Monday, October 31, 2011

Arrowhead find

Finding arrowheads on the ground has a lot to do with weather and the changing of the seasons. The first broken artifact I ever found (after countless hours of fruitless searching) was in the month of October. Fall is a great time to get out and look, the weather is nice and the conditions on the ground can be very favorable. Unfortunately this past month the weather was hot, the conditions were generally not great, and I found it hard to find the time to get out and search. I was hoping to have something better to show for the month of October, than the tiny broken pieces I found at the beginning of the month. So on Saturday morning, with a storm forecast for the afternoon, I headed out to give it one last try before turning the calendar page. I went to a sandy place that I have searched again and again, hoping that the recent rains might have exposed something new. The vegetation here is always changing, too. But after spending so many hours here, the chances of making a new find become ever smaller. I looked in a little spot that I had previously examined only a couple of times, it is a low spot mostly covered with weeds and with almost no exposure. But if even only a few rocks can be glimpsed, it is still possible to find something. I found a very small area that I had previously missed, perhaps the vegetation was more dense on previous visits. And after looking for less than three minutes, I spotted this:
It was lying right on the surface of the ground, so obvious-looking. It is nice when they are so easy to spot. Here is a closer look, before I picked it up.
It has a chunk taken out of one edge but most of it is there and I am happy with it. I find many broken points in this shape, sometimes they are rather crude. This one is fairly nice. I spent just a couple minutes carefully looking over this little spot and then went back to the car. I wasn't going to find any better reward than this, on that day.

This point is a good example of how quartz breaks. Even close-up, when you hold it in your hand, it is almost impossible to identify any flaking scars at all. There are none of the concave flakes that one generally expects to see on a chipped stone tool. The shape is unmistakeable, but the surfaces don't really look artificial at all, even on the edges. I often find worked quartz artifacts like scrapers, wedges, and flakes, but have a hard time explaining to people that these are artifacts and not just broken rocks.


pwax said...

Magnifique! I went out the same Saturday morning with the same intention. I found a busted Brewerton but it is not worth showing. Good job.

I figure these are Hardaway-Daltons, not Squibnocketts. Do you agree there is a hint of the "Clovis"?

Chris Pittman said...

I would love to see the broken point that you found. I hope to find one of those some day. I suspect that these points I am finding are Squbnocket Triangles which are typical for the area where I look, certainly they can be difficult to tell apart from Daltons and in other parts of the country they would be considered Dalton points. In any case the basal thinning on some examples does seem reminiscent of Paleo fluting.