LAMPASAS — On Saturday, Jill Carroll, executive director of the Lampasas Chamber of Commerce, welcomed folks to Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8539 and the 20th annual Indian Artifacts Show.
The heavily laden tables of a couple of dozen vendors, a few hundred serious collectors or simply curious visitors, and thousands of years of history all came together in one room.
An elderly gentleman led his young grandson, wide-eyed with interest, among the exhibits. High school kids with their small boxes of artifacts listened attentively as experienced vendors looked over their collections and gave the students advice and encouragement.
Men in their weatherworn cowboy hats and boots studied the displays with careful attention. They held ancient artifacts in their rough, hardworking hands as gently as they would a mockingbird’s egg.
Indian arrowheads and spear points were prominently displayed in felt-lined wooden boxes with glass tops. Some of the artifacts were inexpensive, while others sold for thousands of dollars.
Dwain Rogers, from Texas Flint Authentication, discovered his first Indian point on his grandfather’s Milam County farm when he was 6 years old. He’s been hooked ever since. Now, after many years of experience and study, he has earned a reputation as one of the best and most trusted Indian artifact authenticators in the nation.
“Most archeologists from the universities don’t like collectors,” Rogers said. “We don’t have degrees.”
Rogers talked about the 1969 Antiquities Code of Texas and protecting the state’s irreplaceable archeological sites. He spoke of the Indian cultures and people who lived here for 10,000 years before the first Europeans ever imagined there was a New World.
Sterling Z displayed his collection of spear points costing hundreds of dollars under glass. Next to his case was a cardboard box filled with points and arrowheads marked 5 for $1.
When asked what the difference was between the ones under class and in the case he said, “Plastic. Besides ... the Indians rarely attached refrigerator magnets to the back of their arrowheads.”