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 2018, there will be a number of events around southeast Arkansas.

Hike at Camp Monticello

Entrance to Compound 2 at Camp Monticello

Entrance to Compound 2 at Camp Monticello

On Saturday, March 3, Michael Pomeroy and Dr. Jodi Barnes will lead a five-mile hike through Camp Monticello, a World War II Italian prisoner of war camp where hikers will learn about the archeology of Arkansas’ home front heritage and the prisoners of war who lived and worked in southeast Arkansas between 1943 and 1945. For more information or to sign up for the hike, contact Dr. Barnes at [email protected] or 870-460-1290.

Powell Canal Revisited: Prehistoric Native Americans on Bayou Macon in Southeastern Arkansas

Engraved stone pendant from the Powell Canal site near Eudora

Engraved stone pendant from the Powell Canal site near Eudora

On Tuesday, March 6, at 6:30 p.m. join the Tunican Chapter of the Arkansas Archeological Society for a lecture by Dr. John House in the School of Forestry and Natural Resources conference room at the Univerity of Arkansas at Monticello. In his lecture, Dr. House revisits the Powell Canal site. Archeologists excavating at the Powell Canal site near Eudora in 1981 uncovered cultural features containing pottery fragments and other artifacts plus charred plant remains and animal bones. These provided a glimpse of the life of Native American peoples occupying the seasonally-flooded Mississippi River floodplain as much as 1500 years ago. Analysis of human remains from four graves revealed evidence for a diet high in collected foods and for episodes of dietary stress, probably malnutrition, in childhood but little evidence for infectious diseases. Taking a fresh look at the data from Powell Canal more than 30 years later, Dr. House offers new insights and identifies persistent problems in the interpretation of this site.

House, the Arkansas Archeological Survey Station Archeologist at University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff where he also teaches Anthropology courses in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, grew up in Mountain Home and received his B.A. from University of Arkansas in 1973. He attended Southern Illinois University, Carbondale as a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow, receiving his Ph.D. in 1991. House has conducted archaeological field research in Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Missouri and South Carolina resulting in numerous articles, monographs and book chapters. Since 1997, his principal area of research has been the Menard locality in Arkansas County that is believed to have been the location of the Quapaw village of Osotouy and the French Arkansas Post.

Monticello Rotary Club
On Thursday, March 15, Dr. Jodi A. Barnes will talk about ongoing archeological research in southeastern Arkansas with the Rotary Club. Dr. Barnes is the archeologist for the Arkansas Archeological Survey’s UAM Research Station. She conducts research in southeastern Arkansas, works with the Tunican Chapter of the Arkansas Archeological Society, and teaches anthropology and archeology classes at UAM.

Behind the Big House

Jerome Bias talks about enslaved foodways at Behind the Big House, Lakeport Plantation, 2017.

Jerome Bias talks about enslaved foodways at Behind the Big House, Lakeport Plantation, 2017.

On March 23-24, Dr. Barnes will join Preserve Arkansas for the third annual Behind the Big House program at Historic Arkansas Museum in Little Rock. The Behind the Big House program moves beyond the “Big Houses,” or stately historic homes, to explore extant slave dwellings and interpret the experiences of the enslaved people who inhabited them. The two-day workshop includes live historical interpretations and lectures to highlight the important contributions African Americans made to Arkansas’ history. Jerome Bias will prepare food based on enslaved foodways, Joe McGill, with the Slave Dwelling Project, will sleep in the Brownlee slave quarters, Dr. Barnes will talk about urban archeology and the archeology of the Brownlee kitchen and slave quarters, and more. The event is free, but tickets are required: preservearkansas.org

You can learn more about Arkansas Archeology Month events around the state at arkansasarcheology.org or contact Dr. Barnes for more details, [email protected] or 870-460-1290.

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