Visitors will be able to see behind-the-scenes work next week at Kansas University's Museum of Anthropology as part of Kansas Archaeology Week activities.
Museum buffs who wonder what treasures lie beyond public exhibits will have a once-in-a-year chance Sunday to see such artifacts in a Kansas University archive.
The basement of the KU Museum of Anthropology, which holds hundreds of thousands of artifacts, will be open to the public from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
The event is being held in conjunction with the third annual Kansas Archaeology Week, Sunday through April 8.
The open house is designed to give the public an opportunity to see how scholars and students clean and categorize artifacts, and will also give people a chance ask questions about the archaeology field.
Matt Hill, doctoral student in archaeology, said the archaeology week "kind of began to educate and increase the interest of the general public, and also appreciate the antiquity, the great history, of archaeology in Kansas.
"It's really their history, their antiquity. We all are responsible to preserve it."
The three-floor museum has artifacts ranging in age from about 100 to 11,000 years, many of which are from sites in Kansas, Hill said.
"The majority of our collections and the majority of our effort is from sites in Kansas," he said. "But we also have collections from Central America, South America ... and all through the (U.S.) Plains. The interests of the research often goes beyond Kansas; however, most of the work is in Kansas."
Hill said the open house would give people a chance to see what archaeologists do.
Archaeology, Hill explained, is different from anthropology in that archaeologists are interested in the historical record of ancient people and anthropology is concerned primarily with contemporary cultures.
Last year, more than 100 people toured the museum during its open house.
In addition to the open house, refreshments will be available and the main gallery will feature the exhibit, "Feathers and Fibers: The Natural and Supernatural in Amazonian Belief."
Archaeology week also will include a public lecture by Jack Hoffman, archaeologist, assistant professor of anthropology and assistant curator of the museum.
Hoffman will speak on "The First Kansans," from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. April 6 in the Lawrence Public Library, Seventh and Vermont. His slide presentation will focus on Native American bison hunters of the High Plains.
For more information about the week, call the museum, 864-4245.