The Mission of the Arkansas Archeological Survey is to conserve and research the state's heritage and communicate this information to the public.
The Survey's professional staff has expertise in both historic and prehistoric archeology and maintains a rigorous research agenda around the state. Long term as well as emergency excavation projects are funded through grants, contracts, and the Survey's own state funding.
Survey staff provides the general public and professional colleagues with information about research findings through various means. Technical and popular publications are distributed widely in the state and across the nation. Specific archeological information is provided to government agencies, professional archeologists, and researchers through on-line access to the Survey's computerized databases. University-based teaching and programs to school classes, civic groups, and the Arkansas Archeological Society reach many other Arkansans.
The Arkansas Archeological Survey Headquarters building in Fayetteville has an Open Curation area where visitors can see nearly 2000 objects from the University of Arkansas Collection Facility. The area is open during regular business hours, 8AM to 5PM Monday through Friday. For information, call 479-575-3556.
Eleven Research Stations are located throughout the state, seven on university campuses, two at archeological state parks, and our newest one in Blytheville on the former Eaker Air Force Base. Each has a full-time Ph.D. archeologist who conducts research, assists other state agencies, and is available to local officials, amateur archeologists, and students in need of information about archeology or archeological sites.
Cooperative agreements with the seven universities provide that the resident archeologists devote a portion of their time to teaching or museum work or other archeologically related duties. At the two State Parks, the archeologists' research provides the interpretive information for visitors.
Each Station Archeologist conducts research on archeological sites which will fill in gaps in our knowledge of the past, from 12,000 year old Paleo-Indian sites to historic American Indian and Euro-American sites.
The Survey's Coordinating Office provides support for the Research Stations through computer technical assistance, manuscript editing, photography and graphics, bookkeeping, and scientific and fiscal records management.
The State Archeologist coordinates the Survey's public archeology and historic preservation programs, manages the Education Outreach Program, and works with the Arkansas Archeological Society.
The Sponsored Research Program conducts archeological research on a contractual basis to meet federal and state laws for the protection of prehistoric and early historic sites. All grants to Survey staff are also administered through the SRP.
The Computer Services Program maintains state-of-the-art Geographic Information Systems capability for research staff and for others under contract. The program maintains and upgrades the Survey's computerized site and project file, which is linked to all federal and state agencies with a need for this information.
The Registrar's Office maintains copies of all archeological records - sites, photographs, maps - in both hard copy and on disk, as well as maintaining archival records and keeping the Survey's research library up to date.
Service to the State
The Survey cooperates with state and federal agencies and with private organizations to increase understanding of Arkansas' past.
Through on-line links, the Survey provides archeological expertise and information to the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Departm ent, and several federal agencies. Over 32,000 sites are on record, as well as information on over 4,000 archeological projects conducted in the state over the past 50 years. The Survey's archived records and its curated collections are available for study and research on a daily basis through the Registrar's Office. The Survey, by law, is the repository for all archeological information gained through state funding.
Working closely with American Indian tribes and organizations, the Survey seeks to insure that American Indian burials are treated with the respect and dignity afforded all graves.
Through cooperative programs with the Arkansas Archeological Society, an organization of some 700 citizens interested in archeology, the Survey seeks to record sites before they are destroyed by construction, erosion, and other land disturbing activities. A two-and-a-half week Training Program is sponsored by the Survey in June each year at which over 100 Society members learn excavation, laboratory, and surveying techniques, providing them with the knowledge to help preserve the state's vulnerable evidence of the past. A joint Arkansas State Fair booth displays information on archeological activities.
The Survey staff provides over 150 public programs annually to schools, colleges, and civic organizations around the state.
Over the past 30 years, the Survey has published 80 technical and popular books, prepared many exhibits at local venues around the state, and distributed thousands of copies each year of its 19 educational flyers to teachers and school children. The Survey is also developing Internet resources for schools, including the Indians of Arkansas and Rock Art in Arkansas websites.
Through the cooperative programs with Arkansas State Parks at Parkin Archeological State Park and Toltec Mounds Archeological State Park, the Survey's research and service program reaches thousands of visitors each year. Heritage tourism is an important outgrowth of the Survey's research program, meeting the needs of a public known to be interested in learning about the local history of any given area.
Archeology and its findings hold a fascination for young and old alike. Opening windows to the past is both a function and a result of the Survey's archeological research and service programs.
©2013 Arkansas Archeological Survey