Guest Blog: Archeology in the Natural State
By: Arkansas Archeological Society
The ASO is excited to partner with The Arkansas Archeological Society for our upcoming concert, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark!
The Arkansas Archeological Society was formed in 1960 for the purpose of uniting all persons interested in the archeology of Arkansas, for the recognition and preservation of our cultural heritage and prehistory, and for fostering and encouraging the public's interest in the preservation of the past. By joining the Arkansas Archeological Society, you can hold a 3,000-year-old stone tool that the first Arkansans used to hunt game. You can turn up the grass and find the foundations of a prehistoric farmhouse or the remains of a French colonial fort. You can visit a mound center built 1,000 years ago by people who did not leave writings but could read the stars. You can help preserve, protect, and appreciate the historic places that hold unwritten stories of people who made Arkansas their home over the last 10,000 years.
Today, thousands of sites face destruction through development and vandalism, and the stories they could tell may never be heard. Through protection and proper study we can preserve the most important of these places to commemorate and learn about the lives of people who may never be mentioned in history books, but who are part of Arkansas’s heritage. The Arkansas Archeological Society is an organization for people who want to help in this task.
Society members have the opportunity to participate in a number of activities throughout the year that promote the study and preservation of Arkansas’s past, as well as sharing knowledge about the past with the general public. Three of the biggest statewide events host by the Arkansas Archeological Society include:
Training Program in Archeology - a research project where individuals interested in archeology can gain experience in all phases of archeological excavation, site survey, and laboratory processing under professional supervision. This program began in 1964 as an annual activity of the Arkansas Archeological Society under the direction of archeologists at the University of Arkansas Museum. Since 1967 the program has been under the supervision of the Arkansas Archeological Survey’s archeologists.
This year, the Training program will be held at Pea Ridge National Military Park in northwest Arkansas, June 9-24. It will be run by Arkansas Archeological Survey archeologists Jamie C. Brandon (UAF Station) and Carl G. Drexler (SAU Station). For the full back ground and information, click here:
To register, you must be a member of the Arkansas Archeological Society, which you can do by clicking here: http://arkarch.org/membership/
You must also fill out and submit a Training Program registration form. The form is here: http://arkarch.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Training-Program-Registration-Form.pdf and must be completely filled out and submitted, with payment, to the address provided at the bottom of the form. We hope to provide an online registration option in the future, but it is not yet available.
All objects and information resulting from the field work will be curated by the Arkansas Archeological Survey for the benefit of the people of Arkansas.
The Arkansas Archeological Society participates in an annual outreach event called Arkansas Archeology Month. Held in March each year, Archeology Month is designed to broaden the public’s interest and appreciation for Arkansas’s archeological resources and to encourage the public’s participation in conservation and preservation efforts.
Each year, on or near the last weekend of September, the Arkansas Archeological Society holds its Annual Meeting. Besides the opportunity to visit with friends and have a great time, the meeting offers a variety of activities.
For more information about the society, click here: http://arkarch.org/
The Arkansas Archeological Society works in conjunction with the Arkansas Archeological Survey. The Arkansas Archeological Survey is a part of the University of Arkansas System. Their mission is to study and protect archeological sites in Arkansas, to preserve and manage information and collections from those sites, and to communicate what we learn to the people of Arkansas. Cooperative agreements with seven state university campuses, two state parks, and the UA System’s Winthrop Rockefeller Institute enable scholars at ten research stations around the state to carry out this mission. The Survey has been a model for statewide archeological programs in the United States and around the world.
For more information about the crucial work undertaken by the Arkansas Archeological Survey, click here: https://archeology.uark.edu/
The Arkansas Archeological Society has nine local chapters that hold regular monthly meetings. In addition, some chapters hold “lab nights” so members can help in the laboratory processing of artifacts. Chapters also have occasional field work opportunities. If you are interested in attending one of the regular monthly meetings in your area, click here: http://arkarch.org/chapters/
The Central Arkansas Chapter of the Arkansas Archeological Society hosts events and volunteer opportunities for the residents of Pulaski County and adjacent counties. Once a month we host Chapter Lab Day with the Toltec Mound Research Station in Scott, Arkansas. The lab day provides archeology enthusiasts to help the research station rehabilitate artifact collections, bringing them up to modern curation standards. Volunteers are given the chance the reorganize and aid in the reevaluation of artifact categories for a set number of collections under the supervision of professional archeologists! This is a great way to learn about the science, as well as gain hands-on experience with Arkansas’s material past.
In addition to lab days, we host a monthly lecture series featuring archeologists, historians, anthropologists, and other professionals. This past year, these specialists gave talks about their ongoing research as it relates to Arkansas and world history. We also actively collaborate with other nonprofit agencies and state agencies, including the Quapaw Quarter Association, Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Arkansas State Archives, and CALS – Butler Center, to provide the public with fun, educational opportunities that will enhance their understanding of Arkansas history.
For more information about events and volunteer opportunities hosted by the Central Arkansas Chapter – AAS, follow us on Facebook!
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