Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Great Southeast American Indian Mound Tour of 2010. Part XIII. Museum (cont.)

Click here for the first post in this series.

ArrowHeads Continuing on with our tour of the Fort Walton Beach Mound Museum. No exhibit dedicated to the American Indian worth its salt would be without a display of arrowheads. Well, here’s one of several at Fort Walton Beach. Note the diversity of type here. Lots more in the back room, I’ll bet!

Deptford Pot Now, this piece certainly isn’t common. To say the least! Labeled a “Clay Tetrapod Vessel,” it dates to the Deptford Culture. Estimated at around 1170 BC. About the time of the Trojan War, isn’t it? One of the oldest pieces found in this area. Click on the photo above so you can see the pattern impressed around the rim. And the care with which it was made.

Woodland Context Display Here in this Woodland era display is an example of just how the pieces displayed in this Museum have been placed within a context that helps non-archeologists like me to make better sense of them. Designing such displays can’t be easy. The line between explanation and entertainment, or exploitation, is fine. I think they’ve managed here to achieve an excellent balance.

A warning, though. It takes a long time to absorb the information available at even one of these displays. And there are many. It’s no glance, click, and move-on sort of thing. Be sure to allow enough time when you visit, or you’ll miss a lot. You’ll be viewing some of the most important archeological artifacts available from this part of the world. Quite an experience. So take your time, and enjoy.

Buck Mound Artifacts In addition to the Temple Mound and its immediate environs, William Lazarus and his teams excavated many other sites around the area. One of the most productive was the Buck Burial Mound. Just a quarter-mile southwest of the Temple Mound. Click the photo above to see some of the Buck Mound artifacts. This also is where the remarkable Buck-Long Effigy Urn mentioned in the last post was discovered.

Dog BurialHere’s another remarkable find. The intact skeleton of a young dog. Buried with food and water utensils. Suggesting the animal may have been a beloved pet. I understand this skeleton created quite a stir in the world of archeology at the time of its discovery.

DecorationDecoration 2 Click on the photos above and look closely at the delicate decorations and and graceful shapes. Remarkable work from any era. Imagine the excitement of uncovering such a piece during an archeological dig!

There are many more artifacts on display here. Most of them quite important. So you’ll just have to come to see for yourself.

Touch Table And when you do, have a look at the “Touch Table,” especially popular with the younger visitors.

Library And look through the Museum’s Library. Here’s a glimpse through the door.

ClickToListen The Library collection isn’t very large. But it’s highly concentrated. I saw dozens of books and pamphlets related to the archeology of the Mound and surrounding area. Here’s Museum Manager Gail Meyer again to describe the Library.

If you don’t have time to sit here and read, take note of the titles and look for them elsewhere later on. Really useful material here for those of interested in this period of American history.

Well, it’s time to leave the Fort Walton Beach Temple Mound and Museum. It’s been a wonderful visit. Special thanks to Museum Manager Gail Meyer. And to Programming Coordinator Mike Thomin. Both were most generous with their time and expertise. I’m certain that William and Yulee Lazarus would be pleased to know their creation is in such capable hands.

Off early tomorrow morning to Cartersville, Georgia, and the Etowah Mound Site there. The last stop on the Great Southeast American Indian Mound Tour of 2010. So, stay tuned.

Click here for the next post in this series.

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