Stone-age roadshow in High River planned to enlighten collectors

Think Antiques Roadshow, but older. Way older.

Archaeologists and paleontologists from the Royal Alberta Museum are heading south, bringing their keen eye for everything ancient to the Stones and Bones Weekend in High River.

Terry Quinn of the Archaeological Society of Alberta says it will be a great opportunity for people to get more information on yet unidentified pieces of history they may have lying around their homestead.

"You don't really know what they are, you might know that they are an arrowhead, but you might not know what type of material it's made from," Quinn told the Calgary Eyeopener on Thursday.

"The archaeologists and paleontologists can probably tell you, give you an approximate age, of how old those artifacts are."

Quinn says their experts can assess all sorts of historical items: arrowheads, spear points, scrapers, hammerstones, bones, fossils — you name it.

'People's eyes open up'

It can be an enlightening experience for people looking for more information.

"You can see people's eyes open up and smiles on their faces knowing more about what they have," Quinn explained.

"An old tobacco tin full of arrowheads and spear points, not necessarily complete, even broken arrowheads and spear points, [they all] tell a story. They get that information and they are just besides themselves."

But it's not just collectors that get a charge from the shows.

Quinn says at an event in Coaldale last year, someone brought in a truly rare spear point.

9,000-year-old spear point

"It was about the length of your hand and probably three-fingers wide — just beautifully made, kind of a translucent, honey-coloured stone," he said.

"[The experts] were just ecstatic about it because it dates back about 9,000 years."

Quinn adds there will be activities for children, flintknapping demonstrations and the Royal Alberta Museum folks will have interesting displays of their own.

The event runs Saturday and Sunday at the Museum of the Highwood in High River.

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With files from The Calgary Eyeopener