The Arkansas Capitol in Little Rock is presenting “Gathering, Gardening and Agriculture” as its spring 2017 exhibit, located in the first-floor exhibit cases.
The presentation, which will be on display until mid-May, is based on decades of research by the Arkansas Archeological Survey in Fayetteville and colleagues across the nation into paleoethnobotany, the history of plant domestication by and agricultural practices of ancient Arkansas natives, according to a press release from the office of Secretary of State Mark Martin.
“Gathering, Gardening and Agriculture” explores the history of how foraging led way to the domestication of plants and animals and laid the foundation for agriculture. Arkansas was within one of 10 zones throughout the world where the transformation happened, according to the office.
The exhibit looks at Native American and early European- and African-American plant use in the southeastern United States, showing early technology like shell and stone tools, storage and cooking vessels and botanical specimens like goosefoot, sumpweed, little barley and maygrass, all domesticated by native farmers. Specifically within the state of Arkansas, the presentation looks at Rockhouse Cave on Petit Jean Mountain, Toltec Mounds State Archeological Park and Parkin State Archeological Park.
Also displayed are precious samples of early textile work: fragments of hunting or fishing net and a basketwork seed storage bag nearly two millennia old, according to the office.
The exhibit is presented in partnership with University of Arkansas Museum in Fayetteville and Plantation Agriculture Museum State Park in Scott.