View Full Version : Indian arrowheads

08-31-2001, 01:38 PM
The subject of finding arrowheads came up the other day. Looking for these things is something I have been doing for about 6 years now. I thought I would post a pic of a few that I have found over the years. I have a few other things I've found like fire starters, drills, ect. Anybody ever find any arrowheads or anything else??? Let's hear it, someone has to have found some cool stuff!!!


08-31-2001, 02:20 PM
How and where (without being too specific) do you find those? What is the average number of hours spent afield per find?

08-31-2001, 02:36 PM
There's money in them there broadheads. Had a buddy who's now deceased that used to search every vacation for them in farmers fields in Virginia where his mother lived. He used to build small cabinets to categorize them but could keep up and had them laying in drawers all over his basement. My guess is he had over 5000 broadheads, these things were everywhere. Someone wanted to buy out the whole lot for 100 grand and he wouldn't sell.
It was pretty amazing how far the indians come along in their broadhead making. Heads from say 500 years a go, would be not much more then barely sharpened rock. To the ones like you found which may be 150 years old.
I wonder what ever happend to this collection, he was married 3 times, and was on the outs with #3. So keep looking someday someone will want to give you some dollars to make your retirement more comfortable.

Shoeman, you remember me mentioning the drunk railroad engineer and what he did to his beagle? This was the guy.

08-31-2001, 03:05 PM
I probably have around 100 or so of these right now. But now on to the finding. Well, plowed fields real early in the spring after a few hard rains is the best time to find them. In the fall can be good to if the farmer plows up the field, then it's the same, after a few good rains. Any field that is close to any river, small and big, are some of the best places I know, even by creeks you would think are to small. And fields by a lake work good too. Once I find a field(and have permission) I look at it to find the highest part of it that is within a few hundred yards. That is where I always start looking. The first thing to look for are flint chips, there are way more of these than arrowheads. They are just the pieces of flint knocked off the arrowhead while making it. Another good thing to look for is called fire rock. These are the rocks the Indians used to put around there fire pits. By now they are broken and are smooth on the outside edge and are kind of square on the opposite side, because the heat breaks them eventually. I hope I explained that well enough. Once you have found chips or fire rock you know you are in a good area. If I look a field I'll scan over it for about an hour, if I don't find anything I'll leave. If I do find some flint I'll look the whole field over.

finding a field you think has arrowheads can take a long time. Once you find a good spot, I would guess 2-4 hours are spent for each arrowhead(or whatever else you can find), depending on how good you are at spotting them. I have taken people and found ones they walked right over:) I find all of mine within a 50 mile radius of Kalamazoo. oh yeah...a really good time to find them is in the rain too because when the flint of an arrowhead is wet it shines, that kind of makes them easier to see.

Hope this helps and if anyone has any questions on finding them, or even ones they have found, I'll try to help.

09-04-2001, 10:57 AM
I have been looking for arrow heads for quite a few years now i know i have atleast 60 or so. i did find one ace and that is a birdstone. i have also found a few other things like river axes and something that looks like they ground flower with or something.

09-04-2001, 11:08 AM
you found a birdstone!!!!! that's great:) Can you post a pic of it...I would love to see it. One other thing...what is a river axe? Never really heard of those, is it just like a normal axe or something?

09-04-2001, 11:42 AM
I found that birdstone last year. i know of 3 people that have found them one guy found one that was missing its head. the river axe kinda looks like a dull axe. i will take some pictures of the stuff i have found and get them scanned. i have been doing alot research on old maps that show the burial grounds gardens hunting camps and trails and i came across this thing called earth works.i really dont know how true this is but there is a rumor that on top of this hill in muir is a remains of a double ditch hilltop fort made by the mound builders when they were at war with the indains. i have looked for it on many occasions and still havent been able to find it. the search continues.......

09-04-2001, 02:58 PM
Is that river axe you are referring to a Celt? That is just like an axe with no groove. Just wondering?

