OSA Report Series

Report 14: Mill Creek Ceramics: The Complex from the Brewster Site (Hardcopy + PDF Download)

Author: Duane C. Anderson
1981, 144 pp.

The Brewster Site, located in Cherokee County in northwest Iowa, is considered the type site for the Mill Creek culture. Ceramic artifacts described and analyzed in this report represent one aspect of a broad interdisciplinary study of the site conducted jointly by the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Sanford Museum an Planetarium. Anderson provides in-depth analyses of the Mill Creek ceramics as well as a seriational analysis and reappraisal of Mill Creek prehistory.

"This volume stands out as a major contribution to Mill Creek studies, both as a description of the ceramics from the Brewster site and for its conclusions regarding the seriation of Mill Creek Sites." 
Orrin C. Shane, The Minnesota Archaeologist.

Report 13: Hadfields Cave: A Perspective on Late Woodland Culture in Northeastern Iowa (Hardcopy + PDF Download)

Author: David W. Benn
1980, 196 pp.

In this volume, Benn has gathered data from the Hadfields Cave site in Jones County, Iowa, to provide a comprehensive reconstruction of the cultures of Intermediate and Late Woodland peoples in eastern Iowa. The discussion covers fabric-impressed ceramics; stone, bone, and shell tools; settlement patterns; and a dietary analysis.
"Meticulous excavation techniques. . . sophisticated analysis of food items and their caloric values . . . in-depth analysis of the ceramic artifacts which includes a summary of how cordage was made . . . Benn's ceramic analysis is more lucid than the majority of the research that has preceded it."
John T. Penman, Plains Anthropologist

Report 12: Oneota Culture in Northwestern Iowa (PDF Download)

Author: Amy E. Harvey
1979, 152 pp.

Oneota culture existed in the American Middle West from approximately A.D. 1000 until the late Eighteenth century. This period spanned the transition from the Neo-Atlantic climate episode, through the Pacific and then through the transition from the Pacific to the Neo-Boreal. For the western part of the Midwest and for the Northern Plains, these episodes created a shift from very favorable maize-growing conditions to very unfavorable ones. This study examines the response of the Oneota to the changing climate, focusing on the regional manifestation of western Oneota culture, that portion of the culture which occupied the western Tall Grass Prairie and the eastern margin of  the Plains. The ultimate goal of the study was to develop an understanding of the relationship of northwest Iowa Oneota populations to the total Oneota culture and to other contemporaneous plains villagers. The environmental portion of the analysis reconstructs the physical environment as it was at the time of white contact and at the time of each site occupation and examines cultural remains to identify probable environmental adaptations. Data for this analysis were gleaned from identifications of faunal remains recovered in the archaeological excavations, and from early ethnohistoric records. 

Report 11: The Central Plains Tradition: Internal Development and External Relationships (Hardcopy + PDF Download)

Edited by Donald J. Blakeslee
1978, 167 pp.

The this volume contains eight papers that were originally presented at the 34th Plains Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in October, 1976. It also includes a commentarywritten by Waldo R. Wedel and Dale R. Henning and an appreciation of George Metcalf, to whom the volume is dedicated. The thirteen specialists all have made significantcontributions to our understanding of the Central Plains tradition.
Contributors include Waldo R. Wedel, Jack L. Hofman, Christopher Lintz, Tom Witty, Particia J. O'Brien, Kerry Lippincott, John Ludwickson, John Hotopp, Donald J. Blakeslee, Richard L. Jantz, Douglas W. Owsley, Patrick S. Willey, and Dale R. Henning.

Report 10: Prehistoric Locational Behavior: A Computer Simulation (Hardcopy + PDF Download)

Author: Larry J. Zimmerman
1977, 175 pp.

Zimmerman introduces the techniques of computer simulation to the consideration of how prehistoric villagers made locational decisions and what impact these decisions had on settlement patterns. Using the Glenwood locality of the Nebraska culture of southwestern Iowa as an example, the author discusses modeling goals, analysis, synthesis, verification, and validation procedures used in deriving inferences concerning the prehistoric settlement pattern of the Glenwood locality ca. A.D. 900-1300. Zimmerman's work represents one of the pioneer efforts in the application of computer simulation studies in archaeology. Conclusions derived bear on the length of occupation, importance of climatic change, population size, and settlement density. The author concludes with a discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the approach.
"Although Zimmerman deals with the specific problem of the determinants of site location in one area of the Great Plains, the model has broader applicability to the integration of cultural prescriptions and locational behaviors that are manifest in settlement patterns. . . . The study offers an intriguing exercise in the investigation of settlement systems."
T. Douglas Price, Journal of the Iowa Archeological Society

Report 9: The Iowa Effigy Mound Manifestation: An Interpretive Model (PDF Download)

Author: R. Clark Mallam
1976, 128 pp.

