Central States Archaeological Societies
Central States Archaeological Societies

This is a true story, try not to laugh.

by Matt Hull

Central States Archaeological Societies 2006 April Journal

O’Fallon, Missouri

This is a true story. I went looking for artifacts with a buddy of mine from work. He had just moved to Missouri and had never gone arrowhead hunting. We went to a site up Highway 61, near the St. Charles/Lincoln County line. It’s a construction site, so it will probably be a subdivision in another year. I had gone there once before a few weeks ago and somebody was digging it up. I figure it is some contract archaeologist because I don’t think pot hunters will mark off grids but then I could be wrong. Besides, I generally do OK without digging and I didn’t want my friend Dave’s first arrowhead hunt ending up in jail, so we set out to surface hunt.

Wax artifacts found St.Charles/Lincoln site.
I was explaining to him my personal views on salvage archaeology, urban sprawl and our moral duty to preserve a little of the past. We began and after about 10 minutes, I saw a little Dalton point. A few seconds later, Dave found a little Etley, sort of worked into a drill. Afraid that Dave’s little daughter might step on the rock, I picked up the Dalton point. I noticed that it felt kind of light weight and just didn’t feel right. In pushing on it an ear broke off and it disintegrated in my hand. It was made out of WAX! I could not believe it.

Then I looked at the point Dave had found and it too was made of Wax. His daughter Arianna now knows several high end curse words.

We looked over the entire site and found numerous other points made of wax. We also found some authentic ancient site material which included a bird point, an ugly stemmed point and several bases and tips of points. I gave the real stuff to Dave’s girl as long as she promised not to repeat any of the words I said. The one dark wax point had this written on the back: “ I came here to steal artifacts, and all I found was this.”

Another one said something about it being funny. Most of them didn’t make it back home whole, so I just tossed the parts into the trash. I am still amazed that it happened. I heard a guy talking about “salting” a field with fakes to keep people off of the site.

Anyway, if they were trying to dissuade me from surface collecting, they may have succeeded. I do OK hunting the creeks. Southern Illinois got 5 inches of rain last week and I am the only guy walking the creeks around home. Take care.


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