09-04-2001, 07:25 PM
One of our neighbor's down the road that we were really close to that is now deceased had a field that is probably about 30 acres. Every evening he'd go down and pull weeds from his beans and corn that was in it's early stages. I don't know how many he ever found but we think that there was a indian village there at one time. He found all kinds of things from arrow heads to spear heads to things they used for grinding corn. Like I say, I don't know how many he ever found but every night that I was over there he'd come back with atleast 3 things. He also got top price for his corn and beans from weeding every night. He was an awesome guy and I really miss him.

09-07-2001, 06:01 PM
Good job trout, that's funny, we were talking about it the other day and now look you find one. You know where there's one there's more so keep your eyes on the ground!!!

12-03-2001, 11:52 AM
Ahh I wondered who was leavin tracks in my spot! I've been beat out there two years in a row now! I've been collecting them for 20 years and I have quite a massive collection. Lets get together this spring Hypox. I'd like to go find some new places that aren't so picked over! I have a sifter so if you know of any good places where we might get permission to dig! Except graves! But a ridge along a river(at a known site) usually produces everthing from arrowheads to pottery!

Finding a birdstone is almost impossible anymore! Those are worth big bucks if they are in good condition!

12-03-2001, 04:34 PM
stumpjumper, that sounds great. I have some spots we can go look. I found a new spot last year, I only found two but I don't think people look it at all.

12-03-2001, 04:56 PM
Allright I'll holler at ya this spring! I know a couple spots by Mendon, but it's getting slim pickings. There has to be some undiscovered sites out there! Were those points in the pic from local sites? I don't know how much you know about them but some, possibly all of those date back about 3,500 years! It would be Archaic period. Those are the sites that produce the birdstones!

12-04-2001, 06:37 PM

No, I really never learned that much about the age of them...I would love to learn more about it though. And yes...I found everyone of those locally. I can remember exacly where I found every one.

12-04-2001, 08:46 PM
How did you get into artifact hunting? Did you just accidentally find one and start looking? There's alot of good books out there. I have a few at my dads house. Alot of arrowheads are made the same so identifying them isn't to hard. I mean by age and type etc. Next time I'm over there I'll get the names of them. Well get out this spring and load down!

o town
12-09-2001, 07:33 PM
Interesting thread and seems you guys are having fun, but educate a newbie; What's a bird stone?
Reminds me of my childhood in Ohio when we would check all the newly plowed fields and bring our stuff to school to show around and trade. One kid, Fred Snider, must have had his family farm right on top of an old village site because he always had the most and the best.
We're into fossils here and dive the rivers and find all sorts of stuff. We have found a number of Timicuan heads in the riverbeds so it might be worth a try up there.

o town

12-09-2001, 08:37 PM
There is alot of speculation on what a bird stone was really used for. I believe they were put on spears to help balance them in flight. As far as appearance they are about 4" long and 2" high and are shaped somewhat like a duck decoy. Some are different from others though.

12-18-2001, 11:04 AM
I was wondering around the websight and found that I had never gone into this area. I found then found this thread. Anyways, I did not know what a Bird Stone was either so I checked out ebay. I found one. Is that really how valuable they are. I found an arrow head this past spring. I live in Monroe and on the river Rasin. I am curious if I can find any thing else. Anyways, here is the link for the bird stone. Is that what you guys were talking about?

Ebay Listing for Bird Head (http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1047304286)

12-18-2001, 02:52 PM
Jbaugher, Yep that's a bird stone! That's what they're worth too!

SplitShot, I'd be glad to get out and look for some with you. As far as the riverbank, it sounds like an old camp. There is always unimaginable amounts of artifacts in an old camp if no one has found it before. It seems like they just up and disapeared and left everything behind. Did you find any pottery there?

