University of Iowa
700 Clinton Building
Iowa City, IA 52242-1030
(319) 384-0768 (fax)
Wickiup Hill Learning Center
Wilton Elementary School
201 East Sixth
Wilton, Iowa 52778
203 Cottage Street
Shellsburg, Iowa 52332
700 Clinton Street Bldg.
Iowa City, IA 52242-1030
(319) 384-0768 (fax)
The Iowa Project Archaeology program was launched in 2003 and is headquartered with the Office of State Archaeologist Education and Outreach Program. The Iowa Project Archaeology program coordinates a variety of professional development courses, institutes, and workshops for Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, Illinois, South Dakota, and Missouri educators. The program also offers hands-on archaeological experiences for elementary students throughout the state.
The OSA Education and Outreach Program develops Project Archaeology curricula in collaboration with the national Project Archaeology Program for educators, including our most recent publication, Project Archaeology: Investigating a Midwestern Wickiup. This curriculum unit (and all 11 and counting other Online Shelter Investigations) is available for free download on the Project Archaeology website to those who have purchased Investigating Shelter. All of the curricula we develop and the workshops and courses we host have a place-based focus, bringing educators and students out to places where history (and archaeology) happens.
We have had many collaborative partnerships throughout the state to help make Iowa Project Archaeology possible. These include, but are not limited to, the State Historical Society of Iowa, Herbert Hoover Presidential Museum and Library, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa Department of Transportation, Sac & Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa, Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska, Iowa Archeological Society, Putnam Museum, Sioux City Public Museum, county historical societies, county conservation and nature centers, schools, museums, libraries, and many departments at the University of Iowa and other Iowa universities and colleges.
Investigating a Midwestern Wickiup
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In this investigation students will study the wickiup, a type of shelter used by the Meskwaki and other Native American people living throughout the upper Midwest and western Great Lakes region at the time of European contact. The word wickiup comes from the Algonquian word wi kiy bi or wi·kiya·pi meaning lodge or house. The lesson will introduce the circular, domed, pole-and-mat-or bark-covered winter home of the Meskwaki called the A-ba-ge-ka-ni (ah bah GWAY KAH nee).
It includes archaeologists’ interpretations of the Midwestern Wickiup site and details about the artifacts found. Quadrant maps from the archaeological site are provided for students to study and use.
Mr. Johnathan Buffalo, a member of the Meskwaki, guides students through the investigation. Through archaeology students discover artifacts left behind and how artifacts assist archaeologists in understanding the lifeways of the site’s residents. Students learn about the importance of archaeological sites such as the Midwestern Wickiup today.
Investigating a Pawnee Earthlodge teaches students about a Pawnee shelter called an Earthlodge, the history of their ancestors, and about the Pawnee tribe today through authentic archaeological and historical inquiry.
It includes a brief history of the Pawnee tribe, including details about their livelihood, traditions, and Earthlodge home. Quadrant maps from the archaeological site of a Pawnee Earthlodge in Kansas are provided for students to study and use.
Mr. Warren Pratt, a member of the Pawnee tribe, guides students through the investigation. Through archaeology and oral histories students learn how a site is interpreted, why it is important to today’s communities, and the importance of preserving sites for future generations.
Sanford Museum in Cherokee, IA