Exploration and Archaeology

Entry Category: Exploration and Archaeology - Starting with M

Mallet Expeditions

French-Canadian brothers Pierre (1704–1751?) and Paul Mallet (1706?–1753?) participated in three expeditions into North America’s interior that were designed to establish trade between French Louisiana and Santa Fe, New Mexico. The brothers traveled the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains, and their return journeys to New Orleans led them through Arkansas, stimulating interest in the possibility of Spanish trade through the continent’s interior via Arkansas Post (Arkansas County). Originally from Montreal, the Mallets lived as traders in the Illinois country after 1734 before beginning their first expedition (1739–1741). Spurred on by contemporary belief that Santa Fe lay eight days from the headwaters of the Missouri River, the brothers ventured west. Accompanied by seven men, they traveled up the Missouri before beginning …

Marquette-Joliet Expedition

In 1673, Father Jacques Marquette, a Jesuit missionary, and Louis Joliet, a fur trader, undertook an expedition to explore the unsettled territory in North America from the Great Lakes region to the Gulf of Mexico for the colonial power of France. Leaving with several men in two bark canoes, Marquette and Joliet entered the Mississippi River and arrived in present-day Arkansas in June 1673. They were considered the first Europeans to come into contact with the Indians of east Arkansas since Hernando de Soto’s expedition in the 1540s. The goal given Marquette, Joliet, and their men was to document, for French and Canadian officials, an area that had been largely unknown until the late seventeenth century. Both explorers were from …

Menard-Hodges Site

Archaeological investigations at the Menard-Hodges site near Nady in Arkansas County since the late 1800s have yielded information about both Native American and European colonial settlement of the region of the lower Arkansas River. Two large mounds, thirty-nine-foot-tall Mound A and flanking thirteen-foot-tall Mound B, overlook a square plaza some two acres in area, with smaller mounds around the other sides of the plaza. Also adjacent to the plaza are the locations of two nineteenth-century farmsteads of French descendants. The Menard-Hodges Site was widely considered to be the location of the first Arkansas Post and also the location of the Quapaw village of Osotouy. However, recent research indicates that while the Menard-Hodges Site is an important part of an early historic …

Mississippian Period

The Mississippian Period is one of several broad categories (including Paleoindian, Archaic, and Woodland) that archaeologists use to subdivide the American Indian past of the Southeast and Midwest. Between AD 900 and about AD 1600, Mississippian people farmed maize extensively; lived in societies known as chiefdoms led by hereditary rulers; conducted long-distance trade in copper, marine shell, and other valuables; resided in towns, villages, and farmsteads; built monumental architecture in the form of earthen, flat-topped mounds; conducted warfare, often fortifying their towns with stockades; and shared religious and iconographic traditions. When the first Europeans (the Hernando de Soto expedition) arrived in Arkansas in 1541, the people they encountered were Mississippians. The Rise of Agriculture Perhaps fueled by a climate shift …

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 …