Activities set in Southeast Arkansas for Archeology Month

Archeology at Hollywood Plantation in Drew County
Archeology at Hollywood Plantation in Drew County

In recognition of Arkansas Archeology Month in March, the Arkansas Archeological Society and the Arkansas Archeological Survey, in cooperation with museums, colleges, libraries and other groups across the state, will hold a series of events, displays, presentations, and hands-on activities to celebrate Arkansas’ cultural heritage as discovered through archeology. For 2017, there will be a number of events around southeast Arkansas.

On Tuesday, March 7, the Tunican Chapter of the Arkansas Archeological Society and the Drew County Historical Society are offering a flintknapping workshop. Participants will learn to make their own stone tools. The program will start with a short presentation by Ray Sibley. He will talk about the technology of flintknapping, or the making of flaked or chipped stone tools, and how archeologists use it in archeological research.

Sibley will also provide a hands-on demonstration, where participants can try their hand at flintknapping. Attendance is free to learn and watch. Hands-on participation in the workshop costs $5 to cover the cost of materials. Hands-on participation is limited to 20 people. Ages 12 and up. The workshop will be held at the UAM Research Station Lab in Rm 117 of the Visual & Performing Arts Bldg. Rm 117 on the University of Arkansas at Monticello campus. For more information and to register, contact Jodi Barnes at jabarnes@uark.edu or 870-460-1290.

Projectile point made by Ray Sibley, the facilitator for the Archeology Month Flintknapping Workshop
Projectile point made by Ray Sibley, the facilitator for the Archeology Month Flintknapping Workshop

Throughout the month of March, the UAM Research Station of the Arkansas Archeological Survey has partnered with KAGH 104.9 FM, Crossett, Arkansas’s oldest radio station, to share a series of small radio spots called “The Archeology Minute.” These one-minute long broadcasts will air each weekday in March. The “Archeology Minute” will explore what archeology is and how archeology is done. It will also provide listeners with many facts unique to Arkansas archeology. Topics range from the latest excavation sites to the archeological history of Arkansas. Listeners can hear the “Archeology Minute” each weekday morning during the Miller in the Morning show.

The Arkansas Archeological Survey developed a 5th grade Social Studies curriculum, Gathering, Gardening, and Agriculture: Plant-based Foodways in the Southeastern United States. The curriculum explores Native American and Early European plant use and highlights archeological sites in Arkansas. This is particularly interesting because Arkansas, along with the surrounding mid-South region, is one of only 10 world centers of independent crop domestication. Preserved plant remains excavated from dry bluff shelters in the Arkansas Ozarks (and now curated at the University of Arkansas) represent most of the evidence supporting this identification. This curriculum is designed in part to celebrate this important aspect of our past. Archeologists are offering a teacher workshop to help facilitate the use of the curriculum on March 18. The workshop will be held at the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute on Petit Jean Mountain. Participants receive a free copy of the curriculum and a tour of Rockhouse Cave, a site featured in the curriculum. For more information and to register, contact Jodi Barnes at jabarnes@uark.edu or 870-460-1290.

On March 25, the UAM Research Station is partnering with Desha County 4-H for a 4-H Quad Day. 4-H youth from across the state will come together to learn about archeology by mapping and exploring the World War II Japanese American Internment Camp at Rohwer, Arkansas. Youth will learn how to use technology to map a cemetery, examine important cultural symbols, play games from the 1940s, and learn about the history of the relocation of over 100,000 Americans from their homes on the west coast during World War II. For more information, contact Hope Bragg at hbragg@uaex.edu or 870-222-3972.

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