About HILD

The Historic Indian Location Database (HILD) contains more than 1,000 mapped locations in Iowa, spanning nearly 500 years, from the earliest European trade contacts with natives to lands owned by tribes today. These locations illuminate some of the broader trends of population movement during the periods of Euro-American exploration and American settlement. The data are varied; they include archaeological sites as well as native accounts gleaned from digital archives such as local histories and newspapers.

Data that define the extent, duration, and location of historic-era native occupations of Iowa are scattered among hundreds of publications. Sources include early explorer maps, newspaper accounts, county histories, and old archaeology reports. Beginning in 2011, the University of Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist (OSA) began to compile these data into the HILD. Any location information that could be derived from these sources were GIS mapped as best as possible using historical maps as guides. Locations were limited to Iowa and out-of-state locations near Iowa.

Although location information from many sources are often vague–entries like "two miles north of town" are typical–they are precise enough for plotting on a statewide GIS map to show broader location trends.

Locations are labeled as to tribe, as best as can be determined, and coded in one of four ways:

The HILD locations are also categorized by date of occupation as close as possible. These dates are categorized into one of five time periods: