Artifact Identification Weekend

Morris Weeks, of Nederland, inspects a Mayan burial urn for authenticity during Artifact Identification Weekend Saturday at the Naranjo Museum of Natural History. The event continues from 1-6 p.m. today.

Get help identifying your artifact, fossil or historical item during the Artifact Identification Weekend event from 1-6 p.m. today at the Naranjo Museum of Natural History in Lufkin.

Morris Weeks, who serves on the Naranjo Museum board and assists the museum with Native American artifact research and identification, saw several unique artifacts as well as modern replicas on Saturday.

He identified a dart point that was about 15,000 to 17,000 years old. This Ice Age artifact was supposed to have gone on the tip of an atlatl, a long throwing spear.

“They would use two hands to throw it and it had a range of 120 yards,” Weeks said. “The shaft was limber enough that it would go through the air and penetrate it and wiggle it’s way deeper in the animal.”

Weeks saw some real Caddo knives and a modern replica of a Mayan burial urn.

He encouraged people to be aware of what they are walking on when they are in nature.

“You never know what you might stumble across,” Weeks said. “I’m a firm believe in saving artifacts and learning from them and what they did. They had no K-mart, Walmart, place to get their stuff. They had to use what was available to survive. And how did they do it? It’s all written in stone. Every stone will tell you a story. You just have to be able to read it and listen.”

Weeks developed a love for artifacts at a young age. He worked for more than 40 years with Russel Long, who was a biology professor at Lamar University and was busy in the archeology field. “With Dr. Long I got to meet people from the Smithsonian, University of Oklahoma, Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

He has a passion for Native American history and can identify arrowheads and other artifacts as well as match the objects with the correct tribe.

This event is free with museum admission.

“Bring in your artifacts if you want to know its age and uses,” he said.

For more information, call the museum at 639-3466 or visit naranjomuseum.org.

Stephanie Stevens’ email address is sstevens@lufkindailynews.com.