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A friend and I are really interested in hunting arrowheads and similar things. Does anyone out there have experience in doing this, and maybe even knowledge of these artifacts? I'd appreciate any hints/knowledge that could be obtained.
 

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In the spring go to farmers freshly plowed fields and look for arrowheads.While you look for arrowheads you should look for meteorites also that can bring up to 80,000 dollars..Good Luck..
 

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thanks...I see you're from chambersburg...I live very close to there...any hot spots? If that's priveledged information, I understand
 

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The key is to look for stones that look "different". When you find one a lot of times they jump out at you because they are different from the surrounding rocks. The same cannot be said for stuff like plow heads, bowls and pestles, which look similar to everything around them.
 

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I've all ways had my best luck after the field is plowed and after a rain,they seem to stick out after the rain washes the mud off them.
 

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A freshly disced field after a rain is best in in my opinion. Fields near streams that have or at one time had fish or game birds in them. You can find net weights sometimes there.
Search in a methodical pattern, and get permission from the farmer too!
 

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I'm sure there are some spots that are better than others,most guys that know of a real "hotspot" are probably not likely to give up to much info. though.
 

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I'd like to know also.

I try and tell myself it's like looking for sharkteeth on the beach. I'm about 300 to zero. Farmer plowed the two cotton fields on the club Monday and 2/10" of rain isnt enough I've heard. A members DIL found a nice one in a washout on the field though.
 

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It took me forever to find my first - later in that day I found where they had sat and "chipped" the flint as there was flakes scattered in a semi-circular pattern. I picked up a hand full of flint in this spot. I also found the stone that was used in the napping process. It fit perfectly in my hand. I didnt know it at the time untill I saw one later in someone elses collection - so as far as I know - its still laying out there.

Found my first net weight last summer - it did not look like I thought it would - and growing up on a tributary to the ohio river it dawned on me that I have seen many of these when I was growing up.

Now I have my nose to the gound where ever I go...
 

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I'm not claiming to be an expert, but I've had some experience and instruction. There was a local guy back home in Western NY, who was an amatuer archaeologist with thousands od artifacts he had collected over the years. He "learned" me and my freinds how to and where to. Often anthropologists and archaeologist from the Universities and museums would consult him.
That site where you found the chips could also be a "kill site" where they cut up one or more animals. They used small flakes cut meat and scrape hides, full knives were rare. They would usually carry a large peice of flint and make tools as the went along or as needed.
 

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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

 

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Thats great advice Ken
You've got a few celts too I see.
I have not done it in a while, but maybe I can try looking again soon. I have a farm the lady will let me go looking along the Lackawaxen River in Wayne County. not sure what Indians were here. But I'll find out.
Where I grew up in Western NY, we found a lot of Seneca stuff. There was a double palisaded village of the Neutral Tribe (as the French called) them which were massacred by the Seneca in the early 1600s. We used to dig there and search the fields. We had tons of pottery shards, points, tools, and my buddy found a soapstone pipe bowl in perfect shape.
If if you have a County historian, he/she may be able to direct you to any such sites like my above mentioned village.
 

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Yankee,

Actually, any of the tributaries leading to the Great Lakes are gold mines for artifacts...The Onondaga Chert favored by western New York Cultures is very beautiful, and we even find some of it around here which proves that the people traveled and traded their regional tool making materials...Congrats on the soapstone pipe, I've never found one!........Ken
 

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Great info...thanks. Where in Western NY are you from? My grandparents live in Cuba, NY, near Olean.
 

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Wow Ken, That definately gets the fire going, for sure. I live in Adams County, and work in Franklin County...not too far from the Susquehanna. What you had to say shows a lifetime of study and experience. Thank you for sharing. You hit the nail on the head too, without the story, without the history of the artifact, its just a neat looking rock. You've shown otherwise. A good buddy and I are going to hit it hard this spring and summer, and hopefully with some luck and determination, we'll have something to post too. Thanks for the hints.
 

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We used to find a lot of arrowheads along the Susquehanna in Susquehanna County and just over the border in Broome County. I had about 50 arrowheads and when I moved they disappeared to one of the movers. Didn't miss them as it took awhile to unpack. I did buy a bag of arrowheads in Canadaigua NY at an antique store for $5.00. About 20 of them but they had small broken points. Where we used to pick them along the Susquehanna there was a potato farm that was plowed every year but that is long gone. It is exciting to find one and I still find a few.
 

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YankeeHunter said:
You've got a few celts too I see.
Actually YankeeHunter, those are axes, and I have about a dozen of them..Most have the obvious tip damage and were probably disgarded by the users at some point..Susquehanna axes run huge and several of mine tip the scales at around eight or nine pounds. I can't help but think that some were camp axes, as nobody is going to lug something that heavy from place to place!...Axes are not easy to find, simply because most of them have already been found, as they are easy to spot from a distance...Ken

 
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