12-20-2001, 09:38 AM
I must admit that I failed English in school. Boy, I should have proofread that last reply that I posted here. Anyways, I would also be interested going hunting for artifacts with you guys in the spring. If there is any opening, please let me when and where and I will be there.
As a kid, my brother and I use to hunt for artifacts. My mother told us that our house was built on an old Indian village. I do not think that she figured that we would go out into her yard and start digging big holes looking for arrowheads. She was a little upset. The cool thing was she told to dig in the garden after we did not find anything for several days. It was funny, how we seem to find at least 15 heads in our 10'x10' garden. :D

o town
12-20-2001, 05:08 PM
In looking at the bird stone, which is a beautiful thing, it strikes me as a newbie that it might have done little for the aerodynamics, but might have lent balance to the spear.
I'm assuming that it was fitted on the non-lethal end of the spear. in which case it might have been just a good luck charm wishing the spear good flight.
I don't have a clue. Are these characteristic of given tribes? Interesting thread.

o town

12-20-2001, 07:00 PM
Exactly Trout. Did you already know that, or did you find atlatl on the net? Iv'e read alot of differen't theories but those two are the most probable. The weight to balance it in flight and the bird to bring it swift flight! Or to that effect anyways.:)

12-20-2001, 07:53 PM
Wow that's cool. I've heard of the MAA before! I was a long time member of the Wolverine State Archeological Society. We used to have artifact shows all the time. It was really fun. I think they kind of fithered into non-existence.:(
One of these days I hope to find a birdstone. I wouldn't ever sell it. I have alot of neat stuff. I'd like to Display it once in awhile if I could avoid the risks of getting it all stolen!

o town
12-21-2001, 01:43 AM
Thanks guys, your infor helped me in my quest to learn something new every day.
Danny and the neighborhood boys found an interesting bit of pottery(fractional) down by the river yesterday. We all went back and found some more shards and will check it out further over the weekend.
Looks to be Timucuan, Trout. Could beat the cave bear skull and partial saber tooth skull he found last year diving the Withlacoochee.
Best to you all over the holidays.

o town

12-21-2001, 04:12 PM
Cave Bear skull! Wow that sounds cool. Get some pics of that stuff! I'd like to see that!

o town
12-21-2001, 05:35 PM
Stump J,
Sold 'em and it went into his college fund, but they aren't all that rare if you know where to look.
Didn't have a digital camera then so no pics.
The dealer might still have them, so I'll stop by mon and see if I can get some pics.
Lynn works with fossil shark teeth, makes ear bobs and things from them and feathers. Some of her stuff is pretty nice and the teeth polish up great with beautiful colors.
Anyone wants to trade some stuff, we have a dive coming up around spring break and hope to find a bunch of good things.
I'm still interested in the bird stone and I think I remember the Fred Snider I mentioned earlier as having some. Knowing him, he still has them after 40 years and I'll check and see.
Great thread guys. Hope all your families are well and hope you have a nice holiday. We're headed for NC tonight for a flip-flop bird hunt and will be back sun.

o town

Stumper, cave bear skulls are cool, but a complete saber tooth is awesome. Never found one, only partials, but it's just around the corner. Bear skulls are heavier and hold well while the cat skulls are lighter and break up befrore fossilization.

12-21-2001, 07:51 PM
Either one one be neat to find! I hope you guys don't run into any unwanted skulls down there:eek: You should definately invest in a digital cam!!

12-22-2001, 06:45 AM
Was surfing around ebay awhile back and came across a copper arrowhead up for bid that had been found by some folks metal detecting up around the Copper Harbor area. Believed to be several thousand years old and sold for several thousand.

12-22-2001, 10:22 AM
You could find all kinds of cool stuff up there with a metal detector! I never thought of that. I'll have to take mine next time I go up there! They made alot of things out of copper. It must've been really big because that price seems kind of high!

12-22-2001, 04:10 PM
Hey StumpJumper,
It seems high to me too but, on ebay they kinda go gaga when bidding. The wife and I have found many pieces of copper up there. I usually don't go anywhere without my detector. Just bought some property up in Houghton co. and has an old homestead on it so when spring comes I'll be swingin and swayin. By the way it's loaded with deer too being, half of it is apple orchard and came with a brand new stand. :)

04-25-2009, 05:19 PM
HI there, I'm new here and looking for a little guidance as far as searching for arrowheads down in the se area of Michigan. I am 10 minutes from lake St. Clair but there aren't many creeks or rivers nearby. I am located in Madison Heights. If anyone knows of any place nearby I'd appreciate it. Thanks!

