Tennessee Arrowhead Collections Point to the Past

61 Comments By 

arrowheads, history

For any kind of collector, there’s a prize piece – the Honus Wagner baseball card or the Inverted Jenny stamp, for example – that sets a collection above the rest. In American Indian arrowheads, Jim Lynch’s Christmas Star is just such a piece.

To understand why, you have to understand the deeper story behind the Star. It’s a 10- to 12,000-year-old ceremonial arrowhead from what’s called the Paleolithic period. Those qualities, though, bring out the biggest question about the Christmas Star and arrowheads like it. How does a ceremonial arrowhead, created with master craftsmanship, get here today? Consider that this piece of flint and its delicate details survived more than 100 centuries of farming on land trod by countless game and people, and the real mystery of the Christmas Star begins: Why is it here?

But it is, and pieces like it are still in the ground in Tennessee, waiting for the person in the right time and the right place to find them.

Living History

Lynch owns a sleepy Benton County convenience store about halfway between Paris and Camden, Tennessee, appropriately named “The Rock Man.” While he also deals in real estate, Lynch’s first and best love is his collection of American Indian relics, many of which are shown in a display that takes up about half of his store. While Lynch has purchased some of his arrowheads and will trade them, don’t expect to see any price tags: he’s not a dealer, he says, simply a collector.

 

Arrowheads

Otherwise, the Christmas Star might well not be here today. It’s hard to pinpoint a value to such a unique piece, but to Lynch, it might as well be the Hope Diamond. It has been authenticated by one of the foremost authorities in the field, Gregory Perino, and Perino’s authentication is so solid that unscrupulous sellers have forged authenticity papers bearing his name. In fact, Lynch said, Perino stated when he saw it that “it was one of the finest points he’s ever seen.”

The Star isn’t on display – Lynch keeps it safely tucked away in a safe deposit box – but many others are, and he’s happy to show them to anyone who’s interested.

“My biggest delight is talking to young people,” Lynch said. “Other countries like Japan and Germany can be more interested in our history than we are. I help people identify what they already have and get them started.”

Interestingly, Lynch, who moved here from Illinois, didn’t place the store by mistake – it’s in the heart of what people in this part of West Tennessee call the “Magic Valley,” and it’s a hotbed for American Indian relics. Lynch wanted to be in the middle of it, and not coincidentally, collectors gravitate to this area. Many of them visit Lynch’s store – just as he planned over 20 years ago.

“Benton County was a cradle of civilization,” Lynch said. “To the Native Americans, this place was rich in natural resources, such as fish, and represented a great deal of natural beauty – it had a lot of the same qualities to them that we seek today. Some of the artifacts from this area are world class.”

That’s not all talk. Just across the river in Dover, an ancient flint quarry provided the material for what might have been the greatest archaeological find in Tennessee, the Duck River Cache. The massive find of relics was in a plowed field in Humphreys County in 1894, and includes pieces as long as 28 inches long – and is viewable to the public at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in the McClung Museum. “It’s a find of, certainly, significance for the southeastern United States and the nation,” state archaeologist Michael Moore said. “It’s a one-of-a-kind find, and we’re really fortunate that you can actually go over and take a look at it.”

Finding Arrowheads in Tennessee

Arrowheads can be found anywhere in Tennessee, but they are often discovered at American Indian gravesites and cemeteries where they were used as grave offerings. There are various ways the arrowheads make their way to the surface; most often it’s from erosion or from farming activity. While it’s legal to take arrowheads from the surface of the ground on private property with the landowner’s permission, it’s illegal to do so on public land. Furthermore, it’s a felony to dig for arrowheads on public lands – the same penalty applies for digging at an American Indian gravesite, no matter the age, as it does for digging at any grave. Digging on private land (with the landowner’s approval) isn’t illegal, but many archaeologists recommend against doing so without a trained professional, since other historical information present could be damaged or destroyed.

In terms of historical value, the context in which the arrowhead is found is just as valuable as the item itself. A single arrowhead can be representative of an entire American Indian graveyard, trashpit or settlement.

Charles Bentz, an archaelogical consultant from Knoxville who worked for the University of Tennessee for 20 years as a contract archaeologist, said joining a group such as the Middle Cumberland Archaeological Society can be a great benefit to a budding collector, and observes and teaches the practices involved in responsible collecting.

“For historical purposes, it’s about the context and knowing where things came from, as opposed to having someone come in with just a sack full of arrowheads.

