Traveling Museum of Oregon Prehistory Brought Archaeology to Parks Across the State
October 23, 2012
The Traveling Museum of Oregon Prehistory brought over 14,000 years of history to Oregon State Parks in celebration of National Archaeology Day. As part of the lead-up to National Archaeology Day, the program was held on Oct 5th at Smith Rock State Park. About 175 visitors were on hand to participate in activities and educational programs. Of these participants, about 130 of them were school children brought in on fieldtrips to celebrate their state’s past. On October 20th, National Archaeology Day, there were over one hundred visitors at the Champoeg State Park visitor center.
The Traveling Museum of Oregon Prehistory consists of replica and reproduction artifacts reflecting cultural adaptations to the ecological zones that overlap Oregon: NW Coast, Columbia Plateau, Inter-Mountain, Great Basin, and California. Emphasis is placed on the hunting, fishing, and domestic aspects of life. The museum’s artifacts illustrate the technological solutions and cleverness of native peoples. Features include stone, bone, wood, shell, fiber, sinew, etc. There were also demonstrations of atlatl and darts, compound arrow, bow drill, spindle drill, micro-drill, rattles, bull roarer, and other items. Discussions centered on dart vs. bow technology, arrow marking as contractual agreements, meat sharing, and the cleverness of technological solutions using local raw materials.