Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Mississippi Arrowhead Hunters Official Home Page




This website is dedicated to the arrowhead hunters and artifact collectors everywhere featuring artifacts from Mississippi and Alabama as well as other locations in the Southeast US.  My goal from the outset is to make this website informative, educational, interesting and entertaining and I hope that reading these webpages will take you on a journey of adventure, allowing you to experience the fun and the thrill of finding lost artifacts.  I hope you enjoy your visit here and that you find the information contained on Mississippi Arrowhead Hunters.com will inspire you to explore nature and to find some lost artifacts.   
                              
                                                                           Ray Vaughn, Artifact Hunter
                                                                          Mississippi Arrowhead Hunters
Ray Vaughn, Artifact Hunter
Founder-Mississippi Arrowhead Hunters
I have hunted lost artifacts for more than 40 years, successfully accumulating an extensive collection of American Indian arrowheads, axes, spear points, pottery and other early American artifacts.  My hunting expeditions have taken me various locations in Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Arkansas, Louisiana, Colorado, Wyoming, Arizona and Texas on quests searching to find artifacts lost or left behind by early Native Americans. I have stood on the great Emerald Mound near Natchez, MS.   and on the huge Temple Mound at Moundsville, Alabama and I have traveled to the pyramids of the Maya in the Yucatan. I've wondered in awe how these great great monuments were engineered and built in antiquity by peoples who had only their hands and their imagination for ingenuity.  And this seemingly impossible achievement of building and completing massive earthworks happened again and again around the world.  The Southeast is abundantly rich in lost Indian artifacts and ancient village sites. Many great rivers make their way to the Gulf Of Mexico and along their banks during the  Mississippian period, great civilizations sprang up dominating entire regions under the powerful influe of great river chieftians. During the Mississippian period, the tribes of the American Indian nations reach their zenith in artistic and cultural accomplishments, producing beautiful artifacts and relics for the record of their journey across America's prehistoric-historic history.  From the great Tallahatta quartzite deposits to the Coastal plains chert deposits, the Southeastern US had an ample supply of lithics materials for the production of superb artifacts by early American natives. Many of these fine specimens are 6-7 inchs in length and in some cases the ceremonial spear points produced reached lengths of over 20 inches and were sometimes made from exotic materials such as agate or agatized coral. These pieces are made with amazing precision and perfection.....they are works of art and are much sought after. Pottery making during this period also reached perfection, producing artfully incised and glazed ceramic ware which today is very rare and very collectible.  Hunting lost artifacts is not without risks.......crossing fast flowing streams and rivers can present a risk of being swept away or going under with a loaded backpack and boots or encountering mountain lions and poisonous snakes can get your adrenalin pumping.   Nature can be unpredictable and unforgiving. During my years as an artifact hunter and collector I have noticed there is always a great interest in ancient American Indian and early man artifacts wherever  I share my experiences at artifact hunting. Whether speaking to groups about American Indian artifacts or simply showing my collection to an interested friend.   This noted interest has prompted be to begin research on my new book "How To Find Indian Artifacts", which I plan to  release sometime in 2015.  So be sure to check back often for announcements on this upcoming book which will be a useful field guide for both the beginners and the experienced artifact hunter.    by Ray Vaughn, Founder, Mississippi Arrowhead Hunters.

If you have a collection you would like to donate to Mississippi Arrowhead Hunters, mail me at: missarrowheadhunters@archaeologist.com.  


You never know what you will find when point hunting in East central Mississippi and West central Alabama. The prominent point types found here are Pickwick, Kirk and Abbey. Sometimes Bascom, Benton, Marion, Newman, Savanna River, Hamilton, Osceola, Greenbrier, Dalton, Bolen, Big Sandy and on rare occassions, a Clovis point.  There are also the ceramics and stone artifacts the cultures produced as well as early European artifacts that were traded to the American Indians during the historic period (1500s-1800s). East Central Mississippi and West Central Alabama lies along a regional archaeological division separating the east central  section from the Southeastern section as illustrated in Overstreet's Arrowhead Guide. An  overlap of period culture types and styles are found in this area.  Artifacts that are more prominent in the deep Southeastern archaeological region (south Alabama and Florida) and those more prominent in North Alabama and Tennessee,  may also appear here with some frequency in East Mississippi and West Alabama along this regional divide. 


Southeastern Indian Chunky Player
Note the similarity to the Maya design
I know everyone has heard a story about unusual point and artifact finds in this area. Stories recounted from point hunters like the fellow who was swimming in the Chickasawhay River in Clark county, diving to the hard clay bottom and finding a pot hole with a black Clovis point caught inside.  Another one shared with me by a lady whose brother was swimming on Tuxacanie creek in a sandy hole....he found a large spear point made of a translucent green rock. It was sent for authentication and came back as a Clovis point made from a green volcanic rock. And another is the story of a cache of (5) Clay type points made of Tallahatta quartzite and Coral which were found on Tombigbee River near Gilbertown, Al.  Yet another amazing find is the 5 ceremonial spatulates (Spuds or ceremonial axes) found in a cultivated field on a high bluff along the Tombigbee river east of Waynesboro, MS. Or how about the creek near Millry Alabama where 2 Indian skulls were found eroding out of the creek bank as it cut across an ancient burial site. I personally saw these skulls. Another story I have heard from someone who worked the gravel dredges on Leaf River and Pearl River near Hattiesburg and Columbia is one in which many points including some huge ones were pulled up out of the gravel beds. These river gravel beds are sometimes 15 feet deep in gravel and dredges remove the gravel for  commercial purposes. The dredge worker said on one occasion so many points were pulled out that they covered the area of a pickup truck bed and several were 6-8                                                  inches in length. Point hunters spend many hours walking along creeks looking for points.


