When I was a kid, I wanted to be an archaeologist. My parents even took me to dig days when they were doing heritage assessments when they were building the Joseph Schneider House in KItchener and Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto. Both of those sites allowed kids to dig around in the dirt after the real archaeologists had done their work because they were both basically middle school or garbage dumps. The dig in KW was near the site of a button factory so the ground was filled with old shells that the buttons had been cut out of. And Roy Thompson Hall was constructed on landfill — a hundred years before it was the shore of Lake Ontario. We found so many broken clay pipes and plates that day.
My most exciting discovery was finding an old flint head in the field behind out house that had become unearthed when they were building a school. I don’t know how old it was and it has since disappeared. My attitude toward archaeology has changed a lot over the decades (I think most artifacts, once discovered, should just stay in the ground). Thrift shopping fuels my need to uncover old things now.
For example, I recently found the arrowhead pictured above in a bag of broken jewelry at the Value Village. It was strung up on a leather thong that had turned brittle and snapped. I knew I had some leather cord somewhere in the house but it took me a while to find it. As soon as I fixed this new necklace, I found another arrowhead pendant in a box. I had forgotten about it because I had assumed it was a modern reproduction. But after going down an arrowhead research rabbit hole, I learned that the more surface “strikes” made during the napping process, the more likely is is to be older and handmade (people still make arrowheads by hand today, but they are usually manufactured with more modern precision tools which results in less strikes and less concave surfaces). It appears to have been shellacked which makes it look newer.
Anyway, I am so far from being an expert. I can date the arrowhead pictures up top to at least about the 1960s because it was bound up to a bunch of other objects that were for sure made then. I like them because they are rocks (which are inherently excellent) and also talismans (representing the hunt).