Archaeology Days to be held at Wanapum Heritage Center

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  • Grant PUD/Courtesy photo A student observes a basket-weaving demonstration inside the Wanapum Heritage Center during last year’s Archaeology Days.

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    Grant PUD/Courtesy photo Students “dig” for artifacts and examine their findings during Archaeology Days at the Wanapum Heritage Center.

  • Grant PUD/Courtesy photo A student observes a basket-weaving demonstration inside the Wanapum Heritage Center during last year’s Archaeology Days.

  • 1

    Grant PUD/Courtesy photo Students “dig” for artifacts and examine their findings during Archaeology Days at the Wanapum Heritage Center.

Mattawa — The Wanapum Heritage Center and Grant County PUD will be hosting Archaeology Days at the Wanapum Heritage Center as part of Washington State Archaeology Month. Events will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 15 and 16.

“The Wanapum Heritage Center and Grant PUD have been collaborating on this annual event since 1999,” said Christine Pratt, Grant PUD spokeswoman. “The mix of activities changes a bit from year to year. The event showcases Wanapum and Native American culture from this part of the country.”

Youth Day will be Tuesday, Oct. 15 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Nearly 360 elementary students from Mattawa, Connell, Othello, Warden, Ellensburg and Cle Elum are scheduled to attend.

“The young visitors throw spears using the ancient ‘atlatl’ device, observe experts knapping flint, processing animal hides, weaving, doing beadwork and more,” Pratt said. “A variety of hands-on activities include a mammoth history trailer, solar-powered car racing and a live electrical safety demonstration by Grant PUD linemen. Native American artisans are always on hand to demonstrate hide tanning, flint knapping, beadwork and weaving. Grant PUD will have its solar race car track set up for kids to use. The Grant PUD Cultural Resource Department will be there with patrol boats and other equipment on display.”

Homeschool students are welcome to attend. All students are encouraged to bring a lunch, as no lunch will be provided.

On Wednesday, there will be speakers and exhibits for adults.

“Day two – Wednesday, Oct. 16, from 8:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. - is for adults, with expert talks on area archaeology, university-level research, soldier settlements of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Hanford site, social-impact studies and an overview of the Wanapum Heritage Center,” Pratt said. “The day includes a salmon lunch, at no charge, prepared by the Wanapum. Many of the exhibits on hand for student day will still be active for adult day enjoyment, too.”

Speakers will include Dr. William Smith, Kevin Priester, Lela Buck, Stephanie Simmons and Michael Buck.

The Archaeology Days will be held at the Wanapum Heritage Center, 29082 Highway 243 South, one and a half miles south of Desert Aire in the Priests Rapids Dam entrance. For more information, visit wanapum.org.

Rachal Pinkerton may be reached via email at rinkerton@suntribunenews.org.

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