Established 1935 — Celebrating 75 Years
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Missouri Archaeology Month

September 2013 will be Missouri's sixteenth annual Archaeology Month, sponsored by the Missouri Archaeological Society,Missouri Department of Natural Resources, and the Louis Berger Group, Inc. Archaeology Month is a state-wide celebration of archaeology held every September. Events include an Annual Fall Symposium and distribution of the Missouri Archaeological Society's educational poster to over 10,000 schools, institutions, and members.

To download a full listing of 2013 Archaeology Month events, click here.

The 2013 posters are here!

To see images of some of our posters, follow this link; some copies of posters from previous years are still available. To request free copies of Archaeology Month posters, please contact the MAS office. Please note that if you are a nonmember who resides outside of the state of Missouri, you must send $3.50 to cover the cost of materials and postage.

Fall Symposium 2013

Our annual Fall Symposium was held on Saturday, September 28 at Fort Osage National Historic Landmark, Sibley, Missouri.


Abstracts for Fall Symposium Presentations

Disposed of in Trade: Factors, Traders, and Sutlers at Fort Osage 1808–1813
Dave Bennett (Independent Scholar): Fort Osage was established in 1808 to utilize trade as a medium to peace with the Osage Nation. Besides the Government’s trading house or “Factory,” the fort was also garrisoned by a 75 man company of the 1st Infantry. From the first day of arriving at the “Big Eddy” to construct the most Western Outpost of the United States, the site attracted licensed independent Indian traders, Army sutlers, farmers, boatmen, fur trade companies all looking to sell, barter and trade. The goods they sold or traded and bartered for were as diverse as their customers, including: Little Osage, Great Osage, Kansa, Ottoe, Missouri, Pawnee, Maha, soldiers, fur companies, explorers, farmers and almost anyone who traveled up the Missouri River after 1808. What goods were available, where were they made, and who bought them? Here at the end of civilization, the business of trade was alive and well.

The Osage Trading House at Arrow Rock, October 1813–April 1814
Michael Dickey (Arrow Rock State Historic Site): Establishing a trading house or factory at Fort Osage had been a key inducement in getting the Osage nation to cede 30 million acres of land by treaty in 1808. During the War of 1812, the fort was abandoned and William Clark noted that the British made “great exertions” to win the Osage to their side. Continued trade with the tribe was necessary to offset British influence and to maintain their loyalty to the United States. A temporary solution to this problem was the establishment of a trading house by George C. Sibley, the fort’s factor, at the Arrow Rock bluff on the Missouri River. In the summer of 2005, the University of Missouri St. Louis and the Department of Natural Resources conducted an archaeological survey of the trading house site near Arrow Rock. This presentation examines the brief history of the Arrow Rock trading house and the 2005 survey.

The Osage Sites in Missouri: An Archaeological and Historical Perspective

Larry Grantham (Gauss Archeology, LLC): There are 15 sites in Missouri that document the history of the Osage in the state after their arrival in the state ca. 1650. We will examine all of these in light of the information available from archaeology and historical documentation. All of these are important sites in the rise of the Osage, their interaction with the French, Spanish, and Americans, and the final departure of the Osage in the period between 1650 and 1823. All of these (with two exceptions) should be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. I will discuss the available information and the archaeological excavation that has occurred as well as what we might wish for in the future in the way of additional excavations and eventual listing as landmarks and as listings on the National Register.

The Osage Factory: Jeffersonian Indian Policy on the Missouri Frontier

John Peterson (Historic Sites Division, Jackson County Parks + Rec): Jefferson anticipated that the Osage trade house, or factory, at Fort Osage would maintain peace with the Lower Missouri tribes in order to begin to control the Missouri Territory. If peaceful diplomacy could not be established, particularly with the Osage, then American incursions up the Missouri River would fail. It was hoped that the trade at Fort Osage would turn the Osage into American allies to balance the scales with British-allied and influenced tribes north of the Missouri River. The trade house was also used as a pivot point for the U.S. to acquire a large tract of Osage hunting territory in the 1808 Treaty. Fort Osage was situated on buffer lands that mitigated conflict between the Osage to the south and the Ioway, Sac, and Oto to the north. Bringing the Osage to the Missouri River at Fort Osage disrupted the function of this buffer zone and increased inter-tribal warfare in the region. Thus the Osage Factory failed miserably in its goal to keep inter-tribal peace, but it did significantly improve relations between the U.S. and the Osage.

The Kansa (Kaw) Frontier
Lauren W. Ritterbush (Kansas State University)
As Euroamericans moved westward to new frontiers, they entered lands already populated by native peoples. In many cases, these groups also had histories of expanding into new lands… their own frontiers. The Kansa or Kaw Indians for whom the state of Kansas is named had not always resided in the Plains. Instead their roots lie to the east, including Missouri. As they explored and settled in present-day Missouri, they adjusted their ways of living, created new identities, and established relationships with foreign groups. Their frontier continued to shift westward into the early nineteenth century. Archaeological and historical data provide the foundation for understanding the movements and adjustments of the ancestral Kansa.

Excavations at Fool Chief’s Village (14SH305)

Tricia Waggoner (Kansas State Historical Society)
This presentation is a brief update on the excavations at Fool Chief’s Village (14SH305). This site was excavated for 106 compliance by the Kansas Department of Transportation. Fool Chief’s Village is a Kansa Village occupied between 1830–1844. Though analyses are ongoing, some conclusions about house structure and dominate faunal remains can be drawn.

James Kipp: Upper Missouri River Fur Trader and Missouri Farmer
W. Raymond Wood (University of Missouri)
James Kipp was an important agent of the Columbia and American Fur Companies on the Upper Missouri River. He was also a farmer in Platte County. He was a corresponding member of the Academy of Science of St. Louis; the host and translator for George Catlin and Prince Maximilian at Fort Clark. He was the husband of two Mandan “country wives.” The second Mandan wife was the daughter of Mató-Tópe, or Four Bears. Four Bear’s daughter, Earth Woman, bore him Joseph Kipp, who became a major player in the late fur trade in Montana. The lives of James Kipp, Earth Woman, and Joseph Kipp encapsulate the history of the entire Upper Missouri River between 1822 and the statehood of North Dakota and Montana.

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