Glenwood Archaeology


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Glenwood Culture Virtual Museum

Between A.D. 1250 and 1400, Indian people of the Nebraska phase of the Central Plains tradition occupied southwestern Iowa. The Glenwood culture is nickname for Iowa’s archaeological sites of the Nebraska phase. It is called the “Glenwood” culture because there is an especially dense concentration of about 200 known sites within 10 miles of the town.

Glenwood culture people grew maize, beans, squash, sunflowers, gourds, and tobacco. In addition to farming, they gathered wild plants to make food, medicine, and household goods. They also fished and hunted for birds, small game, bison, deer, and elk. Food was dried and stored for the winter in grass-lined pits dug beneath their house floors.

Tools were made of stone, bone, and shell. Pottery was made for storage and cooking. They undoubtedly worked with leather, wood, basketry, and textiles, but these materials have not survived to be found by archaeologists.

The Glenwood culture disappeared from the archaeological record before the year A.D. 1400. Changing climatic, environmental, and cultural factors likely put new pressures on the previously stable Glenwood hamlets. Ultimately the people were forced to move away. As they did they no doubt came into contact with new peoples and conditions that changed their lives and culture forever.

A Guide to the Photo Archives

The U.S. 34 photo archives are organized into five galleries, based on content or artifact type. Click to read a background of each gallery's content. Unless noted, all of the below images are courtesy of the University of Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist.

U.S. 34 Photo Archives

Select an individual gallery by clicking the tabs below or "All" to revert to the complete still photo gallery. Click on a photo to expand and see the caption. You can close out the pop-up or use the arrows to navigate to the previous or next image.

Interactive Gallery

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