Central States Archaeological Societies
Central States Archaeological Societies

Report Your Finds!

Dale Van Blair

Central States Archaeological Societies 2004 October Journal

Belleville, Illinois

Many readers of this journal each year make finds that ought to be reported in the journal but which are not reported because the finders are not quite sure how to go about writing an article.

Hoping to encourage those members to report their finds and also provide some guidelines that may help all contributors, I have listed some data which might be included in an article. Not every item listed must be included for an article to be acceptable; some information, for example, may be either not available or irrelevant in some instances. Neither does the information need to be given the order listed below.

  1. Date of the find and name of finder.
  2. Location of site: county and state and, if not confidential, more specific information such as site number and name of a nearby town, river etc.
  3. Circumstances under which found and/or acquired: i.e. surface found hunting, exploring cave, purchased from finder, etc.
  4. Description of artifact(s): type name and period to which it belongs (Thebes point, Archaic), kind of material, color, texture, polish, condition, shape, serrations, engraving, etc., and any unusual features; also give appropriate dimensions.
  5. Site description: topography (on top of bluff, prairie, woods, etc.), distance from water source, other kinds of artifacts that have been found there and the time range. (Paleo to Early Woodland, Archaic to Mississippian, etc.)
  6. Other artifacts and/or materials associated with the find (Charcoal, potsherds, projectile points, etc.)
  7. A good black and white (or color) photograph or depending on the subject , other appropriate illustration.

For the person who is not willing to write an article, one other alternative exists: send in a photograph of the find together with the relevant information that can be included in a caption to accompany the photo. Do not send Polaroid pictures, for they often do not reproduce satisfactorily. Photo must be sharp, and the artifacts should be shown against a contrasting background. A metric or inch scale shown in the photo helps put the size of the artifact in proper perspective; also, a two- or three-inch scale is usually preferable to a six- or twelve-inch ruler, the size of which competes with the artifact for attention and does not make for an attractive composition. For suggestions on proper positioning of artifacts in photographs, see the "Notice to Contributors," which is in every journal.

Copyright © C.S.A.S.I.