Using 3-D technology, the exhibit offers replicas of tools, weapons and bones from the Folsom era of more than 10,000 years ago.
Whether you visit the Louvre or the smallest museum in the world, the message is the same – do not touch the objects. This November, the Lubbock Lake Landmark is breaking the mold and encouraging visitors to handle 10,500-year-old tools and bones in a new exhibit, Engaging Folsom (10,800-10,200) Hunter-Gatherers with 3D Technologies.
As the site of one of the oldest records of human existence in North America, the landmark is uniquely positioned to host the exhibit. The area once was a reservoir, drawing animals that provided a food source for humans who were either passing through or chose to live in the area. The Folsom people were a Paleo-Indian culture that occupied much of central North America.
Now dry, the area is rich in archaeological history, yielding tools and weapons used by Folsom hunters and bones from bison that roamed the area. Stance Hurst, the regional research field manager at the landmark and an instructor in the museum science master's program, said the exhibit is one of the first to use 3-D technologies to provide a deeper level of interaction and understanding of the prehistoric hunter-gatherer society.
“The Folsom hunters had the most sophisticated stone tool kits in history,” Hurst said. “Using 3-D printing, we're able to demonstrate just how sophisticated they were.”
The exhibit relates to research at the landmark and at a campsite near Abilene, the location of a workshop of sorts where the Folsom people made stone tools.
“This is a place that's about a two-hour drive from the landmark now,” Hurst said. “Back then, they didn't have pack animals so they had to carry everything as they moved around. The exhibit lets us make connections between how they made and transported these tools across the area.”
The exhibit begins Saturday (Nov. 5) and will be open for a year. Hurst said in addition to the 3-D printed bones and tools, the exhibit will include features like braille and audio components for the visually impaired.
“People should come to this exhibit to learn what life was like more than 10,000 years ago in this region and how technology has changed but also has stayed the same,” Hurst said.
About The Lubbock Lake Landmark
The landmark, part of the Museum of Texas Tech University, is an internationally known archaeological and natural history preserve. It is located in north Lubbock in a meander of the Yellowhouse draw, an area of ancient springs.
People of the southern High Plains have lived in the area continuously for about 12,000 years. The first exploration of the site was conducted in 1939 by the West Texas Museum, now the Museum of Texas Tech University.