Discovering an arrowhead is an exciting experience.
During a walk, along with a lonely deer trail in eastern Oklahoma, the easy-going path had suddenly become overgrown and was impassable. The detour included traversing a variety of barbs, briars and scrambling over several fallen logs close to the river. The result led to a spectacular discovery.
Overlooking the edge of the water, between the tangles of roots was a small ‘beach’ area no longer than twelve feet. In the middle of this sat a tan-colored arrowhead (also known as a point) about 3 inches long. I spent a good number of minutes scrambling down the rough ten-foot bank, being poked, scratched and stabbed by branches and roots in the most uncomfortable of areas. Finally, I reached the shoreline. I saw the point, it was now partially covered by the gently lapping waves. I carefully looked around but saw nothing more. I snapped some photos to document the find that had been literally hidden at my feet. I carefully approached.
The point was being covered by the black sand and mud of the river and in another fifteen minutes would be hidden from view for possibly years or decades or centuries to come.
I squatted near the point and studied it carefully – it was one of the most perfect points I have seen. The point had very distinguishable tangs (tangs are used for affixing the point to a shaft). The point appeared extremely sharp and the arrowhead was very thin. I found a twenty-five cent piece (which happened to be an Oklahoma quarter) and laid it next to the point for a size comparison.
The person who created this was obviously a master craftsman. This person cared greatly for their work, this arrowhead was not just a projectile, but a labor of love. I had a deep respect for this unknown person from long ago. A flood of questions surged through my mind-
Who was this person? What was the craftsman’s name? Was the point ever used in a hunt, or against people? Had the arrowhead been lost? Had this been a gift to a child or grandchild? Was the arrowhead created as a trophy signifying self-importance, or was it created to be used in the service of others? What was the story of this arrowhead? I would never know the answers…
As I sat at the river’s edge looking at the point I knew one thing; this arrowhead was not just a stone, rather it was a method of communicating. The person who cared for their work had unknowingly reached hundreds of years into the future to tell me – a stranger – that they had lived.
With each step that day I wondered what other stories were beneath my feet.
The lonely deer trail was no longer lonely.
Note: The land was private. The design of this arrowhead, for the location, was between 1300 to 500 years before modern times.