Today, our youngsters and adult volunteers worked together to identify arrowheads and other artifacts from a collection of Native American items held by the Education Department of the NCMHC. That is not an easy task!
Russ Snyder, an archaeologist from the Huron-Manistee National Forest Service, provided excellent reference sheets with sketches of projectile points and dating information for us to use. The points ranged in age from a few hundred to almost 10,000 years old!
It is amazing to think that humans have been in Newaygo County for that long, inhabiting the land, raising families, hunting, fishing, and gathering the food and other supplies to meet their needs. And all that activity was done in a way that caused no permanent damage to the natural resources, creating a sustainable life style. We can learn a lot from those first people!
Our day continued with a review of the Unit Folders used during our excavations. Missing or partial notes were completed. These records include details about artifacts found, the level and position they were found in, soil color and other changes that were noticed. Careful recording is essential to archaeology as so much can be learned by observing the context of the unit.
Each excavated object was carefully cleaned, identified, and put into small plastic bags for use in making our exhibit for this year. In preparation for that display construction, students were able to use the Research Room’s new computers to aide in their research. Some groups have chosen display boards; some are making dioramas; others are displaying their artifacts on the table surfaces with labeling.
While the young people and volunteers were busy getting ready for tomorrow’s Archaeology Fair, Mr. Snyder was busy carefully photographing the most important finds and writing up his very detailed report, which will be sent to another expert for analysis. Some people think an archaeologist must lead an exciting life – and there certainly are exciting moments – but all that paperwork, necessary as it is, cannot be that fun!
What a enjoyable, eventful day we all had!!
WE HOPE YOU WILL BE ABLE TO VISIT US TOMORROW (Friday, June 23, 2017) FROM 2 – 3 PM AT THE MUSEUM.
WE ARE EXCITED TO BE ABLE TO SHARE ALL THE INFORMATION WE HAVE LEARNED!