Jim Rees

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.

In Southeast Arkansas, the Tunican Chapter of the Arkansas Archeological Society and the University of Arkansas at Monticello Division of Music will co-host a music archeology talk by Jim Rees (pictured above) on March 1 at 6:30 p.m. in the School of Forestry and Natural Resources Conference Room on the campus of the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

Rees, an Arkansas Archeological Society volunteer  who studies musical artifacts from Arkansas and the surrounding areas, will talk about music archeology and the Breckenridge flute, the oldest known example of a Native American flute found in Arkansas. Music archeology is the study of the role of musical instruments in past cultures.

“In his presentation, Mr. Rees will show us two of the most significant music artifacts that have been found in Arkansas as well as an iconographic depiction of a sound maker from the Spiro shell engravings,” said Arkansas Archeological Survey Station Archeologist, Dr. Jodi Barnes. “This will be a great opportunity to learn about the role of musical instruments in Arkansas’ Native American past.”

At the same meeting, prior to Rees’ discussion of music archeology, Monticello Mayor Zackery Tucker will issue an Archeology Month proclamation.

Throughout the month, the UAM Research Station of the Arkansas Archeological Survey has partnered with Arkansas’ oldest radio station, KAGH 104.9 FM in Crossett, to share a series of brief radio spots called “The Archeology Minute.” These minute-long broadcasts will air every day in March.

“The Archeology Minute will not only educate the public about what archeology is and how archeology is done, it will also provide listeners with many facts unique to Arkansas archeology,” Dr. Barnes said. “Topics range from the latest excavation sites to the archeological history of Arkansas. You can hear the Archeology Minute each weekday morning during the Miller in the Morning show.”

Also, the Fred J. Taylor Library and Technology Center at UAM will host a small exhibit on the archeology of Camp Monticello, a World War II Italian prisoner of war camp.

Other Archeology Month activities and events in Southeast Arkansas include:

March 14 – Learn how to identify historic bottles at the UAM Research Station Lab.

March 21-25 – Spring Break Dig at the Taylor House, the 1840s plantation in Drew County. Archeologists are aiding architects and historians in the restoration of the Taylor House, an 1846 cypress-log dog-trot that is currently being restored by the University of Arkansas at Monticello. Archeological excavations in 2014 located the kitchen, the cellar, and the house porch piers. This year the week-long excavation will focus on the original location of the smokehouse and other outbuildings. Volunteers are welcome.

March 24 – Quad Day Field Experience. To coincide with the Spring Break Dig, the Desha County 4-H will host a Quad Day Field Experience at the Taylor House. Families are invited to learn about historic and prehistoric lifeways and the role archeology plays in uncovering the past.

Archeology Month

The Tunican Chapter of the Arkansas Archeological Society is a group of people interested in the archeology and history of Arkansas. Members work with the UAM Research Station of the Arkansas Archeological Survey to recognize and preserve Arkansas cultural heritage and to foster and encourage interest in the preservation of sites and artifacts. The Tunican Chapter holds a monthly speaker series on the first Tuesday of each month.