BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - The Kentucky Archaeological Survey found a new home in the bluegrass. Western Kentucky University and KAS began their partnership on June 1st.

“KAS basically has given me experiences I can never replace,” said Eric Schlarb, one of the KAS project directors.

He was nervous about what the future held after the group was terminated by the University of Kentucky.

“Seeing that possibly come to an end was very heartbreaking because doing archaeology for the survey is a part of who I am,” said Schlarb. “It’s my identity.”

The award-winning Kentucky Archaeological Survey undertakes a variety of projects throughout Kentucky. Now, the Survey will provide hands-on education experiences to WKU students in the field, the lab, and the community. 

“KAS is going to provide more opportunities for our student to be engaged in that meaningful kind of learning,” said Darlene Applegat. Applegat serves as the Department Head of Folk Studies and Anthropology at WKU.

Some of the projects are conducted in advance of construction by state agencies, while others are conducted to identify sites on public lands, so that state and federal agencies can be better stewards.

KAS works with local governments and non-profits on diverse initiatives, including educational projects that involve grade-school children and civic groups who participate in ongoing archaeological research. 

Jay Stottman from KAS said this new partnership will allow the Survey to benefit Kentuckians everywhere. The group aims to educate the public about Kentucky’s reich archaeological heritage. 

“There isn’t a subject that’s taught that can’t be applied through archaeology one way or the other,” said Stottman. “We use archaeology to teach critical thinking.”

They’re excited for what the future holds. They want to dig up passions in the community.

“I very much wanted to be a part of the Survey,” said Schlarb. “It’s all about people. I met a group of people that have a common goal and are passionate.”

Examples of projects are:

  • Historic Fames of the Commonwealth
  • State Monument, Frankfort
  • Old Frankfort Cemetery, Frankfort
  • Davis Bottom, Lexington
  • Jewel Site and Barren River Chiefdoms
  • Kentucky Archaeology video series
  • Kentucky Archaeology booklet series
  • Project Archaeology curriculum development and educator training