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Can you find arrowheads with a metal detector? - Yes

Even though most common arrowheads are not made of metal, whether or not a metal detector will pick up arrowheads is a common question we receive.  While metal detectors do not sense items that are composed of rock, it is a little known fact that Native Americans did use metal for the construction of arrowheads very late in their legacy.

Native American "bird point" arrowhead found metal detecting with the XP Deus II metal detector.
native american indian copper arrowhead found metal detecting

When settlers came to the new land they were using all types of metals for weapons, pots and pans, jewelry, machine parts and material.  As innovative as the Native Americans were, it certainly didn't take long for them to incorporate these new materials into their lives.  These items would be often be acquired through trade and sometimes through violence.  As they acquired these items they would be used for their intended purpose and often retrofitted for another use. For instance we frequently find copper points that were punched out of copper pots.  We even find pieces of cut copper and you can see where they had cut out the shape of an arrowhead.  These types of arrowheads can readily be found in these long forgotten sites with a metal detector.

Here is the kicker.  You CAN find stone arrowheads while metal detecting these sites as you are digging up other targets.  In fact, it happens quite often.  I surmise there are two main reasons for this.

  1. The periods of Native Americans using exclusively stone tools and the period where they began using metal tools overlapped significantly.
  2. The sites where the tribes were relocated were often sites that had previously been occupied by their ancestors (i.e. locations with a good water source, farming ground, or good hunting land, etc.).

As Native Americans eventually begin using more and more modern tools, they certainly continued to carry and use the stone weapons their ancestors relied upon for so many centuries as they could be created using what nature provided and they still had the knowledge to do this on a whim if they needed to.

Native American Hide Scraper found with XP Deus II Metal Detector along with a Gun Partnative american indian tool found metal detecting

We detect late Native sites (post the horrific relocations events) quite often. It is absolutely thrilling to see the progression of history as you dig up layer after layer.  If you can locate one of these sites and manage to gain permission to hunt it, you will find a site that will provide years and years of metal detecting enjoyment.  You can find all sorts of retrofitted metal items and as you do, you will also, more than likely, stumble across some stone tools such as points, scrapers, flint chips, and more.  And, don't be surprised if you also happen to find some gold and silver jewelry or old coins as well.

Need proof that I am telling the truth?  Below is a video of ScrapIron from High Plains Prospectors actually doing it!

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