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November 23, 2011

Louisiana Governor applauds ULM professor

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal recognized retired University of Louisiana at Monroe professor Joe Saunders, Ph.D., for his "excellence and contributions in Louisiana archeology," in a formal proclamation on Nov. 17.

In recognition of Saunders' prolific research, a mound at Frenchmen's Bend Site is now known as "Saunders' Mound."

He earned accolades following his work on archaic mounds in which he meticulously mapped, cored, excavated, radiocarbon dated, and analyzed sites such as Watson Brake, Frenchman's Bend, and Hedgepeth.

Saunders' research was "a primary factor in changing the paradigm of archaic mound building in North America," said ULM's Gary Stringer, department chair of atmospheric science, earth science and physics.

Saunders worked in that department at ULM for more than 20 years. He has also served as a curator in the ULM Museum of Natural History.

In 2010, Louisiana Archaeological Society honored Saunders with the James A. Ford Award, the highest and most prestigious award given by the society.

This award has only been given 5 times since its inception more than 35 years ago.

Saunders, who has served as the Northeast Louisiana Regional Archeologist since 1989, published ground-breaking archeology research in journals such as Science, American Antiquities, Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History, and the Bulletins of the Louisiana Archeological Society and in books such as Louisiana Archaeology.

He has worked with numerous organizations including the Louisiana Archeological Society, the Northeast Section of the Louisiana Archaeological Society, and the Louisiana Archaeological Conservancy.

He has also helped develop the Indian Mounds of Northeast Louisiana Driving Trail.

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