Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Arrowheads - Winter 2016/2017

I haven't posted anything here since October. I'm sorry for that. I have had some lucky days and found some stone tools. The snow is piled high now. When it melts, there will be more to find.
1. October 29, 2016
I had high hopes for a little area in the fall. Unfortunately, others had the same thought; when I got there it was a sea of footprints. I returned late in October after a good, hard rain. The rain exposed some items that had been buried when others had searched there before. This was fun to spot.
It is more narrow than most of the points I find in this shape. Squibnocket Stemmed, I would call this. I am very pleased with this find despite the damage to the tip.

I found a little triangle too. Typical shapes and material for southern New England.
2. November 14, 2016
I found a broken stemmed arrowhead, along with many relics of more recent men. I don't usually keep little ceramic pieces but I do keep the buttons. I find a lot more arrowheads than I do old glass buttons. All of my finds are surface finds in disturbed contexts, so prehistoric stone tools, 18th century pipe stem pieces, 19th century porcelain, and crushed beer cans are all found together.
3. Thanksgiving Day 2016
I spent some time searching in the morning before having dinner with my family. For me, Thanksgiving is in part a commemoration of historical events. Looking for arrowheads is a good time to contemplate those who came before. The broken triangle at top would have been a nice point when it was made. At right, the tip of something made from rhyolite. This material may have come from Maine.
4. December 11, 2016
This is one of those days that I will remember as a good day. There is an area where I go that is very hit-or-miss. A lot of the time I find nothing but then sometimes I find a lot, and on this day... Well. The conditions were very good and I didn't see any footprints from others. I got there early and had a good feeling. This was the first thing I spotted out there. I wasn't sure about it, a pointy rock, maybe something, maybe nothing.
 It was not nothing!

Very pleased with that. Complete, nice, the tip razor sharp. This thing could still be used. A good find for me. Not long after that, I spotted a broken stemmed point.
 Most of it is there, anyway
 Then I found this. Beautiful material, and complete. Not very aerodynamic. A knife, perhaps.
 A broken tip...
 More broken things. The stemmed base at right would have been a nice big point.
 What a day!
Here is everything cleaned up at home.
 That "knife" is partially transparent, just gorgeous material.
 I love this thing. I don't find many like this.
5. December 14, 2016
On December 11 I had searched nearly the whole area I was walking in. I had ignored a nearby area that is less productive. Back at home, looking at a handful of finds, I found myself wondering over and over about the area I had skipped. Perhaps I should have been more thorough. So, a few days later- back I went. I'm glad I did! This was fun to spot:
 I love the shape of this one. A classic "arrowhead" shape.
And there was this, just waiting to be picked up, impossible to miss.
Yet another handful of stuff! Persistence pays off with a lucky streak.
6. December 18, 2016
Heavy rains swept the ground as the region was hit by a winter storm. I knew that the torrents of water were churning the ground and washing out more rocks, stone tools among them. I eagerly returned to the area where I was having so much luck, only to find it a soupy and nearly impassable morass of mud. With every step, I sank deep into the mire. 100 feet from my car, I found myself in despair, wondering if I would make it back to safety. The mud was so deep, so sticky, I feared that if I fell forward I might drown. It was the worst mud I have ever encountered while looking for arrowheads. I was relieved to get out of there. In the few minutes I was floundering around, I found a couple of projectile point fragments, both stemmed bases. I drove to a different area where I searched for a while but found only one corner of a triangular point.
7. December 23, 2016
Back to the productive spot. Had the mud subsided? Only partially. I found a couple of big chunky artifacts. I don't know if these are preforms or scrapers, or some other kind of crude tool. I have not been back to this spot since, it is now covered with snow. When the snow melts I will be there again.
8. Christmas Day 2016
There is an area that once produced many arrowheads for me, that now yields very little. I found what there was to find; the ground keeps its secrets, and what is below the surface remains buried. I still walk there and remember the fine points I once spotted on the gentle slope and at the hilltop. I study the ground and think of the people who once lived here as I turn over flakes I left behind on previous visits. This was kind of fun to spot. But it is just a fragment.
Besides this, I found a broken piece of a scraper and another fragment of a triangular point. Better than nothing. I will keep these and record these finds together with the others from that place. Perhaps some future archaeologist will appreciate the assemblage I have collected from this site.
Back in the car, headed home, I drove by an area where I have found some things in the past. Not a lot, but some decent points. The vegetation on the ground there is thick, conditions generally poor. To my shock, on this occasion, all of the vegetation was gone. In its place- bare earth. I could not believe my eyes. A lucky thing to find. I knew the chances of finding an arrowhead in those conditions were extremely high. I found this, not much to look at but this is part of a Stark point, made of red felsite.
Not long after that...
It was, for me, a merry Christmas.
I'm not sure what type this is. Atlantic, perhaps, or maybe a Neville. It is a bit beat up but I love it.
9. January 15, 2017
Back in that same place again. Hoping that rain might have exposed something new. But, there is not a lot to find here. This tiny little quartz triangle was my first and (so far) only projectile point find of 2017. It is complete and interesting because it is so small. I can't know what the year will hold in store for me, it is impossible to predict. I am optimistic but for now, until the thaw, I have to wait.

2 comments :

pwax said...

Wonderful. I wish I could spend a couple of hours in one of those fields. Mine have not been plowed in a long time, have scanty pickings, and are being combed by out-of-state'rs.

Kierran Broatch said...

Just seeing this now. Great post. Looks like you had a productive stretch there! I have another little one on the way, but hoping to get a few looks in before. This little thing called work is getting in the way. Good job.