OSA Brown Bag: Woodpecker Cave: Past, Present and Future


Friday, March 24, 2017 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm


Clinton Street Building

Woodpecker Cave (13JH202) has been the site of a University of Iowa archaeological field school for the last five years. Excavations are ongoing, and suggest that Woodpecker Cave functioned as a Middle to Late Woodland winter camp. Woodpecker Cave has acted as a field laboratory and training site for both the teaching of basic excavation methods and the development of new digital mapping procedures. Here we recap the last five years of excavation and focus on methods being used to help distinguish stratigraphic units of prehistoric occupation and to identify more recent intrusions. The ongoing research elucidates limited knowledge of the spatial structure in those occupations, enhancing our understanding of the use of sites like Woodpecker Cave in the larger settlement patterns of Middle and Late Woodland agriculturalists.

Jim Enloe is Professor of Anthropology at The University of Iowa. His archaeological career dates back to 1963 (!), beginning in North America. He holds degrees from the Universities of Pennsylvania and New Mexico. His graduate training and dissertation research centered on excavation and zooarchaeological analyses of French Paleolithic sites, including Pincevent, Verberie and Arcy-sur-Cure. More recently he has been working with former and current students on the Middle and Later Stone Age in southern Africa. Presently, his research has gone full circle, coming back to North America, looking at transitions in site use from the Middle to Late Woodland at Woodpecker Cave.

Brown Bags at the Office of the State Archaeologist (OSA) is a semi-regular series where OSA staff and guests share their research over the noon hour. Topics include individuals’ areas of interest, work in the field, developments in archaeology and architectural history throughout Iowa and the Midwest. Guest speakers whose expertise is in other areas pertaining to archaeology or ethno history may be invited throughout the year as well. For more information please go to http://archaeology.uiowa.edu/ . These presentations are free and open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to  engage in discussion and exchange following the presentation.


Old Capitol Museum
UI Economic Development - We Mean Business
State Hygienic Laboratory