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Arkansas Archeology Month
- March 2003 -

Theme: Archeology & the Louisiana Purchase

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In 2003, Arkansas will be celebrating the bicentennial of the Louisiana Purchase, the event in which President Thomas Jefferson purchased the vast territory of Louisiana from France doubling the size of the United States. Since the new land was unmapped wilderness, a survey was undertaken in 1815. The survey began in Arkansas — at the corners of Lee, Phillips and Monroe counties — now memorialized as the Louisiana Purchase State Park.

Arkansas Archeology Month has chosen to honor the Louisiana Purchase Bicentennial Celebration by selecting "Archeology & the Louisiana Purchase" as this year's theme. Research on the general period of the Louisiana Purchase includes studies of Arkansas's Native American tribes, as well as early historic sites, such as Arkansas Post, Old Davidsonville, and Old Washington. Programs and events for this year's Archeology Month will feature specific tie-ins to the period of the Louisiana Purchase, as well as programs on other aspects of archeology. For information on Archeology Month events, see the Events Listing.

The main source for information on the Louisiana Purchase in Arkansas is through the Secretary of State's Office. Click here to go to their web site. Other information on the Louisiana Purchase can be found at the following web sites:

Information on Arkansas's Native American tribes-the Caddo, Cherokee, Quapaw, Osage, Tunica, and Koroa-can be found on our downloadable handouts.

Arkansas's parks that preserve sites from the Louisiana Purchase period include the following:

Ideas for Archeology Month Activities

  • Put together an exhibit showing Euro-American and Native American lifestyles at the time of the Louisiana Purchase (early 1800s), including examples of artifacts. Themes could focus on houses, food dishes, tools, clothing.
  • Display food, furs, and other items traded by Native Americans and Euro-Americans. Discuss why each group desired the trade items offered by the other group.
  • Try to make some Native recipes and early colonial recipes. Demonstrate Dutch-oven cooking.
  • Ask your library to have an archeology book display.
  • Ask a local archeologist to give a slide show about an archeological project in your area.
  • Teach a make-and-take class on pottery. Let participants make a coil or pinch pot, and decorate it using designs found on Native American pottery or patterns from historic plates.

You can also review activity ideas from other past Archeology Weeks and Months:


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