The Effigy Mound manifestation is both a distinct prehistoric culture and tradition found primarily in a four state area of the Upper Mississippi River region. It is characterized by effigy and non-effigy shaped mounds, camps, rock shelter, cave, and village sites.  Using data from earlier surveys by the Bureau of Ethnology Division of Mound Exploration and the Northwestern Archaeological Survey, Luther College Archaeological Research Center conducted an intensive Effigy Mound survey of northeastern Iowa during the summer of 1973. With this data base, an interpretive cultural model was designed to provide the foundation for an interpretation of the Effigy Mound manifestation and an explanation of one aspect of cultural dynamics in the Upper Mississippi River region.

Report 8: The Iowa Northern Border Brigade (Hardcopy + PDF Download)

Author: Marshall B. McKusick
1975, 172 pp.

In this report McKusick describes the organized response in Iowa to the Great Sioux Uprising of 1862, including the construction of a series of border stations or forts along Iowa's northern border. During the course of this research he located and excavated the triangular stockade at Fort Cherokee in 1967. Using evidence obtained from maps, official reports, documentary materials from the State Archives, and the excavation of Fort Cherokee, McKusick demonstrates the probable structure of the various  forts and stockades and tells the story of a dramatic time in Iowa history.

Report 7: Physical Affiliations of the Oneota Peoples (Hardcopy + PDF Download)

Author: Elizabeth J. Glenn
1974, 154 pp.

This study deals with the origins, history, and contacts of the Oneota peoples of the prairies and Upper Great Lakes areas, peoples associated with a prehistoric North American Indian culture of Upper Mississippian affiliation. More specifically, it is an attempt to reconstruct the development of the Oneota peoples, as it is revealed by their physical anthropology, archaeology, ethnohistory, and lingustics. 

"Glenn's holistic treatment of Oneota represents an ambitious attempt to synthesize all available linguistic, archaeological, ethnohistorical, and physical anthropological  data in order 'to reconstruct the development of Oneota peoples'. . . . Glenn's study represents a landmark attempt to examine the biological parameters of Oneota. . . .  Glenn is to be complimented for her holistic attempt to combine archaeological, linguistic, and ethnohistoric data with biological parameters."
Jane Buikstra, Plains Anthropologist

Report 6: Silver Creek Woodland Sites, Southwestern Wisconsin (Hardcopy + PDF Download)

Author: William M. Hurley
1974, 198 pp.

The Silver Creek sites, a complex of five relatively small prehistoric village and camping localities in Monroe County, Wisconsin. The sites were almost exclusively occupied from late Early Woodland to early Late Woodland times. These small camp and village sites are an integral part of the cultural settlement patterns. These locations served as  primary or secondary habitation areas which were either used intermittently as hunting or camping stations or for year-round village activity. This report presents data from the 1962 excavations and attempts to establish the degree of influence and contact between components and the individual Silver Creek site localities with a view to establishing a local cultural sequence for west-central Wisconsin. The detailed description and analysis of cord impressions observed on potsherds is considered to be a major contribution of this report.

Report 5: Post-Conquest Developments in the Teotihuacan Valley, Mexico - Part 1. Excavations (Hardcopy + PDF Download)

Author: Thomas H. Charlton
1972, 217 pp.

Although primarily concerned with the Midwest, the OSA Report Series includes research in other areas. Publication of this study was jointly funded by the National Science Foundation, Washington, D.C. and the Office of State Archaeologist through the University of Iowa. At the time of publication, the author, Dr. Thomas Charlton, was Associate Professor of Anthropology at The University of Iowa. He carried out his investigations under the jurisdiction of the Secretaria de Educacion Publica through the Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia, Mexico. This report describes Charlton's Teotihuacan Valley excavations, part of a long-term project designed to examine the archaeology of the Colonial (A.D. 1521-1810) and Republican (A.D. 1810 to present) periods. This was a period of dramatic and significant cultural changes in Mesoamerica. Charlton examines the major sociocultural events using historical documentary data and the material cultural excavated from archaeological sites, particularly architecture and ceramics which are described in detail.