10-08-2010, 11:56 PM
Anybody have info on this head?

10-13-2010, 08:50 AM
Well, this thread brought back some old memories. The farm I grew up on near the Titabawassee River had a sand ridge. On this ridge we found lots of indian arrow heads and tools. The two pictures below are of a hammer or pecking stone. It could have been used to knock off shards of flint for arrow heads or maybe used to "peck" on stones to form them into tools. This tool was shaped and fits perfectly in your hand. You can see the end of the stone was used for a long time.



10-13-2010, 09:02 AM
These are three nicely made arrow heads I found. It was interesting to see that some points were very well made and some of them looked like lopsided duds. I don't know if the duds were rejects or just an indian with new or crappy knaping skills. :D


The points below are some examples of different styles. The light colored broken one on the left actually has a hole that goes thru it. (maybe it was the first fishing point to tie a string to it):idea:

10-13-2010, 09:22 AM
This arrow head below is unique for a couple of reasons. First, the flint is a type not common for the area and must of been traded for or obtained on an extended trip. Also, I believe it was an unfinished point. There is a large chunk missing and it almost looks like the flint had a flaw or the indian messed up knapping it. That side of the point has too much material left on it to be balanced and I speculate that it was never used.


Below are examples of size extreams. The small arrow head laying on the quarter was probably a bird hunting point. The larger of the two may have been a "blank" that was a roughed out point to be finished later. I'm not an expert and all this info is what I've been told over the years.


10-13-2010, 10:09 AM
The pic below is of pieces of a pipe probably made in Europe. These were a long slender stem with a small bowl on the end. I can only speculate who owned it or how it got to this place. Also, in the pic is a clay marble. I was told it may have been placed in cooking pots to help them boil (small stones were used too) or it may just be a marble lost more recently. I can't imagine how it ended up in the middle of our field.


This pic below is a small drill bit.

I'm not sure what this tool is. It almost looks like it could have been mounted to a stick like an arrow head or turned side-ways like a hammer or something.


And now the sad part of my story. The sand ridge where all of these things (and much more) came from does not exist any more. The land was sold and the sand with everything it still held was hauled away. The field was leveled and became a subdivision. I was still a teenager then and nobody I talked to felt it was worth protecting. I frantically searched for stuff that was uncovered by the excavator, but I know much was lost. As the sand was dug away I found many darkened spots in it that was below the topsoil. These were fire pits that usually held burnt stones and sometimes flint scrap when I carefully dug into them. To the excavator's credit; he moved many yards of sand and dumped it where I could hand dig thru it when I found that evidence.

This place wasn't the only spot things could be found then. I learned of other sites from an old guy I met who was walking a field I knew about. He was a member of the local amateur archeology group and he showed me places to find indian pottery pieces and flint tools. One summer we did a few digs where each layer of soil was skimmed off; a little at a time; to carefully extract relics. It was mostly a lot of digging, but once in a while we'd find some neat stuff.

10-13-2010, 05:58 PM
Looks like quite the collection. :yikes:. Must have been exciting finding all that. I couldn't beleive I found the one that I did. After looking in to it more, it sound like a lot of stone points are found. I would love to find more.

10-31-2010, 05:11 PM
ok this is probably nothing but you never know, but do you guys think that this could be some Indian tool.???

(sorry the pics are kind of crappy.)

10-31-2010, 06:13 PM
ok this is probably nothing but you never know, but do you guys think that this could be some Indian tool.???

(sorry the pics are kind of crappy.)

The larger could be a scraper (for hides, etc.), but neither of them have the "look" of an artifact. My 2 cents....

