Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Woodland Indian quartz arrowhead

On Friday after work I went back to one of the places I visited many times this summer, searching for artifacts. I have searched most of the area over and over but I thought it might be worthwhile to revisit some of those spots and focus on looking for worked slate or argillite pieces I might have missed. In this place, the ground is only visible in patches, and as the vegetation changes some of these places get covered and others perhaps exposed, it is very hard for me to do what I usually do and systematically search the whole area to ensure that no places are missed. I have to jump around from patch to patch. On this particular evening, I was carefully working my way along when I started to spot some broken quartz pieces that were still half-covered with dirt. This is a sure sign that I have not checked that exact spot before, I always dig these out and clean them off to decide if they are worth keeping. I explored that area carefully and was pleased to see this sticking up out of the ground:
This looks very much like a projectile point with the base half-buried in the soil, but without picking it up there is no way to be certain. In any spot with a lot of quartz chipping debris there will be a lot of broken triangular rocks that look more or less like this and most of them are not arrowheads. It could be a whole projectile point, it could be damaged or broken, or it could even be just a pointy flake. I have seen things like this where the visible part is just a small section of a big chunk of rock under the ground.  Sometimes even what looks like an arrowhead lying totally exposed on the surface will turn out to be something other than what it appears to be. This is particularly true with quartz because of the way it breaks, it does not show flaking scars well at all and a carefully shaped surface viewed from any distance does not look much different from a simple broken plane. Many times I take pictures like this and then pick the rock up and it is just a broken rock. Fortunately this was not the case in this instance.
This is one of my best finds, it is well-made, thin and symmetrical, and undamaged. It still has a sharp tip. I think the type is what is called a Greene or Lagoon point. I don't expect to find anything else like this for a while. A lucky find. 

3 comments :

pwax said...

Nice. I had one of those not quite as nice as yours and, believe it or not, the dog ate it.

Anonymous said...

It look like a native indian arrowhead found in Greenland.
Both made of quartz

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