Sunday, December 29, 2013

Last Arrowhead Finds 2013

It has rained a lot, and snowed, and the snow melted and more rain fell, where I live. This is perfect weather for exposing arrowheads. Unfortunately, December has been another busy month for me. I have been so busy that I am still behind in posting finds from the fall, but I suppose there will be some snowy weeks in the coming months, where I will have time to get caught up. Before this month is over I wanted to share some finds from my only productive arrowhead hunt in December.

I got lucky and there was a hard rain on a Friday night. This makes for great conditions for searching, clean rocks contrasting sharply against the moist ground. Unfortunately on that Saturday when I could get out and search it was cloudless, bright sun makes it hard to look. I wasn't feeling very motivated and I didn't actually get out of the house until the afternoon. I went to a place where I have seen others looking for arrowheads before and sure enough, there were fresh footprints in the most likely places. I didn't want to be looking at someone else's footprints all day so I decided to check an area that I usually skip, and where nobody else seems to look, either. It's kind of far from the water, there are less chips and flakes from toolmaking than in the adjacent areas but there are a lot of rocks there to look at, it's challenging. Really I wasn't expecting to find anything but thought it was worth a look. I thought this looked promising, probably just a pointy flake, maybe a broken arrowhead tip, but I did snap this one picture before I picked it up.
This was a surprise. It's perfect! It's really a thrill to pull something like this out of the ground. Pretty. This is how it looked right out of the ground, untouched for centuries, until this moment.
So now I am feeling like maybe I should search this area more carefully. I already found something and I don't care if I don't find anything else but I should be thorough in this challenging place with all these rocks. I searched fruitlessly for a while but as the sun was starting to set I spotted this. It really looked like it was deliberately flaked and might be an arrowhead, but it was just too big. Maybe it could be a scraper or preform, more likely just a big broken quartz chunk but I did snap, again, just one photo before I picked it up.
Well, another surprise. I have a number of small stemmed or Squibnocket Stemmed quartz arrowheads like this but none this big. More typically they are about half this size. This is the largest point in this shape and material that I have ever seen, as far as I can remember. The tip is damaged but of course I am really happy with it anyway.
Sometimes I really long to find materials other than quartz, quartz points dominate my collection. But I can't deny that the white material is really pretty.
Here they are cleaned up a little. It rained hard today, I am sure there is something else to find there and maybe I can have some luck if I put in the time.


pwax said...

Have there always been people out looking in spots you know; or has the number increased over the last few years?

Chris Pittman said...

I started looking for arrowheads late in 2008 and found my first broken arrowhead in October 2009, so I am one of the new people who has only gotten started recently. When I meet other people out looking and chat with them, they invariably have hunted those spots longer than I have. I almost feel bad that they have to compete with me now, many times people tell me they have walked these places since they were kids, that their parents had a collection from that place. Often they are old-timers who used to belong to archaeology clubs and volunteered for digs where you could keep what you found, hard to imagine that today. I always hear that the number of productive places where one stands a good chance of finding something on the surface has declined a lot over the years, sites have been destroyed by development or become off-limits for various reasons. I don't know if there are actually more people looking now, or if it is that the people looking are just forced to compete for an ever-dwindling number of arrowheads in fewer and fewer places. I am 34 and I haven't ever met anybody my age or younger out looking.

Kierran Broatch said...

I am in the same boat as you. I have been looking hard for over five years now. I'm 31 and most of the guys I see out there are much older and have been at it for decades. Good to know there are (relatively) younger people getting into it. I have my uncle to thank for sparking my addiction. Spots are dwindling, but there are still crumbs out there for us to find as you well know.

pwax said...

I have been doing it for more than 15 years. When I started, there were no other people looking in Concord. Now there are other footprints whenever I go out (to the some fields).

For Alaska Hunting info… said...

Wow! That's a great discovery.