Using advanced technology to understand the past.
Like the methods of Crime Scene Investigators, science provides a variety of ways to look beneath the surface of the Drennen House grounds for evidence of the past. Techniques like gradiometry, electrical resistance, and ground penetrating radar can paint a picture of what rests below your feet. With technology in hand, Arkansas Archeological Survey staff and volunteers located an assortment of artifacts including some that predate construction of the house. They found evidence of flower and vegetable gardens. Nearby, behind the house, they found a small foundation that suggests the location of an early kitchen or cabin. These discoveries, and each new find, contribute to an evolving portrait of this domestic landscape.
Top left: This aerial photo shows the areas of preliminary investigation. Due to interference
the archeologists concentrated on the back yard beyond the house towards the top of the photograph and the gardens to the right of the house. Photograph courtesy of Jay Gill.
All others courtesy of Arkansas Archeological Survey.
Top middle: Archeologists immediately found large stones (possible foundations) and broken hand-made bricks.
Middle left: Rope gridlines were
used to map the grounds. This photo shows archeologists using resistivity to find potential features in the ground. This method shoots an electric impulse through the ground to sensors that provide a computer image of the soil.
Middle right: Using the same gridlines, archeologists in this photo are using ground penetrating radar to investigate the ground. Additional computer analysis revealed
Middle bottom left: More excavation revealed the stone foundation of a small building. What do you think it might have been? An early kitchen, cabin, smokehouse, shed?
Bottom right: Artifacts from this excavation included an inkwell, door hinge, and the remains of a plate manufactured in England. Other objects found at this site are on display inside the house. The objects suggest the structure predates the ca. 1836 construction of the main house.