Missouri Archaeology Month Events Planned in September at Southeast


CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Aug. 29, 2003- The University Museum at Southeast Missouri State University will recognize Missouri Archaeology Month with two special events that allow visitors to join museum staff to learn about archaeology while having fun.

Archaeology Discovery Day will be held Sept. 13.  Families are invited to the Museum where they can experience archaeology at interactive stations and touch tables.  Guests will learn about what archaeologists do and how they work.  They may also view archaeological finds, including ceramics, in the Museum’s Thomas Beckwith Collection.  In addition, guests can make their own pottery with coiling and pinching methods, which they can keep.

The Archaeology Discovery Day is free and open to the public.  It will run from noon to 4 p.m.  Visitors may drop by anytime during that period.  Take-home projects will be available while supplies last.  The event is planned for children ages 7-12, but all ages are welcome.  Adult supervision is required.  One adult for every two children is recommended.

A lecture will also be presented in honor of Missouri Archaeology Month on Sept. 16 at 7 p.m.  Jim Phillips, curator of collections at the University Museum, will present “Reinterpreting a 19th Century Collection for a 21st Century Audience:  A Look at the Thomas Beckwith Collection” in the Museum galleries.

The lecture is free and open to the public.  Phillips will discuss the life of Thomas Beckwith, a collector of Mississippian artifacts, and the pieces that he donated to Southeast Missouri State University in the 1900s.

The Thomas Beckwith Collection contains 900 whole ceramic vessels and effigy fragments plus approximately 2,000 lithics.  Most of the objects in the collection were excavated by Thomas Beckwith at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries from mounds on his property in southeast Missouri.  In 1913, Beckwith donated his collection to the Third District Normal School, the predecessor to the Southeast Missouri State University Museum.  Since 1976, the collection has been housed in the University Museum.

The University Museum is located in Memorial Hall on the campus of Southeast Missouri State University.  It is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday through Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.  For more information, please call (573) 651-2260 or visit the Museum’s Web site at http://www5.semo.edu/museum.

University Museum programs are supported by a congressionally directed grant administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.