Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version

Spring 2016

Thesis Advisor

Megan Kassabuam


The Junior Archaeological Society of Baton Rouge, which operated from 1958 through 1976, afforded middle- and high school-aged students the opportunity to learn about anthropology, history, and a wide range of other topics. The Society (headed by J. Ashley Sibley, Jr.) also excavated at Native American sites in Louisiana and Mississippi – for the perceived “unprofessionalism” with which they proceeded, they have received considerable scrutiny from the Southeastern archaeological community. My goal, from the project’s outset, was to understand the Society’s archaeological endeavors (particularly as they centered around Smith Creek site in Wilkinson County, Mississippi). In order to do this, I chose to employ interviews with former members and archival materials. I came to understand that, far from being haphazardly-digging bugs, JAS members excavated meticulously, scientifically, and sparingly. Moreover, Sibley placed a great deal of emphasis on education and leadership. In this thesis, I explore the work, play, and continuing positive impact of the Society – hopefully, in the process, I also chip away at the poor reputation with which the Society been saddled.

Included in

Anthropology Commons



Date Posted: 08 June 2016


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