My Big Find
by Travis J. Rabideau
|Central States Archaeological Societies 2014
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.