Tuesday, April 6, 2010
I included the Dickson projectile point, which Larry found two years ago, as a whimsy rock to make up Five Arkansas Rocks, so I could use the title of a Trip to FAR.
But, as things often happen, there is more value to the “rock” than I knew about.
The Dickson points are found along the Ohio River from West Virginia through Missouri and Arkansas. They span, in time, the Adena and Hopewell cultures of the same area, which build the mounds. Similar mounds, for example, King Midas’ Tomb, have been found in the Mediterranean.
Some entries in the arrowhead books associate them with Adena and/or culture. A very reasonable assumption is that Dickson points are artifacts from those two cultures over a thousand years from 2500 to 1500 years ago.
So, you do not have to go to a museum, or even Arkansas, to see a Dickson point that may have come from the Adena or Hopewell culture. You can buy Dickson arrowheads on Ebay for as low as $5.00.
The Adena and Hopewell cultures both had alphabets that were also found in the Mediterranean area. So, considering the mounds and alphabets, a logical question is: Were points of the same configuration as the Dickson points found in the Mediterranean area? I think the answer is “yes—for both sides of the Mediterranean,” Look via Google for “Capsian arrowheads.” European collections apparently do not group arrowheads by shape, but I think you may agree that the stemmed projectile points may be similar to Dickson points.
Thus the Dickson—Capsian point may be another piece of evidence of ocean commerce during the time period between the collapse if the Bronze Age and the beginnings of the Iron Age. During that time writing was recovering from whatever catastrophe caused the four century “black out.” The Mediterranean fleets were sailing again. Mounds were being built in Turkey and in America. Iron was being shaped into the weapons of war. Copper and bronze were being used for more precious objects. Hunting and cutting was probably still accomplished using stone tools. The Dickson—Capsian tools may have come from the same source.
But what about the distance? From Arkansas to West Virginia is 40 days travel upriver. From Memphis via the Mississippi to the Mediterranean is 60 days travel by slow ship. The travel time should be considered “about the same.” The travel effort favors the ship at sea.
In America the Dickson points are grouped into the “similar shaped” pot. The Capsian points of the similar shape might fit into the same pot. The Dickson-Capsian projectile points may be yet another piece of evidence for Iron Age oceanic commerce before the Krakatau Catastrophe.
So, the little Arkansas rock, the Dickson point, may have revealed more information than I intended.