Sanford Museum & Planetarium
Northwest Chapter of the Iowa Archeological Society



Archaeological Collections

Geophysical Services

Get Involved!







The Northwest Chapter

The Northwest Chapter was organized as a branch of the Iowa Archeological Society, and members are pledged to support and further the aims and purposes of the parent organization.


Our goals are to further archaeological knowledge and to gather, record, and publish information of all archaeological remains, whether they are sites, data, or artifacts, for the benefit of future generations of Iowans and scientists.

Meetings and Events

The Northwest Chapter meets on the first Wednesday of every month at 6 p.m. In addition to discussing upcoming events, these monthly meetings feature special activities, field trips, or presentations. These meetings are open to the public, so feel free to bring a friend!


NWIAS Barbeque/Potluck

We will meet at the Silver Sioux Recreation Area. This meeting will be a celebration of the end of the field season. I will be grilling and am asking others to bring side dishes (chips, salads, fruit, drinks, etc.) There is a shelter available, so we will still meet if it rains, unless there is severe weather, then we will reschedule.



6:00 p.m.

Little Sioux River Archaeology Day

This family event is held at the Prairie Heritage Center. There will be a series of indoor speakers as well as outdoor activities such as flintknapping, atlatl throwing, pottery making, and soil identification.



1-4 p.m.

Conservation Workshop: Labeling Artifacts

Labeling artifacts with location and other information is just as important as finding them. For this meeting, bring your own artifacts to label, or help us label some in our collection. We will provide archival supplies.



6:00 p.m.

Investigating Shelter: Midwestern Wikiup

Learn how archaeologists analyze data to make inferences about a culture's use of a shelter. We will be using curriculum from Project Archaeology. This program is also great for kids!


6:00 p.m.

Whalebones brought to Mountain Tops: A story of research and production at a 3,000 year old temple in the Andes

Dr. Matthew Sayre, professor from the University of South Dakota, will be presenting on his archaeological finds in Peru.



6:00 p.m.

Iowa's Icy Past: How Glaciers Have Influenced and Affected Iowa

Dr. Benjamin Maas, assistant professor of Environmental Science at Buena Vista University, Will be looking at the impact of glaciers on prehistoric and historic peoples in Northwest Iowa.



6:00 p.m.

Experimental Archeology: Making Ceramic Pots and Cordage Valentine's Day Gifts

Join us to learn about ancient technologies and try your hand at creating a ceramic pot and cordage. These would make great Valentine's gifts for that special archaeologist in your life!


6:00 p.m.

Historical Iowan's Travel Roadtrip: Steamboat Bertrand and Western Historic Trails Center

Learn about historical archaeology as we roadtrip to these two major museums in Western Iowa. This roadtrip will cost $10 per person. Sign up with the museum before February 22nd. If the weather is snowy and icy, we will reschedule foe April 6th. Meet at the museum at 8 a.m.


8:00 a.m.

Seasonal Newsletter

Seasonal Newsletter Members of NWIAS receive a newsletter four times a year (Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall). Newsletters highlight local research, archaeological and paleontological finds, Northwest Chapter news, and upcoming events.


Become a Member

All meetings are open to the public, and are regularly announced to members. Membership dues are only $3 per person and payable once a year on the calendar year. Send payment to Sanford Museum

Iowa Archaeological Society

Membership in the Iowa Archaeological Society is $20 and not required, but is highly recommended. Go to their website to learn more about member benefits and events.

If you have any questions, please E-mail us at