Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Appalachia Through My Eyes – The Perfect Arrowhead

My life in appalachia - The Perfect Arrowhead

I’ve told you before-Chatter and Chitter are rockhounds. They’re always on the look out for rocks that catch their eye. In the last 2 months Chitter has been a lucky dog when it comes to finding rocks-more specifically arrowheads.

It all started at school. The freshman and sophmore students partnered up for a school wide bottle rocket making project. They planned, they designed, and then tested their own prototypes. After going through the process of designing/building their own bottle rockets, each group was given a kit to build a rocket that would for sure fly.

Finally the big day arrived. The students gathered round in a field behind the school to watch the rockets take to the sky. Chitter looked down between her feet and there laid an arrowhead, just like it was put there specially for her.

Skip ahead to about 2 weeks ago.

The Three Indian Princesses are very familiar with the creek that runs through their stomping grounds. They know where there’s a high spot in the creek. Unless there’s been a heavy rain the creek goes around the little rocky high place. But whenever there’s a heavy rain, the water rushes over the high spot and sometimes it leaves behind treasures.

The first clear day, after a good 2 days of heavy rain, Chitter said “I’m going down to the creek to look around.” I swear she wasn’t gone 15 minutes till she came running back with an arrowhead. She said “I just knew it would be there waiting in the high spot of the creek. I knew it before I ever went.”

That statement reminded me of those 2 running legs that led her to hidden treasures a few years ago-if you missed that story you can go here to read it.

The last arrowhead story happened yesterday. She found the perfect arrowhead you see in the photo above.

The Deer Hunter was tilling in the big garden and Chitter was supposed to be standing by to help when needed and throwing rocks from the garden. Instead she was playing with the dogs. Chitter bent over to wrestle Molly-dog and spied the amazing arrowhead.

She ran and showed her Daddy, she ran and showed Pap, and then she ran and showed me.

Pap told her “The Indian that shot that arrowhead, went looking for it. He would have wanted that one back.”

When she laid it in my hand, I held it against my cheek and closed my eyes. Chitter said “What are you doing?” I told her “I’m thinking of the Indian who made it. I’m thinking that he used it to feed his family. I’m thinking he walked in the same woods we do.”

Yep Chitter’s a lucky dog.


Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.


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  • Reply
    May 15, 2012 at 7:31 am

    Great find!!!
    I have never found one, but am always hoping I do.

  • Reply
    Janet Smart
    May 6, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    I know how you all feel. Every time I find one I wish I could go back in time for a day and observe the Indians making their arrowheads. That one looks like the one I found a few days ago, only mine was lighter in color and had a touch of pink in it. I feel the same excitement Chitter feels each time I find one.

  • Reply
    David Templeton
    May 5, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    We do that don’t we, Tipper. I never find an arrowhead except that I hold it to my face or side of my head and I’m with that ancient man, first picking a piece of flint, then chipping it and shaping it and looking at it,checking his progress and result until he has, at once, a weapon or hunting tool and a beautiful result of his artisan ability. And, it goes in with his other arrows but he remembers each one, and he uses it and tries to get it back and if he doesn’t, he’s prepared for that but his disappointment at losing is understandable and comlicated with many thoughts.
    Your kids are special … and fortunate. Would that all kids had the home, and hearth and happiness you and their daddy and family have given them. How can anyone read your stories and not get a big lump in their throat?

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    May 5, 2012 at 6:08 am

    That arrowhead is about as perfect as the day its owner made it! Congratulations! These used to show up in the fall when TVA would lower the lake and sand bars that had been hidden all summer would reappear.
    I’m with you, Tipper. When I see these old artifacts, I can’t help but think about the person who was just trying to take care of his family and eke out a life. He had no idea when he would die or that decades, even centuries, later, the tool that he used would be a topic of conversation.

  • Reply
    May 5, 2012 at 1:58 am

    Great find; such superb craftsmanship. Reminds me of a time I was walking in Provence: we were crossing a particularly nasty scree slope high on a valley-side. A young lady in our party was very nervous so I said ‘look down at your feet, you may find an interesting fossil’. Within a minute I heard her say ‘Is this what you meant?’ and she held up a hand-sized ammonite fossil, a real beauty.

