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Introduction

Ceramic sherds

Historical archeology is the study of people in the past by combining the techniques and insights of field archeology with the analytical techniques used to draw data from documents, photographs, oral history, and any other data source available. Because it is inherently multidisciplinary in perspective, historical archeology can be a very powerful enterprise.

The goal is not to contrast the information derived from each source, but to use each source to complement the others. Archeology, historiography, informant interview, document analysis, and interpretation of photographs each produce data on somewhat different aspects of the human experience. Often the information overlaps, confirms, concurs, but sometimes it does not. This does not mean any particular data source is invalid, only that there are different circumstances for the entry of information to any particular source and the subsequent preservation of that information through the years. Documents such as land records, tax records, and newspapers, for example, are notorious for retaining information on the prominent and the powerful, persons or events, but documents seriously neglect the ordinary, the routine, and those with less political or economic influence. Archeological data depend on the happenstances of deposit, preservation, and decay. We may learn exactly what dishes were used in the house at a particular period, but an informant probably doesn't remember exactly where those dishes were bought, what they cost, and why that pattern was chosen over another.

For its part, photographs of a house now gone contain an extraordinary amount of information, but that information is limited by the boundaries of the frame, the capabilities of the medium onto which the image was captured, and the precise instant the image was exposed. It is frustrating of course to have a portion of a house blocked by the proud family who is standing in front the structure, and for whom the photo was taken. It is also frustrating that frequently someone actually in the photograph might remember little about the event 75 years later. And we cannot know from the photograph exactly when a visible structure or element was created, nor if that structure or element continued in existence for even five minutes after the photograph was completed.

Miscellaneous Projects

Historical archeology has been used to great effect all over the State of Arkansas, beginning with excavations at the current location of Arkansas Post, Arkansas Post National Memorial (click here for a map of early French, Spanish, and Anglo-American settlements in Arkansas). Fieldwork has been carried out at a wide variety of sites in Arkansas, from French and Spanish colonial periods and sites associated with emigrant Native Americans, to pioneer homesteads and early extinct towns, to Civil War battlefields and cemeteries, to rural planter and tenant farmsteads, to urban sites including one of the most prominent, the Old State House in Little Rock. The bibliography at the end of this introduction suggests the range of work. Much of the work has been conducted as part of environmental impact statement assessments, and thus unfortunately is available only in limited distribution reports.

Since 1977 the Arkansas Archeological Survey has had a Station Archeologist whose specialty has been historical archeology statewide. From 1977-1988 he was based at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Station. Since 1989 he has been based at Arkansas Tech University. Working closely with Arkansas State Parks and other state agencies, Survey colleagues, historical societies, and especially with volunteers from the Arkansas Archeological Society, a wide variety of projects have been carried out. These projects and demands have often been a distraction from the other responsibilities of Station work, since many lie out side the immediate Station territory.

Historic Period Sites in Arkansas

Bibliography

Abernathy, Leslie C.
1982 Help! 3.5 Billion Possible Two Meter Square Excavation Units in
Arkansas, or, a Consideration of State-wide Research Design in Historical Archeology", Conference on Historic Sites Archeology Papers 1979, 14:71-86.

Bonow, Hazen
1976 First Historical Dig: "Mooney's Landing." Field Notes Arkansas Archeological Society 142:3.

Buchner, C. Andrew
1992 Archaeological Investigations at the Lewis Site (3LE266): A Twentieth-Century Black Owned Farmstead on the St. Francis Flood- way, Lee County, Arkansas. Garrow and Associates, Memphis, TN. Submitted to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Memphis District, Memphis, TN. (limited distribution report)

Buchner, C. Andrew, and Mitchell Childress
1991 Archaeological Investigations at 3SF332: An Early Mississippian and Tenant Period site on Cutoff Bayou, St Francis County, Arkansas. Garrow and Associates, Inc., Memphis, TN. Submitted to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Memphis District, Memphis, TN. (limited distribution report)

Candee, Kathy
1995a The Ozarks as Destination: Phase III Archeological Investigations at
the Lambert Farmstead (3CW674) and Phase II Testing at the Dement Farmstead and Cemetery (3CE685), Crawford County
. Draft Report, Sponsored Research Program, Arkansas Archeological Survey. Submitted to Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, Little Rock, AR. (limited
distribution report)

