COSHOCTON -- Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum presents the special exhibit, Traces of Time, Traces of Glory: Native American Pre-historic Tools and Points. This exhibit features hundreds of artifacts found in Coshocton and adjacent counties, from blades, points and drills to axes, bannerstones and celts. The exhibit will be on display through Dec. 30.
It is always a thrill to discover remnants of cultures past. Although landowners, farmers and excavators unearth these beautifully crafted tools while working, most are found by amateur archaeologists who doggedly walk newly plowed fields or poke around flint outcroppings.
Most often these artifacts find their home in private collections, the source of the museum's exhibit.
Portions of two such private collections, donated to the museum in the 1980s, will be included in the exhibit.
Doctors Norman L. Wright and W. R. Agricola, local physicians now deceased, collected with passion and scientific exactitude.
They had accumulated enough material culture and data for a lifetime of study. Subsequently, as museum property, their artifacts have been examined by professional archaeologists, contributing to our understanding of Ohio's prehistory.
The earliest human culture that has been discovered in Ohio so far is the Clovis culture (9500 to 8000 B.C.) Hunters and gatherers were drawn to places like Coshocton County because of navigable rivers and ample flora and fauna.
But even more specifically, the Paleoindians found Coshocton's flint of the highest quality for their tools. According to the Ohio Historical Society, their favorite flint was the Upper Mercer flint from Coshocton County and Flint Ridge flint from Licking County. Simply put, east central Ohio provided just the right resources to sustain human flourishing for thousands of years.
A number of adult and children's programs will be offered in connection with this exhibit. On Nov. 5 at 7 p.m., Dr. Bradley T. Lepper, curator of Archaeology for the Ohio Historical Society, will give an overview of Ohio's prehistory.
The public is invited to bring in an archaeological find on Nov. 17 at 4 p.m. for a program on artifact identification and flint knapping.
Bill Pickard, assistant curator and collections specialist with the Ohio Historical Society, will identify artifacts. He plans to bring along a flint knapper to demonstrate the techniques.
Sponsors for Traces of Time, Traces of Glory are Organic Technologies and Three River Therapies.
The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this program with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.