Monday, October 17, 2011

Tiny broken arrowhead

On a recent Saturday I spent some hours re-tracing my steps in a place I have already thoroughly searched for artifacts this year. Changes in vegetation and even light and shadow can conceal or reveal a small or half-buried artifact, and any good storm might expose something new. I found this tiny triangular quartz arrowhead:
Unfortunately this little point has been knocked around, the tip is damaged and the lower corners have been snapped off. It is well made and must have been difficult to chip out of this very hard material. Later on the same day, in a different place, I found another triangle similar to this, badly broken, but still showing tell-tale flaking on both sides and on the edges. This one may have failed during manufacture as it looks a bit more crude. Here it is on the left, shown next to the point above found on the same day; the point at right is a similar find from last year.

Projectile points of this size have long been erroneously called "bird points." In fact these could have been used to take down deer and may be true "arrowheads" used to tip arrows fired from a bow, the larger points more commonly encountered were probably used to tip darts that were thrown, or perhaps used as knives. I would guess that these are ceramic period, perhaps less than a thousand years old.

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