Boy finds 10,000-year-old arrow in New Jersey

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

Native Americans
Native Americans fashioned arrowheads to hunt wildlife for food and clothing.

It’s fun to dig through the ground at the beach or a campsite, hoping to find ancient buried treasure or long-lost relics from forgotten civilizations. However, while we might fantasize about a seashell or arrowhead belonging to some legendary past, deep down we know it’s just pretend. So, you can imagine 10-year-old Noah Cordle’s surprise when he discovered a 10,000-year-old Native American arrow point during a visit to Long Beach Island in New Jersey!

Noah was on vacation with his family, away from their home in Springfield, Virginia, and was poked in the leg by something sharp. At first, he thought it was a crab! Once his family took the arrow point to the Archaeological Society of New Jersey, scientists there were shocked that such a rare and ancient artifact washed up on the beach.

The president of the organization, Greg Lattanzi, said the arrow likely dates back 8,000 to 11,000 years, when New Jersey was just a frosty and treeless place. “It was like the tundra of Northern Canada,” explained Lattanzi. “The glaciers had just retreated. There were no trees, just shrubs, and it was still very cold.” Even the ocean was 100 miles farther away back then!

So, who exactly made the old-fashioned arrows? Lattanzi says it was pre-tribal people who wandered in family groups, feeding mainly on fish, birds, and plants in the environment. Noah was excited to learn about the relic’s history, and after his visit to the State Museum, he had a lot more knowledge about how the arrows were made. Noah said, “They used different parts of the horns of a deer, not like the deer of today, but really big deer. They used parts of the horn to chip away at it, and the tip of the horn was used to make the point.” Noah plans on taking the arrow point to impress his 5th grade buddies at Orange Hunt Elementary School, and then the family will donate it to a local museum.

Featured image courtesy of Kelly-Jane Cotter and Steve Hardy on Flickr. Image of arrowheads courtesy of Mikhail T. Tikhanov on Flickr.