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The H.P. Field Collection

A string of beads collected by HP Field

Dr. Henry P. Field was born in 1902. He graduated from the University of Iowa Dental College in 1926 and then moved to New Albin, Iowa to practice. While in New Albin, Field met Ellison Orr, a civil engineer with extensive experience in archaeological excavation and recording techniques. They began going on outings to collect artifacts, while Orr taught Doc Field more about Iowa archaeology. In 1930, Field moved to Decorah, Iowa to start his own dentistry practice. He maintained contact with Orr and they continued their outings together, with Clifford Chase, Charles Keyes (a noted archaeologist in the state of Iowa), and Dale Henning, a Luther faculty member for the next 20 years. Henry Field was also active in the creation of the Iowa Archaeology Society and Effigy Mounds National Monument. 

Along with his colleagues, Field covered quite a large and varied area on his outings. He concentrated on Winneshiek and Allamakee Counties, but he also traded and purchased artifacts from numerous locales outside of Iowa. He would usually go out for the day with his colleagues and spend the whole day collecting artifacts from the surface. The route they took varied based on road conditions and weather, but generally followed Bear Creek or the Upper Iowa River, west from Decorah, with stops in Waukon and New Albin and then back to Decorah. This circle was known to Field and his friends as the "Indian Circle" and it included most of Dr. Field's favorite sites like the New Galena Mound Group, Flatiron Terrace, and Sand Cove. 

H.P. Field donated parts of his collection to Luther College in 1969 and 1970. The rest of his collection was split between Effigy Mounds National Monument and the Office of the State Archaeologist at the University of Iowa. Field collected many different types of objects including numerous shell objects, glass beads, metal ornaments, chipped stone and bone tools, as well as ceramics.some of which were used as tools or decorations. Field also collected a number of geological specimens which are now housed in the Luther College Geology Collection.The portion of H.P. Field's collection in the Luther College Archaeological Collection is primarily comprised of artifacts which lack provenience information.