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Digging Up Iowa History

While schools are closed, we're creating a series of "Talk of Iowa" episodes that will be fun and educational for learners of all ages. Every Tuesday, we'll learn about Iowa wildlife, and every Thursday, we'll learn about Iowa history. Editor's note: Due to a power outage in Iowa City we're airing this Iowa History program that originally aired on April 7, 2015.  

Did you know that Iowa is home to approximately 27,000 recorded archaeological sites? All over the state there are records of Iowans who came before us.

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with William Whittaker and Mary De La Garza, authors of “The Archaeological Guide to Iowa”.

Credit John Pearson
Blood Run site in Northwestern Iowa

Whittaker and De La Garza touched on some of their favorite sites across the state, from the Blood Run site outside of Sioux Falls to the Palace site outside of Des Moines.

The pair published the book so that people across the state could experience going to a site and knowing the events behind the location.

“The way you picture a site is never the way it appears when you actually visit it. It’s always much more in the moment when you see the sight and know that people have been there, and what’s been going on there in the past,” Whittaker said. “You get so much more out of a location if you know its history than simply just by walking over it.”

The book features 68 distinct sites all around the state for readers to explore.

“We intentionally spread the sites all over the state of Iowa so that everybody would be near a site that they could visit,” Whittaker said. “We have some of the oldest sites in Iowa that you can visit and also some of the most recent historic American sites as well.”