High ground near water likely place for artifacts

By J. Anfenson-Comeau


Louisiana is a gold mine of Native American arrowheads, Deacon David Guillory told the Eunice Kiwanis Club Thursday.

“If you have a hunting lease, you are almost guaranteed to have arrowheads,” Guillory said.

Actually, Guillory corrected, many of the artifacts people assume to be arrowheads are not so.

“A true arrowhead is tiny,” Guillory said. “Most are actually knives or spear points, not arrowheads.”

Guillory’s pastime is hunting for arrowheads, pottery and other artifacts, and in nine years of pursuing his hobby, Guillory said he’s found somewhere in the neighborhood of 600-800 arrowheads and other artifacts, some going back as much as 6,000 years.

Guillory said that the best place to find arrowheads is on high ground near a body of water, like a river or bayou.

“You have to have water; water is essential for life. A lot of times, if you have a bayou or river, you want to look for a shelf, a place where Indians may have retreated from the water to,” Guillory said, adding that it is important to keep in mind that the courses of rivers and streams have also changed over time.

Of course, once you find a likely spot, that’s where the real work begins.

“You’re not going to find them lying on the ground. Most are dug out of the ground, many of them very deeply,” Guillory said.

Guillory said it is important to go below the topsoil, and dig into the clay in thin slices, sometimes as much as four or five feet.

Armadillo holes are also a great place to begin, since the hole has already been dug, Guillory said.

Shards of pottery or even rocks are signs of human habitation in the area, and a careful search may yield treasures.

Guillory recommended having an arrowhead guide book on hand to identify and date arrowheads.

To contact a regional archeologist for more information, or to record a site on your property, visit http://www.crt.state.la.us/archaeology/homepage/

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