Dr. Stephen Silliman, a Camden native and professor of anthropology at the University of Massachusetts Boston, will be the keynote speaker at the annual meeting of the Arkansas Archeological Society to be held on September 30 through October 2 at the El Dorado Conference Center.
Silliman is a historical archeologist who studies the last 500-plus years of Native America history and the social, political, and economic challenges Native Americans faced with the arrival of Europeans. He works with the Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation, a Native American community in Connecticut that has persisted on its reservation lands since 1683, to do collaborative historical archaeology with, for, of, and by the Eastern Pequot.
The keynote presentation will be held at 8 p.m. on Saturday, October 1 at the El Dorado Conference Center. Silliman’s presentation is free and open to the public.
The Arkansas Archeological Society, a group of people with an active interest in archeology in Arkansas, works closely with the Arkansas Archeological Survey to research and protect Arkansas’ rich archeological heritage. Each year, the Society holds an annual meeting for people to discuss and learn about ongoing research around the state. This year there are concurrent paper sessions, a panel discussion on community-based research, a forestry and archeology ethics training session, a Saturday evening reception hosted at the Newton House museum, and Dr. Silliman’s keynote presentation.
There is a registration fee for the event, but the keynote presentation and a Forestry and Archaeology Ethics training session are free and open to the public.
In addition to Dr. Silliman’s presentation, archeologists and avocationalists from around the state will hear presentations on the recent research on Hernando de Soto’s Cross at Parkin Archeological State Park and Elkins’ Ferry, a Civil War battlefield in Nevada County. Other presentations focus on the Ozark bluff shelters, Drew County’s Hollywood Plantation’s connections to Oldham County, Kentucky, the ongoing research at Historic Cane Hill in northwest Arkansas, and much more.
There will also be a forum on community-based research, with its emphasis on engaging local communities in all aspects of the research process. Archeologists and historic preservationists will discuss their work with local and descendant community members and provide advice for people who are interested in developing similar projects. Panelists include: Tamela Tenpenny-Lewis, Preservation of African American Cemeteries; Dr. Jamie Brandon, Arkansas Archeological Survey, UAF Research Station; Dr. George Sabo, Arkansas Archeological Survey; Rachel Silva, Preserve Arkansas; and Dr. Silliman. The registration fee for the full day of conference activities is $55.
Don Bragg, a member of the Arkansas Archeological Society, and a Research Forester at the Southern Research Station of the U.S. Forest Service will offer a Forestry and Archaeology Ethics workshop to foresters to help them meet their professional ethics requirements. The free 1.5 hour session will cover the areas of overlap between forestry and archeology, including critical issues related to ethics and forestry operations. The training is offered on Saturday, October 1 at 10:30 a.m. While the training session is free, attendees must pre-register to ensure seating is available.