Journal of the Iowa Archeological Society
Volume 26, 1979
R. Clark Mallam, Editor
Focusing on the social organization of Iowa archaeology between 1867 and 1920, a perspective on the evolution of the discipline is presented that is different from that formulated by looking at the progressive development of technique and theory. The social organization is determined by (1) surveying the yearly production of literature and changes in publication sponsorship and (2) determining the age, occupation, academic ties, and co-workers of the authors producing the literature. The formation and dissolution of social networks for the period under study appear to respond to the development and denouement of a specific problem, the Mound Builder myth, and/or the concurrent development of national professional standards and personnel.
During the first half of the twentieth century indiscriminate digging in the Quandahl rockshelter produced a number of significant artifacts. Most of these artifacts have since been lost, traded or given away. One artifact in particular, a cut and perforated human mandible from the documented Sampson Collection, provides some insights regarding the cultural practices of prehistoric peoples in northeastern Iowa.
Data are presented for a shell fish effigy obtained from a rockshelter in southeast Allamakee County, Iowa. Ethnographic evidence indicates that it may have functioned as a fishing lure.
The avifauna from five northwest Iowa archaeological sites is analyzed in order to (1) identify bird species present; (2) assess the seasons in which the sites were occupied; (3) demonstrate how birds recovered reflect local environmental conditions; and (4) determine the importance of various bird groups and note how they were utilized by occupants of the five sites. A comparison of the different assemblages reveals some interesting similarities and differences.
In 1970 the first controlled archaeological test excavation was conducted at the McKinney Oneota Village Site (13LA1). While a considerable body of information was derived from this project (Slattery, Horton, Ruppert 1975), no storage pits were located, even though such features are common on Oneota sites. In 1975 a request for specimens of microvertebrate skeletal material provided an opportunity to conduct an archaeological reconnaissance for storage pits at the site. Analysis of resulting features indicates that they are cylindrical in shape and moderate in size, with concave bases and relatively little refuse.
The National Historic Preservation Act as amended, Executive Order 11593, and the National Environmental Policy Act combine to make the fulcrum for environmental review of proposed federal undertakings and the potential effects of them on cultural properties. An analysis of three years of environmental review results shows that one significant archaeological site has been identified in Iowa as a result of these procedures. This is, however, exclusive of large reservoir projects in the state. No archaeological site in Iowa involved in a federal undertaking has been the subject of a completed review as required by section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. Similarly no sites located during reconnaissance surveys and subsequently intensively surveyed have been found by the investigating archaeologist to be significant. The results of environmental review and the critical attitude toward federal administrators suggest a subtle contradiction. The review results, and this attitude, are not contradictory because of the difficulty of assessing the importance of small sites in small isolated project areas. Environmental review procedures result in information important to the overall planning and preservation process but cannot be relied upon to the exclusion of systematic regional (sub-State) archaeological surveys. Significance of archaeological properties must be measured against the State Plan which must recognize a broad range of scientific and humanistic inquiry. It is incumbent upon the professional community of archaeologists to contribute substantively to the State Plan.
Significant losses of biological and cultural information have been sustained over the last 6 years at the Siouxland Sand and Gravel site (13WD402). This article is intended to (1) relate the circumstances surrounding the history of the site; (2) describe salvaged artifactual and human physical remains; (3) present new sections of the Iowa Legal Code relevant to the preservation of the remaining portion of the site; and (4) clarify the options open to property owners wishing to file a claim against the State of Iowa for losses resulting from the identification of a significant aboriginal cemetery on private property.
Joseph A. Tiffany, Ed.
Journal of the Iowa Archeological Society
Webpage by Heidi M. Thunhorst, September 3, 2002.