Meridian fourth graders view Idaho history
What do arrowheads have to do with highways? At times – a lot.
ITD State Highway Archaeologist Marc Münch has a pile of arrowheads and other ancient stone tools collected from sites cleared for road construction throughout Idaho. Recently, Münch, along with Idaho Power Co. staff archaeologist Tyrone Corn, explained Native American artifacts to approximately 3,000 fourth-grade at the 2010 Meridian School District Rendezvous.
“It’s a crazy event,” Münch explains. “The kids rotate through as many of the 37 different demonstrations as they can in 15-minute intervals. We try to give them a small taste of what life was like for Idaho’s earliest residents by showing them how stone tools were made and used.”
The daylong rendezvous is one of several public outreach events the ITD Cultural Resources staff participates in annually. Münch says he enjoys sharing information about the artifacts with young people. The students also learned a few square dance steps, watched as a Civil War era canon was fired (noise and smoke, no projectile), panned for gold, and saw a wagon that traveled on the Oregon Trail.
“The information will then be recorded in an on-line database that will allow the state to have easy access to the rich cultural artifacts that define Idaho. We have everything from Chinese opium bowls and lamps to antique whiskey bottles, dolls and yes, many arrowheads of every shape and size.”
Münch says he eventually wants to develop a program to teach students about Idaho’s history through interactive displays using the artifacts.