61 Comments

  1. sharon price

    April 11, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    I have some arrow heads and wont to sell them .what could i get for them

    • aaron davis

      January 2, 2013 at 7:35 pm

      hi do you still have your arrowheads fo sale?
      aarondavis85@yahoo.com is my email if u do

      • lance owens

        January 22, 2014 at 6:36 am

        I have 2 fluted clovice to get rid of today1/23/14 lowens320@gmail.com

        • doug

          January 23, 2014 at 12:05 pm

          do you still have the clovis points for sale if so send so pics to clovis 2000@mchsi.com thanks

          • Lance

            January 24, 2014 at 7:16 pm

            I’m having trouble emailing u Doug I do still have the 2 flutied Clovis arrowheads. My email is lowens320@gmail.com

      • josh

        April 6, 2016 at 11:56 am

        I have a 130 plus arrowheads looking for 250 for the whole collection give me a call plz 4239949537

      • Jaime Keef

        February 6, 2019 at 1:53 pm

        I have lots of artifacts found by me and my husband . I can tell you where the were found and when , our land was occupied by a very prominent indian cheif ! I do have some very unique pieces . my email is jaderain8310@gmail.com thanks .

      • Cristy D Montalvo

        November 3, 2020 at 8:25 am

        Hi I have a couple of arrowheads I have found in my creek by my house I would like to sell them what is my next step

  2. joe

    September 10, 2012 at 8:42 am

    just watch out in dover tennessee a man there sells and buys arrowheads but he also makes his own and sells them as real Darnell

  3. Annie

    September 14, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Have inherited collection and am willing .to sell, Live in Brownsville tn

    • aaron davis

      January 2, 2013 at 7:37 pm

      hi do u still have the arrowheads u inherited for sale?
      aarondavis85@yahoo.om is my email>

  4. SIBYL

    January 22, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    LOVE YOUR ARROWHEADS I HAVE FOUND SOME MYSELF ITS THE MOST MAGICAL FILLING WHEN YOU FIND ONE AND TO THINK ABOUT ITS HISTORY

    • John

      December 11, 2017 at 5:56 am

      Where can I find some arrow heads ha e never found just enjoy looking

  5. bryan

    February 4, 2013 at 4:29 am

    HI, I FOUND A MASSIVE ARROWHEAD NEAR CANE CREEK IN TENNESSEE ITS VERY LARGE, BLACK IN COLOR , CURIOUS TO THE VALUE, ITS ABOUT 10” IN LENGTH AND ABOUT 2.5” ACROSS BOUT 1.5” THICK IN TH MIDDLE, THANKS IF YOU CAN HELP

    • Ron

      December 3, 2015 at 3:49 pm

      Man..that is one huge arrow…actually it is likely a lance head.

  6. Angela Stakely

    June 4, 2014 at 11:45 am

    I have inherited a collection of 100 arrowheads plus various fossils. I would like to sell them. I live in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and would be glad to travel in Tennessee to meet someone to sell them. I also can email pictures of the collection.

    • JERRY

      July 10, 2016 at 3:46 pm

      DO YOU KNOW WHERE THEY ARE FROM? are they from Chattanooga area?

    • Donnie Strickland

      August 25, 2016 at 12:01 pm

      Can you email me a picture at donnienation67@gmail.com I’m very interested thank you

  7. carl templeton

    June 17, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    Hello, My name is carl templeton.My mom passed away last OCTOBER,and she has a house full of indian arrowheads,and other relics.I am selling everything out of the home and she was a collector of many things,but her passion was anything indian. If there is anybody that could tell me where I can take these arrowheads and have them valued.I would be very gratefull.I travel back and forth to CHATTANOOGA, TN. every month.I do not know if theres a place there or not,but If anyone can help me find out what these 200 arrowheads mostly from around warren county. McMinnville,Tn. I am going to sell them for around one half of what they are worth.1 HATCHET,1GRINDER+ more bigger relics to. THANK YOU VERY MUCH! CARL TEMPLETON 423/504/2155

    • Josh

      June 21, 2014 at 12:30 pm

      Hey Carl, if you still have a collection to sale shoot me a message.If i cant buy i can get you with the right people. Who will. Will gladly assist.Thanks Josh

      • Matthew Lewis

        April 24, 2016 at 12:25 pm

        Hey Josh this is Matt Lewis in Warren CO tn I have several arrowheads and artifacts i’d like to sell. I feel it’s time to let these go and find a new collection so I’m willing to sell. Only friends and family have seen my collection that began over 20 yrs ago and I spend a lot of time outdoors so I have some unique pieces. If anyone is interested my email is mattlewis164@gmail.com or you can also call or text me at 9313043386.

      • Tonya

        June 12, 2020 at 9:12 pm

        Hey I have a lot of overhill Cherokee indian artifacts and am looking to sell them. Can u help me out with some potential buyers.

        • John

          July 14, 2020 at 10:05 pm

          We are interested.

