UCA plans event to recognize Native American Heritage Month

The University of Central Arkansas Department of Sociology, Criminology and Anthropology will sponsor a lecture in recognition of Native American Heritage Month.

Dr. Jamie C. Brandon and Lydia I. Rees will present a lecture on the book “Beyond the Bluff Dweller: Isolation and Connection in Prehistoric Bluff Shelters of the Arkansas Ozarks” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, in the College of Business Auditorium.

This talk provides an overview of more recent archeological work that complicates the picture of the prehistoric Arkansas Ozarks and offers possible future directions for research that can further refine the understanding of Ozark bluff shelters.

M. R. Harrington’s “The Ozark Bluff-Dwellers” remains the only widely available book-length treatment of archeology in Ozark bluff shelters region-wide. This is true despite the fact that it was published in 1960 and based on excavation notes from the 1920s. Harrington’s book, alongside the 1930s work of Samuel Dellinger, curator of the University of Arkansas Museum, and the writings of Sam Dickenson, avocational archeologist and newspaper editor, characterize the “bluff-dwellers” as an isolated culture developmentally behind surrounding regions.

Brandon is the archeologist stationed at the Fayetteville Research Station of the Arkansas Archeological Survey. In his current role, he is responsible for conducting excavations and public outreach for 12 counties in northwest Arkansas and the Ozarks. In addition to these duties, Brandon currently serves as the chair of the Arkansas State Review Board for Historic Preservation and the President of Preserve Arkansas, a statewide nonprofit that focuses on historic preservation.

Rees is a research assistant with the Arkansas Archeological Survey’s Sponsored Research Program. She is currently working on a grant-funded Ozark Bluff shelter project. She was a quality control crew chief for Flat Earth Archeology. Prior to that, she was on the faculty of Southern Arkansas University Tech in Camden and Spring International Language Center in Fayetteville.