Dr. Matthew P. Rooney takes over as UAM Station Archeologist on July 1, 2021
The UAM research station is located on the University of Arkansas campus in Monticello, where the station archeologist teaches anthropology courses in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences. The station territory covers seven counties in southeastern Arkansas — Ashley, Bradley, Chicot, Cleveland, Desha, Drew and Lincoln. This portion of the state consists of landforms deposited by the ancestral Arkansas and Mississippi Rivers and their tributaries. People have lived in this region for at least 9,000 years and archeologists have investigated the lives of the American Indians, African Americans, and European Americans who lived here in the past. Among many significant sites in the station territory, the small Lake Enterprise Mound, thought to be 3,500 years old, is the oldest known Indian mound in Arkansas. Archeological research shows that the people who built it were affiliated with the famous Poverty Point culture. At the opposite end of the time scale, the Taylor/Hollywood Plantation 1840s log house in Drew County and Lakeport Plantation in Chicot County are the sole remaining pre-Civil War plantation houses on the Mississippi Delta in Arkansas. Southeast Arkansas is also the location of several sites from Arkansas’s World War II Home Front Heritage, including Rohwer and Jerome, both Japanese American internment camps and Camp Monticello, an Italian prisoner of war camp.
The UAM research station provides a variety of public outreach services and activities for both adults and kids. They work closely with the Tunican Chapter of the Arkansas Archeological Society to help host the monthly speaker series and offer opportunities for people to get actively involved in archeological projects in the lab and in the field. They also work with the Drew County Museum to update their exhibits on Arkansas Indians in Drew County. From discovery boxes to dig boxes, the UAM research station hosts interactive experiences to introduce young people to Arkansas archeology. The Tunican Chapter and the UAM research station recently published the book, Behind the scenes of Hollywood: Science and problem solving at Hollywood Plantation. The activity book written for students 13 and up includes an overview of archeology and hands-on-activities to get the reader thinking like an archeologist. To request a copy of the book or to schedule a public program, contact the UAM research station.

Featured Projects

Archeological Research on World War II at Camp Monticello
Hollywood Plantation: Archeology and Historic Preservation in Southeast Arkansas

In the Media

Rohwer Reconfigured: Interactive website sparks new interest in state’s Japanese internment camps 
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
November 10, 2019
History in grasp: Collections of archaeological discoveries tell of Arkansas’ past
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
September 8, 2019
SHA and ACUA 2019 Election Results
Society for Historical Archaeology
Galvanized Metal Etching from Camp Monticello
November 2019 Artifact of the Month
Gathering, Gardening, and Agriculture – A New Fifth Grade Social Studies Curriculum in Arkansas
Day of Archaeology
July 28, 2017
Project Archaeology and Archaeological Education in Arkansas
Day of Archaeology
July 28, 2016
Local archeologist recognized at Arkansas Historical Association
April 25, 2016
4-H Youth dig archaeology in southeast Arkansas
Article in the publication Arkansas Land & Life, 
University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture and Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences
Fall/Winter 2015: 18-19
Society for Historical Archeology Blog "Meet A Member: Jodi Barnes"
Profile of UAM Station Archeologist Jodi Barnes
March 1, 2015
Dr. Matthew P. Rooney, UAM Station Archeologist
Portrait of Virginia O'Connor
Station Assistant Virginia O'Connor.

Who we are

Matthew P. Rooney (PhD, University of Florida, 2021) started as the new Station Archeologist for the University of Arkansas Monticello research station on July 1, 2021. He will be stepping up to build on the fabulous work performed by his predecessor, Dr. Jodi Barnes, and plans to use his talents and experiences to continue generating public interest and participation in archeology and history projects within the station area.
Virginia O'Connor started as the new UAM Archeological Assistant in December, 2021. She graduated from the University of Arkansas in 2021 with a bachelor's degree in Anthropology, with a focus in archeology and a minor in geography. Virginia grew up in the foothills of the Ozarks between Ozark, Arkansas and Stilwell, Oklahoma. She moved to Fayetteville to attend the University of Arkansas. During a gap in her undergraduate studies, she volunteered with numerous organizations and ended up attending the 2016 Society/Survey Training Program near Parkin Archeological State Park. After getting firsthand lab and field experience in archeology, she returned home to Fayetteville and enrolled in anthropology courses. At the end of her undergraduate degree, O'Connor attended a field school through the University of Arkansas led by the Survey's Fayetteville Station Archeologist, Dr. Jessica Kowalski. The field school was on a multicomponent site in northwest Arkansas and included field excavations and lab analysis. Virginia recently moved to Monticello with her dog, Rylie, and is very excited to continue learning about archeology in the Southeast.

Contact Us

Dr. Matthew P. Rooney, Station Archeologist
(870) 460-1290
Email: mr096@uark.edu
Virginia O'Connor, Station Assistant
(870) 460-1290
Email: voconnor@uark.edu

Arkansas Archeological Survey
Box 3087, UAM
Monticello, AR 71656-3087

Link to UAM Facebook page