Archeological Training at Parkin
In November, Master Naturalists from across the state participated in a newly offered class on archeology. The class was created and taught by Michelle Megan Rathgaber, PhD, Archeological Assistant with the Arkansas Archelological Survey at Parkin Station. In the lab at Parkin Archeological State Park in Parkin AR, participants learned about the Parkin site and the chiefdom of which Parkin was the capital. In 2015 and 2016 the Arkansas Archeological Survey and Society excavated a site a few miles from Parkin that was likely part of the same chiefdom. They are now undertaking to process all of the artifacts recovered during that excavation. This includes washing, sorting, identifying, and analyzing artifacts made of stone, bone, ceramic, and sometimes historic materials. They hope to find out more about how people were living at the edge of the chiefdom. They also want to know if this site was occupied before or after the Parkin site. They can find out much of this information from the thousands of small artifacts excavated over two summers, but it takes a long time to process. Those taking the class learned the basics and best practices in archaeological laboratory procedures and even had time to practice what they learned. Each of them is now qualified to volunteer with this venture on their own.