The Quapaw Historic Preservation Program (QHPP) was able to attend the 78th annual Southeastern Archaeological Conference (SEAC), this fall. Sometimes this conference is not close-by, but this year it was in Little Rock. Even though this was the 78th annual SEAC, this was only the third time the conference has been held in Arkansas.
Collaborative work between archeologists and tribal nations, as well as some of the latest research, was discussed. The Quapaw Historic Preservation Program was also able to meet with staff from both the Historic Preservation Offices for Arkansas (AHPP) and Mississippi (MDAH) as well. We discussed our ongoing efforts to ensure compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and our efforts to preserve sites of historic and cultural importance including archeological sites. On the last day of the conference, a “Public Archeology Day” was hosted in the Old State House Museum. The historic preservation offices for Arkansas and the Quapaw Nation (AHPP, and QHPP) co-hosted a booth discussing preservation efforts in the state. Around 214 members of the public visited our both and in addition to visiting with us they were provided pamphlets on the Quapaw Museum, and children were able to see images of Quapaw buffalo robes and rock art and were provided paper bags and paint and were able to paint their own designs on the paper bags.
Through the Public Archeology Day event, visitors were also provided with other information and activities such as a discussion of lithics (stone tools) and what to do if you find an archeological site. For example, certain laws were mentioned that protect sites in different ways such as NHPA, ARPA, and NAGPRA. The public was reminded that artifacts should be left in place to preserve the condition of the sites, not only so they can be studied by a professional but also so that they can continue to be protected and appreciated for generations to come. Every state has a historic preservation office, as well as a State Archeologist, and if you find an archeological site it should be reported to their office.
In addition to learning and networking, our office was able to see creative ways to inform the public about our field from all participants who were present. One specific example was miniature 3-D printed artifacts that children were able to handle, such as miniature dug-out canoes. These objects provided a safe, hands-on method for participants to learn with. We plan to work with our colleagues to incorporate some of these concepts to update QHPP’s public education efforts in the future.
Those who are interested in more information about the conference can visit. You can find the contact information for every State Archeologist by visiting: https://sites.google.com/view/state-archaeologists/find-your-state-archaeologist .
Contact information for every State Historic Preservation Office can be found online at https://ncshpo.org/directory/ , and every Tribal Historic Preservation Office can be found here: https://members.nathpo.org/thpodirectory.