Monday, February 13, 2006

Early American Artifacts in Caswell County

First-American Artifacts Identified

At the Caswell County Historical Association general membership meeting on January 15, 2006, Mr. James David Kirby helped Caswell County residents identify some of the early-American treasures they have found on their properties. The most exciting item was a mortar (photograph above) found by Mr. Owens. David estimates it’s age at approximately 5,000 – 6,000 years old and that it could be 14,000 years old. The mortar is made of granite with two grinding holes and a flat plane for crushing and rolling. David was especially interested in this piece because he found a pestle several years ago. To bring the two together made for a special day. Click HERE for a larger image.

The photograph above shows David Kirby (right) and his brother Keith Anthony Kirby and the extensive early-American artifact collection, portions of which David displays during his seminars at the Richmond-Miles History Museum in Yanceyville, North Carolina. Click HERE for a larger image. Watch this site and the CCHA Message Board for further updates on seminars and excursions David will be organizing.

Here are David Kirby (on right) and the owner of the pestle, Mr. Owens (on left). Click HERE for a larger image.

As a young boy, David Kirby plowed the tobacco fields with mules and tractors, finding these treasures as he worked. The interest generated by these first-American artifacts led him to read and study all that he could find on the subject. His father told David how he too had found arrowheads as a boy and would sell them two for a nickel to a local merchant for candy.

So, David has always had an interest in arrowheads, hatchets, and other tools that date back thousands of years. David greatly enjoys sharing his knowledge and frequently teaches classes on the subject, such as to Boy Scout troops. David has lived practically all his life in Caswell County and is fortunate enough to have farm land for afternoon excursions in the hope of finding additional artifacts.

David Kirby was born near the Caswell County/Orange County border in the Prospect Hill Community, the fifth child of ten born to John Benjamin (JB) Kirby and Mabel Inez Stanfield. After serving four years in the U.S. Navy on the USS Forrestal, he attended Piedmont College, earning degrees in Agricultural Business and Agriculture Science.

Links and References

Donald's Indian Artifacts

Indian Arrowheads of Piedmont, North Carolina

Ancient Artifacts Found on North Carolina Campus

North American Indian History Sites

The Museum of the Native American Resource Center

Native American Resource Center

American Indian Studies

Arrowheads & Stone Artifacts: A Practical Guide for the Amateur Archaeologist, C. G. Yeager (2000)

Field Guide to Flint Arrowheads & Knives of the North American Indian: Identification & Values, Lawrence N. Tully and Steven N. Tully (1968)

The Heritage of Caswell County, North Carolina, Jeannine D. Whitlow, Editor (1985)

When the Past Refused to Die: A History of Caswell County North Carolina 1777-1977, William S. Powell (1977) This book is available for purchase from the CCHA and has a full chapter on the "Indians" of Caswell County. To purchase online go to CCHA Publications

A New Voyage to Carolina, John Lawson (1709) (reprints are readily available)

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