Arkansas Archeological Survey Research Station at HSU
What was life like in southwest Arkansas hundreds of years ago? That’s the question that the Arkansas Archeological Survey's Research Station at Henderson State University is answering. The purpose of the HSU Station is to serve as a research and resource center for a nine-county region of west-central Arkansas. Archeological research by HSU Station personnel has focused on understanding ancient Caddo Indian life from sites in the Ouachita, Caddo, and Saline river valleys, and learning about how local residents used resources such as Arkansas Novaculite quarried from the Ouachita Mountains. HSU Station archeologists assist other state agencies, maintain archeological records and collections, teach anthropology courses, and host outreach activities in the community.
Mary Beth D. Trubitt, Ph.D.
Arkansas Archeological Survey
HSU Box 7841
Arkadelphia, AR 71999-0001
The HSU Station is located in Huneycutt House.
May is Arkansas Heritage Month. The Ouachita Chapter of the Arkansas Archeological Society has created four new portable exhibits to celebrate Arkansas Heritage Month and this year's theme of "Saving our Heritage: Arkansas's Historic Structures." The exhibits can be viewed during the month of May at four locations: Clark County Historical Museum in Arkadelphia; Garland County Library in Hot Springs; Saline County Library in Benton; and Montgomery County Library in Mount Ida. These programs are made possible in part by a grant from the Department of Arkansas Heritage, funded by your 1/8 cent conservation tax, Amendment 75. All events are free and open to the public. Four special talks are scheduled:
Thursday, May 9th, 1:30 p.m., Dr. Jamie Brandon (Arkansas Archeological Survey, Southern Arkansas University, and Vice-Chairman of the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission) and Ouachita Chapter members Judy Thye and Lyn Welland will present a talk at the Clark County Historical Museum on the archeology of life on the home front in Clark County during the Civil War.
Wednesday, May 15th at 12:30 p.m., Meeks Etchieson (Heritage Program Manager, Ouachita National Forest) and Ouachita Chapter member Mary Little will present a talk at the Montgomery County Library on the archeology of Caddo Indian sites and structures in Montgomery County.
Thursday, May 16th at 6:30 p.m., Vanessa Hanvey (Arkansas Archeological Survey, Henderson State University) and Ouachita Chapter member Janice Fisher will present a talk in the Saline County Library on the archeology of Caddo Indian mounds along the Saline River.
Friday, May 17th at 2:00 p.m., Meeks Etchieson (Heritage Program Manager, Ouachita National Forest) and Ouachita Chapter member Cheryl Jerrels will talk about archeology of the Civilian Conservation Corps constructions in the Ouachita National Forest at the Garland County Library.
- NEWSFLASH: The Arkansas Archeological Survey has been awarded a grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council to develop the "Arkansas Novaculite: A Virtual Comparative Collection" website into its full version. A siliceous rock that was chipped into a variety of tools by Indians who lived here in the past, novaculite is still mined today for Arkansas whetstones. The planned website will present descriptions and photographs of toolstone from about 20 quarries across the Ouachita Mountains, including comparisons of visual and chemical characteristics and the effects of heat treatment on novaculite. Since it was widely traded in the past, a key feature is a map showing the distribution of novaculite across and beyond Arkansas. A prototype of this educational website is is now available, housed on the Arkansas Archeological Survey's server. This project is supported in part by a grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The AAS/HSU Research Station is gearing up for the annual Arkansas Archeological Society training program (the "Society Dig") this June. The dates have been set: June 8-23, 2013. Dig information is now available on the Society's website, and there's a new online registration form this year too!
Arkansas Archeological Survey
The Henderson State University Archeological Research Station is part of the Arkansas Archeological Survey. Created by the state legislature in 1967, the mission of the Arkansas Archeological Survey is to conserve and research the state's heritage and communicate this information to the public. The Arkansas Archeological Survey is administered as a unit of the University of Arkansas System. The Survey has eleven research stations across the state. The station archeologist at the HSU Station is tasked with archeological research, teaching, and public service. Dr. Mary Beth Trubitt teaches anthropology courses in HSU's Department of Sociology and Human Services, and is also a research associate professor in University of Arkansas's Department of Anthropology. Ms. Vanessa Hanvey is the research assistant at the Survey's HSU research station. She also maintains the station Facebook page, which can be found at:
What is anthropology? What do anthropologists do? The American Anthropological Association has launched a new website, "This is Anthropology," that highlights careers in this field.
