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3 February 2012
4,000-year-old artifact found in Connecticut

An ancient spearpoint was found at an excavation site in Connecticut (USA) during a Norwalk Community College-sponsored archaeology dig. Chelsea Dean, senior at Fairfield Ludlowe High School, took the Introduction to Archaeology course with Professor Ernest Wiegand last fall as part of the schools avocation program. During the last dig of the semester, Chelsea found a spearpoint more than 4,000 years old.
     "It's like an arrowhead. The section I was working on had a lot of stuff coming up, but nothing was complete. When the actual projectile point came up, it was the first intact artifact I found," she said. "One of the things I learned taking the course is that I want to continue with archaeology, whether it's a career or recreational," Chelsea said.
     Mr. Wiegand, coordinator of the college's archaeology club, said Chelsea discovered a spearpoint made of white quartz. This type of ancient artifact is known as a Burwell projectile point and was probably used as the tip of a spear. The excavation at Gallows Hill Rd. has been a 10-year project by Mr. Wiegand and his students. "The point type is the first of its kind found at the site," he said. "It is one more clue to tell us as to who was there." The artifact is being kept with other findings from the Gallows Hill site, where dig will continue when Mr. Wiegand and his students return in the spring.
     Daniel Cruson, a local historian and archaeologist, said the spearpoint finding is not uncommon for this area. During several digs at Putnam Park Mr. Cruson has headed since 2001, a component of an Indian camp was uncovered along with other findings. "We found a complete projectile point, six or seven broken points and stone bifaces made of quartz," said Mr. Cruson. These findings also date to between 4,000 and 5,000 years ago.

Edited from The Redding Pilot (25 January 2012)

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