11-01-2010, 11:59 AM
I think this is pretty neat. My boy found it in the back yard with his metal detector. He's found a ton of stuff, as we live on a river, and old stuff is always working its way out of the banks (cans, bottles, misc metal stuff, etc). I had no idea what it was, but googled "strengthen the arm of liberty"
(what is written across the bottom) and found out it is an old Boy scout neckercheif (sp?) slide. They made them to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Boy scouts in 1950.



I'll have to start keeping my eyes open for some arrow heads I think, those are pretty neat!

11-05-2010, 09:56 AM
These are three nicely made arrow heads I found. It was interesting to see that some points were very well made and some of them looked like lopsided duds. I don't know if the duds were rejects or just an indian with new or crappy knaping skills. :D


The points below are some examples of different styles. The light colored broken one on the left actually has a hole that goes thru it. (maybe it was the first fishing point to tie a string to it):idea:

Those "three nicely made arrow heads" look like they were made with Bayport chert (assuming you found them in MI). There are 2 places in MI where indigenous people mined projectile point chert: Norwood (near Charlevoix) and Bayport (Saginaw basin). Bayport chert is uniformly dark grey (sometimes with a white edge) & Norwood chert is grey with darker grey stripes, also beige with stripes and also black.
There was definitely trading of chert back in the day as it is common to find Bayport chert points in NW MI and Norwood chert points and chippage in the same locations.

11-05-2010, 10:57 AM

All of these relics were found in the Saginaw River basin and the three mentioned arrowheads appear to be Bayport chert.

11-05-2010, 07:08 PM
I was helping a friend dig a trench for a footing for his cabin up on the banks of big creek. I was mostly just throwing sand and the digging was easy. I started hitting a vein of river rock with some brightly colored stones, some I set aside to keep. I stuck my shovel into the sand and I must have just caught the edge because a tear drop knife just stood up at attention like a magic trick, luckily I didn't damage the knife, it's totally cool and still has a bit of an edge to it. It has been knapped all around the edges and is a little longer than my hand is wide. Judging by your description from above I'd guess this was Norwood Chert, it is a sandy beige color with some darker striping. I would love to know more about it, but the info on the internet is mostly western plains tribes, I'm thinking this may have been Pottawatomie or one of the local tribes around Luzerne.
Anyhow I think it's one of the coolest things and I often think of the man or woman who dropped it into the river ages ago.

11-05-2010, 07:25 PM
Steve, that sand ridge wasn't around Oscoda was it?

11-05-2010, 09:46 PM
[QUOTE=stevebrandle;3354071]These are three nicely made arrow heads I found. It was interesting to see that some points were very well made and some of them looked like lopsided duds. I don't know if the duds were rejects or just an indian with new or crappy knaping skills. :D


I have one simular to the bottom arrowhead that is black. Found in my garden after a rain, Higgins Lake mich. I have found a couple light colored ones, but always wondered how a black one ended up here.

11-06-2010, 08:01 AM
Sawcut, can you post a picture of your find? I'd really like to see it.

StumpJumper, Not Oscoda area; it was just west of the Saginaw city limits.

11-06-2010, 11:47 AM
There's lots of sites buried under subdivisions. Most of the time if they are excavating and dig something up it's kept hush hush so archeologists don't come in and claim it to be a historical site....

I've found artifacts all over MI but most of my collection came from the Oscoda area, a site called Goodwin-Gresham.. The place was like an arrowhead factory, flint chips everywhere by the thousands, pottery, arrowheads... you name it we found it. Pretty much the whole town of Oscoda sits on a huge site, you stick a shovel in the ground anywhere between the AuSable and Vanetten creek and you'll unearth flint chips or better.

I still have about 5 boxes full of flint and chirt flakes, I don't know why I thought I had to keep every piece we found lol.

11-06-2010, 07:25 PM
Here's 3 from my phone so the quality isn't the best.

11-06-2010, 07:31 PM
The craziest thing is that this knife just fits in my hand like it was meant to be there. It was crafted by a skilled artisan who depended on their tools to live everyday. I wonder what that life must have been like?

