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. Robert (Bob) received his B.A. from Southern Illinois University Carbondale (2000), his M.A. from the University of Alabama (2004), and his PhD from Southern Illinois University Carbondale (2018). He previously worked for the Illinois State Museum studying Works Progress Administration (WPA)-Era collections, for the Center for Archaeological Investigations at SIUC where he taught archeological field schools, and for Panamerican Consultants, Inc. in Tuscaloosa. Between 2004 and 2007, he worked as the Station Assistant at the Survey’s UAM research station and served in the same capacity at the ASU research station from 2010 to 2013. He has conducted archeological excavations in Illinois, Georgia, Alabama and Arkansas and has extensive experience in the laboratory analysis of Native American ceramics, lithics, and faunal remains from sites across east Arkansas. His research interests include the Late Prehistoric and Early Contact periods in the Lower Mississippi Valley, the archeology of colonial era Native Americans, the Late Woodland to Mississippian transition in northeast Arkansas, diaspora and Cahokia’s influence on regional communities in eastern and southeastern Arkansas, and applied zooarchaeology (mollusks).
If you’ve been around the Survey or the Arkansas Archeological Society much you know that in addition to the impressive academic qualifications listed above, Bob is, confoundingly, a surly yet entertaining presence in the field and lab with a deep knowledge of Arkansas archeology. During his 16-year tenure with the Survey, he has given presentations about mussel shells and environmental change for 5th grade students during our Native American Days virtual event in November, done Artifact ID Days and other public archeology events at locations across eastern and central Arkansas, and almost always teaches a field-based class at the Annual Training Program in Archeology. This class is usually in the form of an intensive mapping or surveying project somewhere off the beaten path near the Training Program excavation area, but with a higher risk of getting covered in ticks, chiggers, and poison ivy. Each year he guides students and volunteers through tough conditions to learn how to take some of the essential steps of identifying, mapping, and recording archeological sites across Arkansas.
Dr. Scott is also well versed in a variety of artifact types and time periods in Arkansas and the surrounding region. When collections from eastern Arkansas need to be identified and processed after a donation or curation agreement with another agency, Bob is often called in to quickly identify the items and do preliminary processing. He is a wonderful colleague who is always willing to lend a hand with a field or lab project, background resources, or an outreach event.
We are thrilled that he will be working at our Parkin Archeological State Park station in northeast Arkansas. His knowledge and background in this region of Arkansas will allow him to hit the ground running to process excavations done at the site over the last 30 years and write up the complete site report that we have all been waiting for. He will be wrapping up his projects and teaching responsibilities at the UAPB station over the next couple of months but will be working part time in Parkin getting things organized. He will be in residence full-time starting in January 2024. Congratulations, Bob, and we look forward to continuing to work with you in your new position!