Colorado Projectile Point Arrowhead Project presentation held at Saguache Museum
SAGUACHE — Neil Hauser hosted a talk on Sunday, Aug. 27, on his Arrowhead Project at the Saguache County Museum. Hauser along with his wife run the website Coal Creek Research Inc. Hauser is a senior scientist and archaeologist and his wife is an archaeologist.
Hauser began this project to document arrowheads, also referred to as points. Hauser uses both private and museum stock collections to aid in the research of exploring the prehistory of Colorado through these points.
Hauser used his research on these points to answer the following questions. What are the styles of the points found in the area? How do point styles and their frequencies of occurrence change from one area to another? What are the dominant materials in an area? What non-local materials are in an area?
Hauser concluded that there are currently more arrowheads in private collections than excavated sites. Hauser has also concluded that arrowheads that have been privately collected are an important part of documented data and can help us in understanding historical information. Hauser is also working on this project to provide images and associated information to the public as well as preserve the information for future age groups to examine and benefit from.
Currently, the database of arrowheads Hauser has created has a total of 9,002 points. It is expected to have at least 10,000 points by the end of the year. All arrowhead points are from the Paleo, Archaic, Formative, and post contact time periods.
All images of arrowheads in the database are separated and contain arrowhead diagnostics. Each arrowhead diagnostic also contains additional data including material, shape, color, flaking pattern, serration, maximum thickness, weight, and completeness. Note, not all arrowheads contain all diagnostics. The location of where each arrowhead has been found is also in the database but is on a simple grid using a topographic map.
The recording process for the points are as follows: each point is given an individual number, there are scans of each side of the point with both a black and white background, information on each point is then recorded, the collector also verifies an approximate location where the point was found.
Current styles of points might be called, Gypsum, Augustin, Manzano, Cave, Santa Cruz or Gatecliff. The styles depend on where the points are found and who is deciding the type.
Hauser explained in his talk that the database will continue to add more points from all over Colorado. Hauser also stated that if someone has a collection that they would like to contribute for information, they may contact him or his wife and discuss how to proceed.
Hauser stated that he feels the project will leave a legacy for generations to come, without losing control of any of the collections.
The current database collection and full website is available at coalcreekresearch.org. The Hausers have information on other projects that they are working on their website.