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#1 Oct-17-2015 06:02:am

sschkaak
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10,000-year-old point found

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nati … /74034596/

ASBURY PARK, N.J. — OK, science fans, it's officially a trend.

For the third time since last summer, an ancient artifact has been found on a New Jersey beach. Scientists at the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton determined it to be another projectile point, made by Paleoindians at least 10,000 years ago.

Audrey Stanick, of Lanoka Harbor, found the darkly colored, pointed stone object among shells while searching for sea glass in Seaside Heights in early October, after Hurricane Joaquin passed the coast.

USA TODAY

Boy finds 10,000-year-old arrowhead on beach

“My sister, who collects sharks' teeth, taught me to look for dark-colored objects," Stanick said, in a statement released by the museum. "So when I saw what I initially thought was an arrowhead, I picked it up.”

Stanick's experience echoed those of two children who made significant finds in the summer of 2014. Noah Cordle, then 10, of Virginia, discovered an especially fine example of a Paleoindian projectile point in Beach Haven, which he later donated to the Smithsonian Institution. Noah's discovery, first reported by the Asbury Park Press, sparked international media coverage. Children scoured the Jersey Shore's beaches for prehistoric souvenirs. Collectors sent photos of their own discoveries to the New Jersey State Museum, which was deluged with requests to examine objects.

A few weeks after Noah's discovery, a second point from the same era was found in Long Branch by Victoria Doroshenko, then 11, of Fair Lawn.
"Everyone was talking about that story," Victoria's father, Pete Doroshenko, told the Press at the time. "And then my daughter came up to me and said, 'Hey, Dad, is this an arrowhead?'"

Technically, none of the objects is an arrowhead, because bow-and-arrow technology came many centuries later. The sharp objects were likely used as spear points and are simply called "projectile points" by scientists. This might seem like a fine distinction to most of us, but to some paleontologists, archaeologists and other scientists, the misuse of the word "arrow" is like the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard.

After Stanick made her discovery, she, too, called the New Jersey State Museum and spoke with Gregory Lattanzi, the museum's assistant curator of archaeology and ethnography, who previously verified Noah and Victoria's objects as prehistoric projectile points.

Lattanzi reviewed images sent by Stanick and, conferring with colleagues, pronounced it a significant find. Upon examining it in person, Lattanzi identified the tool as a Paleoindian point from the Middle Period, about 10,000 to 11,000 years old. David Parris, curator of natural history, also examined the object under a microscope and identified the material as flint.

"Both agreed the point appears to have been tumbled in the ocean for some time, smoothing the formerly sharp edges, not unlike what happens to the sea glass Ms. Stanick was seeking," museum officials explained, in a statement.

Stanick told the museum she intends to keep the projectile point and pass it down as an heirloom to family members.

So, the Jersey Shore continues to be a great place to search for museum-worthy souvenirs. But why?

This is the big question. Lattanzi said beach replenishment may play a role, or the normal action of storms might be churning up long-buried artifacts.

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