Archeologists To Talk About Ozark Bluff Shelters

MONTICELLO, AR — Lydia Rees and Dr. Jamie Brandon of the Arkansas Archeological Survey will discuss their ongoing research on Ozark bluff shelters October 4 as part of a joint meeting between the Tunican Chapter of the Arkansas Archeological Survey and the Drew County Historical Society.

            This second in a series of joint meetings will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the conference room of the School of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. The meeting is free and open to the public. Teachers can receive continuing education credit for attending the event.

            Rees is a research assistant with the Arkansas Archeological Survey’s Sponsored Research Program. She is currently working on a grant-funded Ozark bluff shelter project. She has been doing archeology for 14 years and was previously a Quality Control Crew Chief for Flat Earth Archeology.              Brandon is an associate research professor at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and the Arkansas Archeological Survey’s UAF Research Station Archeologist. In this dual position he teaches anthropology courses at UAF and is responsible for public outreach and research using the archeological resources in 12 counties in northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas Ozarks. He has over 25 years of archeological experience and has been working in the Ozarks since 1997.

            Ozark bluff shelters are widely recognized as an archeological resource of great importance, according to Dr. Jodi Barnes, research assistant professor and station archeologist at the UAM Station of the Arkansas Archeological Survey.  “With their combination of rarely preserved perishables and deeply stratified deposits, they are an unparalleled source of information about textile arts and plant domestication,” she explained. “Archeologists have studied Ozark bluff shelters since the 1920s. These early studies saw bluff-dwellers essentially as an ancient version of hillbillies. Ms. Rees and Dr. Brandon will provide an overview of more recent archeological work that complicates this picture of the prehistoric Arkansas Ozarks and offers possible future directions for research that can further refine our understanding of Ozark bluff shelters.”

            The Tunican Chapter of the Arkansas Archeological Society is a group of people interested in the archeology and history of Arkansas. Members work with the UAM Research Station of the Arkansas Archeological Survey to document and preserve Arkansas's cultural heritage and to foster and encourage interest in the preservation of sites and artifacts.

            The Drew County Historical Society works to preserve the heritage of Drew County. Together the two organizations will hold a monthly speaker series on the first Tuesday of each month through the Fall 2016 semester. These events are also sponsored by the UAM School of Social and Behavioral Sciences and the UAM Research Station of the Arkansas Archeological Survey.

PHOTO CAPTION:

Dr. Jamie Brandon talks about the bluff shelter research at Rockhouse Cave at Petit Jean State Park.

 

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