11-07-2010, 09:22 AM
Thanks for posting that, it looks similar to one of the pieces I posted earlier. I wonder if these are really knives or ????

11-07-2010, 10:16 AM
Here's 3 from my phone so the quality isn't the best.

Sawcut- Very nice artifact. I'm no archaeologist or geologist, but I have worked with them on accessioning (cataloging) artifact collections. Lots of the lithic artifacts that are found are called "preforms" or some kind of tool or projectile point in process of completion. Your piece could very well be a knife or could be an unfinished "turkey tail" point or whatever- hard to say.
It is interesting to hold something in your hand that was made so well so long ago. We have accessioned some points from NW MI that have been archaeologically authenticated to have been created about the time of the last ice age- 10-12,000 years ago. Those are way cool to hold in your hand and think about.

11-07-2010, 07:36 PM
This is a very interesting thread. It just so happens I live at the dead end of a road with a Indian name. My neighbor has told me she has found lots of arrow heads on the adjacent property. I'm at the top of a knoll which is all sand. I havent found any YET but I see myself looking in the summer.

11-12-2010, 07:37 AM
I have an entire box of indian stuff my brother & I found along the Huron River. It all came from the side of the river bank in down town New Boston. My grand mother owned the dairybar. It all came from between there & the bridge. We have at least two knives, a couple of axe heads?, pounders & many many arrow heads. It was right behind the buildings sitting on top of the ground.

02-11-2011, 06:11 AM
I've been trying to find arrowheads and relics for years with no luck! Living in Monroe county i should have a little better luck finding something!

Whitetail Freak
02-11-2011, 08:12 AM
My mother found a skinner (we believe) yrs ago in the driveway. It's quite large and sharp. I assume chief wabasis's tribe since in the area. Now if I found his lost treasure.

02-11-2011, 02:18 PM
I got a buddy lives here on the north side of Tecumseh and his family has a pretty good size farm thats been in the family for generations. Over the years his grandpa would walk around looking in their fields after they plowed them and my buddy to this day still has a small bucket probably about 3.5 gallons thats filled with arrow heads, spear heads, and other tools that were pretty neat. One of my favorites was was this rock that was sorta round, with a smooth face on one side and on the other side there were i believe five small holes that were somehow tooled into the side for your five finger tips to fit in for grip. I'm not sure if it was used for grinding corn into meal or something. His grandpa donated a bunch of stuff to the U-M and a few other farms in the area have also found quite a bit of stuff. He tells me that one of the neighboring farms had some kind of dig done by the U-M and that was how they came to donate some of their stuff. They were told by them that the arrows heads were very small which they had some of and alot of what they thought were arrow heads were actually spear heads. also some axe/hammer heads.

02-11-2011, 04:22 PM
never found an arrowhead but i did find what i think is apiece of petrified wood that has been worn smooth.someone told me it was probally a "worry stone"

02-26-2011, 06:10 PM
I live down in Findlay, Ohio and have been looking for surface finds for quite a few years, The new season is nearly upon us now, I use a golf club shaft and just poke around in the plowed fields behind my home. I pick up around a dozen points a year. I take the dog for a walk and just walk the fields I have my favorite ones. I have one field that I believe was a camp as I can pick up 4 points per visit and I am only out for a hour or so. Sand and high ground guys and if you are not finding anything you are walking to fast and looking to far to your sides, just back and forth on prime grounds.

02-26-2011, 07:24 PM
Does anyone where I can find out where there might be an old settlement or something??? I have been trying on line and looking in farm fields and have yet to turn up anything. I know I am sure its one of those things once you get the eye for it they just jump out at you. I can find morels and antler sheds, but I just cannot find an arrow head :(. Any help would be appreciated, I am not looking for a hand out just some basic info for some general areas to look at. I certainly do not mind the leg work. You can PM me if you want to keep it private!



03-09-2011, 10:35 AM
Nope, never. Although I've looked a ton