18 July 2009

Iowa Archaeology at RAGBRAI

Today the 2009 RAGBRAI bike ride begins. The seven-day ride will see some 15,000 cyclists cruise 472 miles across Iowa. This year, the Office of the State Archaeologist is sending a team - complete with custom 'Team Archaeology' jerseys.

The Team Archaeology posse strikes a pose

Radio Iowa reports:
Lynn Alex, at the state archaeologist's office, says members of Team Archaeology will also be pedaling along the entire 472-mile ride, talking to other riders and folks in the dozens of communities about the amazing sites nearby.

"One of the things we'll be telling people about are some 900-year-old earth lodge village sites that Native American people created," Alex says. "There are over 300 examples of those sites, particularly in Mills County, Iowa." In addition to the team of archaeologists riding on RAGBRAI, she says she and several other staff members will be setting up exhibits in about a half-dozen of the communities where the 15-thousand bikers will be overnighting.
You can follow Team Archaeology's ride on twitter: @iowaarchaeology. They also produced a nice educational booklet about archaeology to go with the ride. Props to the Iowa OSA for some creative thinking about public outreach!

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