A Special Publication of the Red River Rural Schools Partnership
Our Red River Heritage
Local Collectors, Archaeologist Teach Community about Arrowheads
"I found my first arrowhead when I was five years old while I was helping in our garden. Ever since then, I have been looking every chance I get. I collect artifacts because of the feeling you get just holding a piece of history in your hands."
John Scoggins, Justin Grigsby, and Carol Humphrey, tenth-graders at Fouke High School, presented fascinating artifacts of Native American culture to an interested audience in October. John and Justin displayed their collections of Native American projectile points and Carol displayed photographs of an early Native American canoe discovered on property her family owns. Their displays were part of the program, "Arrowhead Collectors of Southwest Arkansas," at Fouke High School on Oct. 26, 1998.
Justin explained that, "My father got me started collecting arrowheads. I collect arrowheads because I am interested in the mystery and legacy they leave behind. I believe the story behind the artifact is just as important as the artifact itself."
Teachers and students from Fouke Middle School and Fouke High School displayed clay pinch pots, artwork inspired by Native American history, books about Native Americans, and an enormous timeline, in the form of a clock face, which demonstrated how recent human history is in comparison to geological history. One display compared facts and myths about Native American history. Another display by Carol Humphrey was of native plants, including pokeweed and sassafras, which were part of the diet of early Native Americans.
David Jeane of the Arkansas Archeological Survey described how archaeologists learn from projectile points and other material culture of early Native Americans. He explained that early people living near the Red River used flint they found on gravel bars to make arrowheads. The river had carried the flint from deposits upstream.
See For Yourself!
There are many interesting sites nearby where you can learn more about prehistory. The Texarkana Museum and the Museum of the Red River in Idabel, Oklahoma, are good places to start:
Texarkana Museum, 219 State Line Ave., Texarkana, TX. 903-793-4831. Admission charged.
Museum of the Red River, 812 E. Lincoln Rd., Idabel, OK. 405-286-3616. Free admission.