Arkansas Archeological Survey

Established: 1967
Joined system: 1967

At a Glance

The mission of the Arkansas Archeological Survey is to study and protect the 13,000-year archeological heritage of Arkansas, to preserve and manage information and collections from archeological sites and to communicate what is learned to the people of the state. The survey has 11 research stations across the state, each with a full-time Ph.D. archeologist associated with regional higher education institutions and state parks. The archeologists conduct research, assist other state and federal agencies and are available to local officials, amateur archeologists, landowners, educators and students in need of information about archeology or archeological sites.

Points of Pride

  • In June 2009, the Survey was awarded a $240,000 grant from the Collaborative Research Program of the National Endowment for the Humanities for a three-year study of American Indian art, ritual and social interaction in the Central Arkansas River Valley. The NEH-designated “We The People” project uses new archeological excavations, plus study of world-class artifact assemblages housed at the University of Arkansas Museum Collection, to investigate the critical period around AD 1600 after the de Soto expedition but before the arrival of the French.
  • In cooperation with Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, the Survey conducted extensive geophysical, archeological and archival research at Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park. By using the latest geophysical remote sensing equipment, the Survey can map disturbances in the ground to discover the buried remains of houses and other features on this important Civil War landscape.
  • At the Toltec Mounds Archeological State Park research station, the Survey established a dedicated paleoethnobotany lab and comparative collection for the identification and study of ancient plant remains. Foodways as represented by preserved nutshell, seeds or other plant parts, and artifact constructions based on plant fiber, such as twine and cordage, mats and basketry, can now be studied within the Survey organization.
  • Funded by a grant from Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council, the Survey worked with the university’s Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies to create 3D animation of early 19th century buildings based on 2004-09 archeological excavations at the town of Davidsonville, Ark. The recreations will be used for teaching and public interpretation at Davidsonville Historic State Park.