Walking the freshly tilled farm fields is a Spring rite of passage for many history buffs, carefully meandering through the rows of mounded earth, searching for the elusive arrowhead.
There’s joy in discovery and often this leads to a lifelong passion for local history and admiration for Native American ingenuity and technology.
If you enjoy learning about prehistoric cultures in Lycoming County, now is the time to share your collected curiosities at the NCC8 Indian Artifact Fair.
Northcentral Chapter 8, Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology will host the educational open house from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 12 at the Taber Museum of the Lycoming County Historical Society, 858 W. Fourth St.
Gary Fogelman, noted artifact collector, author and publisher of “Indian Artifact Magazine,” is the featured guest for the event.
Fogelman said visitors will be surprised to learn that many times, collected items are ancient.
“People of the past often produced exhilarating works of art in flint and stone, and other mediums like bone and antler, which sometimes survives through time. Many people do not realize how old, usually in the thousands of years, these Indian artifacts are,” he said.
“Often, the flint and stone tools are all that remain of past peoples and cultures, thus every bit and shred has a story and can possibly add to our knowledge of those past cultures and people,” he said.
Fogelman, a lifetime member of NCC8, also is known as the author and co-author of several books on projectile points, artifacts and local cultures. He also contributes to national publications and typology handbooks.
Fogelman will review artifacts brought by visitors and attempt to identify small collections and individual items.
In addition to Fogelman, Tom “Tank” Baird, president of NCC8/SPA and iHeartRadio contributor, will be on hand to help identify artifacts and speak about local prehistory.
Baird, an avocational archaeologist, is a frequent guest on Ted Saul’s “Community Matters” talk show, speaking about Prehistoric Indians and significant local historic events.
“In these past years of excavating American Indian sites, I have gained a whole new respect for these ancient people. It is a privilege to bring their tools and artistry to light,” Baird said.
“I have traveled the United States to visit the sites of the American Indian, to places like Cahokia, Meadowcroft and the Ohio Mound building cultures. Each time, I come away convinced that this ancient America must be recognized and admired for all that it was.
“Local Indian artifacts in those shoe boxes in the bottom of the closet need to be brought out and discussed and displayed,” Baird added.
Locally found artifacts, as well as excavated finds from previous NCC8 excavations, will be on display, and Baird will speak about the group’s ongoing dig at the Glunk Site in Montoursville.
The Glunk Site, accessible from Canfield Lane, is open to the public during NCC8 dig hours, and interested persons are encouraged to join the group and learn how to excavate at an archaeology site.
NCC8 membership applications are available on its website, and at the event.
NCC8 is the Lycoming County chapter of the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology, Inc., which promotes the study of the prehistoric and historic archaeological resources of Pennsylvania and neighboring states.
NCC8, a 501(C) educational nonprofit organization, relies upon donations. Without the community’s generosity, the group could not pay for the Insurance needed to host digs. NCC8 needs donations to purchase supplies, such as trowels, shovels, tarps, and artifact preservation bags. Please donate today and help preserve and protect Lycoming County's cultural heritage.
Learn more about the group and make a donation online at www.PennArchaeology.com.