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Chair of the Arkansas State Review Board

Yesterday I was elected as the new Chair of the State Review Board for Historic Preservation.  The SRB (that’s what we call it for short) is an advisory board to the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program.  The SRB is charged with the review of National Register of Historical Places (NRHP) nominations and nomination appeals and to […]

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The Shepherd of the Hills: The Ozark Narrative that Transformed Branson

“…it all happened in the Ozark Mountains, many miles from what we of the city call civilization.” –Harold Bell Wright (1907:1)  News came out today that a longtime Ozark tradition is taking a final bow.  The Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Theater in Branson, MO announced it will close on October 19, 2013.  For 54 […]

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Google Map image of the block in question showing the solid square roof-lines of the mid-1930s buildings, not the jagged outlines of the 1913 rowhouses joined in the back.

You Can’t Always Trust a Sanborn Map…Just Like Any Other Document…

Last week a colleague of mine sent me a series of texts that she had been to see her old school in Little Rock and they were doing construction.  This construction uncovered a large “tunnel” and she was interested in documenting it.  As there was no section 106 issue (this is a private school), we […]

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What the entire potlid would have looked like.

Bear Grease in the Bear State & The Power of Artifacts in Context

Its that time of year again…I’m getting together stuff for the next Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA) meetings…this year they will be Jan 8-12 in Quebec City.  I am revisiting a topic at this year’s conference that I’ve taken a stab at before—a session on the interpretive power of a single artifact in a specific […]

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Excavating a bottle

More “Digging for History”

I am happy to announce that the Arkansas Archeological Society will be returning to the historic town of Washington, Arkansas for the 2012  Summer Training Program.  I personally had a great time last year, and hope that many of you who participated in the 2011 dig had half as much fun as I had excavating […]

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Preliminary Results of the 2011 AAS Summer Training Program at Historic Washington, Arkansas

In other contexts I have said that historical archeology is often about what is no longer there—at least what is no longer visible on the surface of things. This is very much the case with our work this summer in historic Washington, Arkansas. The majority of the past work at Washington has been associated with […]

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Shovels: Regional Diversity in One of Our Most Indispensible Tools

“…the shovel is the trademark of archeology and perhaps its most indispensible tool.”– Heizer A Guide to Archaeological Methods (1949:32) “Lucille, God gave me a gift. I shovel well. I shovel very well.”– The Shoveller, Mystery Men (1999) When I was given the brief to write about archeological tools for ThenDig, my mind reeled.  Like […]

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The Mysterious Case of the “Social Core” in Texas Anthropology

When I was a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin I, like most other anthropologists interested in the “humanistic” side of anthropology, took what they called “Social Core.” This class, formally entitled “Introduction to Graduate Social Anthropology (ANT 392),” was largely seen as a “trial by fire” which served to separate out […]

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Block 6 HWSP

Digging for History: The Arkansas Archeological Society Training Program Returns to the Town of Washington in Southwest Arkansas

***I have been EXTREMELY BUSY getting ready to play host for the 2011 Arkansas Archeological Society Summer Training Program at Historic Washington State Park this June 11-25…below is a background piece that I’ve submitted for the upcoming dig*** by Jamie C. Brandon & David M. Markus (submitted to Field Notes: the Newsletter of the Arkansas […]

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woodduck pot

Hot Springs, Historical Memory, Native Americans & 1920s Masculinity

I am in Hot Springs, Arkansas, this weekend for the state-wide meeting of the Arkansas Archeological Society.  Although I have lived in Arkansas on and off since 1995, I have never really paid that much attention to Hot Springs…that is, until I moved to south Arkansas five years ago.  Although Hot Springs is not in […]

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