Hector’s big find: Camp Verde student digs up rare arrowhead on field trip

Hector Miranda Torres points to where he found the rare arrowhead. Teacher Victoria Ligon explains about invasive species and a photo of the rare arrowhead. Photos courtesy of the Verde NRCD Experimental Education Center.

Hector Miranda Torres points to where he found the rare arrowhead. Teacher Victoria Ligon explains about invasive species and a photo of the rare arrowhead. Photos courtesy of the Verde NRCD Experimental Education Center.

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This arrowhead, called a “projectile point” by archaeologists is made of obsidian, probably formed by ancient volcanoes in the San Francisco Volcanic field (near Flagstaff), according to the archaeologist report sent by Laura Cox, district clerk, Verde NRCD. Courtesy photo

A seventh-grade student at the Camp Verde Elementary School found a rare arrowhead while on a school trip at Montezuma Well.

“I picked up a little dirt … and I felt a poke and it was an arrowhead,” explained Hector Miranda Torres, in front of Victoria Ligon’s seventh-grade class on Wednesday.

More than 100 seventh-grade students went to Montezuma Well for two days to learn about invasive species and conduct an archaeological dig that included cataloging plants, rocks and anything they found.

The arrowhead was found near the Montezuma Well picnic area, explained Ligon.

Torres said he showed the arrowhead to the Park Service ranger at the site. who later turned it over to the Montezuma Well Archaeologist.

The next day, Erin Cody, from the Verde NRDC Environmental Education Center, came to Hector’s class and reported the good news, said Ligon

The small arrowhead is made of obsidian rock and it would not be rare except it has “serrated” and jagged edges. “Normally they would be smooth edges,” the teacher pointed out.

Torres said he was told that the arrowhead was from 1,400 AD and was turned over to Matt Guebard, chief of cultural resources and archaeologist of the Monument.

Torres does not have the arrowhead now, but it’s in the hands of the archaeologist, the teacher said.

This arrowhead, called a “projectile point” by archaeologists is made of obsidian, probably formed by ancient volcanoes in the San Francisco Volcanic field (near Flagstaff), according to the archaeologist report sent by Laura Cox, district clerk, Verde NRCD.

Ligon said the field trip for the students was sponsored by the Verde NRDC environmental Education Center which is dedicated to conservation in the area. This year they are teaching students about invasive species.

It’s amazing the student found the arrowhead in one piece after all this time, Ligon said, considering all the years of plowing, animals and Forest Service use. “It’s pretty exciting stuff,” she added. The arrowhead could have been used for trading or as a weapon.

“Obsidian from this area was very popular for making tools and someone would have collected larger chunks of it from the volcanic field and carried it over 50 miles south to the Verde Valley,” stated the archaeologist report.

“Once in the Verde Valley, the larger chunk would have been shaped into projectile points and tools. Triangular shaped points made of obsidian, like this one, are fairly common in the Verde Valley, especially during the period from A.D. 1125-1400. This one is unique (and more rare) because it has serrated edges.”

This point was probably made by someone living in one of the pueblos or cliff dwellings around Montezuma Well, stated the archaeologist report.

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