AASHLAND -- An arrowhead found in Franklin County is projected to fetch between $10,000 and $20,000 on Sunday at Ashland's Premiere Auctions Group.
The artifact, which was originally found prior to 1953, is 4 & 11/16 inches long and was manufactured around 4,000 B.C. during the Archaic Period.
James R. Bennett, Operations Manager at Premiere Auctions Group, stated that Ohio is a hotspot for ancient artifacts, but it is unusual for an arrowhead to be valued over $10,000.
“There are groups that go out searching for arrowheads every day," Bennett said. "Ashland is part of the Johnny Appleseed Chapter of the Archeological Society of Ohio.
"Ashland is actually a very big area for artifacts. You can find arrowheads, stone axes, stone tools, ornamental objects made from slate; some of them are worth tens of thousands of dollars. To find an arrowhead this big is rare because it has not been sharpened down. It was lost before it was used a lot."
Size, condition, time period as well as the ancient manufacturer's crafting skillset factor into the value of an arrowhead. Archaic arrowhead crafters were known as knappers.
The arrowhead being auctioned is made out of Flint Ridge flint, which was anciently quarried in Licking County, Ohio.
Most artifacts labeled as arrowheads were never utilized on an arrow. Instead, they were more often either a type of knife that had been worn down or were pointed pieces of stone used at the tip of an atlatl, which was an ancient long-distance spear.
“Only 5 to 10 percent of arrowheads that are found were actually used on a bow and arrow," Bennett said. "The bow and arrow in Ohio didn’t come into existence until about 100 A.D.”
The device was most likely used for hunting or daily chores. Many arrowheads found today have been damaged by modern farming equipment, but when one is located in excellent condition, they can fetch quite a bounty.
Bennett said the most expensive arrowhead he ever sold was a 2-inch artifact from Wyoming in 2007 which raked in $27,000. Because some arrowheads have high values, Bennett is encouraging Ashland community members to check their personal collections - - whether the collection is their own or inherited from prior generations.
“A lot of people don’t know that their collection has value," Bennett said. "I like it when people bring stuff in because I’m not trying to buy it from them.
"I’ll tell them what it is, and if they want to sell it, I’ll have them put it into the auction. You have to be careful because there is a lot of collectors and dealers out there who will take advantage of someone being naïve on the topic. I want people to know that we are here as a resource.”
Premiere Auctions Group is the largest auction gallery of prehistoric artifacts in the United States. The organization auctions approximately 3,000 artifacts per month and has a reach spanning all corners of North America.
To find out more about Premiere Auctions Group or browse through the items up for bid, visit Oldrelics.com.