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Communities and Cultures in Fort Smith: Exploring Identities in the Region

Date: Thursday, March 22, 2018
Time: 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Location: Fort Smith Museum of History 320 Rogers Avenue Fort Smith, AR 72

As part of the City of Fort Smith Bicentennial Celebration, the Fort Smith Museum of History will offer “Communities and Cultures in Fort Smith: Exploring Identities in the Region,"  a new speaker series addressing the communities and cultures that have influenced and shaped the region and the city as we know it today. 

The speaker series will be a monthly Thursday evening event.  The March 22 program features Dennis Peterson from Spiro Mounds Archeological Center.   Peterson will discuss the “prehistoric gateway” of the region, Spiro Mounds. 

The mound site, “located seven miles outside of Spiro, Oklahoma, is the only prehistoric, American Indian archaeological site in Oklahoma open to the public. The mounds are one of the most important American Indian sites in the nation. The prehistoric Spiro people created a sophisticated culture which influenced the entire Southeast. Artifacts indicate an extensive trade network, a highly-developed religious center, and a political system which controlled the entire region. Located on a bend of the Arkansas River, the site was a natural gateway from which the Spiro people exerted their influence. Yet much of the Spiro culture is still a mystery, as well as the reasons for the decline and abandonment of the site.”

View a conch shell from Spiro Mounds featured in the museum's Timeline Exhibit and a 1914 photograph of the mounds.  (Courtesy of the Oklahoma Historical Society).