Arrowheads and history at the libraryPublished 8:15am Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Youth attending the Gilbert H. Gragg Library Summer Reading program on Tuesday morning were treated to stories of the early Native Americans who inhabited this part of the country.
Kevin Dowdy, a local noted collector and authority on arrowheads and Indian history, used some of his extensive collection to explain the progressive stages of man and how they hunted for food.
Dowdy explained as many as 12,000 years ago, in the Paleo period, the area was inhabited by hunter-gatherers, who hunted and killed large animals such as mastodons for food. He showed a collection of large spear-shaped arrowheads, which were placed on the end of a rod, and used for hunting animals of that size.
He went on to explain how man evolved and developed through several historical periods, and how the arrowheads and tools changed in size and sophistication in response to the changing food sources, needs and living patterns of man.
Dowdy emphasized how this part of the country had once been populated with Native Americans and how the Flint River came to be named. He explained the Native American name was “Thronateeska,” which translates to “where the flint is” — the material from which arrowheads are made.
Dowdy also touched on how the Indians were mistreated by the white man who immigrated to this area, how they were infected with European diseases, killed, and eventually driven from the area. The last known Indian village near here was in 1820-1830 at Fowlstown, known as “The town of the chicken,” indicating the Native Americans had learned to raise chickens for food.
“You can find an arrowhead anywhere around here,” Dowdy told the group, adding, “A lot of them are in the Flint River.”
He then advised any would-be arrowhead hunters that it is against the law of the State of Georgia to remove arrowheads from any navigable body of water, or from any state-owned park or land. He also cautioned about going on farm or residential properties without landowners permission.
Following a question and answer period, children who responded with correct answers were allowed to choose an arrowhead to take home with them.