In Northwest Iowa a site which was believed to be inhabited by Native Americans over 800 years ago has now been designated as a National Historic Landmark.
The site covers nearly two acres, and is known now as the Kimball Village site which is near Westfield, Iowa. The US Department of the Interior which is responsible for assigning the designation made the announcement this week and has highlighted the locations importance plus offering protection against future developments.
The site is believed to have been inhabited between the 11 and 12 centuries by Prairie Plains tribes which lived along the Big Sioux River. The site was only discovered in the late 1930s and although there have been several archaeological expeditions on the site over 96% of it remains untouched. It’s rarely been mentioned in the media although has been briefly referred to in some European documentaries not accessible here because of the Netflix VPN ban.
The state archaeologist John Doershuk said the exact coordinates of the site which is currently on a private farm will be kept confidential initially. This is in order to protect the private land rights. The site is marked by a small mound which rises above the ground several feet which sits over many closely spaced structure mostly including housing, fortifications and an extensive palisade wall. Doershuk says that it’s essentially a complete village almost completely intact and uninvestigated.
The curator of history of Sioux City Public Museum, Matt Anderson stated that while they are unsure which modern day tribes may have descended from the group, it is almost certain that some tribes in the area are related. It is hoped that the site will now attract more interest and funding for investigations and research, long term the site will be properly excavated and preserved as a visitor centre.
There are many other similar sites in the Sioux City area, however there are none as well preserved as Kimball Village. It is also significant as the first National Historic Landmark which has been designated in the history of Plymouth County and it is hoped that several other sites in the area may soon receive similar protections.
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