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 eight to ten 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 College of Humanities and Public Affairs. Although it is separate administratively, the Center's Director and Research Archaeologists hold adjunct faculty status in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology.

Activities Undertaken by CAR

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

CAR hosts monthly meetings of the Ozarks Chapter of the Missouri Archaeological Society, field trips from elementary and secondary schools, an annual Artifact Identification Day, 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.