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Ancient Archeological Site on Exhibit at the Museum

The Paleo American site found in Bosque County and called the Horn Shelter has been replicated at the museum for visitors. The 600 sq foot exhibit depicts a portion of the Horn Shelter and portrays the burial of a man and small girl as it took place 11,200 years ago. A second section of the exhibit is a facsimile of the excavation of the Horn Shelter complete with the tools used at the site and a plat of the excavation area.

The most significant find at the Horn Shelter was the burial goods which consisted of items such as turtle shells, deer antler tools, bird and animal claws, coyote teeth, and bird shells. What makes the Horn Shelter find so significant is the fact that there are only three Paleo American sites in America with skeletal remains and burial goods. As part of the exhibit there is a glass show case with replicas of all of the burial goods and photographs of the actual burial goods taken by the Smithsonian photograph Chip Clark.

The visitor to the museum will have an opportunity to view an eight minute video of one of the avocational archeologist who discovered the double burial, Albert Redder, talking about his interest in archeology and the excavation of the Horn Shelter. In addition, there are a number of narrative panels with Horn Shelter photographs which give a detailed explanation of the excavation process and pertinent facts about the discovery.

The museum gift shop carries a number of items about the Horn Shelter. Among them is the exhibit booklet about the Horn Shelter, small souvenir bottles full of dirt taken from the Horn Shelter, and a wonderful book, “No Bones Unturned” which tells about Dr Doug Owsley (the Smithsonian physical anthropologist who has studied the skeletal remains.)

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Horn Shelter Man

This facial reconstruction was derived from a reproduction of the adult male's skull discovered at the Horn Shelter by Albert Redder and Frank Watt in 1970. This reconstruction gives us an opportunity to view a likeness of the adult male found at the site. Examination of the skull by Dr. Douglas Owsley of the Smithsonian Institution clearly establishes that the Horn Shelter Man could not be related to the American Indians. A date has been determined for the site of approximately 11,200 calendar years ago. This makes the adult male skeleton found at the Horn Shelter the first known inhabitant of Bosque County.

The facial reconstruction was carried out by artist Amanda Danning with consultation by physical anthropologist Dr. Douglas Owsley. The replica of the skull was crafted by physical anthropologist Dr. James Chatters.