The Senior class was fortunate to be able to go on an unusual field trip on Wednesday. The class, along with Michael and Maggie, has been studying early humans. One of the students lives on a nearby property that was the home or camping grounds of Native Americans long ago. The student’s family has found arrowheads, chipping stones, deer fossils and many other Native American artifacts.
Matt Gerome, a local archaeology specialist, came in along with an assistant to help us identify what we were finding. Matt identified most of the artifacts as coming from the Archaic Period (around 5,000 years ago). After a talk about the items and the different types of tools and rocks, we started digging. Among the artifacts students found were arrowheads, engravers, fire stones and stone knives.
After we got back to school, Maggie demonstrated the use of an atlatl on the field. The linked Wikipedia article states of the atlatl: “As well as its practical use as a hunting weapon, it may also have had social effects. John Whittaker, an anthropologist at Grinnell College, Iowa, suggests the device was a social equaliser in that it requires skill rather than muscle power alone. Thus women and children would have been able to participate in hunting.”
After Maggie’s demonstration, many of the Seniors were able to try throwing with the atlatl. The students were very impressed at how much further one could throw a spear with the tool. Thank you so much to Danny and Dawn, Matt, Michael and Maggie for such an informative and unique field trip!