Theme: Life on the Rivers
theme for Arkansas Archeology Month 2005 is "Life on the Rivers." Rivers
played an important part in the prehistory and history of Arkansas.
They were a source of food, supplying fish and mussels, and attracting
waterfowl. Plants that grew nearby offered other edible options. Rivers
were also the highways for travel, trade, and communication. Interpreting
the theme, one can explore the tools and methods of fishing, musseling,
or hunting waterfowl. Boats, from dugout canoes to paddlewheels and
steamboats, can lead to the exploration of travel and trade, as well
as to the selection
of riverside sites for settlements. Also be sure to check the Schedule of Events for activities and exhibits in your area.
Ideas for Archeology Month Activities
- Make an exhibit of modern, antique, and prehistoric fishing tools and implements, including hooks, spears, lures, nets, baskets, etc.
- Invite a fisherman or woman to a class or workshop to demonstrate fishing equipment, or teach a class on fly-tying or lure-making.
- Make a photo display of the kinds of watercraft that would have been used on the rivers of Arkansas: steamboats, canoes, barges, paddlewheels, bass boats, pleasure boats, etc. Conduct a workshop on canoeing or boating safety.
- Examine foods available in wetlands: fish, mussels, waterfowl, and wetland plants. Conduct a cooking class featuring those foods. Lead a wild wetlands plants hike and explore what grows in wet areas. Demonstrate how to clean a fish.
- Explore trade, commerce, or settlement patterns along the rivers. Examine benefits, as well as misfortunes (such as floods), in living along a river.
- Study prehistoric trade. Make a map of the U.S. showing where different resources were acquired and what resources Arkansas had to offer.
- Find pictures of prehistoric pottery that was formed to look like fish or waterbirds. See if your students can identify the different species.
can also review activity ideas from other Archeology Weeks and Months: