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Museum to host archeology lecture, artifact identification workshop

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Kauffman Museum on the Bethel College campus will host the second of three lectures celebrating two eminent archeologists who grew up in North Newton.

On Sunday, March 11, at 3:30 p.m., Raymond H. Thompson will speak as part of the museum’s periodic Sunday-Afternoon-at-the-Museum series. His topic is “Emil Haury: The Man and His Legacy.” The program is free and open to the public.

The lecture is in conjunction with the museum’s latest special exhibition, “In the fields of time: The impact of two Kansas boys on American archeology,” which opened Feb. 26.

Emil W. Haury (1904-92), nicknamed “the dean of Southwest archeology,” and Waldo R. Wedel (1908-96), “the father of Great Plains archeology,” both traced their interest in prehistory to boyhood experiences along Sand Creek in North Newton – experiences that led them to lifelong careers as professional archeologists with international reputations.

Thompson, director emeritus of the Arizona State Museum in Tucson, said, “Emil Haury was bolstered by the values of his liberal Mennonite family, his small-town experience in Kansas and the solid education he received from Bethel College.

“Haury had a major impact on the lives of many young and aspiring archeologists,” Thompson continued, “in addition to playing a leading role in the transformation of American archeology and in the development of national policy.”

Haury grew up as a Bethel campus kid. His father, Gustav A. Haury, was a founding faculty member of Bethel College and taught English and Latin. Emil spent two years at Bethel before transferring to the University of Arizona where he completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in archeology. After being awarded the Ph.D. in archeology from Harvard University, he began a lifelong career at the University of Arizona and the Arizona State Museum.

Prior to Thompson’s March 11 lecture, the Mud Creek Chapter of the Kansas Anthropological Association will host an artifact identification workshop. Visitors are invited to bring Native American artifacts or early historical items. Avocational and professional archeologists will be on hand to provide assistance in identification and dating and advice on cataloguing and collection maintenance. This is a free public service to improve knowledge of Kansas archeological heritage, so no appraisals or sales will be made.

“In the fields of time” will be on display through May 20 at Kauffman Museum. The final Sunday-Afternoon-at-the-Museum program will focus on the 2009 Sand Creek Archeology Survey. On Sunday, April 15, David T. Hughes from Wichita State University will present “Sand Creek: Prehistoric Archeology, Small Towns and Big Effects.”

“In the fields of time” and the Sunday-Afternoon-at-the-Museum lectures are supported by a grant from the Kansas Humanities Council, a nonprofit cultural organization promoting understanding of the history, traditions and ideas that shape our lives and build community.

Regular Kauffman Museum hours are 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, and 1:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The museum is closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission to the museum, which also includes admission to the special exhibit “In the fields of time,” as well as the permanent exhibits “Of Land and People,” “Mirror of the Martyrs” and “Mennonite Immigrant Furniture,” is $4 for adults, $2 for children ages 6-16, and free to Kauffman Museum members and children under 6. For more information, call the museum at 316-283-1612 or visit its website,

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