We are excited to announce that Dr. Robert J. Scott will be our new Station Archeologist at our Parkin Archeological State Park research station! Dr. Scott is currently the Station Assistant at the UAPB research station, and he is an adjunct instructor in the Department of Social and Behavioral Science at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and at the School of Human Inquiry at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. We are thrilled that he will be working at Parkin. His knowledge and background in this region of Arkansas will allow him to hit the ground running.
The passing of Mary Lynn Kennedy on August 19, 2023, touched many of us who were her colleagues here at the Arkansas Archeological Survey with sadness but also fond memories. Mary Lynn retired from the Survey back in 2006, after 31 years as editor for the publications program. During those 31 years she brought to print 52 volumes of the ARAS Research Series, two Popular Series books, 11 Technical Papers, and 32 Research Reports. Learn more about Mary Lynn's life and contributions to the Survey.
Kourtney A. Lee (BA, Hendrix College, 2023) joined the Survey on August 1, 2023 as the station assistant at UAM. She earned her BA in Anthropology at Hendrix College where she developed interests in cultural landscapes and public outreach. Her undergraduate thesis focused on cultural landscapes and their relationship with the idea of place in San Luis, Costa Rica. Kourtney wants to continue to learn and explore the relationship she studied in her thesis here in her home state of Arkansas.
Rachel Jones is the new Research Station Assistant at the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute Research Station as of May 2023. She received a BA in International Relations from the University of Arkansas before turning her focus to anthropology and archeology. Rachel received her MA in Anthropology from the University of Oklahoma in the Spring of 2023. Her thesis focused on the historic Sulphur Fork Factory site in southwest Arkansas. As a native Arkansan, Rachel is interested in continuing to learn about Arkansas history and archeology.
A recent study by ARAS Science and Technology Administrator John Samuelsen has been published in Journal of Archaeological Science and picked up by news media, including the UA News site.
Samuelsen’s work, completed in collaboration with Adriana Potra of the University of Arkansas Department of Geosciences, analyzed lead and strontium isotopes of teeth and refutes earlier hypotheses that skulls and mandibles from the Crenshaw site in Arkansas represented war trophies. The study suggests that the Crenshaw remains represent individuals who were local to the site and ancestral to the modern Caddo. Destructive analysis of human remains is no small matter, and Samuelsen’s research was done in continuing consultation with the Caddo Nation.
Katy Gregory was recently promoted to Survey Research Assistant. Since joining the Survey in 2014 Katy has worked as station assistant at the ARAS-UAM station and the ARAS-PBM stations, assisting Drs. Barnes, Horton, and now Ford. Because of her familiarity with the Plum Bayou station and interactions with State Parks, she successfully served as interim station archeologist there in 2020. She has participated in numerous public outreach efforts including maintaining the Plum Bayou garden and teaching seminars at Society Training Programs. She has also assisted with many research projects, in several cases leading to contributions to presentations and publications. She is currently doing graduate work in Information Science. Congratulations Katy!
Jason Wilhelmi became the new HSU Station Assistant in May, 2023. He received a B.A. in History and Secondary Education from Western Michigan University in 2006 before he decided to pursue archeology. In 2012, he received his M.A. in Anthropology from Western Michigan University, during which he received archeological experience in Michigan, Romania, Cyprus, and Israel. In recent years, Jason taught anthropology courses at Kalamazoo Valley Community College in Michigan and Wilbur Wright College in Chicago, Illinois. His previous research interests included copper production, trade, and social stratification on Cyprus in the Late Bronze Age. He is currently interested in learning more about precontact North American archeology including craft production, trade, and social relations.
Madelyn Rose has been promoted to Assistant Registrar as of May 15, 2023. Madelyn started her work at the Survey in 2017 rehabilitating collections in the lab and in 2018 she started helping to develop the digital inventory database. In 2019 she became a supervisor in the Veterans Curation Program satellite lab through the University of Arkansas Museum. Since 2021 she has been a Collections Technician with the Survey working on many different grants, assisting the registrar’s office, and working in the 3D imaging lab. She is currently working to complete her MLS through the University of Oklahoma.
The Survey lost friend and colleague Teka McGlothlin on February 7, 2023. Teka was the Survey’s Registrar, and a Historical Archeologist by training. She was instrumental in creating the Arkansas Archeological Collections Initiative (a digital collections documentation interface), and her technical skills were critical to establishing the Survey’s 3D scanning and printing program.
