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The Poverty Points

e-newsletter of the Advocates for Poverty Point
September, 2016

September Events at the Poverty Point WHS

Harvest Days at Poverty Point WHS
Join staff at the Poverty Point World Heritage Site on Saturday, September, 10th for an opportunity to learn about the often overlooked Historic Period of the site. New exhibits of historic artifacts recovered from Poverty Point will be on display as well as historic maps of the area. Both walking and tram tours will be available from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Other activities include:
10:00a.m.- Noon         Make and paint clay marbles and use in a game
12:30 -1:00 p.m.          Presentation on the Poverty Point's Historic Period
1:00 – 2:00 p.m.          Open-fire cooking of hoecakes and hardtack
National Public Land Day at Poverty Point WHS
In conjunction with National Public Lands Day on Saturday, September 24th, Poverty Point World Heritage Site will host a flint knapping demonstration. Have you ever found an arrowhead or stone tool in your garden or plowed field and wondered how someone long ago transformed the rock into such a finely made tool? Come out and see the process prehistoric people used to make chipped stone arrowheads, spear points, and other tools. Demonstrations will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

See the Advocates for Poverty Point website for October Archaeology Month Activities 

Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities


Volunteers are needed to staff Poverty Point WHS information tables at the following festivals:

September 17th, Jesse James Festival in Oak Grove, Louisiana from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

October 8th, Teddy’s Bear Festival in Tallulah, Louisiana from  9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
If you are interested in volunteering for a particular demonstration, come to any scheduled interpretive event and be paired with an experienced demonstrator to learn how to provide a quality learning experience to the general public.  You can then volunteer to assist or lead the demonstration in the future! 

To volunteer for any of the above opportunities or for more information on volunteering at the Poverty Point WHS call 318-926-3492.  Also, please complete this Volunteer Interest Form to let us know of your interests and availability.  
Atlatl and archery demonstration at the Poverty Point WHS.
 Dream Catcher and Native American Story telling program at Poverty Point.

Current Research . . . 

The Advocates for Poverty Point will provide $750.00 to fund the elemental analysis of 25 Poverty Point copper artifacts. Previously, six copper artifacts from Poverty Point were analyzed in a pilot study by Drs. Mark Hill (Ball State University) and Hector Neff (Institute for Integrated Research in Materials, Environments and Society at California State University-Long Beach). The pilot study indicated that the Appalachian Mountains region was a more likely source for the copper used in the Poverty Point artifacts than the upper Great Lakes area. This finding contradicts long-held assumptions about the geological source of Poverty Point’s copper. However, the six artifacts tested to date represent only about 3% of the entire copper assemblage recovered at Poverty Point and may not reflect the diversity of sources used in prehistory for producing the site's copper artifacts.

This fall, Dr. Diana Greenlee, Poverty Point Station Archaeologist, will select additional copper specimens for the expanded analysis. Dr. Hill will analyze the additional artifacts using Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry, or LA-ICP-MS. This technique will measure the multiple chemical elements of the artifacts with great precision and its only impact on the artifact is the creation of a tiny clean spot. As in the pilot study, multivariate statistics will be used to compare the composition of the artifacts with the composition of copper from different geological sources.

Most of the copper artifacts at Poverty Point are from surface contexts, which means we do not know how old they are. In the expanded study, we will include as many artifacts from excavated contexts as possible to obtain some, albeit limited, temporal information. Knowing whether Great Lakes, southern Appalachian, or other copper sources were used for creating the artifacts, whether a single or multiple sources are represented, and determining any shifts through time in the use of specific geological sources are also important pieces of information for understanding the system(s) by which raw materials moved to Poverty Point.

Announcing Screen-A-Thon 2016, October 7 & 8! 

On July 9, 2016, six volunteers assisted Alisha Wright and Diana Greenlee of the Poverty Point Station Archaeology Program with a rootball project. The roots of a windthrown tree contained dirt and artifacts that had to be removed before the Poverty Point maintenance crew could dispose of the tree and the hole could be stabilized. 

The Poverty Point Station Archaeology Program’s next volunteer event will be October 7 and 8, 2016. As part of Louisiana’s Archaeology Month celebration, we will have a screening marathon, a Screen-A-Thon. Starting at 3 pm on Friday October 7 and ending at 3 pm on Saturday October 8, we plan to water-screen archaeological dirt in shifts for 24 hours straight.

The dirt to be screened was excavated in 2006 by the LA Department of Transportation and Development during the placement of a culvert beneath the tram road on the north end of the site. The Station Archaeology Program has worked intermittently on the big pile of dirt (unofficially dubbed “Mound G” by the Poverty Point maintenance crew), including two previous Screen-A-Thons and several other volunteer opportunities. In addition to historic debris (glass, metal, plastic, road gravel, construction materials), abundant prehistoric remains (e.g., chipped stone [flakes, microblades and perforators, biface fragments], PPOs and PPO fragments, a figurine, hematite plummets) have been recovered. Who knows what artifacts are hiding in the remaining soil?

Those interested in participating in what may be the last Screen-A-Thon should contact Diana Greenlee for more information and to register. Call 318-926-3314 or email to
Carmen Richard, Rebecca Richard, Peggy Smith, and Ricky Smith clean dirt from a rootball at Poverty Point WHS..
Joe Perkins, Alisha Wright, and Steve Richard screen dirt from the rootball.

Welcome Joanna Hunter to the Poverty Point WHS!

Poverty Point World Heritage Site is pleased to welcome Joanna Hunter as the new Administrative Coordinator. Joanna grew up near Poverty Point, with family in the Pioneer and Oak Grove communities. She comes to Poverty Point from the YMCA of Northeast Louisiana and brings a wealth of administrative, youth programing, and grant writing experience. While working at the YMCA, Joanna also received a Bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

Joanna is responsible for overseeing group scheduling, record keeping, and purchasing at Poverty Point. In addition to her administrative duties, she helps develop interpretive programs. Most recently she orchestrated the National Kids to Parks Day when children made their own paper earth ovens, got to try out the atlatl, and worked on Poverty Point Junior Ranger Program Activities. Joanna has also taken on the project of reviewing the historic period of Poverty Point.

Joanna’s focus is visitor oriented. She is passionate about ensuring that Poverty Point delivers an unsurpassed visitor experience. We are fortunate to have Joanna as part of our team.
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