Sometime point hunters have pretty good luck and find a few artifacts. Sometimes even a killer. Sometimes you find just broken pieces or only a few  flakes. We never know when we will walk up on something new that may be an awesome find or new discovery. Or an extremely rare artifact.  One of my favorite experiences was on a hunt with Rex Anderson and my son Jason.  While walking down a small creek, we stopped on a rock bar. As we were standing there looking around at the rock bar, I looked down and noticed that Rex, who was standing beside me, was standing on a large flat piece of quartzite partially exposed in the sand. I said, Rex move over and let me pick up that point. He stepped aside and I picked up a massive creek stained Bascom point. On a return trip, Eddie Spears found it's twin at the same location. This location also produced a large Pickwick and a 6.5 In. Kirk and these three very large points are now in my collection.


Recently I had an unanticipated experience while artifact hunting in North Alabama. Having walked and dug on a creek for 2 days finding nothing but chips, I was mentally preparing myself for another let down. It appeared that the area in which I was searching was not going to produce any artifact finds. Then, within 5 minutes of preparing myself for a findless outing,  I discovered a cave at the base of a bluff with points lying at the entrance and many more under the surface of the cave floor.  Wow......what a turn-around of luck. I went from total let down to my greatest find to date when I was about to give up on this location for good. Read the full story of the North Alabama Cave site.


There are huge quarry sites for Tallahatta quartzite in east central Mississippi and West central Alabama. Tallahatta stone is abundant in the rock strewn and hard bottomed streams and can be found in sizes from small pieces to larger boulders embedded in creek beds. Along the eroding creek banks thick layered outcroppings off Tallahatta quartzite can be seen and ancient quarry marks are visible where the ancient indians once quarried this stone for their tools. The stream beds here are a combination of  sand, soapstone, hard clay bottom, limestone and sometimes even solid ledges of Tallahatta quartzite and usually not very deep. Many Paleo and Archaic points are found in the creeks beds of this area having been washed in long ago from flooding waters that sweep and erode the creek banks along which ancient camp sites were once located. With this abundance of lithic tool resource material, there is no limit to quality, quanity and the size of stone artifacts and tools that were produced by the ancient Indians who once lived in this area.  The Pickwick point above is a 6.5 In. Tallahatta quartzite found recently in Choctaw county Alabama and is a fine example of the larger points found in the creeks of this area. If you've never handled one of these large Tallahatta points, you cannot imagine the size, weight and mass of these artifacts.




Beautiful Blue Translucent Tallahatta
Quartzite Outcropping.


The hills in east Mississippi and west central Alabama often coarse through Tallahatta quartzite outcroppings as shown in the picture left.  This area has a heavy layer of Tallahatta quartzite that is a beautiful blue opaque and transluscent color with inclusions. The color varies somwhat from area to area. Creek pictured here is in Lauderdale Co., MS Photo submitted by 








Small Creek East Central Mississippi with one of
the many waterfalls that occur in this area













 Another Recent Cave Find In North Alabama
Watch For An Upcoming Article On This Site
With pictures of a big Elk River Point and Gorget 
Protected caves are good places to find lost artifacts

video
                   Cave Dig Video

posted by Ray Vaughn, Webmaster
Mississippi Arrowhead Hunters





7.5 In. Hamilton Spear Point










Large Citrus Basal Notch Point
North Florida


Big Florida Newman
5.5 Inches - Large blade
tapered point






New Awesome Snap Base Kirk 

Big Clovis Preform Blade
Southeast Alabama


5 In. Clovis
Georgia


Wicked Bolen creek stained with transluscense




4.75 In Pickwick
Very Fine - Alabama

Massive Fairland blade
East Texas












Monster Florida Bolen plain


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Bottle Creek Indian Mounds-Mobile, AL
Archaeology In Mississippi's National Forests 

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Ray Vaughn, Collector, Contributor and Webmaster For Mississippi Arrowhead Hunters
Click this link below to see his story and a few pictures of his collection
Ray Vaughn's Artifacts

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Upcoming Articles


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If you would like to share your personal Point Hunting experiences or your collection contact    
Misssissippi Arrowhead Hunters at the following email address

Mississippi Arrowhead Hunters
Ray Vaughn, Webmaster

Thanks For Stopping By


The Arrowhead Posse
Standing in a Lauderdale Co., Mississippi rock bottom Creek
near the Chunky River 2005


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