Turkey River Archaeo-Blitz

Oct 22, 2022

10:00 AM - 03:00 PM

308 Mill Avenue, Elgin, IA 52141

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Iowa Archaeology Month 2022 Sept 17-Oct 22 graphic

The Turkey River region of northeast Iowa has an incredibly rich, but under-documented archaeological past. The area holds a lot of significance for Indigenous peoples whose ancestors not only flourished there before the arrival of Europeans, but were also subjected to forced removal into and out of the "Neutral Ground" in the mid-1800s. Europeans, particularly people from Norway and Switzerland, settled and built farmsteads and businesses in Fayette County. 

The University of Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist is partnering with the Elgin Historical Society to highlight the area's Indigenous presence and educate community members about artifact ID, artifact care, and the importance of recording sites. On Oct. 22, we will host an "archaeo-blitz" with featured speakers including Johnathan Buffalo (Meskwaki Tribal Historian), Suzanne Buffalo (Meskwaki; OSA Indian Advisory Council), and Bill Quackenbush (Ho-Chunk Nation Tribal Historic Preservation Officer). 

During the open-house portions of the event, various stations will be set-up for visitors to communicate with archaeologists and Elgin Historical Society staff. People are encouraged to bring in archaeological objects for the artifact identification. Visitors will learn the basics of artifact ID, tips for cataloging and caring for their artifacts, and how to record their artifact find spots as archaeological sites. The community is also encouraged to participate in oral history interviews to share stories from their family histories related to archaeology or Native American camps and villages.

Event schedule:

  • 10-11 a.m.: open-house archaeo-blitz (artifact ID, collections care, site documentation, and oral history interviews)
  • *11 a.m.-noon: Presentation and Q&A session with Johnathan and Suzanne Buffalo
  • Noon-1 p.m.: open-house activities resume
  • *1-2 p.m.: Presentation and Q&A session with Bill Quackenbush
  • 2-3 p.m.: open-house activities resume

*Presentations by our featured speakers will be live streamed by Meskwaki Media Services and available at https://livestream.com/meskwakination

event flyer showing photos of the featured speakers and samples of archaeological artifacts

This event is sponsored by the University of Iowa Office of the Vice President for Research Community Engaged Scholarship Program.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa–sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact in advance at