Buried Treasures of All Sorts: Some of the Best Oklahoma Science and Discovery Destinations – Part III
The Elsing Museum
Located on the Oral Roberts University Campus, the Elsing Museum calls itself “God’s Natural Art Museum." A showcase of priceless minerals and crystal formations, the museum is dedicated to sharing some of the most spectacular stones that have ever been pulled from the earth.
Everything in the museum can be sized according to the volume and mass of the children it is sure to inspire. The Elsing Museum boasts natural geodes so immense that a child could stand in them, as well as carved jade sculptures so large that a child could ride them. Intricate carved statues varying from a horse galloping across the plains to a boat sailing across the seas each have their own room. Rare specimens of jasper line the walls, so heavy that despite their small size, they outweigh many visitors.
The museum contains one of the most diverse collections of minerals outside of the Smithsonian, and one of the largest in Oklahoma. For anyone who enjoys looking at colorful and sparkly things, or who, like me, is always impressed at the dazzlingly array of treasures just found with a little digging, The Elsing Museum is a must-see.
The Elsing Museum
7777 South Lewis Ave, Tulsa, OK 74171
For those of us who watched the Indiana Jones movies one too many times, or just want to get outside, it’s well worth the trip to head out to Spiro Mounds. Funded by the Oklahoma Historical Society, Spiro Mounds is widely considered one of the most significant archaeological sites in the country, with one of the largest and most diverse collections of prehistoric Native American artifacts in existence. Lucky for those of us who live in central Oklahoma, it’s just a short drive from both Tulsa and OKC.
Tours and academic groups can access the mounds and plaza directly. The rest of us have to wait for the frequent public festivities hosted by the preserve. Always accessible to the public is the Spiro Mounds Archaeological Center. Filled with Pre-Colombian artifacts, the center is a literal treasure trove. You can see statues and jewelry, weapons and death masks, all in the beautiful and modern cultural center building.
Enjoy all the discovery of Tomb Raider with none of the problematic grave robbing, visit Spiro Mounds and live the past of the powerful Spiro tribe.
18154 First Street, Spiro, OK 74959
Image of Spiro Mounds Artifact by Herb Roe, www.chromesun.com (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons.
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