1995b Phase II and III Archeological Investigations on Historic Rural
Domestic Sites In and Near National Forest Lands in Arkansas
. Sponsored Research Program, Arkansas Archeological Survey, Report submitted to Ozark-St. Francis National Forest, Russellville, AR. (limited distribution report)

Coleman, Roger
1990 Archaeological Investigation for Construction of a Pedestrial Trail and Identification of Laundress Row, Fort Smith National Historic Site, Arkansas. Southwest Cultural Resources Center Professional Paper No. 30. National Park Service, Santa Fe, NM. (limited distribution report)

1996 Birds of Passage: Subsistence Farming in the Ouachita Mountains;
Archaeological Investigation of the David Moore Farmstead, Polk County, Arkansas. Paper presented at annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology, Cincinnati, OH.

Davis, Hester A.
1967 History's Mysteries in Arkansas. Arkansas Historical Quarterly. 26(1):3-10.

Dollar, Clyde D.
1966a The First Fort Smith Report. Ms. on file, Arkansas Archaeological
Survey, Fayetteville, AR. (limited distribution report)

1966b Preliminary Site Report: Spadra Bluff Indian Trading Factory, Arkansas. Submitted to National Park Service, Richmond, VA. (limited distribution report)

1977 An Archaeological Assessment of Historic Davidsonville. Arkansas
Archaeological Survey Research Report No. 17. Arkansas Archeolgical Survey, Fayetteville.

1983 Archaeological Investigation and Historical Documentation in the
Vicinity of the Old Commissary Building, Fort Smith National Historic Site, Fort Smith Arkansas
. Historic Preservation Associates, Fayetteville, AR. (limited distribution report)

Etchieson, Meeks, and Roger E. Coleman
1996 Texas Fever and Free Range Herding in Arkansas: Material Culture of
The Federal Tick Eradication Program. paper presented at the Society for Historical Archaeology annual meeting, Cincinnati, OH.

Guendling, Randall L.
1993b An Assessment of Archeological Resources in the Area of Bankruptcy Court Additions, Little Rock, Arkansas. Sponsored Research Program, Arkansas Archeological Survey Project 868. Submitted to Witsell,
Evans, and Rasco, P.A., Little Rock, AR. (limited distribution report)

Guendling, Randall L., and Mary L. Kwas
1997 The Historical Archeology of Arkansas' Old State House. Sponsored
Research Program, Arkansas Archeological Survey. Submitted to Department of Arkansas Heritage and Arkansas Commemorative Commission, Little Rock, AR. (limited distribution report)

Hilliard, Jerry, and George Sabo, III
1984 Intrasite Analysis and Comparision of the Uses of Various Types of
Small Subsurface Tests at the James Leeper Site, Fayetteville, Arkansas. Paper presented at annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archeology, Williamsburg, VA.

House, John H.
1977a Survey Data and Regional Models in Historical Archeology. In Research Strategies in Historical Archeology, edited by Stanley South, pp.241-260. Academic Press, New York.

1977b Regional Data in Historic Archeology: Examples from Environmental
Impact Surveys. Conference on Historic Sites Archeology Papers 1975

Klinger, Timothy C.
1976 An Assessment of Impacts on the Cultural Resources of the Davidsonville State Park Resulting from Proposed Park Improvements. Arkansas Archaeological Survey, Fayetteville, AR. Submitted to the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, Little Rock, AR. (limited distribution report)

Klinger, Timothy C., Roy Cochran Jr., and Clyde D. Dollar
1983 Berry Cemetery and George Berry Washington: Archaeological Mitigation and Historical Documentation of 3CT47 along the Big Creek Enlargement and Diversion, Item 1, Crittenden County, Arkansas. Historic Preservation Associates, Inc., Fayetteville, AR. Submitted to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg District, Vicksburg, MS. (limited distribution report)

Kwas, Mary L., and Randall L. Guendling
n.d. William E. Woodruff, Entrepreneur on the Frontier. Sponsored Research Program, Arkansas Archeological Survey, report in preparation, for submission to Arkansas Territorial Restoration, Little Rock, AR. (limited distribution report)

Martin, Patrick E.
1978 An Inquiry into the Locations and Characteristics of Jacob Bright's Trading House and William Montgomery's Tavern. Arkansas Archaeological Survey Research Series No. 11. Arkansas Archaeological Survey, Fayetteville, AR.

