Monday, January 27, 2014

A warm day in January

     There's snow on the ground out there and it has been really cold. I won't be finding any arrowheads until that snow melts. Fortunately I did have some free time before the snow fell and I came home with some things.
     We had a warm snap earlier this month and a lot of rain. I was driving home after work one day and the rain was just pounding, big fat drops, the kind of rain that slows traffic. This kind of rain exposes arrowheads, too. It was so warm that night, I slept with the bedroom window open for the first time in weeks. When I woke up the next morning there was a warm breeze blowing through the window and I could smell the spicy scent of the ground outside, it was like a spring day. I had to get out and look, I cleared my schedule for the day and drove to a place where I have had some luck before. The last time I was there, the conditions were really rough, grass and weeds everywhere and not a lot of ground visible except in patches here and there. But the ground is really sandy and when it rains hard like that it changes. Sure enough, the winter freezes had killed a lot of the weeds and all that rain had washed a clean surface in places. Right away I found the tip of a large quartz arrowhead.
     So, that's a good sign, and I am feeling like I am going to have a good day. There are a couple of types of arrowheads that I have never found that I would love to find- Vosburg, Bifurcate Base- and I know these have been found in this place, years ago, by others; there are Starks and Nevilles out there too, and a lot of stuff has been removed but there is always something left. And some day I am going to find something really special there, if I keep putting the time in. Would this be the day?
     Well, four hours went by and it was looking like this might not be a big day after all. I searched nearly the whole place and hadn't found a whole arrowhead. I took this picture of my finds and took a break out there. That piece in the upper left shows clear flaking and I thought it was a fragment of a tool but looking at it later, I realize it is just a flake. The triangle base at top right is a heartbreaker. That big pink thing has a bit of work done to it, I'm not sure if this is a crude tool, a piece of a tool or just something that was being worked on and discarded. The Squibnocket Triangle near my pinky tip is not too bad but it is missing a corner and the very tip is also gone.
     As I was taking a break I couldn't shake the feeling like there was something good out there that I had missed. Maybe not that special rare thing I had been hoping for but couldn't I at least find a decent quartz arrowhead, something? There was an area that was kind of wet and nasty that I had not searched carefully. I decided that instead of walking back to the car I would just give it one more try in that spot that I had not searched so carefully. And it was a real thrill but also a relief, after those hours, to spot a whole arrowhead totally exposed and obvious and just waiting to be picked up.
     Well, it's mostly whole. There's a little nick on the edge. Squibnocket Stemmed, a very common shape, in the most common material, but I am really happy and lucky to have found it. My first whole arrowhead in 2014.
     This is everything I found. That black piece is flint. I'm not sure if this is an Indian tool broken and worked down to nothing, or a pistol flint from England. There were people here in the 1600s, too.
     The two most common shapes in southeastern New England: Squibnocket Stemmed, Squibnocket Triangle.

1 comment :

pwax said...

That is a nice big find.