Arrowheads are not fossils. An archeologist can’t consider every piece of evidence he finds fossil.
Arrowheads are artifacts and not fossils. Fossils are plant or animal parts that “turn into stone” thousands to millions of years later. Archeologists discover artifacts such as clay pots and musical instruments, arrowheads, and ax blades.
Any artifact made by a person is considered an artifact, and not a fossil. Fossils are only considered to be once-living objects. Fossils can come in many forms, not all fossils are made of stone.
Although I’m not an archeologist, my hobby is finding and collecting arrowheads and learning a lot about archeology. Fossils and artifacts are different, so fossil hunting is not the same thing as artifact hunting.
What are fossils?
Most people think of fossils as dinosaur bones that have been turned into stone. Other remains of life from long ago are considered fossils.
A frozen plant or animal, for example, can be kept alive for thousands of years. It will not become stone; the ice will keep it from rotting and will preserve it for many millennia.
A plant or an animal might naturally become mummified if it is placed in the right environment. An animal could naturally mummify in a cave or with enough salt to last for many thousands of years.
Even though they are not made of stone, these preserved animals can be considered fossils. A buried insect in amber can survive for many years. These insects are called fossils.
A fossil is any trace left by a long-dead animal or plant. One example is the footprint of a lizard who walked through clay millions of years ago.
Even though the footprint of the lizard is gone, it is still considered a fossil. As are fossilized bits of animal nests and animal burrows, preserved pieces are also fossils.
Fossil fuels can be described as fossils. Oil and coal are fossils because they are remnants or traces from plants or animals. Archeologists can study many other chemicals left behind by dead animals and plants.
Why are some animals and plants preserved for so many years?
Most plants and animals die without becoming fossils. They become earth and leave no trace.
Dead matter is broken down by microorganisms until it turns into dirt. The soil is then used by living plants for their use.
These processes can be halted by the environment in the animal or plant’s death. Mummification can be prevented by dry heat or salt.
A clay bed can be used to preserve an animal’s body. Amber can keep something alive for hundreds of millions of years, sometimes even for decades. Although fossils only form a small fraction of the time, there are still many fossils available for us to discover.
What is a stone fossil? How do they form?
Museums have dinosaur bones made from stone and not bone. Stone can gradually replace bones, trees, and other parts of plants and animals while keeping their original form.
Water can slowly transform substances into stone over time. Sandstone is formed when enough pressure and time passes.
Stone is formed when sand is layered on top of other sand. As well as pressure, chemical reactions play a part in this slow process. Similar processes can be used to replace a bone with its own stone copy.
A bone that has become fossilized does not turn to stone but is instead replaced with stone. The wood and bone gradually break down, but it is replaced with minerals that harden into stone.
A bone must be preserved before it can become a fossil. It will begin to decay if there isn’t clay or other preservation materials that can protect it. A bone that doesn’t decay may be ready to fossilize.
A small portion of the bone will be dissolved, creating a pocket. Slowly, the pocket will be filled with another mineral that hardens into stone. The bone will eventually disappear and be replaced with a replica of itself.
What is fossil hunting?
While I am primarily interested in arrowheads, others are more concerned with fossils. Both arrowhead hunters, as well as fossil hunters, have the chance to find something rare and valuable.
You might be able to find the fossil of a rare type of dinosaur if you’re really lucky. There are many fossils of unknown animals that you can find. Sometimes amateur archeologists discover them first.
You need to know the best spots for arrowhead hunting. Fossil hunting is the same – you won’t have much luck picking up rocks in the woods at random. Fossils formed in certain places more often than others.
A good place to start is Google. You are likely to find fossil hunters near you, and they may be able to share information online about the best spots. To find the best spots, it is sometimes necessary to meet people who hunt fossils in person.
You might need to search in particular areas of the country if you want to find dinosaur bones. You can find less impressive fossils all across the US. However, you may need to travel to be able to find dinosaur bones.
Which laws must you be aware of before you go fossil hunting
The laws for hunting fossils are similar to those for hunting arrowheads. Fossil hunting can be done legally and you don’t need to be an archeologist. The government doesn’t own fossils unless the land where they are found is in it.
Hunting for arrowheads and fossils is best done on private property. Everything is legal if the owner grants permission for you to search for fossils and keep them.
You can be charged with theft and trespassing if you take fossils from another person’s property. If you don’t have permission, any fossils or artifacts you find are your property.