By David Fleet
Groveland Twp.- The small stones are about three inches long and two inches wide—honed to sharp edges.
Last month Ortonville resident Ron Sutton shared the story of the two township artifacts he received from his brother Orra more than 80 years ago.
“In the 1930s Orra worked on a Groveland Township farm,” said Sutton, 89. “The arrowheads were plowed up by the farmer and he gave them to Orra who was about 15 at the time. There were many other arrowheads the farmer found but we have just two.”
Photos of the artifacts were recently sent to Stacy Tchorzynski, archaeologist with the Michigan State Historical Preservation Office in Lansing.
The exact location the township artifacts were found remains confidential.
“The darker stone artifact is a projectile point,” said Tchorzynski. “I consulted some colleagues on its age and based on the photo, it may date from the Late Archaic Period roughly 5,000 to 2,600 years ago. This is prior to the introduction of bow and arrow technology to our region, about 1,200 to 1,400 years ago. Many artifacts that folks call arrowheads are actually much older spear tips or knives. This particular stone material may not be natural to Michigan, but instead brought in from another area.”
“The lighter stone artifact is neither an arrowhead or spear tip, but a drill,” she said. “This material may be natural to Michigan.”
Tchorzynski said such sites are entered in the confidential master data base.
“There are about 24,500 archaeological sites in Michigan on land and under water spanning about 14,000 years of people living in our state.”
The Groveland Township findings are important, added Tchorzynski.
“These are an important irreplaceable/nonrenewable archaeological heritage,” she said. “They are important and phenomenal legacies of Native Americans in our state continuing with tribal descendants in communities today.”