Historical Oracles

The Mississippi Archaeology Expo brings expert presenters to Jacksonians of all ages.

By Micah Smith | Wednesday, September 17, 2014 3:05 p.m. CDT

If you want something that’s both educational and entertaining this fall, the Old Capitol Museum’s Mississippi Archaeology Expo offers edifying fun while celebrating our state’s history. The annual event shows artifacts and hands-on exhibits from Mississippi’s diverse cultural heritage.

The expo features interactive installations, including Civil War camp reenactment and traditional Native American games and crafts. Instructors from the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians lead activities such as stickball, storytelling, basket weaving, ceramics and dancing.

After being held at Millsaps College since 2008, the expo moved to Mississippi State University in 2013. For Patty Beech, treasurer for the Mississippi Archaeological Association, the decision to return the expo to Jackson came down to the city’s rich history and its prehistory.

“Something we’re trying to get to the general public is it’s not just prehistoric,” Beech says. “It’s history—things we’re researching right now.”

Presenters and demonstrators will share skills, modern and archaic, that they’ve honed with years of training. “You get to see a lot of state’s best archaeologists and techniques,” Beech says, including the latest ground-penetrating radar. It’s also a chance to see ancient abilities still in use today, like flint-knapping, the process of crafting tools from flint rock..

The Mississippi Archaeology Expo is at the Old Capitol Museum (100 S. State St., 601-576-6920), Saturday, Oct. 18 ,from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The expo is part of the Mississippi Archaeology Association’s Archaeology Month. For more information, visit mdah.state.ms.us/oldcap.