Plum Bayou Research Station Archeologist, Dr. Paige Ford, has been chosen to serve a three-year term on the Southeastern Archaeological Conference’s (SEAC) Public Outreach Grant Committee. Dr. Ford has been an active member of SEAC since starting her archeological career and already serves on the conference’s nomination committee as of 2022. As part of this committee, she will have the opportunity to review submissions to the Public Outreach Grant Program. This program provides small grants to finance public outreach projects and is intended to help promote public awareness of archeology in the southeastern United States. As an archaeologist who is passionate about outreach and education, Dr. Ford hopes her service on this committee will give assistance to like-minded archaeologists.
State Archeologist, Mel Zabecki, has been appointed Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the Arkansas Humanities Council. A Board member since 2019, in addition to reviewing Major Grants, Mel has served on or been the Chair of the REACH Grant Committee, vetting education grants for Arkansas teachers to participate in professional development and make important programs and activities accessible to their students. In addition to grant opportunities, the Arkansas Humanities Council offers programming, educator support, and inspiration for Arkansas’ citizens. The Board of Directors is composed of 25 people, half appointed by the Governor, and represents all walks of life, so if you would like to serve as a Board member, please contact Mel.
Gillian M. Steeno (M.A., University of Arkansas, In-Progress) started part-time as the new Society Liaison on January 30, 2023 and will transition to full-time on May 23, 2023. She will be continuing the work of Marilyn Knapp, who retired as Society Liaison at the end of December 2022, and hopes to expand Society participation and membership across the State.
READ MORE: New Society Liaison Gillian Steeno
In January 2023, UAM Station Archeologist Matthew Rooney was elected Vice President of Education for Preserve Arkansas, the only statewide nonprofit organization focused on preserving Arkansas’s architectural and cultural resources. Dr. Rooney is currently serving the second year of his first term as a member of the organization’s board of the directors and will now be a member of its executive committee. In 2022 he served on Preserve Arkansas’s education committee and chaired the subcommittee to plan their “Behind the Big House” event. Thanks to the efforts of Dr. Rooney and other committee members, Behind the Big House was funded by a major grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council to put on educational programming in southeast Arkansas that dealt with questions of racism and slavery. Dr. Rooney also served on the awards selection committee for the 2022 Arkansas Preservation Awards, bringing his expertise as an anthropological archeologist to the selection process.
UAPB Research Station Archeologist, Dr. Andrew R. Beaupré, has been named to the board of directors of the Center for French Colonial Studies (CFCS). The CFCS is an educational organization dedicated to the research and understanding of the American Midwest’s French history and heritage. The center’s members are an international consortium of historians, archaeologists, language educators, and historic interpreters dedicated to research and preservation. Dr. Beaupre has previously presented at the CFCS annual meeting and published in Le Journal, the organization’s quarterly publication.
Emily Beahm was recently promoted to Associate Archeologist. She joined the Arkansas Archeological Survey in 2014 as the Archeological Assistant at the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute (WRI) Station under Skip Stewart Abernathy. She was then hired as the Station Archeologist at WRI in 2015. At her station on beautiful Petit Jean Mountain, she cultivates the WRI Teaching Garden, hosts the Project Dig program for 5th and 6th graders, documents rock art sites using a variety of methods including photogrammetry, and carries out other research projects. Recently she has been working on an NSF funded project researching ways to make archeological field schools safer and more inclusive for undergraduate students.
Marilyn Knapp retired as the liaison between the Survey and the Arkansas Archeological Society (AAS) on December 31, 2022, concluding ten and a half years of service. Her commitment to Arkansas archeology goes back even further, as she has been a member of the Society since 1995 and helped with excavations across the state before coming to work for us.
READ MORE: Survey/Society Liaison Marilyn Knapp Retires
Sarah Shepard was recently promoted to Research Associate at the Survey. She started her career with the Survey in 2013 as a graduate student working on NAGPRA projects with retired State Archeologist Ann Early. After graduating with her Master’s degree in 2016 she worked in the Registrar’s Office, focusing on reaching NAGPRA Compliance, digitizing records and artifacts, and rehabbing collections from the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest. She was hired in 2019 as the Assistant Registrar and was named the Survey's NAGPRA Coordinator in 2021. Her job responsibilities are numerous and varied, but essentially, she works to keep the collections and records across the Survey in order. We’re excited to share her promotion and to get to continue working with her into the future.
The Arkansas archeological community lost a treasured member on October 12th, 2021 when Larry Porter passed away peacefully at home after a brief illness. Larry had just retired as station assistant at the WRI Research Station and was a long-time member of the Arkansas Archeological Society.