The Ottumwa Courier

News in brief

September 18, 2013

Reminisce Society back with archaeology program

OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa Public Library’s Reminisce Society begins its fourth year with all-new fall programs in the works.

Leading off the season will be Cindy Peterson from the Office of the State Archaeologist, who will be discussing “Archaeology at Iowaville,” the 1765-1820 Ioway Tribe village situated 20 miles downriver from Ottumwa. Her program is scheduled for 10 a.m. Sept. 24 in the library’s meeting room.

Iowaville (site 13VB124) was a large village of the Ioway tribe and was located along the Des Moines River, near what is now the town of Selma. At its height, it housed up to 800 people. Peterson’s talk will discuss Ioway tribal history, prior work at the site and the present archaeological findings. The site is well-known to artifact collectors and was first recorded as a site in 1971. Archaeological work in 2010 assessed the site condition in order to understand what, if anything, remained preserved below ground in this cultivated farm field. The National Park Service assisted greatly by conducting a noninvasive magnetometry survey, covering more than 19 acres. The magnetometry results, coupled with archaeological testing and help from local volunteers and artifact collectors, revealed astonishing news about the level of site preservation.

Peterson has been a project archaeologist with the General Contracts Program of the University of Iowa's Office of the State Archaeologist since 1992. Her projects focus on historical archaeology and have included excavations at a shipyard in Dubuque, the Bonaparte Pottery, Fort Atkinson (Iowa) and at assorted Ho-Chunk (Winnebago), Ioway and Meskwaki-related sites.

Also on hand that day will be local artifact collectors Dale Essick and Bradley Rook, who will display their collections of Iowaville artifacts for program participants to peruse.

Reminisce programs are especially designed for people interested in state and local history. They are held the fourth Tuesday of the month and are free and open to the public. For more information, please call the library’s reference desk at 641-682-7563, extension 205.

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