(RS65) Toltec Mounds: Archeology of the Mound-and-Plaza Complex
By Martha Ann Rolingson (with a contribution by Lucretia S. Kelly)
Toltec Mounds was the most significant place for Plum Bayou culture from AD 700 to 1050. The plaza and surrounding mounds have received the most attention in excavations and investigations at the Toltec Mounds site in the past 33 years. The concept of a formal arrangement of multiple mounds around a rectangular plaza is rare for terminal Woodland cultures. The full plaza was apparently conceptualized early in the occupation with mounds or earthen platforms constructed throughout the period of occupation. The biggest gap in knowledge concerns the significance of the two big mounds; without details about these mounds our understanding of the mound-and-plaza complex is limited. Deposits beneath the mounds resulted from diverse activities, some of which were sacred. Later activities at Toltec were coeval with early Mississippian communities and the architectural design was absorbed into Mississippian culture of the Central Mississippi Valley. Various aspects of the site—architecture, artifacts, and foodways—indicate that Toltec Mounds occupied a significant position in the Mississippi River valley, both geographically and culturally.
2012, 239 pp., 184 illus., ISBN 1-56349-104-4
Archeological Investigations at Upper Nodena: 1973 Field Season
Edited by Robert C. Mainfort, Jr.
The only modern excavations at the Upper Nodena site in Mississippi County, Arkansas, were conducted during the summer of 1973. This monograph presents detailed descriptions of the excavations and materials collected, as well as some historical background. Excavations in an area designated Block B exposed the remains of two superimposed houses representing initial construction and rebuilding of an open-corner wall-trench structure. In Block C, a remarkable concentration of charred maize was found. The most noteworthy aspect of the faunal assemblage is the strong representation of birds, especially passenger pigeon and waterfowl. Five radiometric dates place occupation in the mid-fifteenth century A.D.
2010, 152 pp, 55 illus., ISBN 978-1-56349-103-0 $22.00
Excavations at the Mineral Springs Site
Newly reissued after many years out-of-print, Excavations at the Mineral Springs Site by Paul F. Bohannon provides basic description and analysis of fieldwork carried out in 1962 under the Inter-Agency Archeological Salvage Program as part of the Millwood Reservoir project. This highly complex site contained a preceramic component, followed by a long Caddoan occupation, with two flat-topped platform mounds, a conical mound, a ridge-topped mound, and at least six low dome-shaped mounds, plus cemetery areas and structural remains. Bohannon investigated only Mounds 6 and 8, but he incorporated information from Mark R. Harrington's 1917 explorations of the site, and discoveries by subsequent archeologists, into his report. At its peak, the Mineral Springs site was a major Caddoan ceremonial center related to Haley phase settlements in the Great Bend of Red River.
Originally published 1973, Digital Reprint 2009, 74 pp., 30 illus., ISBN 978-1-56349-006-4 $7.00 (Order RS05)
An Antebellum Ozark Community and the Civil War: The Archeology of the Second Mount Comfort Church (3WA880), Washington County, Arkansas (1840–ca. 1865)
A small brick church built in the early 1840s by Cumberland Presbyterian settlers who formed the community of Mount Comfort, Arkansas, was later altered when Miss Ann James had a small wood-framed room added to the north side as a “music room” for her Mount Comfort Female Seminary.
Archeological excavations at the Mount Comfort Church site during Arkansas Archeology Week in 1991, 1992, and 1993 revealed the brick foundation of a 33 foot by 33 foot square building. Analysis of archeological features and thousands of artifacts assigned to the Built Environment Contextual Group, including nail and windowpane glass distributions, plus comparisons with other small churches of the period, indicate a symmetrical plan with an east-facing front door and portico. Remains of the wood-frame addition were clearly defined, with indications that the north wall of the original brick building may have been altered to include a door leading into the addition. Recovered artifacts and archival research document the building’s use as a church, a school, and a community center, and as a military camp and hospital during the Civil War. At least part of the building was destroyed by fire, with evidence of extensive salvage of brick and other reusable materials.
2008, 65 pp., 33 illus., ISBN 1-56349-102-8 $10.00
Two Historic Cemeteries in Crawford County, Arkansas
This volume sets new standards of reporting for historic cemeteries. The authors present detailed descriptions of burials, mortuary hardware, and personal items from two late nineteenth century cemeteries—Becky Wright and Eddy—excavated in 2001 prior to inundation caused by expansion of Lake Fort Smith in Crawford County, Arkansas. Variability within and between the two cemeteries is explored from a socioeconomic perspective. The cost of each individual burial is calculated, revealing a number of striking contrasts between the two cemeteries. Results of geophysical surveys and bioarcheological analysis are integrated. Two Historic Cemeteries should prove of value to historical archeologists and all those concerned with historic cemetery preservation.
2006, 269 pp., 150 illus., ISBN 1-56349-101-X $30.00
** Rock Art in Arkansas
Arkansas possesses one of the richest concentrations of rock art in eastern North America, with human, animal, geometric, and abstract motifs rendered as carved and pecked petroglyphs, painted pictographs, or combination forms on the walls and ceilings of caves, rock shelters, cliff faces, and free-standing boulders. This volume is the ﬁrst attempt to present an up-to-date overview of archeological knowledge about this important Arkansas cultural resource, with chapters on style and typology dating and archeological context, cultural landscape, and other topics. The book is designed to be accessible to general readers, yet useful for professional and student archeologists seeking a glimpse of the worldview of Arkansas’ former inhabitants as it was expressed through this enduring and fascinating art form.
** NOTE: All copies of Rock Art in Arkansas were re-bound shortly after publication to correct a defective glue-application.
2005, 136 pp., 70 illus., COLOR, ISBN 1-56349-99-4. $10.00
Ceramic Variability Within the Parkin Phase: A Whole Vessel Metric Analysis From Northeast Arkansas
Prehistoric ceramic mortuary vessels embody the ideological, artistic, and spiritual beliefs of a long-forgotten culture. Yet systematic studies of these vessels, including metric analysis, have rarely been undertaken in the southeastern United States. This study explores intersite and intrasite ceramic variation using metric data collected from whole vessels excavated at four Late Mississippi period Parkin-phase sites: Vernon Paul (3CS25), Hazel (3PO6), Neeley’s Ferry (3CS24), and Barton Ranch (3CT18).
2005, 84 pp., ISBN 1-56349-100-1 $6.00 (Order RR 32)
CRM on CRM: One Person’s Perspective on the Birth and Early Development of Cultural Resource Management
Charles R. McGimsey offers his views on CRM and no other single person could be more suited to the task. The volume is a compilation of McGimsey’s journals, papers, letters, articles, booklets, and book chapters spanning 30 years—years that encompassed a revolution in the way archeology is done in America. A pioneer ﬁgure in public archeology and shepherd of the Moss-Bennett bill, McGimsey provides new annotations, abstracts, and section introductions plus a new essay on the future of CRM. Historians of archeology and anyone who is interested in the preservation of archeological and other cultural resources will ﬁnd CRM on CRM a useful, perhaps indispensable, account of this important era of the discipline’s history.
2004, 222 pp., ISBN 1-56349-97-8 $30.00 (Order RS61)
©2014 Arkansas Archeological Survey, Revised - February 2014