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Boy Finds Prehistoric Bit of Weaponry on LBI Beach

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(Photo provided by Gregory Lattanzi, New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, NJ.)

(Photo provided by Gregory Lattanzi, New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, NJ.)

John Ostapkovich John Ostapkovich
John Ostapkovich brings humor and wit, and a wealth of experience...
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By John Ostapkovich

BEACH HAVEN, N.J. (CBS) — A Virginia boy vacationing on Long Beach Island came away with a souvenir not sold in stores: an ancient projectile point he found on the beach.

You might call the 2½-inch pointed hunk of jasper an arrowhead, but Greg Lattanzi, assistant curator at the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton, who examined it, says it was probably attached to the business end of a two-part paleo-Indian spear, from about 10,000 years ago.

“And what they would do is throw this spear.  It would hit their target, and the longer spear would fall out and the projectile point would stay in the animal,” he explains.  “And when they get the animal they can retrieve it and then resharpen the point.”

Lattanzi says it’s rare to find such an artifact just lying around and theorizes it was probably brought to shore by dredging or some other disturbance of the sea floor.

The boy’s family told him they planned to donate it to a museum.

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