The Museum of the Mississippi Delta will display a unique archaeological artifact for just one day: this Saturday.
The public is invited to visit the museum between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. to view the Jaketown Effigy Tablet at no charge.
The tablet is split into two pieces. These will be reunited and exhibited to the public for the first time in decades.
Found at the Jaketown archaeological site, which consists of two prehistoric earthwork mounds in Humphreys County, the historical object is a jasper tablet with a human face.
According to a 1982 archaeological report, the tablet is “perhaps the most well-known lapidary item from the Jaketown site.”
Anna Reginelli, the curator of the L.B. Jones Collection Charitable Trust and president of the Mississippi Archaeological Association’s Delta chapter, said the piece was carved around 2,000 B.C.
The event is part of the celebration of Mississippi Archaeology Month. Reginelli said being able to display this piece at the museum shows the importance of conserving the area’s past.
“Preserving and showcasing our local history is crucial now more than ever as so many of our Delta prehistoric sites are getting cut into,” she said.
One part of the piece was recovered by a Greenwood resident, Frank McCormick Jr., in the 1960s. McCormick’s wife, Peggy, was the former director of the museum. Half of the tablet currently is housed with their daughter in California.
Because of Reginelli’s inquiry about the artifact, the family removed the section before the residence was directly threatened by California’s recent wildfires.
This piece will be joined with the top corner half, which was found by Bobby Lilly and his wife, Nellie Joe, from Belzoni.
Reginelli said the collaboration that brought this event about is incredible.
“I am very grateful to the McCormick and Lilly families for making this possible and also the museum for hosting the event,” she said.
The exhibit will feature archaeological experts as guest speakers, including James Starnes, William Harris, Benny Roberts and Sam Brookes.
Brookes will discuss his efforts to make the tablet the official Mississippi state artifact. The archaeologists’ remarks will begin with Brookes’ talk at 11 a.m. and continue throughout the rest of the day. A schedule is available on the museum’s Facebook page.
• Contact Adam Bakst at 581-7233 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @AdamBakst_GWCW