Artifacts expert says local find could be 10,000 years old

Doug Kjellin of rural Marion (left) shows Bill Olson, president of the Mud Creek Chapter of the Kansas Anthropological Association at McPherson, one of the artifacts he found on his family’s farm. Olson and other archeologists identified the artifact as a Dalton spear point, which dates back about 10,000 years ago.Doug Kjellin of rural Marion wanted to know more about artifacts he collected at the family farm, and to his surprise, one of the pieces was estimated to be 9,000 to 10,000 years old.

Paul Johnson, with Mud Creek Chapter of the Kansas Anthropological Association at McPherson, which hosted the collectors’ identification work­shop, said Kjellin’s Dalton spear point was an incredibly rare find.

“It’s the find of a lifetime,” Johnson said Saturday during the workshop at Marion Library. “These artifacts are typically found in depths of 20 to 30 feet deep.”

Specifically, the artifact Kjellin owns was identified as an Ozark/Missouri chert and identified as a Dalton spear point, he said.

Kjellin said he likes artifacts and the history surrounding them.

“It’s about the history, and thinking about its connection to the past,” he said. “When this artifact was made, there wasn’t even recorded time yet. The first records of civilization only go back 5,000 years.”

Bill Olson, president of the Mud Creek Chapter, said in addition to members of his organization, a professional archeologist of 25 years, Tod Bevitt of Oskaloosa, answered questions, too.

Bevitt’s wife, Wendi, is a historian, incorporating her research as it relates to the artifacts people brought to the gathering.

“In addition to professional archaeologists, well-experienced amateur arche­ologists from the KAA were here to answer questions, too,” Olson said.

“We had about 40 collectors who brought in Native American artifacts or early historical items,” he added. “Some people even were given helpful suggestions for cataloging and collection maintenance.”

Marty Fredrickson, an avid collector, spoke with Tod Bevitt about a variety of artifacts he said he’s been collecting for years.

Fredrickson had artifacts in glass encasements displaying arrow heads and other stone tools from thousands of years ago.

The Mud Creek Chapter has hosted events similar to the one in Marion for 16 years, Olson said.

“In previous years the identification day was in Abilene, Kanopolis, Lindsborg, Lyons, McPherson, Newton and Salina,” he said. KAA also has an annual field school/archaeology training program, Olson added.

“In June 2017, the event was in Jefferson County at the Quixote site near Valley Falls,” he said.

The site is a Late Woodland site from about A.D. 1000, Olson said.

For more information about the chapter, call Olson at 785-212-0508, Paul Johnson at 785-212-9075 or Rose Marie Wallen, secretary of Mud Creek Chapter, 785-212-0068. Margie Reed, author of “The Archaeology of Central Kansas,” which is based on the Reed collections from sites in Saline and Ottawa counties, listens as professional archaeologist Tod Bevitt (right) talks to Marty Fred­rick­son about one part of his collection during a workshop Saturday at the Marion City Library.

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