Central States Archaeological Societies
Central States Archaeological Societies
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My Big Find

by Travis J. Rabideau

Central States Archaeological Societies 2014 October Journal

Danforth, Illinois

It was a mild day for early July when my wife asked me “Are all the crops too big to go out arrowheading?” I thought for maybe a second and realized that I did have a set of fields that had beans on 30 inch rows. She told me to go while she took care of our rambunctious two year old twins. That’s all I needed to hear, so I grabbed all my gear and out the door I went.

The fields were located close to a lazy river in Iroquois County, Illinois. These fields were usually hit or miss for me. In the years 2010 and 2011, I had some good luck in these fields; just a few here and there in the last three years, (although I am not complaining). I was there just a little bit when I found a broken blade base. A short while later, I found a nice little exhausted side notched point. I was instantly happy, for here was something to put in my artifact frames back at home.

I was about to pack it in and try another field when I decided to explore a dried up little pond in the middle of the field. It had been worked, but not planted, since there must have been too much mud there during planting time. I walked one side, but found nothing. I then moved to the other side, and there it was, a big piece of worked flint peeking out of the dirt! Excitedly, I took a few in-situ pictures and now was the time of truth. I pulled it out of the soil and it was a full complete point. A nice big 4 ¼ inch dovetail popped its beautiful form for me to see (Fig.1). I could barely believe it. After gazing at its beauty, I put it in a small leather pouch for safe keeping, but it didn’t stay there for long. I took it out and carried it directly to my vehicle. I couldn’t wait to thank my wife for suggesting that I should go out. I have read many magazine articles about others finding big pieces and now I too, have shared


At top: Figure 1. The dovetail found by Travis Rabideau in an Iroquois County, Illinois farm field. It measures 4 ½ inches in length and 1 ½ inches in width, and its base is bifurcated.The dovetail point style is Early Archaic in timeframe, and is also known as a St. Charles in some areas.