I’ve been bursting at the seams to write this post, but wanted to wait til I had more information before sharing our excitement! Can you believe, we found an arrowhead on our property?! Okay, so technically it’s not an arrowhead, more about that in a second.
The first thing we did was start googling to find out more information. I really didn’t know too much about arrowheads. I was only familiar with obsidian arrowheads of the west — and the metal ones a friend gave us years ago. It turns out arrowheads can be made of argillite, chalcedony, chert/flint, diorite, hematite, jasper, rhyolite, siltstone, crystal quartz, quartz, and quartzite.
We have a huge set of quartz boulders up at the top of the hill on our property so it makes sense to find one like this. Below is a picture of “Quartz Castle.” That’s what the kids named it when we first moved in. 🙂 You can see part of LD’s “shelter” there on the right! We found the arrowhead just at the bottom of the hill.
The next morning I went out to take pictures of exactly where the arrowhead (the white one) was found. I noticed a couple of other pieces that also looked like they had been worked on by humans (pictured in the top pictures above and below right, lying on the moss before I picked it up).
We decided we should contact an expert to see a) what it was that we had found and b) to see if anyone records information like this and wants to know about people’s finds. I wrote the state archaeologist responsible for our region. I sent him pictures of the arrowhead we found as well as a couple of picture collages to show exactly where we found them.
The state archaeologist wrote back almost immediately and said that it did indeed look like a prehistoric artifact and was most likely a hafted knife. As for the other two pieces he said it was not possible to tell what they were but they may be debris from knapping stone tools. He then put me in contact with the archaeologist for our county. He’ll be coming out in the next week or so to complete an archaeological survey.
This week the kids have been really intrigued by archaeology so in addition to pulling out the books we had on hand, we also pulled out the collection a friend gave us a number of years ago to compare them to our find.
A few things we learned from this experience: If you make a discovery, you can contact your state archaeologist. Make sure you know exactly where you found the artifact. Don’t dig to hunt for artifacts because you could destroy valuable archaeological evidence. If you were to dig and mix the layers, no one would be able to assess the data accurately. Also be aware that it is almost always illegal to remove arrowheads or other artifacts from public lands.