News & History

Archeologist to share results of 2022 excavations in SW Arkansas

Submitted information | For The Arkadelphian

Dr. Carl Drexler, the Arkansas Archeological Survey’s archeologist at the Southern Arkansas University Research Station, will present “Continuity and Change in Native and Settler Salt Production at the Holman Springs Site in Sevier County, Arkansas” at the next meeting of the Ouachita Chapter of the Arkansas Archeological Society.

Brickwork from the nineteenth-century salt furnace excavated at Holman Springs in June 2022.

This talk will be held on Tuesday, October 4, at 7 p.m. in the boardroom at Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts, 200 Whittington Ave., Hot Springs. The event is free and open to the public.

The 2022 Arkansas Archeological Society Training Program took place at the Holman Springs site (3SV29), a saltworks in the Rolling Fork River Valley of southwestern Arkansas. Previously investigated by archeologists in the 1980s, the site has yet to receive full reporting.

This June’s excavations were intended to clarify details about the earlier digs and expand the excavations to interpret this important site. Known for its connection to Caddo saltmaking, the new excavations revealed a significant nineteenth-century presence, including one of the few salt furnaces ever excavated in the United States.

Carl Drexler

This talk will recount the summer’s digs and reveal what is now known about the site, Caddo saltmaking, Settler saltmaking, and the deep history of the region. Drexler is the Arkansas Archeological Survey’s research station archeologist at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia. He specializes in nineteenth-century archeology with a focus on conflict research and the archeology of the Caddo homeland in southwest Arkansas using geophysical survey, spatial analysis, and excavation. Born in Pennsylvania and raised in Colorado and Texas, Drexler is a graduate of the College of William & Mary.

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