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    May 4, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    Great find, Chitter! I want to hear more about the rocket project-have ya’ll read “Rocket Boys” by Homer Hickam? It’s a great book about growing up in the mountains of WV &, of course, building rockets.

  • Reply
    susie swanson
    May 4, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    I’ve never found any arrowheads, I can’t find any four leaf clovers either.. My brothers have found them before.. She sure was a lucky dog to find one that pretty..

  • Reply
    Darlene LaRoche
    May 4, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Great story…I used to look for arrowheads in my younger days…it was lots of fun.

  • Reply
    May 4, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    That arrowhead’s a beauty alright!!!
    I only remember finding an arrowhead once – in the most unlikely of places, in the store-bought gravel that I got to put beneath my roses. I told our (then young) nephews about it, and they came over and found several more in that store-bought gravel. LOL But I know from the indigenous tribes that lived in Central NC that there has to be many many more to be found right nearby. Maybe one day I’ll be lucky enough to find one beneath my feet, and I’ll do just like Tipper did, hold it gently and try to get images of the life it once had in the hands of an AmerInd tribesman (or woman).
    God bless.

  • Reply
    May 4, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    That is really amazing! I’d be tickled to find any arrowhead- but to find one like this???

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    May 4, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    That’s a great find, congratulations to Chitter. It’s really a beautiful arrowhead.
    Tipper what else did the arrowhead tell you when you held it to your cheek?
    Any whispered secrets or stories.
    Every year when my granddaddy plowed the garden they found arrowheads. It was interesting that they kept turning up after so many years. Guess they must have lived somewhere near by.

  • Reply
    Nancy M.
    May 4, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    Wow! She is one lucky girl! I’ve never seen an arrowhead that well-preserved!

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    May 4, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    That is a beautiful relic that I would be proud to have in my collection. One of my favorite pass times is looking for arrowheads and spear points. I have found a couple of bags full over the years. That one appears to be made from flint rock and very well done. I too like to imagine the person that made and used it as a tool for survival. Looks to be a Kirk, stemmed bifurcated from the Early Archaic Period (7000BC-5500BC) Wonderful find!

  • Reply
    May 4, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    I think that is so amazing she has this knack for finding arrowheads- and I’m stunned that they are still, after all these years, in such excellent condition-

  • Reply
    May 4, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Some folks seem to have a gift of finding certain things. For my daughter it was shark’s teeth at the ocean. They seemed to appear just for her.
    Great arrowhead. I also muse about the people who left such things so many years ago. And the hard lives they lived in the isolated mountains.

  • Reply
    May 4, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Yea for Chitter! I’ve watched both
    them girls and could tell they are
    very aware of their surroundings.
    When my garden was deep plowed this year, I found myself right
    behind the tractor hoping he’d
    turn up a long lost treasure…Ken

  • Reply
    Mrs. K
    May 4, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Rockhound! I love that, especially since I work in a rock shop!!! We’ve all got a new title around here.
    Wonderful arrowhead, but I really liked hearing that you put it against your cheek, remembering the man who used it, walked and lived on the same land that you and your do..

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    May 4, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Wonderful post today…Like four leaf clovers, one gets an eye for the shape and just zones in when it is just slightly recognized….LOL
    I tend to zone in on Copperheads..
    and snakes in general…When I was young and stopping along the banks of the mountain creeks, I could zone in on bear tracks…LOL
    I love odd rocks and have found two here on our place…One looks like it came from outer space, being blue-like in color..The other hard like iron and round, also looks like from outer space, can’t break it like a geod…We are close to a plane route..I always wondered what dropped out of any planes flying over or near our place…ewwwwww..
    Certainly not arrowheads!…LOL
    Great eye Chipper! Keep trying Tipper…Bless you!
    Thanks Tipper

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    May 4, 2012 at 9:41 am

    The beauty of finding artifacts like this arrowhead is that the finder reaches back through time to “touch” the artist who did such an excellent job of knapping this rock. Can you imagine the knapper looking for the perfect stone or possibly trading for it then the patience they had to use a piece of deer antler to fleck off the scrap to achieve the tool they visualized and then created? Now Chitter has reached back through the years and “shook hands” with this artist. Priceless!

