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A point of history in Colonie

Archaeologists say stone tools used in hunting, can tell history of area

Two archaeologists are putting on a presentation discussing various stone tools found in the Town of Colonie on Saturday, Oct. 29, at the William K. Sanford Library

Two archaeologists are putting on a presentation discussing various stone tools found in the Town of Colonie on Saturday, Oct. 29, at the William K. Sanford Library

— Several farmers in the Town of Colonie have discovered various stone tools after plowing their fields a few years ago, and now the town’s historian and two archaeologists are putting on a presentation discussing the artifacts on Saturday, Oct. 29 at the William K. Sanford Library.

The tools are not that unfamiliar, said historian Kevin Franklin, but they do provide a window into some of what took place in the town of Colonie in 4,000 B.C.

“The town has many, many sites that are archaeologically sensitive or have had Native American occupation,” Franklin said. “Farmers many years ago, before mechanized farming and tractors became more popular, they used to walk behind a team of horses with a plow. They would unearth these things, the plow would kick them over, and then they would reach down and put them in their pockets.”

What many of the farmers began to find were pieces of bronze and copper that were used to make a projectile point, though many people have referred to them as arrowheads. Archaeologist Matt Kirk said most of what people call an arrowhead was never actually used in a bow and arrow, as that particular weapon did not become popular until about 800 A.D. in the Town of Colonie.

The weapon that was used before this time is called an Atlatl, which Kirk said is a crooked piece of wood attached to the end of a spear. The other end is held like an arrow. People would then whip the tool, releasing the spear at a fast speed.

“People who could use it, could use it with deadly accuracy,” Kirk said. “It probably had more to do with the manner in the way people were hunting and what types of things they were hunting. Deer was probably the most common.”

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