Archeology Uncovers the Past
— Davidsonville Historic State Park —
Why Excavate at Davidsonville?
Although there are surviving documents to tell us about Davidsonville, the town existed for such a short period that many parts of the story were not written down. Day- to-day activities were too common to be considered important to note. After buildings were torn down, little remained to indicate how the town was laid out or what activities occurred on the lots. Artifacts left behind indicate that Davidsonville, although a frontier town, was not isolated from the rest of the world.
A Slow Process
The purpose of archeology is not to recover artifacts, but rather to study all the evidence left behind—including building remnants, activity areas, and trash deposits—in order to retell the story of life in an earlier time.
Using a research plan, chosen areas are carefully excavated. Changes in soil colors, the arrangement of bricks and debris, and the location of artifacts are mapped and recorded. In the lab, broken artifacts are pieced back together and studied. Archival documents are searched and the historical context is considered. These
Partnership for Public Archeology
The Arkansas Archeological Survey and the staff of Davidsonville Historic State Park are working as partners to piece together the puzzle of the town's past. Excavations have been conducted on the courthouse square and at many of the house sites. Information from the archeological and historical research is returned to the public through the exhibits and interpretive programs provided by Arkansas State Parks.
This partnership is helping to retell the story of Arkansas's first county seat town. We hope you enjoy learning about Davidsonville.
To record exact locations of remains, the site is surveyed to lay out a grid prior to excavations.
One archeologist is sketching a plan drawing of foundation elements in this excavation unit, while the other catalogs artifact locations.
Artifacts are cleaned, mended, cataloged, and studied in the lab prior to completion of the research report.
Erected by the State of Arkansas.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Anthropology & Archaeology.
Location. 36° 9.285′ N, 91° 3.348′ W. Marker
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Decline and Abandonment (within shouting distance of this marker); Courthouse Square (within shouting distance of this marker); Oldest Town Site in Arkansas (within shouting distance of this marker); Davidsonville's Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); County Seat Town (within shouting distance of this marker); First Postal Stop (within shouting distance of this marker); Public House (within shouting distance of this marker); Private Residence / Post Office (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Black Rock.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 30, 2021. It was originally submitted on April 13, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 109 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on April 13, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.