Missouri State University
Sociology and Anthropology Blog

GA Stephen Dyle Shares about Workshop on New Archaeology Techniques

From May 25 to May 29, 2015, I attended the National Park Service workshop titled “Current Archaeological Prospection Advances for Non-Destructive Investigations in the 21st Century” in Lyons, Kansas. The workshop provided approximately 40 attendees with instruction on the use of non-destructive, geophysical techniques to investigate archaeological sites. Such techniques include: magnetometry, ground penetrating radar, electrical resistance, electromagnetic conductivity, magnetic susceptibility, photogrammetry, aerial photography, and metal detection.

Over the course of the workshop, attendees spent half of each day in the classroom where instructors presented a brief overview of the equipment, taught the science behind how each technique works, and explained the applicability of the techniques in different situations. The second half of each day was spent in the field where attendees learned how to operate the various pieces of equipment while contributing to a non-destructive, geophysical survey of the Tobias-Thompson Complex, a series of American Indian villages visited by Francisco de Coronado in 1541. Each evening, attendees spent two hours in the classroom learning how to process the data that was collected earlier in the field.

Attendance of the workshop was beneficial in several ways. First, I have gained valuable knowledge of equipment and techniques that can produce efficient archaeological research. In the future, I will be able to use non-destructive techniques in my thesis research and as a professional archaeologist. Second, the instructors at the workshop were some of the best non-destructive, geophysical professionals in the world. Some had even come from as far away as the United Kingdom and the Netherlands! I can imagine that the National Park Service workshop is unique because it brings together an amazing collection of extremely knowledgeable instructors into one place. Third, the workshop was a great opportunity to network with archaeologists from federal, state, tribal, and private organizations. While attending the workshop I made many friends that I will continue to interact and exchange ideas


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Slavery and Freedom: Historical Archaeology of African Americans in Greene County, Missouri by Grace Gronniger

The MSU library is currently showcasing a series of exhibits highlighting items related to the community outreach and field schools supervised by Dr. Elizabeth Sobel at the Berry, and Reeves sites in Ash Grove, Missouri as well as the McKinley site in Walnut Grove, Missouri. They are all connected to the history of African Americans in the Ozarks. The field schools were run with the cooperation of the relatives of the occupants of the sites. Fr. Moses Berry, Clarence Brewer and Princess Reeves, whose relationships to the project are explained in the exhibit’s posters, were each consulted during our research.

Initially, the project began last year when Andrea Gregory, Ashley Downs and I, with the help of Dr. Sobel, created a display using information and artifacts taken from the McKinley site for the Springfield History Museum’s Pioneer Exhibit. This information and an overview of historical archaeology for that exhibit have been transferred to the current exhibit along with the additional information and artifacts from the Berry and Reeves sites.

The exhibit includes eight posters:  two are an introduction, and explanation of archaeology and the project goals; two were created for each of the three sites. The focus is the history of African Americans who lived at the sites, as well as how archaeology helped uncover that history. The display cases below the posters dedicated to each site contain artifacts, and printed cards explaining their history. You will also see a scattering of archaeological field tools such as a trowel, tape measure and field paper work.

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STAC winners announced

Congratulations to Matthew Swinney and Kayla Bird who tied for first place in the 18th annual Student Anthropology Conference, and to Olivia Ezell and Berenice Arroyo-Arellano (Cottey College) who tied for third, as well as Ashley Riley who took first in the graduate division.

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Special Kids

By Lexi Amos, graduate student in applied anthropology at Missouri State University I am an applied anthropology graduate student and I am also the mother of an eleven-year-old son who receives special accommodations at school for a high functioning “disability”. …

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Students receive Pepsi-Cola scholarship

Six undergraduate students at Missouri State University recently received recognition for their commitment to the university’s public affairs mission. Each student was awarded a Pepsi-Cola Public Affairs Scholarship in the amount of $1,250. The students were selected based on their involvement in public affairs activities and voluntary service both on and off campus.

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Benefits of Cultural Resource Management in Bluefields Bay, Jamaica

By Deseray Helton, graduate student at Missouri State University This past winter break I attended the archaeological fieldschool in Bluefields Jamaica hosted by Dr. Scott Worman and Dr. Bill Wedenoja. This fieldschool was part of the Bluefields Archaeology Project (BAP), …

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So You Dig Up Dinosaur Bones, Right?

So You Dig Up Dinosaur Bones, Right? The Jamaican Field School and Public Archaeology by Laura Bruns, graduate student in Applied Anthropology, Missouri State University This past winter (December 2014-January 2015), I participated in the archaeological field school in Bluefields, …

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Public Presentation on Chaco Canyon

Dr. Scott Worman will give a presentation entitled “Chaco Canyon: Mystery, Enigma, or Conundrum?” Wednesday May 6, at 7:00 pm at the Center for Archaeological Research, 622 S. Kimbrough. The public is invited. This event is sponsored by the Ozarks Chapter of the Missouri Archaeological Society.

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