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Archaeology Reception

Archaeologists from the University of Iowa's Office of the State Archaeologist will describe important, recent discoveries in the Loess Hills at a public reception to be held in Sidney, Iowa, Tuesday, November 3, 2009, at 7:00 p.m., at the Gathering Place, corner of Cass and Ohio Streets.

Over the past year, local residents and landowners helped the UI team identify, investigate, and determine the condition of archaeological sites in Fremont, Pottawattamie and Mills County, demonstrating the national significance of the area's early history. Landowners and local artifact collectors contributed information leading to the discovery of new, unrecorded sites including several lodges of the Glenwood culture. First recorded by local collectors and history enthusiasts, and commemorated by the replica earth lodge in Glenwood Lake Park, these early American Indian sites represent some of Iowa's first successful corn farmers.

A total of 298 individual earthlodges are known in Iowa's three southwestern counties, dating from the period of A.D. 1100-1400. Several sites, including previously unexcavated side-by-side lodges, were investigated as part of the recent research. Among the project's conclusions was that the Glenwood culture lasted later than previously thought and that the vast majority of the Iowa lodges were situated within a 10-mile radius of the Platte River. An architectural study conducted as part of the project also documented important historical structures.

The public reception will present highlights of these studies and showcase what was found. Strategies for the long-term protection, preservation, and interpretation of sites will also be discussed. A group of Mills County earthlodges on the Glenwood State Hospital grounds was recently incorporated into Iowa's State Preserve system. Plans for exhibits, road-side signage, and possibly a new interpretive facility are in the works. An illustrated brochure featuring highlights of the project, will be given away at the public reception

The project was sponsored by the Loess Hills National Scenic Byway Council led by Golden Hills Resource Conservation and Development, a nonprofit organization based in Oakland, Iowa, as a step in identifying important cultural resources along the Loess Hills Scenic Byway and promoting its national significance. The Loess Hills area boasts the highest concentration of late prehistoric lodges of any area of the eastern Plains.

For more information about the public meetings visit the Golden Hills Resource Conservation and Development website at: http://www.goldenhillsrcd.org/. For specific information about the study, contact the project director, Melody Pope at melody-pope@uiowa.edu or 319-384-0724.

Sidney Iowa - P.O. Box 401, Sidney Iowa 51652 - info@sidneyiowaia.net
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