Hampson Archeological Museum State Park in northeast Arkansas exhibits a nationally renowned collection from the Nodena site, a 15-acre palisaded village that once thrived on a meander bend of the Mississippi River in what is today Mississippi County. Hampson Archeological Museum interprets the lifestyles of this farming-based civilization that lived there from A.D. 1400 to 1650. Artifacts and exhibits share the story of this early aboriginal population of farmers who cultivated crops and supplemented their food resources with hunting native game while developing its art, religion and political structure along with a thriving trading network. This remarkable collection owes its preservation to the late Dr. James K. Hampson and his family.
The Nodena people cultivated corn, beans, and squash. These foods were supplemented by hunting and fishing. White-tailed deer, raccoon, muskrat, squirrel, and rabbit provided food as well as skins, and bones for tools, jewelry, and gaming dice. Cane was used for thatch roofs, building materials, fishing traps, and arrow shafts, and could be used as fuel for fire. Hardwood (bald cypress, oak, cottonwood) was used for canoes, tools, and larger weapons like knives, spears, atl-atls, and bows. Local backswamp clays were used in the elaborate pottery vessels the Mississippian culture has become known for, including the beautiful type-site pottery – Nodena Red and White (see www.H istoryStateParks.com for photos). Stone for tools and weapons was imported from the north, and the trade network also brought shells from the Gulf of Mexico and salt from Missouri.
Our staff welcomes the opportunity to lead you on a guided tour any day the museum is open and staff are available. Scheduled times are 10:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m.; however, guided tours for drop-in visitors can be made available most of the time.
Official Great River Road Interpretive Center
The Great River Road National Scenic Byway follows the course of the Mississippi River for 3,000 miles from northern Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. The scenic route passes through 10 states and hundreds of river towns. Learn more >