September 27, 2016

Contact: Steph Deidrick

Archeology program to be presented at Arrow Rock State Historic Site Oct. 1

The public is invited to learn about Missouri archaeology and prehistoric Native American cultures at Arrow Rock State Historic Site. Jack Ray, Research Archaeologist for the Center for Archaeological Research at Missouri State University will present “Stratified Lithic Workshops at the Sugar Potato Site in Van Meter State Park” at 2 p.m., Oct. 1 at the site visitor center. This program will conclude a series of programs sponsored throughout the state by the Missouri Archaeological Society.

The Sugar Potato site is located on an alluvial fan at the base of the Pinnacles, an eroded upland area that borders the Missouri River floodplain along the west side of Van Meter State Park in Saline County. The lower slopes of the ridges in this area contain deposits of high-quality Burlington chert which was made into arrowheads, knives, lance points and other stone tools.

It was long believed that the Arrow Rock bluff was the main source of chert for American Indians in central Missouri.  However, recent investigations of the Pinnacles area in 2013 and 2014 documented several prehistoric chert quarries and identified probable campsites nearby.

The test excavations at Sugar Potato appear to have resulted in the first documentation of Middle Woodland chert quarrying in Van Meter State Park or anywhere else in the state of Missouri.  The lecture is free and open to the public.

Arrow Rock State Historic Site is located at 39521 Visitor Center Drive in Arrow Rock.  For more information about the event, call the Arrow Rock State Historic Site at (660) 837-3330. Missouri State Parks is supported by the one-tenth of one-percent Parks, Soils and Water Sales Tax, which accounts for approximately 75 percent of the budget to repair, improve and maintain state parks and historic sites. Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri State Parks.

For more information about Missouri state parks and historic sites, visit