OSA Report Series

Report 4: The Grant Oneota Village (Hardcopy + PDF Download)

Author: Marshall B. McKusick
1973, 181 pp.

In the summer of 1970 the discovery of the Grant village in northeastern Iowa uncovered post molds of huge, many-family houses measuring twenty-five feet wide and up to ninety feet long. This was the first firm evidence of such huge buildings within the Oneota archaeological tradition; a tradition frequently identified with the far-ranging Siouan tribes. The second contribution of this report was the definition of the very early Grant type pottery within the Oneota Tradition. The Grant village supports the interpretation of an early separation of the Oneota culture from its Middle Mississippian forbearers. McKusick describes the excavation of the Grant Oneota Village site and its position in the sequence of prehistoric habitations on the Hartley Terrace in northeast Iowa. The discussion includes commentary by ten prominent anthropologists including David A. Baerreis, Alfred W. Bowers, David S. Brose, Hester A. Davis, Henry P. Field, Elizabeth J. Glenn, Dale R. Henning, William M. Hurley, Floyd G. Lounsbury, and G. Richard Pesket. This work represents a major contribution to the understanding of the Oneota tradition.

Report 3: Prehistoric Investigations (PDF Download)

Edited by Marshall B. McKusick
1971, 144 pp.

This publication contains a collection of archaeological research papers. Six of the papers were originally presented at a 1969 symposium held in conjunction with the spring meeting of the Iowa Academy Of Science at the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls. These include: "A Review of Iowa River Valley Archaeology by Adrian D. Anderson, Wolfe Havana Hopewell Site by Dean F. Straffin, Environmental Reconstruction Through Molluscan Remains: Preliminary Report on the Banks Site by David A. Baerreis, Small Mammal Remains from the Wittrock Mill Creek Culture Site by Holmes A. Semken, Skadeland Mill Creek Site by Larry J. Zimmerman, and Great Oasis Culture Distributions by Dale R. Henning. Four additional papers were added: The Late Woodland Walters Site by Adrian D. Anderson, Rates of Soil Development at Two Wisconsin Effigy Mound Sites by William M. Hurley, Malone Terrace Oneota Site by Jerry Clark, and Oneota Longhouses by Marshall McKusick. At the time these ten papers were selected for this volume they were considered to offer greatly needed data, new approaches, and new interpretations of the archaeological remains. The authors of these papers have all made many important contributions to our knowledge of Iowa prehistory. 

Report 2: The Kingston Oneota Site (PDF Download)

Author: Dean F. Straffin
1971, 82 pp.

This publication was the first excavation report on an Oneota site from southeastern Iowa. The Kingston site is situated on the Mississippi River bluff top within  twenty-five miles of the mouth of the Des Moines. This places it along one of the most probable routes of influence from Middle Mississippian regions to the Prairie Peninsula. Straffin presents a detailed discussion of cultural material from the site. The ceramics appear to be similar to ceramics from contemporary Oneota sites in northwestern Iowa, and the Chariton River region in Missouri, and faunal analysis indicates intensive exploitation of the wild food resources of the Mississippi floodplain in conjunction with gardening. The fully developed Oneota assemblage from the Kingston site substantiates the postulate that the Oneota culture developed simultaneously and largely independently from Middle Mississippian cultural influence.

Report 1: The Davenport Conspiracy (PDF Download)

Author: Marshall B. McKusick
1970, 181 pp.

The Davenport Conspiracy was the first publication of the Office of the State Archaeologist. In this work Marshall McKusick closely examines one of the major controversies in the interpretation of prehistoric America: the "discovery" of inscribed tablets and elephant shaped pipes that were purported to support the racist concept of ancient "Mound Builders", a lost race with Old World cultural links credited with construction of burial mounds and other earthworks found throughout North America. McKusick studied public records and unpublished documents from the Davenport Academy exposing a sordid example of amateur investigations gone awry during the difficult transition to professionalism in American archaeology.