Mummified cat, Bronze Age juglets on display at Henderson museum

HENDERSON (TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) — A new museum allows residents to connect scripture with historical artifacts.

Housed at the Texas Baptist Institute and Seminary, the Antiquity Encounter Museum, which officially opened to the public Thursday, contains items from various time periods.

They include: an Egyptian situla, an Egyptian mummy mask, a mummified cat, a Chalcolithic cultic bowl, Early Bronze Age juglets, sling stones, which, according to the display, are "of the common type that David used," Roman instruments, a funerary stone from 100 B.C. and a fishing net weight.

Some of the items are from excavations done by the museum's curator, archeologist Dr. John Melancon. There also are purchased items and replicas.

Institute Business Administrator Dr. Robert Wallace said Melancon had his museum in Colorado but recently relocated to Mount Enterprise.

Melancon wanted to attach his museum to another institute of higher learning, he said, and decided on the Texas Baptist Institute, primarily because the institute is doing a great job of educating young people, Melancon said.

"I wanted this … to help educate young people. We want the schools to enjoy it," he added.

Wallace said the main goal is basically to prove what is found in the Bible.

"It's verifying the validity of scripture and also educating people on things," he said.

Melancon said the items cover different time periods, including the Bronze Age and the time of Alexander the Great, and entails Byzantine artifacts.

"It's world history as well as biblical history," he said.

In the end, he said his desire is for museum-goers to gain knowledge as well as have an experience that they can discuss.

Additionally, he said it helps build faith in the Bible, and serves as a place for items that he brings back from excavations. In about a year, he plans to go to Iraq.

The museum has not set hours but is able to schedule tours. There is no admission cost.

For more information about the museum, call the Texas Baptist Institute and Seminary at 903-657-6543.


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