History and Activities

History of CAR

The Center for Archaeological Research (CAR) was created in February, 1975, in response to the growing and urgent demand for contract archaeology programs. Since that time, CAR has maintained two primary functions: (1) to assist government agencies and the private sector in performing cultural resource assessments mandated by federal and state laws; and (2) to provide educational services to Missouri State students, other students, and the general public. CAR generally maintains a full-time staff of four to five professionals and support personnel. We also have a large pool of experienced part-time employees.

CAR is separate from the academic departments of Missouri State University. CAR staff report directly to the Dean of the Reynolds College of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities. Although it is separate administratively, the Center's Director and Assistant Director hold adjunct faculty status in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Gerontology.

Activities Undertaken by CAR

CAR has traditionally operated the Missouri State Archaeological Field School for three to six weeks during the summer. Among other projects, field schools have examined the late prehistory of the Spring River valley in Lawrence County, Missouri, a nineteenth-century farmstead of one of the earliest settlers of Springfield, and early nineteenth-century Delaware Indian villages and a trading post along the James River in Christian County, Missouri. Recent field schools have focused on Osage Indian hunting camps along Swan Creek in Christian County, Missouri.

CAR hosts monthly meetings of the Ozarks Chapter of the Missouri Archaeological Society, field trips from elementary and secondary schools, and regional efforts for Missouri Archaeology Awareness Month. CAR archaeologists often present public lectures upon request, and staff members attend regional, national, and international meetings. The director and research archaeologists publish regularly in newsletters, journals, and edited books.