Experts on hand Sunday say the majority of these treasures were found just walking through a cornfield.
“As archaeologists, we have the opportunity to look at Illinois’s landscape periodically. People who collect artifacts have an opportunity to look at it much more than we do. So, in many ways, they teach us by what they discover,” says Dr. Michael Wiant, Museum Director.
Hundreds of articles have been brought in over the years. From broken pottery to arrowheads, each one has potential to be a hidden treasure and a glimpse into Illinois’ past.
Some of the items even date back to prehistoric times.
“People often come to the door with an object and they’ll say, is this 200 years old and when we tell them it’s 9,300 years old, it really surprises them.”
Archeologists say each object has a story and played some role in our ancestor’s lives.. and by learning about the pieces, we’re able to better understand our own history.
“Everybody needs to know their ancestry. I think it’s something we really need to kind of go back to. I mean this is stuff that we need to save,” says Francis Granacher of Carlock.
Many artifacts have been donated to the museum from people hoping to preserve pieces of the past. But experts say museums also help provide a clearer vision of our future.
“It is really an opportunity for us to consider where we are today and how we came to be here. And then perhaps most importantly, in a sense, where are we headed,” says Dr. Wiant.
This is a concept these history buffs embrace.