The Woodward News

February 28, 2013

Museum event Saturday

Chris Cooper
Woodward News

Woodward, Okla. — The Plains Indians and Pioneers Museum will be hosting the annual Ask The Archaeologist event Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Dr. Leland Bement with the Oklahoma Archaeological Society will be returning to identify people's artifacts, fossils, heirlooms, and any other old things people might have collected.

"People bring in old arrow heads, fossilized rocks, you name it," Rob Roberson, museum director, said.  "It's something people really look forward to, they're always asking me when Dr Bement will be coming back."

Bement has been doing the program for a while.

"We've done this every year for about the past 15 to 20 years," Bement said.  "It  works as kind of an outreach program to stay in touch with residents of Northwest Oklahoma and to keep them informed on what I'm doing, as well as to identify any artifacts they may have."

Bement said people will come into the museum and take a number and when their number is called they bring Bement the item. As Bement is identifying the object, he said discusses his current work while going over their collections.

"It's been real popular event," Bement said. "We have anywhere from 20 to 50 people bringing things in to identify, and some come back time and time again.

“I know them, they know me, it's good to see them."

Bement said it's not unusual to have people attend from Kansas, Texas and the panhandle.

Over the years Bement has identified a number of items.

"People have brought in things varying in age from 11,000-year-old clovis points to early 1900s shotguns," he said.  "It's a real mixed bag. We even get some things that have been in people's families for years that have come from Egypt and Mexico. You never know what you're going to see."

Bement also uses this time to fill visitors in on his field of focus, namely North American Native American cultures, and his current work on the subject.

"This last year we did additional work north of Woodward along the North Canadian River working on a buffalo kill site," Bement said.

For those interested in identifying their ancient items, or for those who would just like to learn more about current work taking place in the field of North American Native American cultures, they can feel free to stop by the Plains Indians and Pioneers Museum on Saturday. The event is free and open to the public.