Old Davidsonville

Almost no trace of the town of Davidsonville remains on the surface of the ground today. Davidsonville, Arkansas was once a flourishing community founded on the banks of the Black River in 1815. The town lasted for about 15 years until 1830 when the county seat was moved to Jackson. Today, archeologists have uncovered remarkable evidence of streets, foundations, and thousands of objects that tell a fascinating story of Davidsonville, its residents, and life on the early Arkansas frontier.

The Old Davidsonville project involves a 3D digital recreation of the historic town as well as a photographic database of significant artifacts recovered from the site. Multiple structures including a courthouse, post office, cotton gin, taverns, stores and homes have been recreated in 3D using information from excavation reports and historic accounts. Several of the key artifact types that have been recovered at the site have also been recreated and placed within their context in the historic town. The photo database has been linked with the 3D recreation providing information to the visitors about the history of the town and the types of artifacts recovered in excavations there.

Associated Grants and Awards

Revealing Arkansas History Through Interactive Digital Environments, Arkansas Natural & Cultural Resources Council (2015)

News & Media

Researchers Bring Davidsonville Back to Life, Arkansas Newswire, 05/02/16

Resurrecting a Ghost Town, Research Frontiers, 04/29/16

U of A Projects Funded by Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council, Arkansas Newswire, 05/12/15

Project website:


Principal Investigator

Angelia Payne

Co-Principal Investigators

Jackson Cothren

Fred Limp