We Won an Award

We are excited to announce that the Bluff Shelters of the Arkansas Ozarks website has won an award for Outstanding Achievement in Preservation Education as a part of the 2017 Arkansas Preservation Awards.  Congratulations to our principle author, Lydia Rees, and the whole team that helped put this website together.

Congratulations also go out to our sister website Gathering, Gardening and Agriculture: Plant-based Foodways in the Southeastern United States for receiving an award for “Excellence in Heritage Preservation.”

The 2017 Arkansas Preservation Awards will be held on January 19, 2018 at the Albert Pike Masonic Temple, located at 712 Scott Street in downtown Little Rock.

Walker Shelter Hike & Program, October 7th

Join us Oct. 7 starting at 2pm for a hike and program about Ozark bluff shelters along the Back 40 trail system in Bella Vista.

Jamie Brandon and Lydia Rees will lead a hike along the Back 40 trail to Walker Shelter, a site we have recently recorded while conducting salvage excavations on looter disturbances there. Upon arrival at the shelter, they will provide an overview of past and more recent archeological work that complicates the picture of the prehistoric Arkansas Ozarks and offers possible future directions for research that can further refine our understanding of Ozark bluff shelters.

The hike will take place on the Back 40 Loop trail south of Lake Ann, starting at the Buckingham trailhead heading east to the bluffs and back, approximately 2 miles. Expect intermediate terrain. Please wear appropriate shoes and clothing, and bring water and insect repellent. This family friendly hike is also open to friendly dogs on a leash.

Limited parking is available at the trailhead. You may park in the right of way along Buckingham Drive, as long as emergency vehicles can still get through. Please DO NOT park in the right of way along Trafalgar Road.

Fall 2017 Bluff Shelter Talks

We will busy this fall with more talk about the importance of bluff shelter sites in the Arkansas Ozarks.  If you are in the area, check out one of these talks, or schedule one for your organization by contacting Dr. Jamie Brandon.

09/7/2017: Spring River Gem & Mineral Club in Cherokee Village, AR.

  • Where: Omaha Center in Cherokee Village
  • When: 10am

09/12/2017: Kadohadacho Chapter of the Arkansas Archeological Society, Magnolia AR.

  • Where: Magnolia Room of the Reynolds Center at Southern Arkansas University
  • When: 7pm

09/19/2017: Mind Stretchers Meeting, Van Buren, AR.

  • Where: Ruth Skinner Building on 6th Street across from St. John’s in Van Buren.
  • When: 6pm

10/07/2017: Walker Shelter Hike, Bella Vista, AR.

  • Where: Back 40 trail, Bella Vista, AR
  • When: 9am
  • Dr. Brandon will lead a 2 mile hike along the Back 40 Loop in Bella Vista to the Walker Shelter.  Upon arrival he will give a brief talk about the regional importance of these sites.

11/1/2017: Butler Center “Legacies & Lunch.”

  • Where: CALS Main Library Darragh Center, 100 Rock St., Little Rock
  • When: 12 noon

11/08-11/2017: Southeastern Archeological Conference.

  • At this year’s SEAC in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Dr. Jamie Brandon and Lydia Rees have organized a session on the importance of Ozark bluff shelters entitled “Ozark Bluff Shelters: Past, Present and Future Research.”  This session will include George Sabo, Gayle Fritz, Elizabeth Horton, Marvin Kay, James Rees, Devon Pettigrew, Natlie Muller and Logan Kistler, Brian Andrews, Jared Pebworth, Jamie Brandon and Lydia Rees.  A publication on this symposium (to appear in the Arkansas Archeological Survey’s Research series)  is planned.



Bluff Shelter Talk at UCA

On Thursday, November 17th Dr. Jamie Brandon and Lydia Rees will give a public talk entitled “Beyond the Bluff Dweller: Isolation and Connection in Prehistoric Bluff Shelters of the Arkansas Ozarks” on the University of Central Arkansas campus in Conway.  The talk will be held in the UCA College of Business Auditorium at 6:30 pm and is sponsored by the UCA Department of Sociology, Criminology and Anthropology as a part of the college’s Native American Heritage Month events.

Poster for the UCA talk. Click for a larger image.

This is just one stop in the fall 2016 “Beyond the Bluff Dweller” tour which has included talks at the Boone County Museum in Harrison (8/29), the state-wide Arkansas Archeological Society meeting (10/01) and several Society Chapters (Arkhoma Chapter, 9/15 and Tunican Chapter, 10/04), the North Central Chapter of the Arkansas Master Naturalists at Bull Shoals Lake (9/17), the Ozark Symposium (9/24), and the Tahlequah Archeological Society in Oklahoma (10/04).  Following the UCA talk this month, the final stop on the Fall 2016 “Beyond the Bluff Dweller” tour will be a talk to the Ko-ko-ci Chapter of the Arkansas Archeological Society in Fayetteville, AR on December 13.

For more information, contact Dr. Duncan McKinnon, UCA Department of Sociology, Criminology and Anthropology.

Public Hike at Indian Rockhouse Cave

Photo Apr 29, 1 14 56 PM
On the trail to Indian Rockhouse Cave.

On April 30, 2016, we had the honor of helping out our National Park Service colleagues with a hike and archeological tour of Indian Rockhouse Cave on Panther Creek in the Buffalo National River. We were asked to help after the park received a flood of interest in the event via advertising on social media. There was some concern that the numbers would overwhelm the staff. It was a great opportunity to talk about the archeology of bluff shelters in a spectacular setting.  Dr. Jamie Brandon talked about the chronology of bluff shelter occupation and showed off some replicas of the kind of technology used by the native Americans who used these shelters in prehistory.  Despite the damp weather the hike was a success and we look forward to giving more presentations in the Buffalo National River in the future.

Jamie Brandon talks about bluff shelters in a bluff shelter.