The recent discovery of a 10,000-year-old Seaside Heights artifact left researchers in amazement because the rare find may provide clues into prehistoric life in the Americas, a report from ABC News revealed. The Seaside Heights artifact was found by Audrey Stanick, a 58-year-old New Jersey resident. Reportedly, Stanick came across the artifact a week ago while she was searching for sea glass on a beach in New Jersey.
“I noticed it because it was very dark and shiny, and my sister from Florida who likes to collect sharks’ teeth taught me to always look out for dark and shiny things at the beach,” Stanick was quoted as saying in a statement released by the museum. “So when I saw what I initially thought was an arrowhead, I picked it up. Then, I remembered a boy made a similar discovery last year, so I got in contact with the museum,” she added.
Stanick, a native of Lanoka Harbor, suspected she had made a rare find so she took the artifact to the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton to have researchers take a closer look at it. The object was described as being a darkly colored, ancient Native American spear point and researchers estimate it to be around 10,000 or 11,000 years old.
Gregory Lattanzi, assistant curator for the museum’s bureau of archaeology and ethnography, was able to confirm the age of the ancient relic.
Speaking with ABC News reporters, Lattanzi had the following to say about the Seaside Heights artifact.
“I looked at it under the microscope, took measurements with calipers and another colleague determined the point was made out of flint. It’s a pretty rare find. There are actually professional excavations to try and find points like these, so to be along the shore and see it washed up is pretty incredible.”
Lattanzi said that the rare archaeological find is one of the older artifacts he’s seen from the Paleo-Indian period. He also shared details on the artifact’s history, explaining that the spearhead was likely used by semi-nomadic natives who continuously sharpened the stone to hunt animals like deer and ancient caribou.
The finding is significant because, as Lattanzi says, “we now have another piece of evidence from prehistoric habitation sites from land previously exposed but now covered in water.”
“Stanick’s finding will help us get a better idea of just how far these sites may be located out in the ocean,” he added.
Stanick has told the museum she intends to keep the projectile point and pass it down as an heirloom to family members, USA Today reports.
The Seaside Heights discovery brings to mind a similar discovery made by a 10-year-old boy last year. Noah Cordle was boogie boarding in Long Beach Island, New Jersey, when he felt a hard object graze his leg. He reached into the water and pulled out an object that looked like an arrowhead or giant shark tooth. Intrigued by the finding, the Cordle family contacted the New Jersey State Museum under the belief that the object was probably a hunting tool used by the first inhabitants of America thousands of years ago.
It turns out the family’s suspicions about the object were right and Dennis Stanford, an NMNH researcher and an expert on the archaeology of the Paleo-Indians and stone tools, told them that the object was an arrowhead that was estimated to be between 13,500 and 14,000 years old. Noah and his parents ended up donating the find to Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.
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