Fort Daniel Foundation, Gwinnett Archaeological Research Society hosting class on lithic identification


Gwinnett residents will soon have an opportunity to learn how to figure out how long an arrowhead they may have found buried in their backyard has been there.

The Fort Daniel Foundation and the Gwinnett Archaeological Research Society will host a workshop on lithic identification at the Fort Daniel archaeology lab from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 10. The workshop is free to participate in, although no one under 13 will be allowed to participate and attendees must bring their own lunches.

If a person is wondering what lithic identification is, the explanation is not as daunting as it might sound. It’s simply the process of identifying how old something from the pre-European settlement period is based on its shape, the way it’s cut and the material from which it’s made.

“We’re limiting it to projectile points, what people might commonly call arrowheads — but they’re not all arrowheads — and identifying them, the tool stone, what period they are from, what they were used for,” Fort Daniel Foundation President Jim D’Angelo said.

Environmental resource management archaeologist Bill Stanyard will lead the workshop. The class is part of the Fort Daniel site’s bicentennial-related programming, which will also include its annual archaeology open house in May and the Frontier Faire in the fall.

Participants in the workshop will have the option work with items from Gail Sayler’s projectile point collection or with items that they had themselves. D’Angelo said stones were used for a number of different purposes, including everything from spear points and bow and arrow points to knives and drills.

“The size and the form tells you what period it was from and also what it was to used for,” he said.

The registration deadline is March 7, and anyone interested in participating in the workshop can send an email to [email protected] with “Workshop” in the subject line.

The Fort Daniel site and archaeology lab is located at 2505 Braselton Highway in Buford.

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