Aerial photo of the Gast Farm site in southeast Iowa, taken by Bill Green in 1990.
To any Beloiter who arrived after the summer of 2001, Bill Green has “always” been the director of the Logan Museum of Anthropology. Much as Bill enjoys being part of so many peoples’ mindsets, he will step out of his usual role as he takes the 2016-2017 academic year off to focus on a research project he has been part of since 1990.
With support from internal (Keefer Senior Faculty Grant) and external (SPARC-CAST-University of Arkansas) sources, and with the help of colleagues and students from Beloit, the University of Iowa, Arizona State University, and the National Park Service, Bill will study two Native American communities at Gast Farm, an archaeological site in southeast Iowa. One community was occupied around A.D. 100 and the other dates to around A.D. 400.
From 1990 through 1994, Bill and scores of students and volunteers excavated parts of Gast Farm, locating numerous features, such as storage pits and house posts and recovering over 300,000 artifacts and animal bones. Several theses and dissertations describe and analyze these findings, but no comprehensive summary of the site has been published. Bill’s goals are to review and synthesize the collected data, generate new information on site layout through a geophysical survey, and write a report that will be useful to the scholarly community.
The Logan Museum will be in good hands when Bill is on leave because Curator of Collections Nicolette Meister will take over as Acting Director. Nicolette and Dan Bartlett (Curator of Exhibits and Education) will both continue to help the campus community make use of the museum’s resources next year, so faculty, staff, and students should stay in touch with them about anything relating to 2016-2017 activities, projects, or exhibits.