Honors Program Theses


Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

Chad Heinzel


Chert--Heat treatment--Iowa; Oneota Indians (Great Plains)--Iowa--Antiquities;


This research focuses on the experimentation and exploration of heat treatment used on chert by the Native Americans located in eastern Iowa after the Late-Woodland Period. In conjunction with my research advisor, Dr. Chad Heinzel, the geoarchaeologist in the UNI Department of Earth Science, I have heat treated chert from eastern Iowa in order to examine its physical and chemical changes. These experiments took place both in a controlled laboratory setting and in a semi-controlled field setting, comparing the difference between the two different methodologies. Chemical analysis was also performed to assess differences in trace chemicals between raw and heated chert. The results and data gathered from my experiments showed a change in coloration during heat treatment and a range of fractionation rates that depend on the intensity of heat. Chemical traces provided interesting data that opens another avenue of future study to examine the chemical changes prompted by heat treatment. Ultimately, I used the results from my experiments to examine how they affect the quality of chert and, in turn, how that affects Native American culture and trade. Specifically, I looked at the presence of different types of chert and how that connected to the culture of an eastern Iowa tribe called the Oneota. Trade especially would have been affected by the presence or absence of high quality chert and the impact of my conclusions adds knowledge and a new perspective to the studies on Native American culture and material trade.

Year of Submission



Department of Earth Science

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors

Date Original


Object Description

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