Dr. Mary Beth Trubitt (HSU station archeologist) and John Samuelsen (Computer Services Program) have created a new prototype website that provides comparative information on Arkansas novaculite. Novaculite is a key raw material quarried from outcrops across the Ouachita Mountains by American Indians as early as 6000 B.C. and is still used today for manufacturing whetstones. The website serves as an educational resource to disseminate visual data about novaculite, its geographical distribution, and its historic uses. The current 3-page prototype was created with an Arkansas Humanities Council planning mini-grant.
When fully developed, the virtual novaculite comparative collection website will present descriptions and photographs of samples from about 20 aboriginal quarry sites across the Ouachita Mountains, including comparisons of visual and chemical characteristics of novaculite and the effect of heat treatment on different novaculite sources. A map showing the source areas for novaculite and the area of distribution in Arkansas and surrounding states will be incorporated in the final version. Distribution data will be updated with feedback from researchers as they use the website to identify novaculite artifacts at distant sites.
Click here to visit the prototype.
This project is supported in part by a grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council and the Department of Arkansas Heritage.