A faculty member at Missouri Valley College is leading a unique archaeological dig this weekend.  Click to hear KMZU’s Bob Allen talk with Missouri Valley College Assistant Professor of Anthropology Dr. Peter Warnock:

Peter Warnock

Press Release from Missouri Valley College

Marshall, Mo. Dr. Peter Warnock, assistant professor of anthropology at Missouri Valley College, will lead a team of archaeologists in the excavation of an 1800s latrine in Arrow Rock, Mo.  The event will take place Oct. 7-8.

The goal of the project is to analyze the latrine’s contents for evidence of diet and disease through pollen and parasites remains from different socio-economic groups to determine differences in diet and disease on the American frontier during the 1800s and early 1900s.  The excavation is a feasibility study for a potentially larger archaeological project in the Arrow Rock area.

Dr. Warnock has analyzed materials dealing with diet and disease from toilets dating to around 587 B.C. excavated from Jerusalem, Israel, and from archaeological features dating to early Colonial times in Philadelphia, Penn.


“This type of project will provide our students with valuable hands-on experience in archaeological fieldwork,” Warnock said. “Having the opportunity to work in a town with the historical significance like that of Arrow Rock is advantageous to our students and to the continued relationship between the College and the village of Arrow Rock.”

Also taking part in the project is Amanda Rollins, a graduate student from Indiana University. Other participants include anthropology and archaeology students from Missouri Valley College, the University of Leicester of the United Kingdom, and Indiana University.

If preliminary results of the soil analysis indicate good preservation and an abundance of remains, a broader project analyzing multiple latrines from various socio-economic groups will proceed.

The project is supported by The Friends of Arrow Rock, and builds on research previously done in Arrow Rock by Dr. Timothy Baumann. Dr. Baumann, former MVC associate professor of archaeology, is the curator of collections at the University of Indiana.

For more information about the MVC department of anthropology, visit http://www.moval.edu/academics or contact Warnock at (660) 831-4044.