The Eaker Site, located on the Eaker Air Force Base, is an archaeological site thought to be related to the Quapaw tribe. The land which it rests on was obtained by the US Air Force in 1942, but the site itself was first noted in 1973. Today, the site is under the jurisdiction of the City of Blytheville, and it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.
Backstory and Context
Structures from the Eaker Site date as far back as around 600 AD, with structures also cropping up from around 1250 AD, as well as around 1350-1450 AD. It is shown that through these three distinct periods, a large village, including a defensive ditch and a temple mound, was constructed, according to archaeological evidence. The village was built along the bank of a waterway, providing for the village many opportunities. Aside from agricultural means, the village’s presence along the water provided for a wide variety of trade, as well, as can be seen from the presence of numerous exotic artifacts found on the site. It is speculated that the inhabitants of the Eaker Site might have made contact with Hernando de Soto around the early 1540s.
The land was not entirely preserved, as a great deal of lumber harvesting was undergone in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. It is thought that the mounds that existed in the Site were demolished during the period of time in which the land was cultivated, as well as some other potential artifacts. The land was acquired by the US Army Air Corps as part of a larger patch of land in 1942, though it was only used for agricultural purposes. Around 1982, however, it was suggested that the land be preserved for its archaeological merit, and in 1988, a large-scale archaeological survey of the Eaker Site was conducted by the Mid Continental Research Associated of Arkansas. The Site was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1992, and it has since been owned by the City of Blytheville.