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 2019, there will be a number of events around southeast Arkansas.

First Farmers and Lost Crops of Arkansas

On March 5, Dr. Elizabeth Horton will talk about ongoing research on plant domestication in Arkansas. Dr. Horton will make her presentation at 6:30 p.m. at the School of Forestry and Natural Resources Conference Room, Rm 102, on the University of Arkansas at Monticello campus. This event is free and open to the public.

When asked “what did the Indians of Arkansas eat?”, most Arkansans answer “corn, beans, and squash.” While this triad of crops were staple foods for Arkansas Indians, they were only the latest addition to a sophisticated system of land management and horticulture. Dr. Horton will talk about the experimental garden at Toltec Mounds State Park and the Eastern Agricultural Complex, or the ancient domesticated and cultivated crops like sumpweed, may grass, little barley, sunflower, goosefoot, and erect knotweed, that native people planted and tended thousands of years ago. She will also discuss why the archeological record of Arkansas is so critical to a broad array of research concerning plant domestication, and why Arkansas’s natural lands are vital to the future of research into crop domestication and crop genetics.

Dr. Horton is the Arkansas Archeological Survey’s Research Station Archeologist for Toltec Mounds Archeological State Park and a Research Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.

She received her Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis in 2011. She is a paleoethnobotanist and her research focuses on Pre-Columbian fabric technology, American Indian plant fiber use, and the origins of plant-based foodways in the southeastern United States.

Archeology of Enslaved Life

March 11, 3:30 p.m. until 5 p.m.
McGehee Desha Alumni Community Center, 500 S. 1st St, McGehee

Dr. Jodi Barnes, Arkansas Archeological Survey – UAM Research Station, will instruct participants on conducting investigations of a slave cabin through maps, artifacts, etc. to learn about the lives of the enslaved people at Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia home, Poplar Forest.

Archeology of Foodways in Southeast Arkansas

Monday, March 18, 9:30 a.m.
Southeast Arkansas Regional Library, 114 W Jefferson Ave, Monticello

Dr. Jodi Barnes, Arkansas Archeological Survey – UAM Research Station, will talk about what archeology tells us about food and diets by looking at American Indian sites, historic plantations, and World War II internment camps.

To learn more about the 2019 Archeology Month events, you can pick up a calendar of events and a poster at the UAM Library, the Monticello Branch Library, or the UAM Research Station. The UAM Research Station is a unit of the Arkansas Archeological Survey located on the UAM campus. The Research Station Archeologist, Dr. Jodi Barnes, conducts research, teaches anthropology and archeology classes, and hosts educational programs and events.

For more information, contact Dr. Barnes at [email protected] or 870-460-1290.