Podcast: Advocational archeologist Kim Mattern talks about lessons to learn via artifacts near waterways
Kim Mattern's fascination for Native American artifacts and the history lesson they provide started when he was just six years old while tagging along with his father hunting for cool treasures in fields and along creeks in Snyder County.
Since then, Mattern has found thousands of artifacts throughout the region and uses his experiences in artifact hunting and the research that goes with it to speak to people about the history of the region and how our ancestors interacted with our waterways.
"If you find a site that was once a hunting camp, you're likely going to find spearheads and arrow points and knives. If it was an agricultural site, you would find pottery and hammerstones and all kinds of tools," he said during a recent episode of the Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Podcast. "If it was a fishing camp, along the edges of a stream, you could find net weights as well as tools that were used for cleaning the fish and spear points from what were called fish spears.
"By looking at the accumulation of artifacts found at a particular site, then you can take a pretty qualified guess at what was going on there."
Mattern, an advocational archeologist and curator for the Snyder County Historical Museum, will be a featured speaker during the Aug. 8 Floating Classroom program aboard the Hiawatha Paddleboat in Williamsport. He will give an overview of artifacts found in the region, as well as tips on how to find them and what to do if you discover a unique artifact. He is also inviting people to bring artifacts they have found to check them out and identify them after the program.
You can learn more about the Floating Classroom series and register for any of the programs at www.middlesusquehannariverkeeper.org/floating-classroom.html
In his podcast episode, Mattern discusses proper etiquette for artifact hunting, what you can find in the region, where the best places are to look and how to properly catalog your finds to preserve the historical information they provide.
Check out the full episode of his podcast episode here:
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John Zaktansky is an award-winning journalist and avid promoter of the outdoors who loves camping, kayaking, fishing and hunting with the family.