Native American tribes such as the Susquehannock, Nanticoke, Powhatan, Lenape and Shawnee flourished in Maryland long before settlers from Europe arrived. These tribes shaped stones such as quartz into projected points for spears and arrows. Arrowheads remain buried, long after the Native American civilizations thrived, as evidence of their precolonial existence. Some of the best places to search for arrowheads in Maryland are near bodies of water where tribes made their homes.
Arrowheads found on Tilghman Island are some of the oldest discovered in Maryland and date to around 11,000 B.C. Researchers think that these arrowheads, also known as Clovis points, were used by some of the first Native Americans to enter North America 30,000 years prior. Clovis points were lethal enough to hunt for mammoths. Paw Paw Cove on Tilghman Island is a site where 42 Clovis points have been and continue to be unearthed.
Tyler Bastian Field Session
The Tyler Bastian Field Session is an annual archaeological dig that takes place over 11 days at a different site in Maryland each year. The Tyler Bastian Field Session is among one of the best opportunities to find arrowheads because the dig sites are selected by members of the Maryland Archaeological Society based on their research. Amateur archaeologists can use the opportunity to learn more about how to find arrowheads firsthand and explore Maryland's rich history.
The shores of the Potomac River were home to several Native American tribes that fashioned arrowheads uncovered by professional archaeological digs. Digs also have turned up pecking tools and ancient bowls dating 3,000 years old. Arrowheads found along the Potomac have been made from light blue slate, crystal quartz, quartzite and more. Potomac River arrowheads often are found after a rain or sudden erosion along the shore. Natural rock shelters along the Potomac also make for great hunting grounds because they often served as homes to tribes.
You may keep arrowheads found in Maryland. For large finds, it is common courtesy to leave some behind for others to enjoy finding. If you think you have uncovered a rare piece or burial ground, you are encouraged to contact the Maryland Archaeological Society (marylandarcheology.org). It is against state law to remove items from a burial ground. While it is acceptable to comb areas searching for arrowheads, you also must have a permit from the Maryland Historical Trust (marylandhistoricaltrust.net) to complete an excavation.