Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 16, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
Saturday, September 16, 1972 THE LETHBRIDCE HEDALD Indian artifacts donated to U of L Magrath farmer's collection Future University of Leth- bridge anthropology students find their studies more in- teresting, thanks to J. Arthur Spencer. Mr. Spencer, a farmer In the Magrath area and long time southern Alberta resident, has donated his complete collection of Indian artifacts to the U of L anthropology department. The collection consists of over identified artifacts plus numerous unidentified pieces. Over the past seven years, Mr. Spencer has found the artifacts in the Crystal Springs site between Welling and Magrath. Items in the col- lection range in age from a arrowhead dating back years to items traceable to the early 191h century. Mr. Spencer, 75, has donated his collection to the University to be used mainly for instruc- tional purposes by the anthro- pology department. T. A. Moore, assistant pro- fessor of anthropology, de- scribes Mr. Spencer's collec- tion as "the most extensive private collection I have ever Prof. Moore says Mr. Spencer's collection is unique in that it consists of the small but significant items as well as the spectacular. It is accom- panied by painstaking and de- tailed background information, obtained through research Mr. Spencer has carried out him- self. "For instructional purposes, the collection is soys Mr. Moore. "Usually such collections are not nearly this complete and lack adequate background records or docu- mentation. Mr. Spencer hss not only recorded documenta- tion but has compiled diagrams and descriptions of the arti- fact, citing locations w h ere Before full use of the collec- tion can be made by the U of li anthropologists in a classroom DISCUSS ARTIFACTS J. Arthur Spencer, right, points out an especially interesting ortifoct to University of Lethbridge anthrop ology professor Terry Moore, left. setting, it must be sorted and catalogued. Items from the col- lection will be used by in- structors to illustrate anthro- pology survey courses. Stu- dents will gain practical ex- perience by assisting with the processing of the Spencer col- lection. The permanent home of the collection will be the antliro- pology laboratory on the seven- th level of the U of L Academ- ic-Residence building. ACCIDENTAL HOBBY Mr. Spencer describes him- self as an amateur collector who began his hobby almost by accident seven years ago when he found a few flints and arrowheads and became Since then, he has spent most of his spare time, walking up and down the Crys- al Springs Indian campsite area about 17 acres in size- searching for artifacts, It was all there to comments Mr. Spencer who used his own resources and in- jenuity to seek reference ma- :erials and other authorities Tom whom he could learn more about liis findings. No excavation was required to find Mr. Spencer's collec- tion. All the artifacts were ob- tained from the surface of the earth where natural erosion or working of the fields had de- posited them. Mr. Moore says Mr. Spencer's patient, time- consuming approach walk- ing methodically up and down the fields, searching for arti- facts was the "best thing" that could have happened to the site." Mr. Spencer came to Ma- p-ath in 1899 at the age of ,hree and has lived on his rarm there ever since. He says he is indebted to three land- owners in the area, Eldon Peterson of Welling, C. R. Lar- son of Coutts and Norman Lar- son of Calgary, all of whom gave him permission to search for artifacts on their property. In 1967, two years after he began his Collection, Mr. Spen- cer wrote a booklet on archae- ology for beginners. Entitled "Crystal Spring Indian Camp the booklet gives prac- tical pointers in the seeking, identifying and recording of artifacts to preserve Southern Alberta's archaeological h i s- tory. It contains illustrations, charts and references compiled by the author. his style A diet of dust, beef and beans sure gave a man a leathery thirst. And the best way to quench it way-back-then was Lethbridge Old Style Pilsner. It still is. For nearly half a century we've brewed it slow and easy for honest, old-time flavour. It was his style then, it's your style now. 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