AMORY – A glimpse of pre-historic life is coming to Amory for one day. The Magnolia State Archaeological Society (MSAS) will host a Native American Indian Artifact Show June 22 at the Old Armory from 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Admission is free to the public.
“This show is new to Amory. We have 100 tables already. It’s booked solid,” said MSAS Treasurer Frank Robinson.
Society president Bill Breidinger has been collecting archaeological artifacts for nearly 30 years and has headed the MSAS for about 10 years.
“A friend of mine was setting traps and found an Indian pipe. That experience got me hooked,” he said in recalling his first encounter with artifacts.
Exhibitors from Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Missouri, Kentucky and Louisiana, as well as other parts of the country, will display the works of art in stone and clay that were made by prehistoric man.
“Some of the finest Indian artifacts in the country will be at this show,” Breidinger said. “It is a very educational event that will offer a glimpse into the life of prehistoric man.”
Facing the unknown
According to many archaeologists, Paleo man entered North America by crossing the Bering Strait from Asia by way of a land bridge into Alaska more than 16,000 years ago. Breidinger said it is believed that these people migrated across America more than thousands of years.
“Their tools were crude and made of stone or bone. These were attached to a long, narrow shaft. The animals they hunted were massive, very dangerous and dwarfed them in size. These animals included mammoth, mastodon, short face bears, elk, moose and giant beavers that weighed around 400 pounds. Members of the hunting party were often killed trying to bring down these massive animals. No part of the animals they killed was wasted. Even the bones were made in to tools or weapons,” Breidinger said.
Many of these tools and weapons will be on display at the show, along with grinding stones used to process the various foods that they gathered. A large variety of pottery made from clay and ground up shell or bone will also be on display.
“This is only a small window into the life of prehistoric man,” Breidinger said. “Bring your family and see how prehistoric man lived thousands of years ago and the tools and weapons they used to survive.”
According to Robinson, the enthusiastic response and participation to putting the show together is a good sign that the event will return to Amory next year.
For more information, call Breidinger at (601) 486-6162 or Robinson at 562-2462.
Staff writer John Ward contributed to this article.