Back in late 2020, I received an email from Yolanda in Texas who shared several interesting rock art pieces that she found in Texas, including the rock, below right, which seems to have an arrow shape embossed on the surface. And now I’ve received an email and photo (below left) from Phillip in Pennsylvania, who wrote that he found a similar arrow-shaped stone in a creek in the Philadelphia suburbs. What strikes me as interesting is that both have a curved end to the arrow shape, when so many arrow images show a straight “shaft.”
It’s also interesting to note that while many people are familiar with the idea of an arrowhead, where the arrow tip is a carved stone, and was used as a weapon, these two rocks with arrow motifs seem to be more decorative than functional.
Another thing that one should keep in mind is that while many people send me these pictures of rock art and found stone artifacts and often refer to them as being Native American, the creation of arrowheads or what might be called “stone projectile points” have been dated as far back as 64,000 years ago, and in that case, were excavated from layers of ancient sediment in Sibudu Cave, South Africa. The “Stone Age” was a broad prehistoric period during which stone was widely used to make tools with an edge, a point, or a percussion surface, and this period of time lasted for roughly 3.4 million years, according to this article on Wikipedia. So I think this helps bring up an interesting question: if man (or prehistoric man) has been making rock artifacts for millions of years, how many of the rock art pieces or face effigies seen shared by readers on this blog are much older than what many assume are Native American Indian artifacts from the past few hundred years?
Another idea to consider is something I read in a book titled “Reader’s Digest: America’s Fascinating Indian Heritage; The First Americans, Their Customs, Art, History, and How They Lived,” published in 1978. One passage reads as follows:
Eons before the coming of the Europeans in the 15th Century, men and women from Asia came to the continent of North America. We do not know their names. We do not know with absolute certainty when they came … it may have been 50,000 years ago or more than mankind began its epic journey into the New World.
Lastly, if there is any shared cultural aspects to these two pictured rock art finds above, if the curved arrow motif means something to the people who made it, finding one in Texas and one near Philadelphia shows a wide range of territory. I don’t have any answers to any of this, but share the info and ask these questions to both spur thought and to invite comments or feedback from anyone out there who might have more information or knowledge they can share.