My research is focused on the late prehistoric and early historic period in northeast Iowa. The Upper Iowa valley has a fascinating and rich archaeological heritage that spans thousands of years of human habitation and provides an ideal natural laboratory for conducting research with students. My recent activities have focused on using a combination of archaeological and historic resources identifying the ethnic dimensions of the area’s most recent inhabitants as well as on understanding how the construction and use of mounds served both in the construction of the cultural landscape and as means of dealing with the impacts of European contact.
As an extension of the mound research I have recently begun a larger research project employing geophysical remote sensing to investigate the amazing diversity of earthworks including rare prehistoric enclosure sites as well as the better known effigy mounds that are found in northeast Iowa. Remote sensing represents an ideal means for investigating more fully the structure, meaning, and purpose of these sites in a non-destructive manner. Recently, Luther College has completed a multi-year remote sensing research project at the Capoli Bluff effigy mound site. This work also builds on the long tradition that the Luther College Anthropology program has in investigating the effigy mound manifestation. This research directly involves students both through the archaeology field school as well as through collaborative research experiences.
Some of my recent publications include:
(2019) Paouté and Aiaouez: A New Perspective on Late Seventeenth-Century Chiwere-Siouan Identity. Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology 44 (1):94-112.
2017 with Marshal Stay (’17) - Geophysical Investigations at the Ward Long Mound Site, Allamakee County, Iowa. Journal of the Iowa Archeological Society 64:45-51.
2017 - Reconstructing an Illini Fire-Making Kit. Newsletter of the Iowa Archeological Society 67(1):3-7.
2016 with Dale Henning - Aberrant Earthworks? A Contemporary Overview of Oneota Mound Ceremonialism. The Wisconsin Archeologist 97(2) 101-119.
2011 - Rediscovering the Mahouea. Journal of the Iowa Archeological Society. 58:23-34.
2010 - Oneota Mound Construction: An Early Revitalization Movement. Plains Anthropologist 55(214):97-110.