The Missouri State University Center for Archaeological Research (CAR) is a research institute that conducts archaeological field work and other cultural resource management projects on a contractual basis. It primarily serves municipal, state, and federal government agencies.
CAR also offers hands-on experience for students interested in careers in archaeology and is active in local archaeological and preservation societies.
For more information on CAR activities and other subjects, explore the links to the left.
2013 MSU Archaeology Field School "ARCHAEOLOGY AT THE WRITER SITE" (June 10-June 28, 2013)
The Center for Archaeological Research (CAR) in cooperation with the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Missouri State University (MSU) is offering a summer course in field archaeology and laboratory analysis. During the 3-week course, students will receive training in archaeological field methods of survey, mapping, and excavation, and basic laboratory analysis. Students will also learn how archaeologists preserve and interpret archaeological materials. This 3-week session will take place at the Writer site, located in western Lawrence County, Missouri. The Writer site is a multicomponent prehistoric site that was occupied intermittently for more than 10,000 years. The site has a midden (artifact-rich deposit) that contains abundant lithic artifacts, animal bones, and pottery sherds. The focus of the excavations at the Writer site will be to determine if the site contains stratified deposits. Daily transportation between the Writer site and MSU is included. Please follow these links for additional information, Application, and Release Form.
Horsethief Canyon (14HO308)
We are currently analyzing data from Horsethief Canyon (14HO308), an important prehistoric site in southwest Kansas. Dr. Holly Jones recently directed excavations at this site near the town of Jetmore, Kansas. Radiocarbon dates from previous excavations in 2003 by the Kansas State Historical Society indicate the site was occupied during the period A.D. 880-1270, also known as the Middle Ceramic Period. The 2008 excavations at Horsethief Canyon were conducted by Dr. Jones, CAR Project Supervisor Dustin Thompson (MSU graduate), CAR Laboratory Supervisor Gail Emrie, M.S. (MSU graduate), Holly Mills (MSU graduate student), Rosalie Gorecki, M.S. (MSU graduate), Doug Lewis (UMC graduate), Matt Webb (MSU graduate), and Roger Ward (Wichita State University graduate). Horsethief Canyon produced a large volume of chipped stone tools, projectile points, bone tools, faunal remains, decorated pottery, a decorated turtle shell pendant, and a variety of features, such as possible hearths and storage pits. The analyses are being conducted by CAR and MSU-Anthropology faculty: Dr. Neal Lopinot (plants), Jack Ray (lithics), Dr. Holly Jones (pottery), and Dr. David Byers (faunal). Check out some field photos below:
Prehistory in southeast Missouri:
Allen and Noknee Sites - Jack Ray (Research Archaeologist), Principal Investigator
Data recovery (Phase III) investigations were conducted in the fall of 2007 by CAR/MSU at two sites located on the flank of the St. Francois Mountains in southern Madison County, Missouri. The work was conducted for the Missouri Department of Transportation because both sites were situated within the proposed construction corridor for the expansion of U.S. Route 67. Excavations at the Allen site (23MO1229) revealed a near single-component Late Archaic workshop focused on the reduction of a high-quality, fine-grained variety of rhyolite. Large flake blanks and initial-stage preforms roughed out at a nearby quarry (23MO1262) were transported to the Allen site for early- and middle-stage thinning and final reduction into Etley and Smith projectile points/knives. Excavations at the nearby Noknee site (23MO1203) revealed a temporary field camp that was occupied intermittently for more than 7500 years. A minimum of 10 separate prehistoric components are represented in the Noknee site assemblage.
The photographic exhibit "Archaeology, History, and GeoScience of the Trail of Tears in Greene and Christian Counties, Missouri" is now available at no charge to public and private educational institutions and agencies. Shipping costs will apply.