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14,000 Years in the Ozarks - A Local Prehistoric Arrowhead Type Collection Timeline

Timeline Missouri Map

Have you ever imagined what life was like in the old days?  Many of you will think back to the days of our grandparents or great grandparents but that’s not what we are talking about.  When we say old days, we mean "prehistoric times".

Prehistory is a term used to describe the period before recorded time and differs on geographic location.  In the Americas, prehistoric refers to any time before the invasion of Christopher Columbus (1492).  Although there is no European documentation for our prehistory, we do have Native American Indian artifacts that tell stories of our past.  This past stretches back as far as 14,000 years.

The Timeline Goal

The goal was to create a timeline with a full range of prehistoric arrowhead types in chronological order.  Creating a type collection can be a challenge.  (Some museums can't seem to do it - see below)  But this isn't just a type collection, it is a local type collection where every single arrowhead was locally found. 

Collection Highlights

  • All arrowheads were found within a 100 mile radius in Central Missouri (Ozark Region)
  • Over 25 years of hunting and collecting
  • All arrowheads with pink label are personal finds
  • A majority of the arrowheads were found within the last 20 years
  • A wide variety of Missouri lithics exhibiting fantastic color

Importance of the Timeline

Our timeline display was inspired by a trip to the Smithsonian - National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI).  And we don’t mean this in a good way. The nicest things we can say about this museum is “the architecture of the building is attractive and the cafeteria food was delicious”.  Unfortunately, the prehistoric content was limited and the historic items were questionable.  The museum contained a single wall of projectile points.  We were expecting a larger quantity but the major disappointment came from the display.  It is hard to believe that any Smithsonian Archaeologist would allow the points to be displayed as schools of fish!  Overall, the museum exhibited more skateboards than axes, celts, discoidals, boat stones, plummets, pipes and spades combined.  We questioned the Information Desk and was told that the NMAI is more of a cultural museum than a historical museum.

The museum experience wasn't a total loss, it reinforced a very important point.  We must keep our legal rights to collect artifacts and preserve our history. Archaeological Society’s are constantly battling this issue for us.  Leaving history preservation to only museum committees and government bureaucrats risks interpretations based on politics and special interests.  It is inexcusable to represent our Native American culture, history, and heritage with European products or a pair of beaded Converse shoes while neglecting thousands of years pre-1492.  As a result, our family created this timeline to supplement the missing 13,500 years ignored by the Smithsonian - National Museum of the American Indian.


Notes:

  • Our collection is being built using less than the $759,000,000.00 of tax money given each year to the Smithsonian.
  • We actually like Converse shoes and skateboards, just not in our Native American museums.
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