“Putting Hernando De Soto in His Place,” an exhibit offering artifacts and documents by archeologists in attempting to reconstruct Soto’s route through Mississippi, is now open at the Pass Christian Historical Society and will be featured through Feb. 24, 2012.
The exhibit, originated by the Museum of Mississippi History, show’s Spain’s role in the exploration and conquest of “La Florida,” which included present-day Mississippi. The interaction between the Spaniards and Native Americans, which provided the first written record of native culture, receives special attention. Ironically, the earliest information that we have on these native cultures comes to us through the explorers who also sowed the seeds of the Native Americans’ demise.
The eight three-dimensional panels include a relief map of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas showing Native American sites, and reproduction artifacts including brigandine, chain mail, Clarksdale bells, chevron beads and pottery shards.
“Putting Hernando De Soto in His Place” was produced by the Museum Division of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. The exhibit is free and open to the public during the Pass Christian Historical Society’s regular hours: Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Complementing this exhibit, the Historical Society is pleased to display a University of Southern Mississippi exhibit that highlights how we can “pick up the pieces and preserve our Gulf Coast heritage.” These displays highlight how items and sites you may have encountered and dismissed as inconsequential may actually have archaeological value. Examples of items range from broken pots, animal bones and chipped rocks to some things stored long ago in one’s attic. This portion of the Society’s exhibit will be open to the public in January, along with a Mississippi Heritage Trust exhibit on the “Ten Most Endangered Historic Places of Mississippi.”
All exhibits are free and open to the public. The Historical Society is open Thursday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, please call 228-452-7254 or visit www. passhistory.org.