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This arrowhead is made from the scale of a gar fish opposed to stone. Gar fish are common to the Mississippi River valley and were highly prized by the ancient inhabitants of the southeastern region of what is now the United States: gar fish scales are commonly uncovered at archaeological sites in this region dating from the late Archaic through the early-Historic period.

While using fish scales to make projectile points might seem strange, gar fish scales - and in particular those of the alligator gar - are actually very well suited to this use. They are very hard and durable, in general they require very little shaping / working to achieve the desired shape and edge-sharpness (although they can be shaped fairly easily by using an abrasive material like sandstone as a grinding stone), and a single gar fish can provide a huge number of scales ranging in size from very small (like the one pictured here) to very large. Furthermore, recent archaeological experimentation has consistently shown that arrows tipped with gar scales produce a lethal amount of damage when fired, easily passing through fur, leather/hide, and even impacting the underlying bone!


3000 BCE- 1600CE


Projectile Point; Arrowhead; Gar Scale Projectile Point; Mississippian