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Archaeo News 

6 January 2007
Ancient artifacts featured at exhibit in Iowa

Beginning this month, visitors can view relics at the Muscatine Art Center (Iowa, USA). Artifacts left behind thousands of years ago are being displayed Jan. 14-April 1. The history treasures were discovered during an excavation that was conducted in 1998 on Muscatine's Eisele Hill by Bear Creek Archeology Inc. of Cresco. The site was located in what is known as the 'McNeal Fan,' part of a grouping of prehistoric sites where people lived thousands of years ago.
     Last year, the excavation report was finished and the Eisele Hill artifacts were permanently housed at The Office of the State Archaeologist at the University of Iowa. Now those items are on loan to the Muscatine Art Center.  
     Virginia Cooper, registrar at the Art Center, said some of the sites were used and reused through the centuries by different groups. The excavation produced artifacts dating to the Middle Archaic Period, (5,500-3,000 BCE) and the Early Woodland Period (800 -200 BCE). Discoveries from two sub-periods within those periods — the later part of the Middle Archaic Period and the later part of the Early Woodland Period — are featured in the exhibit, although artifacts from other time segments also were found.
     Barb Veal of Grandview, an Art Center volunteer, has been creating 'pits' from styrofoam, spray paint and sand to be used in the exhibit. These pits will be placed within a display of what an actual Middle Archaic village site may have looked like. The different pits will represent areas used for garbage disposal, cooking, toolmaking and other daily tasks.
     Kathy Dice, a naturalist with the Louisa County Conservation Board, is building a scaled-down model of what an actual dwelling shelter may have looked like during the Archaic Period. The actual dwellings probably measured 30 feet long by 20 feet wide, Cooper said, and were likely made with bent-twig  frames and a bark or reed  covering.
     Dig It! Eisele Hill archaeological excavation exhibit, Jan. 14-April 1 - The Muscatine Art Center, 1314 Mulberry Ave. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday as well as 7-9 p.m. Thursday; and 1-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Closed Mondays and holidays. The Muscatine Art Center is open to the public. There is no admission, but donations are welcome.

Source: Muscatine Journal (5 January 2007)

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