News & History

Ozark Bluff Shelters topic of February archeological talk

Submitted information

Joshua Lynch

Dr. Joshua J. Lynch (Arkansas Tech University) will present “The Gregoire Collection: A Fresh Look at a Survey of Ozark Bluff Shelters” at the next meeting of the Ouachita Chapter of the Arkansas Archeological Society. This talk will be held on Tuesday, February 7 th at 7:00 p.m. in the board room at Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts (200 Whittington, Hot Springs). The event is free and open to the public.

Between 1968 and 1970, a large-scale archaeological survey was launched across public and private land in the Limestone valley, located in the central Boston Mountains of southwestern Newton County, Arkansas. In response to heavy looting and rapidly degrading site integrity, Thelma and Louis Gregoire surveyed miles of land along Big Piney, Steel, and Home Creeks, collecting remarkable cultural materials from archaeological sites in the plowed fields of the bottomlands and more than 100 Ozark bluff shelters.

Ozark bluff shelters of Arkansas and southern Missouri are renowned archaeological resources that help shape regional understandings of occupation histories and land use patterns from the early Holocene through the historic period. Lynch presents here an overview of the lithics, ceramics, and perishable materials recovered during the Gregoire survey, housed at Arkansas Tech University, and the developing research efforts taking shape at ATU to comprehensively investigate this unique collection.

Dr. Lynch demonstrates the use of an atlatl or spearthrower. | Submitted photo

Lynch is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Arkansas Tech University in Russellville. He joined the faculty at ATU in 2020. He earned a PhD in anthropology from Texas A&M University, where his dissertation research examined the diversity of ancient chipped stone points from Siberia and Alaska using experimental archaeology and use-wear analysis. At ATU, he teaches courses in anthropology, archaeology, and Cultural Resource Management.

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