  • Reply
    May 4, 2012 at 9:35 am

    What a perfect and beautiful arrowhead! I will be looking for that one on ebay. My seven year old grandson is fascinated with Indian artifacts and recently had me take him on some unsuccessful hunting trips. The farmers use no-till methods now and the ground is never plowed. Maybe we will search the creek after the rains we expect today. Maybe we will be as lucky as Chitter.

  • Reply
    May 4, 2012 at 8:53 am

    That is a great find. I think the that some people just naturally are able to spot things like this than others. I think it is a sense of being completely aware of one’s surroundings. Chitter is definitely blessed with this gift!

  • Reply
    Bob Aufdemberge
    May 4, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Good for her. In all my tramping through the woods and fields, I have only found one arrowhead, and it had a big piece broken out of it.

  • Reply
    Uncle Al
    May 4, 2012 at 8:39 am

    OH my that is a nice arrowhead. We have a box of them (most from the mid-west corn fields where my wife’s family raised corn and beans…always finding them in those corn fields. I love looking for those kind of things. My hunting friends always claimed I was not hunting the game but looking for treasures. Well, they were a little right on that. 🙂

  • Reply
    May 4, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Great story and fabulous find!
    I find more heart shaped rocks than anything!
    Smiles, Cyndi

  • Reply
    kathryn Magendie
    May 4, 2012 at 8:08 am

    I am such a huge rock hound – it’s pitiful really *laugh*
    I’ve not found an arrowhead, though I did find a rock that I think may have been made by a five year old who was just learning *laugh* – or maybe it’s so old it’s worn down – yeah, that’s it 😀 oh well . . . at the very least it looks sort of owl-like 😀

  • Reply
    May 4, 2012 at 8:06 am

    Wow…that’s amazing! Congrats Chitter! My hubby spent hours looking for arrowheads as a kid, and never found one here on the farm, but when our son was little, he was with me in the garden and found one laying right at his feet! He and Dad were so excited! Since then, we found a big one baled up in a hay bale…but nothing so fabulous as Chitter’s!

  • Reply
    dolores barton
    May 4, 2012 at 7:51 am

    We used to search for shark teeth during the summer at the beach. We didn’t search arrowheads, but I remember my uncle giving me one as a child. I need to look for it.

  • Reply
    Rick Kratzke
    May 4, 2012 at 7:44 am

    Very cool story and an awesome find. I always wished I had found arrowheads before but your never to old to start.

  • Reply
    Mary Shipman
    May 4, 2012 at 7:39 am

    loved the post. Although I have looked for years I have only found one. My brother, John, like Chitter, seems to attract them.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    May 4, 2012 at 7:33 am

    Tipper–That’s really neat stuff. I’ve found a fair amount of Indian-related relics over the years, but nothing compared to the finds of two friends. One of them is Jackie Corbin, who Bryson City area folks will remember as a great athlete from yesteryear who was one of my best friends in high school (and went on to be an eminent researcher at Vanderbilt Univ., where he was part of the team which discovered Viagara). He regularly goes on artifact hunts with great success.
    The other was my turkey hunting mentor, Parker Whedon. When Parker died just before the turkey season opened this year, he left behind a collection of arrowheads and other Indian artifacts numbering more than 20,000 pieces. When walking through the woods he was always kicking at rocks and could tell, just by the lay of the land, that the site was a likely one for arrowheads.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    May 4, 2012 at 7:19 am

    She sure is, I remember as a child hunting for arrowheads. My cousin would always find them. I don’t think I ever did. She always swore it was because as a child she was given a transfusion with the blood of a Native American.

  • Reply
    S Kalvaitis
    May 4, 2012 at 5:03 am

    I bet she is still chasing the two running legs. I know after reading this my two legs have chicken skin all over them.

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