One of the most interesting aspects of archeology in the Arkansas Ozarks is the many dry bluff shelters and caves that have been intermittently occupied for 10,000 years. The dry conditions created in these caves and shelters provide a rare glimpse of the kinds of artifacts that usually rot in the wet climate of the Southeastern United States such as baskets, clothing, and wooden implement handles.
The Arkansas Archeological Survey has begun a multi-year research project related to this class of sites. The first phase of this project digitized important records from early bluff shelter excavations. Much has changed in the field of archeology since the 1920s. Knowledge of both field methods and culture history has increased, thus the new bluff shelter studies.
Dr. Jamie Brandon is the Research Station Archaeologist with the Arkansas Archaeological Survey responsible for the counties in Northwest Arkansas and most of the Arkansas Ozarks, some 13,000 square miles. By virtue of his position, Dr. Brandon is also an Associate Research Professor of Anthropology at the University of Arkansas–Fayetteville. He currently leads the multi-year research project to investigate bluff shelter sites across the Ozarks. According to Brandon, “We are getting new information from old collections…information about plant domestication and information about technology change. These studies also include new diggings as well in Carroll County, Arkansas.”
Dr. Brandon’s presentation at Hobbs State Park will outline the history of archaeology in the region, examine the “bluff dweller” concept and its implications, and summarize current research on bluff shelters in Arkansas. Don’t miss this fascinating discussion of new ways to look at old (and new) Ozark bluff research.
When: Saturday March 10, 2018 at 2:00 pm
Where: Hobbs State Park visitor center located on Hwy 12 just east of the Hwy. 12/War Eagle Road intersection
Cost: Free – The public is invited
For more information, call: 479-789-5000