What have we been doing? The Arkansas Archeological Survey's 2011-2012 Annual Report can be downloaded HERE.
- Dr. Trubitt has mentored graduate students and served on thesis committees for students at the University of Arkansas and at Henderson State University. Some recent graduates include:
- Kristin D. Scarr (M.A. 2008 University of Arkansas, Department of Anthropology), "Trace Element Studies of the Arkansas Novaculite."
- Linda Evans (M.L.A. 2012 Henderson State University), "Amateur Archeologists in the Ouachita River Valley during the Great Depression."
- James R. Duke (M.L.A. 2010 Henderson State University), "Anasazi Astronomy."
- Terri Taylor Menefee (M.L.A. 2005 Henderson State University), "Smoke Signals."
- Donald R. Bowles (M.L.A. 2003 Henderson State University), "The Native American and White America: A Saga of the Trail of Bitter Tears."
The HSU Station of the Arkansas Archeological Survey is involved in research, teaching, and public outreach. Follow these links for more information on current activities.
- A new article reporting results of Mary Beth Trubitt and Lucretia Kelly's grant-funded research on the Cahokia Palisade Project appears in the December 2012 issue of Illinois Antiquity. For a closer look at the Mississippian mound center of Cahokia, click here. For a list of Trubitt's recent publications, click here.
- Vanessa Hanvey and Mary Beth Trubitt received an Arkansas Archeological Society Archeological Research Fund grant for radiocarbon dating a sample that will establish the age of a building excavated at a Saline County site. Hanvey presented results of this project at the 2013 Caddo Conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in February.
- Station personnel have delivered several conference papers on Caddo archeology this fall. Trubitt presented "New Information from Old Collections: Analyzing Caddo Mortuary Ceramics from the Middle Ouachita River Valley" in a symposium at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Archaeological Conference in November, 2012. Trubitt organized a session "Current Research on Caddo Archeology" for the Texas Archeological Society annual meeting held in Tyler in October.
Hanvey, Trubitt, and Lockhart presented "Modeling Caddo Community Patterning through Recent Archeological Work at the AAS/HSU Research Station" at the annual meeting of the Arkansas Archeological Society in September. Trubitt and Hanvey attended the 54th Annual Caddo Conference in Natchitoches, Louisiana, in March, 2012. Trubitt presented on recent Caddo period research on a mound site in the Ouachita River Valley, and Hanvey presented on the Borderlands Project in the Saline River Valley. Click here for Caddo Conference 2012 abstracts.
- We continue to research Middle Archaic period stone tool manufacture and trade. What's the latest on the Jones Mill Archeological Project?
Find results of recent grant-funded archeological research on "Reconstructing Ancient Foodways" at the Jones Mill site.
- Trubitt's publication on Caddo mounds and buildings appeared in 2009 issue of Southeastern Archaeology, the journal of the Southeastern Archaeological Conference. For a list of recent publications, click here.
- A book chapter by Trubitt on the Hughes site in the Saline River Valley is included in Perttula and Walker's edited volume The Archaeology of the Caddo. This new volume includes several chapters on Caddo in Arkansas written by Arkansas Archeological Survey researchers.
- Join HSU students and volunteers from the Arkansas Archeological Society in on-going work in the Archeology Lab. For current schedule, contact me.
- Trubitt spoke about Indians in Arkansas to 3rd graders at Lakeview School in Hot Springs in September, 2012. She was a speaker at the April 2012 "Girls of Promise" conference sponsored by the Women's Foundation of Arkansas and hosted by HSU and OBU, introducing the girls to science--related careers in archeology.
- Trubitt gave a public talk recently on "Ancient Foodways in Hot Spring County" - see Arkansas Democrat-Gazette story.
- Trubitt has served as humanities scholar on Arkansas Humanities Council cemetery preservation grants - see Helms Cemetery project page.
- Want to find out more about archeology and Indians in Arkansas? Visit the Arkansas Archeological Survey's Education Program webpage for handouts and flyers, and the "Indians of Arkansas" website to learn about who lived here before us.
- Trubitt currently serves as President of the Caddo Conference Organization, a group established to promote interest in and knowledge of the archaeology, history, and ethnology of the Caddo area and the Caddo Indians.
- Trubitt currently serves on the Media Relations Committee, the Gene S. Stuart Award Committee, and the 2013 Annual Meeting Program Committee for the Society for American Archaeology.
Web page last updated 24 April 2013. Web page contact: M. B. Trubitt, email@example.com .