Academic journal article Southeastern Archaeology

Remarkable Photographs of Clarence B. Moore's Expedition to the Ouachita River Valley, Louisiana, 1908-1909

Academic journal article Southeastern Archaeology

Remarkable Photographs of Clarence B. Moore's Expedition to the Ouachita River Valley, Louisiana, 1908-1909

Article excerpt

Clarence Bloomfield Moore (1852-1936) is one of the most important historical figures in American archaeology. From the mid-1870s to the early 1920s he undertook excavations at prehistoric sites throughout the southeastern United States, concentrating on the examination of burial mounds. Moore's position and reputation among Southeastern archaeologists today is ambivalent. Most decry his field methods and lament the destruction he must have wrought at innumerable sites across the Southeast. On the other hand, Moore has garnered tolerance if not approval in the fact that the results of most of his work were published over the years in the Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia (Aten and Milanich 2003:127-133; Knight 1996:15-16; Larson 1998:2). These lavishly illustrated publications have since served as important resources for Southeastern archaeologists.

After 1895, Moore conducted most of his investigations from the small, sternwheel steamboat Gopher, which he had built that year in Jacksonville, Florida, expressly for his archaeological research (Pearson et al. 2000). Aboard the Gopher, Moore, his staff, and digging crew traveled along most of the important waterways in the Southeast in search of prehistoric sites. The past decade has seen a revival of interest in C. B. Moore and his work, most evident in the republication of his original Academy of Natural Sciences publications by the University of Alabama Press with introductions and commentary by archaeologists currently working in the Southeast. The present authors have shared in this recent renewal of interest in Moore, including his use of the stemwheeler Gopher (Pearson et al. 2000; Pearson and Cook 2003; Weinstein et al. 2003), and we have kept our eyes open for any new Moore material.

In January 2007, at the annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology in Williamsburg, Virginia, two of us (Birchett and Pearson) ran into an old friend, Noreen Carroll. Carroll mentioned that she was then working at the Smithsonian Institution and involved in organizing and cataloging recently received collections of manuscripts and photographs. Birchett asked her if she had run across any collections related to Moore or his steamboat Gopher. As a maritime archaeologist interested in boats, Carroll remembered seeing a collection containing some photographs of a steamboat that may have been the Gopher. Subsequently, Birchett got in touch with Carroll, who located a collection of photographs comprising the Arthur W. Clime collection. At that time, the photographs had been accessioned and added to the Smithsonian's catalogue system but were not in the online information system (Smithsonian Institution Research Information System). The photographs were described as "depicting archeological crews digging, posing for camera on site with tools, eating meals, sawing logs and crew on riverboat," and they did include images of a steamboat named Gopher. Birchett obtained copies of all of the photographs and recognized immediately that they included not only previously unknown images of Moore's steamer Gopher but also photographs of Moore's field crew at work, his longtime companion and assistant Dr. Milo Miller, and, most remarkably, photographs of an individual we have identified as Moore overseeing the excavations. Despite Moore's long career, few photographs of him exist, and we knew of no other photographic images depicting him working in the field. This knowledge stimulated a search into the background and history of these photographs. Who took them, when were they taken, where were they taken, and whom did they depict? The results of this search are presented here.

Arthur Westphall Clime Sr. and the Clime Collection of Photographs

The Arthur W. Clime collection consists of a group of 23 photographs cataloged as Photograph Lot 2000-78 in the National Anthropological Archives at the Smithsonian Institution. At the urging of Lawrence Aten, the collection was donated to the Smithsonian by Arthur Clime's widow, Celia Clime, in September 2000 (Lawrence E. …

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