Food of Ancient Iowans

Time Frame: Approximately 12,000 Years Ago

Approximately 12,000 years ago, ancient Iowans gathered their food and hunted bison. They cooked over open fires.
“First People of the Prairies,” The Iowa Heritage: Program # 1, Iowa Public Television, 1979.

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The meat from the big game that they killed made up most of the diet of these nomadic hunters, but they also gathered berries, nuts and roots that grew wild all about them. Since they had not learned to plant and grow crops, their lives were limited to wondering the countryside for whatever food they could find. Long before the development of pottery, the Indians had to depend on baskets and animal skins for storing food and carrying water. Meat had to be held over the fire on a stick in order to be cooked, or hot stones and a skin water bag could be used. Stones, heated in the fire, were put into a bag filled with water. Meat was then added to the bag and cooked in the hot water.


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