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17 December 2011
9,500-year-old spear point discovered in Iowa

A portion of a spear point shaped from chert has emerged from 2.4 metres below a city parking lot along the Cedar River, in the city of Cedar Rapids (Iowa, USA). David Benn, research coordinator and principal investigator for Bear Creek Archeology of Cresco, Iowa, calls the find of the Hardaway spear point - named for a site in the state of North Carolina - 'significant', and a rare event in the state of Iowa and the Midwest region.
     Its estimated age, about 9,500 years, comes from its similarity to spear points from more extensively studied sites, Benn explains. Benn says that 9,500 years ago people had already been in the area for a couple thousand years, and describes the spear point as very thin and technologically advanced over projectile points from an earlier time.
     The archeological work is taking place on the east side of the Cedar River, in advance of a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flood control project. The dig also turned up prehistoric pieces of pottery from the Late Woodland Period of 1,000 to 1,500 years ago and the Middle Woodland period of about 2,000 years ago.

Edited from Eastern Iowa Government (9 December 2011)

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