Archaeologists

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Entries - Entry Category: Archaeologists

Curtiss, Edwin

Edwin Curtiss, a nonprofessional field man who excavated archaeological sites and collected antiquities, is credited by Arkansas archaeologists with making the first scientific archaeological excavation in their state. In 1879 and 1880, Curtiss and his associates spent eighty-six days excavating at ancient Native American village sites along the St. Francis River in northeast Arkansas, where he collected nearly 1,000 pottery vessels and hundreds of other specimens for Harvard University’s Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnography. Edwin Curtiss was born on January 27, 1830, in North Lansing, New York. Originally a tailor by trade, Curtiss served in the Union army during the Civil War, subsequently moving with his family to Tennessee. After the war, Curtiss worked as an independent contractor …

Dellinger, Samuel Claudius

Samuel Claudius Dellinger was curator of the University of Arkansas Museum in Fayetteville (Washington County) and head of the Department of Zoology for over thirty years. As curator, he built the museum’s archaeology collection into one of the best in the nation. In Dellinger’s view, the museum was, first and foremost, an educational resource for the people of Arkansas, and he worked to generate interest in it from the university community and the general public. Samuel Dellinger was born on January 14, 1892, in Iron Station (later Lincolntown), North Carolina, to Robert H. and Laura Loftin Dellinger. After graduating from high school, Dellinger attended Trinity College (later Duke University), where he was a varsity wrestler and swimmer. Dellinger earned his …

Hampson, James Kelly

One of the few amateur archaeologists to be honored with an obituary in American Antiquity, Dr. James Kelly Hampson amassed an important collection of artifacts and cooperated with professional archaeologists working in northeast Arkansas. James Hampson was born in Memphis, Tennessee, on July 9, 1877, to Henry Clay Hampson and Mary Sue Hanaver Hampson. He had a brother who died at an early age and two sisters. In 1879, Louis Hanauer, Hampson’s maternal grandfather, purchased Nodena Plantation, a parcel of over 3,000 acres located about twelve miles south of Osceola (Mississippi County), at a court-ordered sale. The following year, Hanauer sold the property to the firm of (Daniel Lee) Ferguson and (Henry Clay) Hampson. Hampson’s father and mother lived at …

Harrington, M. R.

aka: Mark Raymond Harrington
Mark Raymond Harrington was a pioneer in the field of archaeology in Arkansas. He researched Native Americans in Arkansas for the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation (New York). This work brought him to Arkansas between 1916 and 1923. His two books published on these investigations, Certain Caddo Sites in Arkansas (1920) and The Ozark Bluff-Dwellers (1960), have had a lasting influence on the development of archaeology in Arkansas and in the southeastern United States. M. R. Harrington was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on July 6, 1882, to Rose Martha Smith Harrington and Mark Walrod Harrington, astronomer, meteorologist, and then director of the University of Michigan’s Detroit Observatory. The family later lived in Washington DC; Seattle, Washington; and …

Moore, Clarence Bloomfield

Clarence Bloomfield Moore was an amateur archaeologist from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who investigated hundreds of Native American mounds and archaeological sites in several Southern states, including Arkansas. He published lavishly illustrated volumes, based on his excavations, which have been reprinted recently. Clarence Moore was born on January 14, 1852, in Philadelphia. He was the son of Bloomfield Haines Moore and Clara Sophia Jessup. His father was the head of the prosperous Jessup & Moore Paper Company of Wilmington, Delaware. His mother was a prolific writer, mostly of books on etiquette and advice to young women. Clarence had two sisters, Ella and Lillian, both of whom married Swedish aristocrats. As a child, he was educated in Philadelphia, France, and Switzerland. He entered …

Palmer, Edward

Edward Palmer conducted most of the fieldwork for the first major study of Indian mounds in Arkansas. His research helped dispel myths about who built the mounds. Edward Palmer was born in England, near Hockwold-cum-Wilton in southwestern County Norfolk, into a family of gardeners. The year of his birth is uncertain, but it was probably 1830; the date was definitely January 12. His father’s name is listed variously as William or Robert, and his mother’s maiden name was Mary Ann Armiger; Palmer’s own middle name is unknown. Little is known about Palmer’s early life. He came to America in 1849 and moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where he was strongly influenced by the eminent naturalist Jared Kirtland. He worked as a …