Being an amateur collector for over 40 years, I can think of no more satisfying of a hobby than collecting Indian artifacts..Each one is different, and each one tells a story.First of all, most "arrowheads" were actually made thousands of years before bows & arrows even existed, and were actually knife blades, hafted to a wooden handle.
I've done all my collecting along the Susquehanna and it's tributaries within Northumberland, Schuykill, and Dauphin Counties.The good news is that 90% of those arrowheads are still out there..The bad news is that most plowing has given way to no-till practices where these arrowheads are no longer being raised to the surface for us collectors..But not everywhere.
Where do I look for arrowheads?...Along water sources, native americans built their camps at the first terrace above flood stage..Those are the fields to try first.I wait until after at least three good rains to wash mud & dirt off of the stones.. Dig along creek banks, especially around uprooted trees. Some of my favorite places are washouts right after a huge downpour...Want to know a secret?..The islands of the Susquehanna are loaded with artifacts, but you have to dig.Try the downstream end first, especially during a drought when the water levels are down..Be careful as some islands are PGC sanctioned and are off-limits as far as removing objects.Building excavation sites are another good place to snoop around.
Aging arrowheads comes with reading about them. Native American cultures span some 11,000 years until maybe
1000 years ago when metal processes were discovered.Each culture had their own "designs' by which they knapped points, with the most recent being the "triangle" points of the woodland era. Stemmed and notched points,generally, are older...What's cool is walking a field and finding arrowheads from different cultures all in the same field...Groups would come and settle in a spot for maybe a few centuries, and move on..Another group would come later and settle the same area, etc...A very addicting hobby!..I often go trout fishing in the spring only to turn around and find a freshly plowed field directly in back of me...Soon, the fishing pole is lying on the bank while I walk back & forth looking for that tell-tale stone with an odd shape..When I go hunting for arrowheads, I take an old golf putter that I fashioned into a point, which I use for flipping over potential stones..Many times, all you see is an edge or the side of an arrowhead sticking above the ground..Farm machinery probably ruins about 80% of the points I have found..I have, maybe 2000 points but many are in a five gallon bucket as damaged pieces..I only display the decent ones anymore...Here are a few.......Ken