Journal of the Iowa Archeological Society
Volume 41, 1994
K. Kris Hirst, Editor
Current Issues in Iowa Archeology
Response to the Geomorphological Guidelines
Editor's Note: "Current Issues" was established for the discussion of subjects relevant to both professional and lay archeologists in Iowa. Its intention is to provide a forum for sharing ideas and opinions on topics which may, at times, be controversial. This issue does not contain a new subject this year, but a group of archeologists requested the opportunity to respond to the commentary from our 1993 issue on the Guidelines for Geomorphological Investigations in Support of Archeological Testing in Iowa. A new commentary is planned for 1994. The opinions expressed by the authors are not necessarily those of the Journal of the Iowa Archeological Society editorial staff, its advisory board members, members of the Iowa Archeological Society, or the Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist.
Larry J. Zimmerman, Lawrence E. Bradley, Richard A. Fox, Jr., and Brian L. Molyneaux
Contents are as follows: Introduction, Environmental Setting, and Previous Research (Constance Arzigian) pp. 3-6; History of the Project (Robert F. Boszhardt) pp. 6-7; The 1991 Excavations (Constance Arzigian) pp. 7-15; Burials and Postmolds (Holly P. Halverson) pp. 15-24; Oneota Ceramics (Robert F. Boszhardt) pp. 24-33; Lithic Artifacts (Robert F. Boszhardt) pp. 33-38; Animal Remains (James L. Theler) pp. 38-52; Charred Plant Remains (Constance Arzigian) pp. 52-58; Oneota Lifeways (Constance Arzigian, Robert Boszhardt, James Theler, and Holly Halverson) pp. 58-60; Acknowledgements and References Cited pp. 60-65; Appendices pp. 65-75.
Site 13LC17 lies atop a terrace in the upper White Breast Creek valley in Lucas County. Phase III excavations, conducted in 1991 in advance of construction of a bridge replacement approach, yielded pottery identified as Chariton plain, a Weaver-like ware diagnostic of the Randolph phase, defined for sites in the lower Chariton River valley of Missouri and also encompassing several known sites in the Rathbun Lake area of southern Iowa. The other artifacts, including projectile points, bifacial and unifacial tools, ground stone tools, and worked hematite, are consistent with this identification. Features were limited to rock hearths. An intrasite spatial analysis emphasized the relationships among artifacts, size-graded debris, and features. Activities appear to have been centered around the hearths, not all of which were used simultaneously. A consideration of the nature of the assemblage, the intrasite structure, and the location of the site leads to the conclusion that 13LC17 represents a periodically reoccupied Randolph phase winter camp.
This article discusses the various lithic raw materials used prehistorically in Iowa for the production of chipped-stone tools. It includes a sorting key employing multiple macroscopic attributes to aid in the identification of these raw materials. The key refers the user to a series of 35 detailed raw material descriptions for use in sourcing chipped-stone artifacts.
Controlled surface collections and excavations at the Gast Farm site show that the western part of the site consists of a Late Woodland Weaver "phase" village dating to ca. A.D. 300 (uncalibrated). In this paper we examine the ceramics from this occupation, define those attributes which characterize Weaver pottery at Gast Farm, and compare the material with assemblages from several other sites. The assemblage is most similar to that from the early Weaver Carter Creek site and to other Weaver sites along the Mississippi River. The Gast Farm ceramics may be employed to define a regional cultural entity (phase) within the Weaver complex.
The Paul Rowe collection at the Mills County Museum contains thousands of artifacts from southwestern Iowa, including several examples of corner-tang artifacts. Corner-tang artifacts occur infrequently in Iowa and throughout the Plains and are most common in Texas. Corner-tang artifacts in the Paul Rowe collection and other collections from Iowa are dated from the Middle to Late Archaic through the Late Prehistoric. The total number of reported corner-tang artifacts in Iowa is 16, and those are concentrated in the southwestern corner of the state along the Missouri River in Mills and Fremont counties. Rowe's careful notes and catalogs permit the use of these materials to increase knowledge of Iowa prehistory.
Profiles in Iowa Archeology
Elmer E. Blackman and Robert F. Gilder were two dedicated amateur archeologists who, in the opening decades of the twentieth century, helped establish a solid research foundation for later Central Plains prehistorians. Both men realized the fragile nature of the archeological resources that were disappearing beneath the bulldozer and the plow. They surveyed, mapped, and recorded sites, collected artifacts for museum exhibits, developed catalogues, lectured, and published the results of their work. Blackman's work in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa and Gilder's surveys and excavations along the Nebraska-Iowa border did much to dispel the myth that the Central Plains was lacking a prehistoric past.
William T. Billeck, Ed.
Journal of the Iowa Archeological Society
Webpage by Heidi M. Thunhorst, September 3, 2002.