2022-2023 Annual Report

2022-2023 Annual Report

The Jamie C. Brandon Center for Archaeological Research (JCB Center) is affiliated with the Department of Sociology, Criminology, and Anthropology (SCA) at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA).

The mission of the JCB Center is to (1) promote and facilitate community service and outreach programs in public archaeology, (2) support student-based pedagogical opportunities in archaeological fieldwork and research, (3) maintain regional archaeological research programs, and (4) manage funds to support student travel to archaeology conferences, independent research, and community-based archaeology projects. The JCB Center also contributes to (5) the UCA archaeology field school, currently held each May Intersession at Camp Halsey (3FA313).

Much of this mission is fulfilled through an ongoing and active collaboration between researchers at the JCB Center and Faulkner County Museum (FCM). Beginning in 2015, the Faulkner County Survey Project (FCSP) was created to support this long-term collaboration, and to include volunteers, students, alumni, and community members (McKinnon and Ware 2017).

(1) Community Service and Outreach – Programs focused on community service and outreach seek to engage community members in Arkansas archaeology through public lectures and exhibits, and to assist local communities in historical and archaeological research projects.

  • September 2021 – current. The JCB Center and FCM continue to collaborate on community cemetery survey work in Faulkner County. In 2023, the cemetery websites were updated and reorganized to allow researchers to review summaries of work and download inventories, feature forms, and feature photographs for each cemetery. Google Earth and ArcGIS Earth KMZ files have also been made available, which contain various interactive layers of collected data for use by community members.
  • October 2022. Researchers from the JCB Center and FCM presented two conference papers at the Arkansas Archeological Society meeting held in Conway, Arkansas:
    • Pushing up Daisies: Documenting the Dead at Historic Cemeteries in Faulkner County
    • “More than One Way to Choke a Dog Besides with Buttermilk”: The Faulkner County Museum and its Role in Curation, Public Outreach, Collaboration, and Community Service
  • November 2022. At the request by members of the Centerville United Methodist Church, the FCSP conducted salvage recording and photography of the historic Home Economics Building (built October 8, 1929) prior to razing. The building, church, and additional property buildings and features were recorded with the Arkansas Archeological Survey as site 3FA348. Results and photographs from the survey are available on the JCB Center website.
  • February 2023. The JCB Center conducted a small lithic analysis for local Conway resident Sam Southerland. Analysis included sorting by type and material, with approximate dates. A report was generated and provided to Mr. Southerland.
  • May 2023. As part of the UCA archaeology field school, the JCB Center, FCM, and UCA students recorded an undocumented cemetery (Royster-Cross Cemetery) at the request of community landowners. Efforts focused on clearing, surveying, documenting, and researching the cemetery. The new site was recorded with the Arkansas Archeological Survey as 3FA349. Data were summarized in a report, which was also submitted to the Arkansas Archeological Survey and assigned as AMASDA Project # 8077.

(2) Student-Based Pedagogy and Research – Student-based pedagogy and research serves as an extension of the SCA department by providing resources, technology, and mentorship directly associated with regional archaeological research undertaken by undergraduate students.

  • August 2022- May 2023. Student Ashley Hansen (UCA anthropology major) completed her thesis, Archaeological Placemaking at Arkansas CCC Camps, on select, publicly accessible CCC camps and the process of archaeological placemaking. The JCB Center assisted with camp visits and guidance. As part of this research, Camp Petit Jean was assigned as site 3CN471 by the Arkansas Archeological Survey. Her final thesis was submitted to the Arkansas Archeological Survey and assigned as AMASDA Project # 8064. This work will be included as a contribution to the forthcoming book, The Civilian Conservation Corps in Arkansas: From Active Camps to Archaeological and Cultural Landscapes, to be published by the Arkansas Archeological Survey Research Series.
  • Historical Cemetery Surveys. Documentation of local historic cemeteries include students with opportunities to understand the value of documenting cemeteries, first-hand experience with technological tools (electrical resistivity and total station), and methods associated with photography, inventory, and preservation. Two cemeteries (McNew, 3FA347 and Royster-Cross, 3FA349) were documented in 2022-2023.
  • June 2023. Riley Woolly Homestead. During a site revisit to the Woolly Homestead site (3FA220) researchers from the JCB Center and FCM, along with student volunteers mapped the visible remains of stone features associated with the homestead, as well as the collection of resistivity and drone data. A site revisit/supplemental form was submitted to the Arkansas Archeological Survey.

(3) Research – In addition to student-based research, a variety of long-term research programs are undertaken by the JCB Center. In many cases, these efforts overlap with community service where students are actively involved.

  • Arkansas CCC Camp Archives. Ongoing research on Arkansas CCC camps through the collection of archival information, such as camp newsletters, archaeological site forms, recording of archaeological sites, and current state of site conditions. In 2023 comprehensive website focused on CCC camps throughout Arkansas was launched and contains archival information and information summaries (Camp Focus) of selected camps.
  • May 2023 – current. The manuscript, The Civilian Conservation Corps in Arkansas: From Active Camps to Archaeological and Cultural Landscapes is in preparation to be submitted to the Arkansas Archeological Survey in December 2023 for review and consideration for publication in the Survey Research Series.
  • March 2023. Powhatan Historic State Park. During Spring Break 2023, the JCB Center conducted contract survey and excavation work at the Wright House (St. John’s) Property located within the park boundaries. Results and report were submitted to Arkansas State Parks and the Arkansas Archeological Survey (AMASDA Project # 8048).
  • Faulkner County Survey Project. During 2022-2023 the FCSP visited seven historical and archaeological sites, submitted two revisit forms to the Arkansas Archeological Survey on existing sites, and submitted forms for four new archaeological sites and the generation of archaeological trinomial designations. More information on the Faulkner County Survey Project can be viewed on the JCB Center website.
  • Bowman (3LR46). A project to synthesize material from Bowman – an Early to Middle Caddo (ca. A.D. 1000-1500) site along the Red River – is in process with anticipation of a manuscript submitted to the Arkansas Archeological Survey Research Series. To date, the research has included students with three directed studies and four conference presentations.

(4) Funding and Support – An important component of the JCB Center mission is the availability of funds to support student exposure to archaeological conferences, the support of independent research, and community-based archaeology projects. These efforts are largely associate with two awards:

  • The Larry Halsey Archaeology Conference Award is named after Larry Halsey, a supporter of archaeological research, the sharing of archaeological information, and the encouragement of young scholars in the field of archaeology. It provides funding support to undergraduate students focused in archaeology to attend their first archaeology conference.
  • The Caddo Archaeology Research Fund supports Caddo research from undergraduates, graduate students, Caddo Nation people, professional archaeologists, and avocational archaeologists.

(5) UCA Archaeology Field School – The fifth season of archaeological field work at Camp Halsey was undertaken in May 2023 with five UCA students in attendance. This is part of the UCA course Field Archaeology (ANTH 4V80) where students gain credit hours doing field work at an archaeological site. The JCB Center contributes to the field school through the availability of technology associated with training students for applied careers in archaeology. This includes an FM Frobisher electrical resistivity instrument, a Topcon GM50 total station, a DJI Mini drone, and other technologies.

More information on the Mission and Organization of the JCB Center, Advisory Board, and Dr. Jamie C. Brandon can be found at https://uca.edu/jcbcenter/

Recorded public lectures, research reports, and annual reports are also available on the JCB website.