Moore, Jackson W. Jr.
1962 Status of the Fort Smith Excavations. The Arkansas Archeologist
3(10):10.

1963a The Archeology of Fort Smith I. The Arkansas Archeologist
4(10):14.

Morse, Phyllis A.
1977a Later Historic Settlement Along Big Lake. in Excavation, Data
Interpretation, and Report on the Zebree Homestead Site, Mississippi County, Arkansas
. Arkansas Archaeological Survey, Fayetteville. Submitted to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Memphis District, Memphis, TN. (limited distribution report)

1977b The Forgotten Pioneers. In Excavation, Data Interpretation, and
Report on the Zebree Homestead Site, Mississippi County, Arkansas
. Arkansas Archaeological Survey Fayetteville, AR. Submitted to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Memphis District, Memphis, TN. (limited distribution report)

1986 Archaeological Survey of Old Greensboro, Craighead County, Arkansas. Arkansas Archaeological Survey, Fayetteville, AR. Submitted to Farrville Water Expansion System, Perryville, AR. (limited distribution report)

Pfeiffer, Michael A.
1993 "Which Front Door Do I Use?" and Other Ozark Exotica. Paper presented at annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology, Kansas City, MO.

Rose, Jerome C., Editor
1985 Gone to a Better Land: A Biohistory of a Rural Black Cemetery in the
Post-Reconstruction South
. Arkansas Archeological Survey Research Series No. 25, Fayetteville, AR.

Santeford, Lawrence G.
1980a Limited Perspectives on Log House Society in the Cypress Creek
Basin, Conway County, Arkansas. In The Conway Water Supply: An Intensive Archaeological and Historical Survey of a Proposed Reservoir Area in Conway County, Arkansas. edited by Lawrence G. Santeford and William A. Martin, pp. 137-190. Arkansas Archaeological Survey Research Report, vol. 20. Fayetteville, AR. (limited distribution report)

1980b Log House Society: Archeology and Transitions in Nineteenth
and Twentieth Century Conway County, Arkansas. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archeology, Albuquerque, NM.

1982 Results of a Data Recovery Program at a Late-Nineteenth to Twentieth Century Log House: Site 3RA83 in Basin Structure 19, the Fourche Creek Watershed, Randolph County, Arkansas. Arkansas Archaeological Survey, Fayetteville, AR. Submitted to Soil Conservation Service, Little Rock, AR. (limited distribution report)

Santeford, Lawrence G., William A. Martin, and E. Thomas Hemmings
1985 Excavations at Four Sites in the Cypress Creek Basin, Conway County, Arkansas. Arkansas Archaeological Survey Research Report No. 24,
Fayetteville, AR. (limited distribution report)

Santeford, Lawrence G., and Carol S. Spears
1994 3JE357: A 19th Century Site in Jefferson County, Arkansas. SPEARS Project Report 83, West Fork, AR. submitted to Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, Little Rock, AR. (limited distribution report)

Santeford, Lawrence G., Carol S. Spears, Annie L. Moerbe, Kirsten L. Hoffman, and James E. Duncan
1993 Empty Rooms and Broken Dishes: Results of Testing Ten Historic Sites in the Sullivan Creek Project Area, Independence and Sharp Counties,
Arkansas
. SPEARS Project Report 65, West Fork, AR. Submitted to Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Little Rock, AR. (limited distribution report)

Santeford, Lawrence, G., Carol S. Spears, and D. Chenault
1995 The Bevins Site (3MA272): a Late 19th and Early 20th Century House
Site in Madison County, Arkansas
. Final Report 87, SPEARS, West Fork, AR. Submitted to Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, Little Rock, AR. (limited distribution report)

Sierzchula, M.C., R.H. Lafferty III, H. Wagner, J.T. Toney, L.G. Santeford, M.T. Oates, and W.J. Bennett Jr.
1995 Archeological Testing of 13 Historic Sites, Fort Chaffee Military Garrision, Sebastian County, Arkansas. Final Report 94-2, Mid-Continental Research Associates, Springdale, AR, Submitted to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Little Rock District, Little Rock, AR. (limited distribution report)

Smith, Samuel D.
1972a Prospectus for Historic Site Archeology in Northeast Arkansas.
Craighead County Historical Quarterly. 11(2):7-17

1972b Arkansas Kiln Sites. Field Notes Arkansas Archaeological Society
95:7-10.

