Can somebody help me with some tips to dig for arrowheads? I live in Missouri and have property by a river.?

I find it very hard to dig for arrowheads, it’s hard work and my holes are very uncleanly dug. My family owns a good chunk of land out in Champion City, MO and the land is on both sides of the Bourbeuse River. There are 2 creeks on the property one starts up on a farmers field and acts like a channel that directs water right down to the river. I can tell the creek has been there hundreds of years because the bedrock is exposed and parts are eroded. The other creek starts on the opposite side of the property on our land and joins with other small creeks to form a larger creek about 10 ft wide. This creek runs a long way through the same farmer’s property all the way to another spot on the river.

Both of these creeks only get water in them when it rains so no fish live in them. I have only found 1 arrowhead on our property and it was in the first creek I described. I found it on March 19th, 2010. From the description and shape I have concluded that it is a Hemphill projectile point (The tip and one of the ears are broken off). Now, What I need some help with is, where I should start digging for points. Since I have found one, I know there have to be more under the soil. I need some tips on what to look for when I’m digging and where I should dig since there may have be a camp somewhere in the woods. What I would like to understand is where would be a good place to start looking for them? Since I live by a river I feel I have a better chance than other people to start unearthing artifacts. I figured that digging above the flood plain would be a better judgment than not, unless there were a race of aquatic Indians. The land that touches to the river has flood-plain then a steep wooded hill that stretches upwards at a good slope for 300-400 feet and then the land evens out into forest with several small creeks that only have water in them when it rains (I described them briefly above). Many people dig where they see “humps” along the ground where an ancient Indian house or camp may have been. Some say these humps are very small (only rise a few inches) but may be 5, 10, 20 or 30 feet across by a similar amount of feet wide. Where would I spot these humps? Would they be by the top of the ridge or more inland, perhaps even a good walk away from the river? If I do spot a hump, where should I dig at? Should I start in the center of the hump or start at the edge of the hump and work my way in?

I know I have typed a lot and it may be hard to understand but I feel someone who is good at digging for arrowheads may be able to help me.

3 Responses to “Can somebody help me with some tips to dig for arrowheads? I live in Missouri and have property by a river.?”

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  1. YodyMan says:

    Here is a search page on How To Search For Arrowheads. You’d do well to browse through them, picking up bits of any information that might help you. click & read, bookmark, whatever is of interest.
    you can even change the search terms such as “how to search for arrowheads near river” or whatever.
    I wonder if you’ve tried metal detecting at all, you being in Missouri.
    There was a history channel program last year about Jesse James being a member of The Knights of The Golden Circle, a secret society of the Confederacy. Mason jars containing gold, and silver dollars were buried
    scattered about at odd little spots. The program showed a treasure hunter
    finding 2 of them, one was near a tree trunk. If nothing else you might find
    buttons, odd coins, maybe buckles or old stirrups, etc. Water attracted everyone.

  2. chris w says:

    A very important factor before you dig anything up, even if it is your own land, is that the digging up of indian artifacts is protected by federal laws. incidental finds are not prohibited but excavation or digging may harm true archaeologically valuable finds and of course the finding of any human remains incidental or not requires that you notify the Bureau of Indian affairs. Now with that in mind let me continue,

    I too had land up in the gold country of Kalifornistan on it a seasonal stream traversed through a stand of huge old oak trees and boulders that had grinding holes in them. I never dug anything up per say but in the spring after the rains came through the rain would wash out the dirt dug up by gophers and ground squirrels. Over the years I found several arrowheads and the grinding mortars as well. I kept the arrow heads but replaced the mortars in the holes to make the place look “occupied”. Occasionally with out my ever seeing them local natives visited my lands and left strange charms hanging in the oak trees. There still there to this day. My point is that even though we have paper title to the land the land is really owned by those whose spirits stay with the land and we need to respect that. I don’t know if any natives are buried on my land and the mounds that you described are also evidence of native burial. Some recent finds in the Bolsa Chica wetlands is an example. Here the BIA has halted development until these issues are resolved. So use caution and don’t dig, Native American spiritualism is a powerful force not to mess with.

    I now remember seeding many a campground and ranches with arrowheads I bought at rock shops to give something for the grand kids to find. You may have stumbled upon some other grandpa’s seeding. I learned this trick from my grand pa.

  3. dumdum says:

    I have found arrow head hunting to be a fun thing and in the past I have found hundreds, but the area in which I live (louisiana) has lowlands that flood almost every year,and there is a spot that rises up from the swamplands and is too high to flood. At this spot there once was an Indian village, because I have found arrowheads, pottery and even war clubs, with the wood rotted away.

    Here is a method that I have used that helped me eliminate a lot of digging. After a good soaking rain, I would take a steel rod with a sharpened point and a bar welded on the top of it in the shape of a tee and would use it to push into the ground. The bar would sometimes hit a rock and I would dig it up. But at other times on occasion it would hit an arrow head. This will save you from just digging in areas that contain nothing. At least with this method you know something is down there before you dig.

    And a good place to start is the overflow area around the creeks and rivers, places where the fish would spawn at in the spring, such as carp and buffalo fish. The Indians would shoot them for food and lose a lot of arrows in the process.

    And in my area the “humps” you talk about are always in the lowlands not the hills or ridges.And some are 20 foot high but have been dug into so much I do not know their Original height. But 2 years ago some guys found some new ones that were only inches high and got several artifacts and arrow heads off them before the federal government got involved and raided their houses and arrested them. So you may want to be certain it is legal to dig for them in your area.

    In my state all federal and national forest lands and state WMA’s are all protected areas that no artifacts may be taken off of, and when found, must be left as it was found and not kept.

    My neighbor was one of the ones involved in the raids and was under constant surveillance at the time. When he heard of the others getting arrested he went behind his house to bury what he had gotten. He was video taped as he was burying it! The federal government was a serious about it as if it was a major drug operation!…. Good luck!

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