Arkalalah visitors will have opportunities to learn more about Etzanoa, the ancient Native American town located in what is now Arkansas City, during the festival next week.

Etzanoa Conservancy logoThe Etzanoa Conservancy, a local nonprofit group dedicated to the promotion and development of the archaeological site along the banks of the Walnut River, will sponsor a display Oct. 27-28 at 218 S. Summit St., just south of Graves Drug in downtown Ark City.

The conservancy’s display will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. next Friday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 28.

Passersby are encouraged to stop by the storefront to check out artifacts, maps and books related to the “Great Settlement” — as Etzanoa was called by Spanish explorers who visited the site in 1601.

Don Blakeslee, Wichita State University professor of anthropology and archaeology, will be at the display from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 28. He will be available to answer questions about the archaeological dig he has led at the Etzanoa site and evaluate artifacts presented to him by collectors who have unearthed arrowheads, pottery, and other historic items.

Blakeslee is a longtime WSU anthropology professor who specializes in the archaeology of the Great Plains.

Since 2015, he has led archaeological studies in Ark City, at the site of Etzanoa, the natives’ name for their settlement. The natives were the ancestors of today’s Wichita Indian tribe.

This information was provided by Etzanoa Conservancy member Foss Farrar.