Twice a year people of all ages are invited to bring natural objects — such as fossils, rocks, gems and bones — and cultural artifacts — such as arrowheads — to Identification Day at the university’s Texas Memorial Museum. Experts in paleontology, geology and anthropology explain what each object is, how it was formed and about how old it is. The stories that emerge are often surprising.
“It’s sort of like Antiques Roadshow,” says Pamela Owen, senior paleontology educator at the Texas Natural Science Center and chief organizer of the event. “We tell you all about them. We don’t do monetary appraisals, but it’s just as much fun, just as much excitement, because you never know what people are going to bring in.”