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