It’s week two of an archeological dig on the grounds of Davidsonville State Park in Randolph County.

Davidsonville, once the home of Arkansas’s first post office and one of the earliest courthouses has little of its existence above ground.  Buried below the surface, students from the University of Central Arkansas are finding an array of materials, some modern such as fencing wire, some glass, brick fragments, nails from the era of Davidsonville and pottery shards and arrowheads left behind by the Indians.

Dr. Duncan McKinnon, Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Central Arkansas and Director of the Jamie C. Brandon Center for Archaeological Research explained how this joint venture involving UCA, the Jamie C. Brandon Center for Archeological Research and the Arkansas State Parks came together to make this project possible.

Dr. McKinnon stated the goal of this dig was to possibly identify the location of the  Davidsonville cotton gin remains located in Block A, lots 4 & 5. Students using metal detectors flag possible targets to investigate while test pits are dug, depths and items discovered are logged and will be taken back to the labs where they’ll be cleaned, identified and catalogued. Once the pits are excavated, the dirt and vegetation are returned to the pit.

Since most of Davidsonville has been reclaimed by the forrest, identifying key structures is important along with identifying former streets and blocks of the former frontier town.

Park Superintendent Randall Watts explained how Davidsonville State Park hopes to expand on this archaeological dig, plans are already underway to reclaim parts of the overgrown town without harming any future archaeological sites. Watts explained how the “ghost” structures seen at the park now is only a fraction of the actual town.

Archaeological digs and surveys such as the one ongoing right now allows for the layers of time to be peeled back revealing relics from days gone by.

If you get a chance stop in at the visitor center and you can see items from previous digs on display including dishes, pottery, utensils and much more.

Davidsonville State Park is located at 8047 Hwy 166 South, Pocahontas Arkansas 72455.

Dr. McKinnon stated after this week, students will return to Conway where the items recovered will be examined more thoroughly.

Future excavation of the sites are in the works.

Our thanks to Dr. McKinnon and his students for allowing us into their world of archeology.

As always thank you to the Arkansas State Parks for inviting us to share in this most interesting event.

For more information on the Arkansas State Parks visit