Keepers of Iowa's Past, 7 p.m., Oct. 10, Toolesboro Indian Mounds and Museum, Old Highway (now County) 99, 8 miles southeast of Wapello. The OSA and Louisa County Conservation Board sponsor a talk about how landowners can preserve and protect a prehistoric site on their property. For more information contact: Kathy Dice or Julie Ohde, 319-523-8381 or

--Coralville Edgewater Park Site: Foreshadowing the Rise of Agriculture, 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12, Wickiup Hill Outdoor Learning Center, 10260 Morris Hills Rd., Toddville. Bill Whittaker of the Office of the State Archaeologist will discuss the excavation of a Native American site near the Iowa River in Coralville and how archaeologists were able to determine what occurred at the site. A second presentation of this talk will be held 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, at the new Johnson County Historical Society Museum, 860 Quarry Rd, Iowa City.

--Digging Up the Past, 3 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 17, Des Moines Airport Holiday Inn, 6111 Fleur Dr. During the Iowa Council on the Social Studies conference, presenters will share how to use science, math, and reading to teach local history

--Let's Celebrate Archaeology!, 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, October 17-18, State Historical Society Museum, 600 E. Locust St. Des Moines area students will have fun in archaeology workshops throughout the day! Workshops include archaeology bingo, "Name That Bone," pottery puzzles, discovery trunks, rock art and more.

--The Crow Creek Site and Ancient Plains Warfare, 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 19, Lime Creek Nature Center, 3501 Lime Creek Rd, Mason City. Seven centuries ago a large, agricultural village on the Missouri River was attacked and burned, and over 500 people lost their lives. Lynn Alex of the OSA will show how archaeologists and forensic anthropologists reconstructed this tragic event and how scientists and Indian peoples worked together to commemorate and honor the victims. For more information, contact: Todd Von Ehwegen, (641) 423-5309 or

--Eye on Iowa: Tour the "Crown Jewels of Iowa" at OSA, 12 - 1 p.m., Friday, Oct. 20, 700 Clinton Street Building at the UI. This tour explores the OSA laboratory and repository, home to over 22,000 archaeological site records and more than 12,000 artifact collections. Contact: John Cordell, (319) 384-0741 or

--Archaeology Open House, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 19, University of Iowa Museum of Natural History, 10 Macbride Hall. Celebrate Iowa Archaeology Month 2006 with an evening of hands-on activities for all ages and guided tours of Iowa Hall. Demonstrations will include flintknapping, pottery, cordage, and more. Contact: Sarah Horgen, (319) 335-0606 or

--Woodland Mounds Fall Colors Hike, 5 - 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20, Honey Creek State Park, 12194 Honey Creek Pl., Moravia. Hikers can discover ancient burial mounds built by the Woodland culture and learn about the artifacts they left behind. For more information, contact Pete Eyheralde, (641) 673-9327 or the website at

--Mammoth: Delicate Balance and Territory, 11 a.m. - 12 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 21, State Historical Society Museum, 600 E. Locust St., Des Moines. Sarah Macht, museum education coordinator and volunteer coordinator, State Historical Society of Iowa, will give a tour.  Contact Macht at (515) 242-5193 or Cost is $5 per person.

--Artifact Collections Display, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, Heritage Classroom, State Historical Society Museum, 600 E. Locust St., Des Moines. Mike Heimbaugh, (515) 255-4909; or Sarah Macht, (515) 242-5193 or

--Archaeological Discoveries at Ft. Atkinson, Saturday, Oct. 21, 1 - 2 p.m., Heritage Classroom, State Historical Society Museum, 600 E. Locust St. William Whittaker of the OSA talks about recent investigations at historic Fort Atkinson in northeast Iowa that illuminate life at an important 1840s military post. Contact Macht at (515) 242-5193 or

--Accesssing the Charles R. Keyes Archaeological Collection, noon - 1 p.m., Friday, Oct. 27, OSA Offices, 700 Clinton Street Building at the UI. John Cordell  of the OSA will explain how researchers may now readily access information on the Charles R. Keyes Archaeological Collection via a recently completed database project. Contact: John Cordell, 319-384-0741 or

--Pioneer-Era Fur Trade in Iowa, 2 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 5, Prairie's Edge Nature Center, 11562 Valley Ave, contact Angela Bries, (563) 547-3634 or A second presentation will be 7 p.m., Monday, Nov. 13, Kent Park, 2048 Highway 6 NW, Oxford, contact Brad Friedhoff, 319-645-1011 or Cynthia Peterson of the OSA gives details of fur trading with the Meskwakis and Winnebagos, as the topic relates to archaeology at Iowa trading posts.

Ongoing events include:

--"Witness to Change" State Historical Society Museum, 600 E. Locust St. in Des Moines. Visitors can see, feel, and hear life as it was 15,000 to 16,000 years ago. The cornerstone of the exhibit is a complete skeleton of the Hebior Mammoth discovered near Kenosha, Wisc. in 1994. Contact: Bill Johnson, 515-282-5627 or

--Steamboat Bertrand Excavation and Recovered Artifacts, DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge and Visitor Center, 5 miles west of Interstate 29 on Highway 30 (Missouri Valley exit). The DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge is home to a premier archaeological collection of 200,000 artifacts excavated from the buried hull of the Steamboat Bertrand. A state-of-the-art collection storage area protects the cargo of the boat. Cost: Federal pass or $3 per vehicle. Contact: Refuge manager, 712- 642-4121 or; Museum curator, 712-642-2772 or

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

CONTACTS: Media: George McCrory, 319-384-0012,; Program: Lynn Alex, 319-384-0561,