ARROWHEADS
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ARROWHEAD COLLECTING

I have been collecting indian relics since age 11. My father, a highway civil engineer, was on a bridge site on Mill Creek, West of Topeka, Kansas and found an arrowhead. From then on we spent many a spring day looking for new sites.  It is interesting to note that in Kansas, finding "new" Indian camps has been hard to do.  Up until the 1960 and early 70's there was much more plowing being done on the farm land.  Plowing is necessary to turn the soil over to uncover the points and chert.  Plowing has been replaced by drilling in the planting of corn but even then, the farmer must plow at some period of time.


COLLECTING
Many of the artifacts found on this page were found by my family and I but also a number of them were found by others years ago. The interesting part of collecting is most of the stone tools are from 14,000 to 400 years old.

The different time periods are broken down into PALEO, 14000TO 11,000, TRANSITIONAL PALEO 11,000 TO 9,000, EARLY ARCHAIC 10,000 TO 7,000 MIDDLE ARCHAIC 7,000 TO 4,000 LATE ARCHAIC 4,000 TO 3,000 WOODLAND 3,000 TO 1,300 AND MISSISSIPPIAN, 1,300 TO 400.

Collecting in Kansas is interesting because only the hunters and gathers camped along the areas I had hunted. I have found items that went back to the Transitional Paleo era to the Woodland era. The camps reflected the fact they had been used for thousands of years.


TYPES OF ARTIFACTS
There are many types of useful tools the indians made, arrowheads only being one of them. This group shows basic knives and "celts", use as a small hammer. The bottom frame are points found in river beds, thus the white color of the points. The oldest points found in North America are the Clovis points that date back 14,000 years.
In this part of the country the main area of finds include, points, bird points, knives, spear points, scrapers and celts. Pottery is usually found in the camp sites but only in chards. The pottery was crude compared to what the indians did in the high high country of Arizona and New Mexico.
TOOLS
The indians made all their tools from natural materials found at the locations where they were camped. In the Kansas area a gray chert was available for making tools but the indians did bring along with them different types of chert found in other regions of the country.

The thing to remember about tools is if there was a need to perform a task, the indian had to figure out what kind of tool would work and then craft it. If he was skinning and animal he might have brought along a knife and scrapper but then again he could take a piece of flint, break it and use a sharp piece to cut and another piece to scrape the hide.

The thing to remember about tools is......... many times you won't find the workmanship found on blades and points. If you can identify anything that isn't "natural" about a flint object, it could be man made and a tool.

VALUES
Yes, there is value on a collection. The value of a piece is determined by how free of imperfections it has. All points or tools are graded from 1 to 10 by an accredited expert. Depending on the grade and what the object is determines the value.

Grade 10 spear points running from 21/2 to 71/2 inches run from $1,000 to $10,000 dollars. I have never had the collection evaluated but I do have six large spear points over 7 inches in length and can't find "any" imperfections. In the bottom left hand frame, at the top of it is a corner tang knife. This was found in Kansas made in Texas about 700 years ago. I was quoted a value of $2,400 for it. As you can see, if you do find a quality piece it can be worth some money.

WHERE TO LOOK
Hunting arrowheads has been a popular hobby over the past hundred years. Plowed fields along creeks and rivers, as well as river banks and dry lake beds, are the most popular places for hunting relics, as the early indians built their villages and hunted game in these locations.

Fields are plowed in the fall or spring of each year. The most likely sites for hunting would be the large flat areas close to the original river or creek banks. Hunting in areas that may be large enough to support a small village and are on high ground, protected from a flood, are especially productive. Field hunting should be attempted after a hard rain. Heavy rains will create deep gullies and washed out areas thus exposing the relics. Warning.... make sure you ask permission to enter from the land owner. Most don't have a problem with you being on the land, especially ask in a friendly manner.

SPECIAL RELICS
In all collections there are special items all collectors look for:

Points made from Camelian a translucent mineral. Jasper, Luna agate. Petrified wood. Tallahatta Quartzite and others. In Kansas, many of the more exotic minerals are not found. I did find however, a Camelian point but not of high quality Also, large spear points. After thousands of years in the ground, and especially after numerous plowing, finding one whole is a rarity.

Axes, Spades, Adz, Spud and Hoe. These are large items and not too many were made, thus making them difficult to find. I do have a three grove ax that I purchased from a collector.

NOT ALL FINDS ARE "SPECIAL"
You must remember for every complete arrowhead you find you will probably find 50 pieces. For every complete arrowhead you find, you will probably find one out of 50 that can be considered "quality" with real value. However, finding quality points and artifacts isn't the real reason to hunt. It is as much fun looking as it is finding. You never know when you just might turn up something spectactular. Good hunting.