Skip to comments.Missouri Man Reels In Ancient FishHook (300-12,000 Years Old)
Posted on 01/02/2007 3:24:53 PM PST by blam
Missouri man reels in ancient fish hook<
COLUMBIA, Mo. - A man hunting for American Indian artifacts with his sons along a gravel bar on the Missouri River has uncovered an ancient fishhook that is making collectors envious.
"The first thing I thought is, 'I hope this isn't metal,'" said Eric Henley, who found the hook last month near McBaine. "When I picked it up, there was a pretty good jump for joy and a couple of 'whoops' and yells. It's the cream of the crop."
The hook is made of bone and covers his entire palm, making it much larger than most bone hooks.
Joe Harl, of the Archaeological Research Center of St. Louis, said the size of the hook suggests the fisherman who used it was after a larger fish.
Another artifact collector, Kenny Bassett, said the large size of the hook might indicate an earlier origin. American Indians used bigger rocks and tools in earlier periods to hunt larger game such as wooly mammoths. He said the hook could have been used to fish for pallid sturgeon or enormous catfish.
Bassett, who works with Henley, said he had to control his envy when he saw the oversized hook.
"I've been hunting" American Indian artifacts "for 30 years and never found anything so identifiably unique. I've never seen anything like it," Bassett said.
Because bone matter deteriorates rapidly, bone artifacts typically have to be buried deep enough in the ground to be preserved. And they are usually found during archaeological digs, said Bill Iseminger, assistant site manager at Cahokia Mounds State Historical Site in Illinois.
Harl said sandier soil in spots along the river might have kept the hook preserved. He said the hook could be anywhere from 300 to 12,000 years old.
Henley, a maintenance man at the University of Missouri-Columbia, has no plans to learn the hook's exact age. Carbon dating the item would require drilling through the fragile bone, and he doesn't want to risk ruining the hook.
Henley credits his sons, 11 and 6, for being good-luck charms because he made the discovery on the first trip the boys had joined their dad for an artifact hunt.
"Now every time I go, they're going to be there."
Now don't go too far out on the limb, Joe.
Obviously a muskie fisherman.
"The hook is made of bone and covers his entire palm, making it much larger than most bone hooks.
Joe Harl, of the Archaeological Research Center of St. Louis, said the size of the hook suggests the fisherman who used it was after a larger fish."
What a keen observation! Leave it to expert to state the obvious.
"There's always a bigger fish."
Does that make the new owner "The Happy Hooker" ???
Heck, I'm just touched that father and son's are spending quality time together. Go Daddy!!!!!!!
What a find! I'm jealous.
And hopefully he will get to keep his find without some government agency or "qualified" group claiming it.
Bone can be radiocarbon dated. Won't take much bone, but would cost about $675 at the main US commercial lab.
Maybe he should have his "good-luck charms" tote shovels and screens when he next loots aboriginal graves on Public Lands.
This creep needs a whopping fine and/or jail time to teach him this simple lesson:
You cannot steal our heritage from our property for your shoebox.
I guess he stuck it up on the bill of his baseball hat.
I have to disagree. The hook was for a guy trying to perfect his casting technique, and so not wanting to be bothered with the pesky, time wasting task of having to remove fish from his line....
Theory II: It was a hook carried by a braggart, who was always telling about 'the one that got away', then producing the hook to show just 'how big it had to be'.
Theory III: It was hook that was part of a display behind the bar of the tavern hut, for a Bone Hook Beer ad.
Dang, you would have to scalp an entire tribe of cavewomen to get enough hair to weave into a 1000 yard, 20 lb. test line!
Paraphrasing Crocodile Dundee, "Now that's a hook."
Public land is your property? Right. He looted a grave? Right.
And what pray tell would you have him do? Or any other person that finds artifacts on "your property"?
I'll bet he'll probably donate the artifact.
He should have reported his find to the Army Corps of Engineers, so they could bring in bulldozers to bury the gravel bar.
WOW idiot post of the day. Go back to your focus group!
You have a point. Private citizens have no rights on public land except what the Public Agency grants by permit.
Tinian is a bit over the top in his presentation, but he does have a point. If Henley found this hook on public land, it isn't his. Artifacts found in the US generally belong to the landowner. If the landowner in this case is the state or federal government, Henley has no right to keep or sell it. He may have no CHOICE but to donate the artifact.
If he was on private land and had permission from the landowner to be there, then he has himself a nice (and likely valuable) artifact. If it was public land, it needs to be turned over to whatever agency manages the land.
Oh yeah, like that "eminant domain"???
Walking along a river and picking up items is considered grave robbing? I used to hunt arrow heads in New Jersey and some New England states. I walked through plowed up corn fields in the Fall. I never considered it grave robbing. What a stupid statement!
Yeah, but the bronze leader was the real trick.
I agree, why I hope the thought police go after him and his boys for even thinking of looking for artifacts. I think a proper hanging is in order
Protection of antiquities on federal lands started with the Antiquities Act of 1906.
Almost all (or all?) states have similar laws pertaining to public property.
Two Americas, right ? The Americans who came via the landbridge and others who came by boat...
Sorry, but even if it were Adam's hook (which is quite unlikely), it could of been 6,600 years old at the most!
Prove it's yours.
This is actually pretty well established on the west coast.
There is good mtDNA evidence and several other lines of research that support an early coastal migration. This is called by some "following the kelp highway."
Fine for finding a bone hook on a gravel bar on the Missouri River? You would put him in jail for that? You must be nuts.
Found on a sand bar in the Missouri River.
Hard to go wrong with a margin of error like that.
LOL! Yeah,well, that does seem to have most of the bases covered.
Eh. If it were important to you, you wouldn't leave it lying around.
The legal world is the real world. As a man said when he came to my window, 'I am here representing the public.' I said, 'You'll find the Representive of the Public in his office on the fourth floor. He has a sign on his door--Mayor.'
The land of the free. Humph!!
Didn't know that. But seeing as how you gave me a choice - I would have to say I vehemently disagree.
I would flush it down the toilet before I let the "government" or "Indian group" take it from me.
Wonder what beauracrtic lawyer has penned, probably not a Happy New Year card to the discoverers of this wonderful piece of American history?
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