RIVER FINDS
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ARROW HEAD HUNTING IN RIVERS AND STREAMS IN KANSAS

A very enjoyable way to hunt for arrowheads  is to walk creeks and small rivers examining the gravels in the stream bed.  Some of everything in a given watershed will end up in the gravels of the gullies and creeks, and  these places are excellent arrowhead hunting territory.   

 

Creeks and rivers are especially good places to hunt since the artifacts they contain are completely out of context and there is little chance of a valuable site being damaged by your presence. Most creek finds are isolated artifacts, but there are many creeks that contain so many arrowpoints that each trip will produce one or several, and often from widely different cultures or periods.

 

The in the picture below were found both in the Kaw River close to Topeka, Kansas and Mill Creek approximately fifty miles West of Topeka.  As you can tell by the photo, some detail from the points have eroded over the time spent in the waters.  However, even though the quality of the points are not as good the fun in hunting them is.

 

I would assume the next question would be....... are there arrowheads in all the streams and rivers in Kansas?  It would be hard to say, but with the migration of the tribes for thousands of years through Kansas it is more than possible that some indian activity would be found everywhere in the state.  I know for a fact there were number of indian camps around the Lower Walnut River.  I have found a couple of the camps but they have been hunted over the years and not much has been found.  However, most of the possible sites are not close to secondary roads.  This presents a problem on how to really explore the area.

 

 

 

 


 

 


 

 

 

On the left is diverse examples of river points found around the state, not just from the Kaw and Mill Creek.
I don't know how many different indian sites I found in the late 40's through the mid 50's with my folks but there were quite a few of them.  We looked for camp sites always on high ground close to a creek or river.  When we did find a camp site we made sure we spent time in the creek bed around the site specially down stream looking for anything that might have been washed into the creek.  One site in particular was interesting.  I found a wash into a creek from a site that was planted in winter wheat which with the ground cover you couldn't see the chert.  However, this was small and not planted and I found close to twenty bird points in an area close to six square feet.  You never know what you will find.

On the right is a late Archaic blade found in the Kaw river in the mid 50"s.

This blade was found in the Kansas River outside of Topeka in the mid 50's. My father and I had found an indian camp close the river and found a number of points and pieces of broken pottery. I had a friend who was working summers in the Kansas Historical Museum who knew of the our hobby and talked to the state archeologist in coming to the house to look at what we had found. He was very interested in two arrowheads that we had and wanted to see where we had found them. The location as at a site where construction was going on building a new road. He closed the construction site while they investigated the site. I never received word on what they found, if anything, or what period the site was settled. I did become more interested in the area around the site and since it was close the river I began walking the sand banks where this knife was found. This was the only thing around this site that any thing else was found.