is the background and history of the Arkansas Archeological Survey?
The Survey was created in 1967 by the Arkansas Legislature,
and is administered as a unit of the University of Arkansas System. As
a statewide organization, it is our legislated charge to "provide
the citizens of Arkansas, and the nation, with maximum benefits from the
sites, objects, and information available from the past." The Survey
is responsible for discovering, protecting, developing, interpreting,
and caring for Arkansas' prehistoric and historic archeological resources
for the benefit of present and future generations, and for working with
state institutions of higher learning, museums, parks, and with the public
to achieve these ends. Since its inception, the Survey has earned a national
and international reputation as one of the finest state archeological
programs in existence.
many archeological sites are there in Arkansas?
There are currently more than 43,097 known sites, and nearly
5665 archeological surveys and projects statewide. All of this data is
managed through the Survey's Automated Management of Archeological Site
Data in Arkansas (AMASDA) computerized database. Detailed information
about archeological sites and projects is made available to cultural resource
managers, planners and researchers via the Internet.
uses archeological information, and why?
Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966
requires state and federal agencies using federal money to assess the
effects of their projects on archeological and historic properties. To
do this, state and federal agencies must determine if archeological and
historic properties exist within their project right-of-ways and consult
with the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program (AHPP) in the Department
of Arkansas Heritage in Little Rock. The AHPP has access to the Arkansas
Archeological Survey's databases via the Internet through which they are
able to utilize the cultural resource site and project data, as well as
the Survey's geographic information system (GIS) to perform the required
spatial comparisons and assessments to make essential land management
decisions. Other agencies that benefit from the Survey's integrated data
management system include the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. National
Park Service, USDA National Forest
Service, the Arkansas Highway
and Transportation Department, as well as researchers at university
campuses both within and outside of the State of Arkansas.
is the connection between the Arkansas Archeological Survey and universities
within the State of Arkansas?
At the heart of the Survey are eleven research
stations located across the State. Staffed by Ph.D.-level archeologists,
these stations are located on the campuses of the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville,
University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, University of Arkansas-Monticello,
Arkansas State University, Henderson State University,
Southern Arkansas University, University of Arkansas at Fort Smith, at Toltec Mounds Archeological State Park, Parkin Archeological State Park, the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute Research Center, and at the Blytheville Aeroplex.
Each university-based station archeologist is responsible for research
and public service in a section of the state, and they also contribute
a portion of their time to their host institution. They commonly teach
two courses in anthropology or related subjects, and may also work in
the host university's museum. The archeologists at the state parks are
responsible for research, as well as interpreting the prehistory and history
of their park.
can I get involved in Arkansas archeology?
You can get involved in Arkansas archeology by joining the Arkansas
Archeological Society. The Society was formed in 1960 to draw together
all those interested in the prehistory and early history of Arkansas.
Recognized as one of the nation's best public archeology programs, the
Society has chapters in various parts of the State, holds annual statewide
meetings, and publishes a semi-monthly newsletter. Society members can
also take part in training programs that consist of Survey-sponsored archeological
excavations, as well as formal classes and lectures taught by professional
the Survey ever do archeology on a contract basis?
Yes. The Sponsored Research Program (SRP)
is a branch of the Survey that conducts or administers archeological research
through contracts and grants. Federal and state agencies contract directly
with SRP to provide archeological services so they can comply with federal
and state laws.
there laws protecting archeological sites?
Yes. Act 58 of 1967, Arkansas' State Antiquity Act, protects
sites on State land and contains a legal precedent-setting provision requiring
permission from both the private landowner and the Arkansas Archeological
Survey in order to excavate Survey-designated sites located on private
property. In addition, Act 753 of 1991 protects all unmarked graves in
the State. Archeologists must apply to the Arkansas Historic Preservation
Program (AHPP) for permission to excavate a grave, and the application
must show evidence of consultation with the appropriate Native American
group when applicable. Unmarked graves can not be excavated under any
other circumstances. The full text of these laws
are posted on this website.
the Arkansas Archeological Survey provide any public service or public
Yes. The Survey provides information of archeological and historical
interest through a wide variety of printed materials and on the World
Wide Web. The Survey works in cooperation with the Arkansas
Archeological Society during the annual Arkansas
Archeology Month, Society Training Program, and at the Arkansas State
Fair. Staff members from the Coordinating Office and Research Stations
also provide talks to school classes, civic organizations, historical
societies, and others. You can find out more about our Education
Program through this Website.
there any Indian tribes still living in Arkansas?
No. There are no recognized Indian tribes living in Arkansas
today. There are, however, over 12,000 Indians and many others with some
Indian ancestry who reside as private citizens in Arkansas. The Arkansas
Archeological Survey works closely and regularly consults with the indigenous
tribes of Arkansas. These include the Quapaw,
Caddo and Osage
in Oklahoma and the Tunica in Louisiana.
can I get more information about the Arkansas Archeological Survey,
the Arkansas Archeological Society, and public outreach and education
The Arkansas Archeological Survey maintains this World Wide
Web site (www.arkansasarcheology.org),
and the Arkansas Archeological Society has its Web site at www.arkarch.org.
The Survey Coordinating Office can be reached by phone at 479-575-3556.