Do you dig Prehistoric Native American Artifacts? Are you an arrowhead aficionado? A pottery person? Whether you’re an admirer, collector, or just curious, you won’t want to miss an incredible artifact show happening on Saturday, May 6.

Photo courtesy of Springfield Prehistoric Native American Artifact Show

By Peg Cameron Gill

Come unearth some fascinating history at the 17th Annual Springfield Prehistoric Native American Artifact Show. It’s at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds E*Plex on Saturday, May 6, from 8 am to 3 pm. 

You’ll see prehistoric Indian artifacts like arrowheads, stone axes, pipes, Mississippian and Caddo pottery, bone and shell artifacts, and more at the show. Collectors from 8 states will be on site buying, selling, and trading a wide range of museum-quality artifacts. Authenticators will be on hand to certify artifacts for a small fee. You’re welcome to bring artifacts for identification, appraisal, and to sell.

This is a great educational opportunity for kids and the whole family to learn about our prehistoric ancestors and how they lived. 

You can see excellent examples of the tools, weapons, adornments, vessels, and other items that various tribes created and used. You can also chat with exhibitors who enjoy examining the artifacts visitors bring into the show and sharing their collections, knowledge, and passion.

Photo from Unsplash

Admission is $5 for adults and kids 12 and under are free.There’s also a VIP preview Friday night from 5–8 pm that allows you to get in early before the show opens to the public. In effect, you get an (arrow)head start on browsing and buying. Admission for Friday night is $10, which also covers your admission for the show on Saturday – you just need to keep your ticket and remember to bring it along. 

The show’s located in the east E*Plex at the back of the fairgrounds and parking is free.

According to the Missouri State  Archives, after European settlers arrived in the area that is now Missouri, indigenous groups that lived in the area at the time included the Osage, Otoe-Missouria, and Ioway. 

By the time Missouri became a state in 1821, the State Historical Society of Missouri says the Native American population was estimated at around 20,000. Native peoples within the state included the Kickapoo, Shawnee, Ioway, Otoe, Delaware, and Osage. 

Most of these nations had been driven to Missouri from the east by an increasing influx of white settlers. The territory of the Osage, the most powerful tribe, included land in present-day Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. 

But in an 1808 treaty the Osage had given up most of their land in southern Missouri Territory, believing incorrectly that the treaty allowed them to continue hunting and fishing in this area. 

As Missouri’s White population increased and expanded from its earliest areas of settlement along the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers into the ancestral lands of the Osage, conflict between Native and European Americans grew.

Why not step back in time and learn more? 

You can also learn more about Missouri’s early indigenous peoples by visiting these links to Missouri Life articles on the subject:

For hundreds more events, visit Missouri Life’s Event Calendar.