This is about rock piles and stone mound sites in New England. A balance is needed between keeping them secret and making them public. Also arrowheads, stone tools and other surface archaeology.
Friday, September 30, 2011
Field Find- Broken quartz arrowhead
Early in the week I found a broken arrowhead made of blue Cambridge argillite. Although this was a common toolmaking material for New England Indians, it is not what I usually find. I found it in a sandy place with a lot of chipping debris, that I searched after work. This time of year, looking after work gives me only about an hour to look and that adds an element of time pressure to my hunting, I just look for the easy stuff in the most likely spots I can find. In this spot that means looking for quartz arrowheads, which is the bulk of what I have found there. The argillite point was found after the sun had gone down, as I was heading back to my car. After I got home it occurred to me that there may have been other argillite points in that place that I might have missed because I was concentrating on the quartz. I decided to go back to that place Wednesday after work and look specifically for argillite, in the place I already had searched. When I got there I found that I had ignored a huge number of argillite flakes and broken pieces that were densely concentrated in this area. I got very close to the ground, digging out every little piece that was visible, and studying it. After a few minutes I spotted a tiny section of the surface of a piece of broken quartz that I had not spotted before. This is what I pulled out of the ground:
This is typical of what I usually find in three ways: it is made of quartz, it is triangular shaped, and it is badly broken- in this case one whole corner is gone, about a third of the point. The tip of the point, which is usually dull or broken, is still very sharp on this unfortunately damaged piece. Some would call this a "heartbreaker" because of the missing part but for me any find is a good find and a "heartbreaker" is when I spend a whole day searching and find not even a single broken piece.