Prehistoric Cultures of the Lower Missouri River
Published: August 13, 2013
Presented by Joe Harl, St. Louis Archaeological Research Center
From ancient mounds and small villages to bustling marketplaces, the Missouri River has been a conduit of human occupation for thousands of years. Archaeologist Joe Harl of the St. Louis Archaeological Research Center shared some of the amazing stories he’s dug up from the rich floodplain of the Missouri River.
- Joe Harl
Joe Harl and his colleagues at the St. Louis Archeological Research Center have been involved in many recent archeological digs revealing this rich heritage here. He shared his knowledge of the parade of cultures in this area, from the first hunting bands, through the widespread Woodland culture, the complex civilization of the Mississippians based out of Cahokia and the later groups moving through as Europeans moved into the area.
Two sites he focused on in his talk were the Dampier site, a Mississippian marketplace related to Cahokia discovered in 2009 in the Chesterfield bottoms, and the Callaway Farms site excavated near Mokane, Mo.
There is no one in the area that knows quite as much as Joe Harl about the latest discoveries of our heritage along the Missouri River.
Mr. Harl graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with an MA degree in Anthropology. He has been performing archaeological investigations across Missouri and Illinois since 1978 with the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and has served on the board of directors for the Missouri Archaeological Society and the Missouri Association of Professional Archaeologists.
Top photo – a wood duck effigy, image courtesy of arc-stl.com. Bottom image from a story in the Suburban Journal
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Resources and Links
- Website for St. Louis Archaeological Research Center
- “Callaway Farm Site – Evidence of a Planned Community during the Terminal Late Archaic Period” article by Joe Harl in Missouri Archaeological Society Quarterly
- Callaway Farm Site – resources from Mo. Dept. of Transportation
- “Native American Mounds” – radio interview with Joe Harl and others on “St. Louis On the Air”.
- “Valley Rich in More than Soil” – May 7, 2009 Suburban Journal article on Dampier site, a Mississippian market area in the Chesterfield bottoms.
“Digging to Preserve the Past” – Oct. 11, 2009 Suburban Journal profile of Joe Harl