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Figure 1: Larry (on the right) with Skip Steward Abernathy and Terry Johnson (former co-Archeological Assistant at the ATU/WRI Station).
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Figure 2: Drawings by Larry Porter of projectile points from site 3LO26 (LP1) Larry recorded in 1968.
Larry Porter, longtime Archeological Assistant for the Arkansas Archeological Survey, is retiring as of October 1st, 2021. We appreciate his many contributions to the archeology of Arkansas.
Larry Porter was a longtime member of the Arkansas Archeological Society (since 1979) before becoming officially employed by the Arkansas Archeological Survey in 1999 as Station Assistant for Skip Stewart Abernathy (1999-2014) and then Emily Beahm (2015-2021) (Figure 1). Prior to his employment with the Survey, Larry recorded sites in Crawford, Faulkner, Franklin, Perry, Scott and Yell Counties with particularly thorough coverage of his home county, Logan (recording over 80 sites in the county). One of the first sites Larry recorded (in 1968!) was the Garner site 3LO26, a Dalton through Woodland with historic occupation multi-component site (Figure 2).
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Figure 3: Larry excavating at Davidsonville in 2005.
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Figure 5: Larry giving instructions at Carden Bottoms during the 2009 Society Dig.
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Figure 4: Larry recording rock art at 3CN128 with the Survey’s rock art team.
As an employee of the Survey, Larry was involved in numerous projects. These included research at historic sites, including Historic Washington, Davidsonville, and Lakeport (Figure 3). He worked to record historic sites documented in the General Land Office records of the Bureau of Land Management for the Arkansas River Valley GLO Project.  He extensively documented the restoration of a historic dogtrot cabin, the Chism House, in Logan County.
Larry was part of the Survey’s Rock Art Recording team. This group was trained by a rock art specialist and conducted systematic mapping, photographing, documenting, and cataloging rock art resources in Arkansas (Figure 4). Larry also helped rescue the Peeler Bend Canoe from Saline County that now is housed at Toltec Mounds State Park. Larry was intricately involved in the planning and execution of the 2009 Society Dig at Carden Bottoms (Figure 5).
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Figure 6: Illustration by Larry Porter of DeSoto’s Battle at Tula created for a display at the Arkansas Tech museum.
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Figure 7: Drawing of a hoe from Wild Violet that Larry made for a Frank Schambach publication.
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Figure 8: Artifact illustration by Larry Porter of ceramic sherds from Wild Violet.
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Figure 9: Design for 2006 Society Dig T-shirt by Larry Porter.
Larry’s accomplishment as an artist have resulted in many contributions to publications, museum displays and other illustrations (including Society Dig t-shirt designs and Archeology Month posters) (Figures 6-10 ). Most recently, he created illustrations for the Survey’s Gathering, Gardening, and Agriculture Curriculum (Figures 11-12).
One of Larry’s most noteworthy projects was his work at the Wild Violet site (3LO226). In a partnership with the US Army Corps of Engineers, Larry directed a team of survey staff and volunteers to mitigate erosional damage at this site. Larry conducted this important work in 2013. His research at Wild Violet makes a significant contribution to our knowledge about people living in Arkansas during the Woodland period (Figure 13).
Larry’s field work skills, archeological knowledge, friendly demeanor and laid-back manner will be missed at the Survey. We thank him for the work that he has done on behalf of Arkansas’s cultural heritage.
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Figure 10: 2009 Society Dig T-shirt design by Larry Porter.
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Figure 11: Illustration by Larry Porter for Gathering, Gardening, and Agriculture curriculum.
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Figure 12: Illustration by Larry Porter for Gathering, Gardening, and Agriculture curriculum.
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Figure 13: Illustration by Larry Porter of antler atlatl hook from Wild Violet. See the January 2020 Artifact of the month for more information.