TAMUCT hosts archaeology fair

Cove Leader-Press

Fort Hood has a plethora of ancient artifacts that can help teach us more about the past, and for the rest of this month, several of those artifacts will be on display.

The Fort Hood Cultural Management Office joined Texas A&M University - Central Texas (TAMUCT) to hold their 3rd Archaeology Fair on Thursday at the TAMUCT campus in Killeen. The event began at 10 a.m. and ran until 1 p.m.

October is Texas Archaeology Month, and in addition to Thursday’s fair, the college will be holding an open house for the rest of October in Building 1938 near the Sportsmen’s Center on Fort Hood Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. where they will have historical artifacts on display.

Both the fair and the display are intended to give the public a better understanding about this area’s history. Event hosts hope that this might kindle a desire to protect and preserve historical sites and artifacts.

Christine Jones, PhD, TAMUCT’s Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Criminal Justice, oversaw Thursday’s event.

“We’re educating the public about archaeology in Central Texas,” said Jones. “Hopefully some of the kids visiting will think ‘Oh wow, this is part of our education. It’s part of our history and pre-history.’”

Thursday’s Archaeology Fair included various hands-on activities and interactive demonstrations that were both fun and informative. Both children and adults could practice flint knapping to try to make an arrowhead, take the opportunity to throw a spear using an atlatl, learn about Native American history and the history of this area, dig for fossils, check out historic and pre-historic items from Fort Hood, and more.

“It was really neat for the kids be able to see and to be able to come out and get hands-on,” said Candace Frank, who brought her daughter and two sons to the event.

The spear throwing was one of the most popular events at the Archaeology Fair. Event-goers could throw spears using an atlatl which is an ancient spear-throwing device that was used before bows and arrows.

“A lot of people have been commenting on how much easier it is than bow and arrow,” said Jones. “It’s easier to just immediately pick it up and do it. The kids have been doing really well.”

In order to share her culture, Mildred Todd set up a table with several Navajo and Hopi items. Her table displayed books, pictures, toys, games, and more. Todd said that the children were especially excited by the games. She allowed event-goers to touch and interact with the items on display.

Todd said that it was important to her to share her heritage. She said that children tend to assume that the Native Americans live and act like they are depicted in movies. Todd said she wanted to show people that, in reality, they are just like everyone else.

Many parents brought their young children to the family-friendly event.

“They’re enjoying it. It’s great to be able to have the local stuff that was found and to be able to talk about all these local artifacts,” said Eileen Fredette, who brought her sons to the event. “That also exposes them to how people had to live.”

Anyone who missed the event—or those that want to check out the artifacts again—are welcome to check out the college’s open house which will be available for the rest of the month.

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