|OSA Curation Program|
The University of Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist (UI-OSA) is the
statutorily mandated repository for the State of Iowa’s archaeological
collections. The archaeological collection is comprised of archaeological
materials from sites recorded in Iowa and accessioned by the UI-OSA. Artifactual
materials from Paleo-Indian, Archaic, Woodland, Late Prehistoric, Historic
cultures are represented. Numerous material types are represented including:
ceramics, lithic tools and debris, faunal remains both worked and unworked,
botanical remains, glass, metal, leather, textiles, and synthetic materials.
Over four million objects from over 11,000 of Iowa’s nearly 22,000
recorded sites are curated at the UI-OSA under over 12,000 individual
accessions. The UI-OSA curates collections from contract- or grant-funded
projects and private donations. Through cooperative curation agreements,
the UI-OSA curates collections for federal and state agencies.
In addition to the archaeological collection, the UI-OSA maintains
comparative and teaching collections. The comparative collections are
comprised of prehistoric and historic artifact types, lithic resources,
fresh water bivalves, botanical specimens, and osteological collections
of amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. The UI-OSA staff and other
researches use these collections to identify archaeological specimens.
The OSA teaching collection is fundamental to the educational and outreach
activities of the OSA. As defined in the Iowa Administrative Code, Chapter
7, 685–7.1(3): “The teaching collection is an artifact collection
in the repository developed by OSA to be used for instructional and
display purposes.” The teaching collection includes artifacts
without provenience, replicas, comparative osteological and botanical
samples, and supporting resources including printed materials and audiovisuals.