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Hampson Museum State Park

Po Box 156
Wilson, Arkansas

Phone: 501-655-8622 --

Statement of Purpose:

Local Doctor's collection of mostly local, Mississippian Indian artifacts. Archaeological/anthropological in nature.

Highlights & Collections:

Amid the cotton fields of the delta, the remains of a Temple Mound people were found along the Mississippi River. Researchers uncovered Nodena, a fifteen-acre palisaded farming village. It was occupied from about 1350 to 1700 by ancestors of the Chickasaw, who lived in this region when the first Europeans came. In the 1930s and 1940s, James K. Hampson headed the excavations on land owned by one of the largest cotton plantations in the world, the R. E. Lee Wilson Company. After Hampson's death, his collection of archaeological material was donated to the state of Arkansas; in 1961, the collection was moved from the plantation museum to its current location.

The museum houses an impressive selection of artifacts from a number of different culture periods. Collections include rare head pots which have a unique design and specialized technology, and are believed to have been made only during the Mississippi time period; the function of these pots is still a mystery to anthropologists. There are ceramic vessels with symbols that indicate they had ceremonial significance. and the many items of personal adornment---such as imported shell, copper, animal claws, teeth, and bones, fashioned into beads, pendants, and ear spools---were, according to the evidence, worn in great quantities by the Nodena people. Archaeological materials are accompanied by graphics and written material that describe the farming-based civilization that inhabited the area.


Ceramic, stone, bone and other artifacts. Indian lore days in late April.

Exhibits aim to place objects within their cultural context: the pottery exhibit, which includes the distinctive Nodena red and white pottery, describes the process of creating a pottery vessel, and the tool exhibit attempts to explain the function of the implements, relating them to their modern counterparts.


Tue-Sat: 8-5; Sun:1-5. Closed on Holidays.

Admission & Directions:

The entrance fee for adults is $2.25 and $1.25 for children.



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