LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A historical museum in Lufkin is offering guests in the month of February the chance to bring in old artifacts either dug up or found scattered across East Texas and to have them identified for free.
The owner of Naranjo Museum of Natural History said it was his own experiences growing up looking for arrowheads that motivated him to offer guests the opportunity.
“If you were a kid in East Texas, and you grew up here in East Texas, one of the things you do is just wander around, look at the ground, and pick up arrowheads,” said Dr, Neal Naranjo. “And then you wonder, who had that arrowhead? And who owned that arrowhead?”
Naranjo said his fascination started at a young age, and has grown along with his extensive collection: Naranjo believes he personally owns close to 90-percent of the artifacts currently houses in the museum.
“I was fiddling around with my toes in the mud for clams... I stuck that in my heel,” Naranjo said, pointing at a small, aged arrowhead among dozens of others in his collection. “We sent it in to Gulf Oil, and they wrote three typed pages all about that little arrowhead that’s 12,000-years-old."
Guests to the museum in early February will have a similar chance to learn the history of relics they’ve discovered.
“We’re going to bring in an expert, Morris Weeks, to help people identify things that they can bring,” said Vernoica Amoe, museum manager. “They’ll be able to bring in fossils, arrowheads, artifacts; just any historical artifacts that they want more information about.”
Many of the pieces brought in to the museum typically include minor discoveries handed down between family members, however, some finds surprise even museum workers.
“The mastodon teeth are pretty incredible, we get those from the Crockett area,” said Amoe. “That means those creatures lived here, you know, thousands of years ago.”
Another rare find included a Incan Whistling Vessel. Amoe said what she enjoys about the event is when guests bring in similar finds and are blown away by what they learn.
“A lot of people come in and they just have no idea,” she added. “So, any information we’re able to provide they’re usually really excited about it, and we’re excited for them to bring in items because we’ve had some really cool things brought into the museum.”
The identification event will be held the weekend of Feb. 2 and Feb. 3. from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. each day. An expert will be on hand to help guests get more information about their artifacts, such as how old they may be, or what regions they may come from. Amoe noted that while the identification services are free to guests, you must still for pay entry to the museum.