Arrowheads of the Central Plains

reviewed by
Col. John F. Berner
written by Daniel J. Fox

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Arrowheads of the Central Plains, by Daniel J. Fox, 207 pages; hundreds of photos, all of which are in color. Published in an 8 1/2 by 11 inch format.

This interesting new title by Daniel J. Fox covers a wealth of new information benefiting avocational collectors as well as the professional community. My first contact with Mr. Fox was the result of his finding a large Allen point, and during the same year, he a very colorful large Clovis points made from yellow and green Niobrara jasper. Both were found along major waterways in the state of Kansas. You can't imagine how tempting it was for me to think about driving due west the very next spring in search of Paleo points somewhere in the central Great Plains, which encompasses southern Nebraska, eastern Colorado, Kansas, northern Oklahoma, western Missouri, and Iowa.

Daniel Fox covers an infinite variety of topics beginning with "Anatomy of a Point, a time period chart and relative point styles." Of extreme importance are his detailed accounts regarding "How to properly catalog your finds." This author has made a serious avocation of hunting gravel and sand bars along major waterways in the central Great Plains, and met with great success in a few short years while he was working on his Masters degree. Dan found over 3000 points in this short period. Daniel J. Fox proves the value of the camera in the field with close-up views of many important finds in situ.

Perhaps the most indelible impressions from this work came from several statements made in his "Observations" and "How to Tell if a Stone Tool is Not Modern and Truly Prehistoric" sections. He goes by the principle that "all contact leaves a trace" and the suggestion from one of his mentors to "take a closer look." In these observations, he makes a solid point that modern stone tools are made and aimed at achieving a classic outline of a valuable point type (specifically those made for the reproduction market) and such modern items could never have been resharpened after use. This is contrary to the reasoning of ancient man, who depended upon the ability and necessity to resharpen his tools as needed in the field.

Fox's "Gallery of Selected Points" includes 41 different point types found in the central Great Plains and features documented finds of a variety of lithic materials with excellent color photographs and a full description of each type. The color photos of lithics offer the reader help in recognizing lithic materials found in this region.

Arrowheads of the Central Great Plains is a new publication from Collector Books. This book is available through Collector Books and, shortly, through your local artifact book sellers. This book is important and should be part of your reference library.