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Donated arrowheads could help write NC history

Posted June 9, 2014
Updated June 10, 2014

— At a table in the State Archaeology Lab in Raleigh, Jim Oshnock is looking over some of his life's work.

The Garner man and his brother have donated bags full of arrowheads that they spent 28 years digging up and collecting in southern Wake and northern Harnett counties. Some of the artifacts date back 12,000 years and can assist archaeologists in tracking down the state’s unwritten history.

What is unique about the collection is the record-keeping they did on each item they found.

“We cataloged them, we recorded all the sites,” Oshnock said.

State archaeologist Steve Claggett said the precise record-keeping is what makes the artifacts more valuable.

“That helps us as archaeologists understand more about pre-history and history, particularly the unwritten portion of North Carolina history,” he said.

Oshnock volunteers his time to help scientists in the lab organize the artifacts. He hopes the donation will be a gift that gives for generations to come and help fill in the gaps about the history of the Triangle area.

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  • fredvaughan Jun 11, 2014

    These are most likely not "arrowheads", as the bow and arrow were a relatively recent transition. These might be more accurately called projectile points, spear heads, knives, and scrapers. Before the invention of the bow and arrow, very long "darts" (5and 6 ft.) were "thrown" by means of an atlatl, a device sort of like a tennis ball thrower that we use to throw balls for our dogs.