1974b A Survey and Assessment of the Archaeological Resources of Cadron Settlement. Arkansas Archaeological Survey Research Report No. 1,
Fayetteville, AR.

1978 Davidsonville Bricks. The Arkansas Archeologist 19:31-35.

Smith, Samuel D. and William V. Davidson
1975 County Seat Towns as Archaeological Sites: Some Arkansas Examples. The Conference on Historic Site Archeology Papers 8:33-51.

Stewart-Abernathy, Leslie C.
1980 The Seat of Justice, 1815-1830: An Archeological Reconnaissance of Davidsonville, 1979. Arkansas Archeological Survey Research Report No. 21, Fayetteville, AR.

1982a "Help! 3.5 billion possible two meter square excavation units in Arkansas, or, a consideration of state-wide research design in historical archeology", Conference on Historic Sites Archeology Papers 1979, pp. 71-86.

1982b "The other four and a half centuries: historical archeology and the Arkansas Archeological Survey", in Neal L. Trubowitz and Marvin D. Jeter, editors, Arkansas Archeology in Review, Arkansas Archeological Survey Research Series No. 15, pp. 301-309.

1982a 1982 Society Historical Excavations: Block-Catts Kitchen Ell
(3HE236-19). Field Notes Arkansas Archeological Society 185:7.

1982b Final Evaluation Report, the Sawdust Hill Community: Graphic
Documentation of the Historic Occupation of the Parkin site (3CS29). Submitted to the Arkansas Endowment for the Humanities, Little Rock, AR. (limited distribution report)

1982c The Black Community at Sawdust Hill: Further History of the Parkin
Site, 3CS29, Cross County, Arkansas. Paper presented at annual meeting of the Southeastern Archeology Conference, Memphis, TN.

1982d There are No Vacant Lots: Historical Archeology and Historic
Preservation. Paper presented at annual meeting of the Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas, Batesville, AR.

1983 "Old Davidsonville on the Arkansas Frontier: reconnaissance at a townsite for the parks and the past, for the public and the present", in Forgotten places and things: select papers from the 1980 Society for Historical Archeology meetings, Albert E. Ward, editor, Center for Anthropological Albuquerque. pp. 141-147.

1991 "African-American Archaeology in Arkansas: An Update". African-American Archaeology Newsletter 5:2-4., published by the African-American Archaeology Network.

1998 "A Reply to 'Concerning Cutoff Dates for State Archaeological Inventories' by Jack Elliott, Historic Preservation Division, Mississippi Department of Archives and History." Newsletter of the Mississippi Archeological Association, 33(4, September):6-11.

1999 "From Famous Forts to Forgotten Farmsteads: Historical Archaeology in the Mid-South". as Chapter 11 in On Beyond Zebree, Papers in Honor of Dan and Phyllis Morse, Robert Mainfort, Editor, University of Arkansas Press, Fayetteville, AR. pp.225-244 (with extensive references in "References Cited).

Stewart-Abernathy, Leslie C., and Beverly S. Watkins
1982 "Historical Archeology", in A state plan for the conservation of Archeological resources in Arkansas, Hester A. Davis, editor, Arkansas Archeological Survey Research Series No. 21, HA1-HA53. (includes research design considerations, some major research questions, basic bibliography of Arkansas secondary sources, and study units based on activity periods). 53 pages. (limited distribution report)

Westbury, William A.
1971 1969 Excavations at Spadra Bluff 3JO33. Arkansas Archaeological
Survey, Fayetteville, AR. Submitted to the National Park Service, Southeast Region, Atlanta, GA. (limited distribution report)

1975 Investigations at Arkansas Post, Nation Memorial, Arkansas. Archeology Research Program, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX. Submitted to National Park Service, Southwest Division, Santa Fe, NM. (limited distribution report)

1976 Archaeological Assessment of Arkansas Post. Archeology Research Program Report No. 96. Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX. (limited distribution report)

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