By GEORGE ROBERTSON, M.D.
On a pretty spring day after a 1-inch rainfall the day before, my grandson and I tracked into a muddy recently plowed field near the Cumberland River. It had been a good site for Indian arrowheads the year before and we figured it would give us some good finds again this year. A breaking plow had been used to turn over 4 or 5 inches of rich dark reddish brown soil just deep enough to hopefully unearth underlying rocks. The warm sun had dried much of the moisture from the ground but it was just still a little muddy to be walking the fresh turned dirt and we wanted to be the first ones in the field after the plow.
The rain is a big help in washing off the flint chips exposing their gray colors which shows up easily against the background color of the soil.
In just a few steps into the field, we had found an arrowhead piece, the tip broken off of a sharp point fashioned from rough rock by the American Indians several hundred years ago. Most of the time the finds are just pieces of arrowhead points, but on this day in two hours of walking we found two whole arrowheads, both of the woodland style from the most recent Indian settlements. Last year in the same field we found a beaver tail point which might be as much as 2,000 years old.
If you want to try this relaxing fun activity, find a recently plowed field, preferably one on a hill overlooking a river or creek and just walk along looking for the characteristic shape which might be half exposed in the dirt. Much of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers property is public land but you might want to ask the landowner permission to walk through his farm to get to the site.
Pick a nice spring day, carry picnic lunch and this will probably make for a good hunting experience.
Editor’s Note: George Robertson is a physician with Family Medical Associates, PC, in Lebanon.