Native American Culture/Arrow point?

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Mr. Sutton,

My son and I were walking the creek on our property ~ 100 mi southwest of St. Louis, MO and he found this "pretty neat rock".  We marked the location that he found this piece on an aerial map we had made last year in the event that we actually found something of significance.  I'm interested in learning what time period/age this may be from and what it actually is or was used for.  Not sure if you can see this in the picture but was also wanted to see if you thought it was damaged or not.

Thanks, in advance, for sharing your expertise with us.

Answer
It's definitely some kind of hand knapped tool made of flint/chert. I don;t see any damage tot he edges, which is a bit unusual for anything of that age. It could have been made thousands of years ago or more recently, right up to the advent of metal tools with the European trappers that traveled using the river systems. I would check for a mound structure in the area where you found this. I'd also note the depth at which it was found. Too close to the surface, and it may have been something discarded later on. The relative crudeness of the edge work, compared to the most highly refined points of the Mississippian culture would also affect how it was dated. I would bring it to the nearest University Anthropology Department that is engaged in digs for their opinion, but I think it's an unusual find, as I don't think it is a typical projectile long-point, but possibly a knife, awl or saw. Hope this helps.

Native American Culture

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Richard Sutton

Expertise

As a direct reservation trader in all aspects of American Indian arts since 1985, I've answered questions regarding cultural property issues, origins of traditional crafts, materials and techniques, collecting, authenticity, symbols and, of course, repairs! We have operated a retail gallery since that time, bricks and mortar until 2007 and online since 1996. Our online operation closed in 2/2015, to allow me to finally write full-time. My writing site can be found at www.sailletales.com I'll be adding a book or two from our trader experiences under the pen name of W.T. Durand and the rest of my fiction is under my own name. We are not "New Age" practitioners of adopted American Indian religious ceremonies or combined philosophies. If you are seeking such knowledge for spiritual reasons, we will only provide answers that address factual information on these subjects. Unless one is raised in a traditional, American Indian family with language, culture and religious belief intact, we don't believe that simply applying the trappings or cultural property of a given traditional group will give a non-Indian (Native if you prefer)any insight other than the academic.

Experience

My primary focus is on Southwester American Indian Nations and their people, but I also have experience in Plains and Northeastern traditions, having engaged in active trade and retail since 1985 and study for most of my life. I am not claiming any expertise at all in the work, techniques, lifeways or crafts that are made by the Native People of Mexico. They are not the same, either linguistically or culturally but certainly their crafts deserve discussion and appraisal by those who are able to provide real information.

Publications
I was a guest on Fox Network "Lifestyles" program, during the 1990s, to discuss how to tell forgeries, and authenticating jewelry as Native American work. I have also written extensively for our website, www.kivatrading.com and our Ebay Store.

Education/Credentials
UofO, 1970 active in the Authentic American Indian Arts business and direct Trader since 1985. Graphic Designer and published novelist.

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