          • Thelma dilldine

            November 13, 2020 at 1:16 pm

            I have some arrowheads for sale if your interested

    • Donnie Strickland

      August 25, 2016 at 12:04 pm

      Hello I’m interested in ur mom’s relics.And very sorry for ur loss if u haven’t gotten rid of all of it u can call me at (423)682-0032 anytime.

  8. Macie Reed

    December 22, 2014 at 8:34 am

    I have a board of arrorheads I would like to know the approximate value of.Also have a couple other artifacts. Any help would be appreciated.

  9. Wendy Houston

    January 26, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    I have lots of arrowheads would love to find out their worth and possibly sell them. I live in chattanooga to any info to where or who I should talk to would be greatly appreciated.

  10. wanda

    February 11, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    I have bought a storage unit and there was a box of arrowheads in it. I was needing to find out the value of them so I could sell them. Can anyone help me?

  11. Richard Pinkston

    June 27, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    Never found one before but just unearthed one in my garden. Wish I could put a pic on here.

    • Jessy Yancey

      June 29, 2015 at 2:45 pm

      Hi Richard,

      Unfortunately, there’s no way to share photos here, but feel free to share your arrowhead photo on our Facebook page, facebook.com/tnhomeandfarm.

      Thanks,
      Jessy Yancey
      editor, Tennessee Home & Farm

  12. Travis Langley

    November 29, 2015 at 12:13 am

    To anyone who has already posted or who hasn’t, I live in Chattanooga and will buy all arrowheads and Indian Artifacts and pay top dollar for them. If you live in Tn, Alabama, Ga, or Ky, I’ll travel to you or buy them online and pay for shipping. Email me at chattalove@live.com or text me 423.255.0084. Thanks!

  13. Terry Moseley

    January 6, 2016 at 9:06 am

    I have a few relics that I would like to find out if they have any value. Please contact me.

  14. Daniel Marquess

    January 7, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    I recently helped a friend out and he gave me a first aid kit full of arrowheads and tons of other types shapes and sizes. I have no problem taking pictures of them and emailing them for value and to sell them. If there is value to any I just want a honest person who knows about all of this to help me.

  15. Kenny

    January 28, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    I have a few arrowheads I’m trying to sell. I live in mcminnville.

    • rob brown

      July 15, 2016 at 8:20 pm

      Im interested if you still have them.
      Robert 865-773-3720

  16. Thomas Minley

    February 2, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    i have some stuff i cant find in my overstreet price guide and would like to know what they are i live in henderson co.

  17. JASON MCPHETRIDGE

    May 19, 2016 at 12:01 am

    I have a couple of nice arrowheads found in Decatur county for sale.

    • rob brown

      July 15, 2016 at 8:20 pm

      I’M interested.
      Robert
      865-773-3720

  18. Drake

    May 27, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    Hi I’m a collector of arrowheads and Indian relics. I know quite a bit about the subject and I won’t cheat you on prices. If anything I will overpay because they are beautiful specimens and I have a great passion for them. Anyone wanting to sell any arrowheads, one single piece or a whole collection, please contact me at (931) 265-2175 txt or call or email fullback_55@hotmail.com I’ll also give you an appraisal if that’s all you want. Happy hunting guys!

    • Jason Mcphetridge

      September 26, 2016 at 10:51 pm

      I will contact you in the am I have a few things I have a lot of civil war

    • Cristy D Montalvo

      November 3, 2020 at 8:32 am

      Yes I am trying to find someone who knows how much the arrow heads I have found

  19. rob brown

    July 15, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    Would like to buy.
    Please call or text. Robert
    865-773-3720

  20. JASON MCPHETRIDGE

    July 18, 2016 at 1:50 am

    Here’s my number 7315496372

  21. Zach Cozart

    October 13, 2016 at 7:06 am

    I have asked a few older ppl about my arrowheads and everyone has the same question will I sale them. But idk what there value is.I have a lot of free time to travel so I go hunting alotand have over 1000.

  22. Chelsie

    December 19, 2016 at 9:18 am

    I have a set of 8 Arrowheads that I inherited. Not sure of their worth but, am willing to sale them. Located in Summertown, TN

  23. Tim meade

    April 15, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    My name is Tom ,,an I have several arrowhead,,that I like to sale.they all came from are farm.. my email is,Radio2371@gmail.com..I’m in maryville,,at my girlfriend now..

  24. Bob Acuff

    April 17, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    During a recent move a framed collection of arrowheads with one spearheaded which was gray went missing. There were only about 10 or so arrowheads arranged around the spearheaded which was in the center of the frame. Does anyone have any suggestions as to where I could look to see if any of them had been sold? All of these were found during family outings outside of Sparta Tennessee and I inherited them from my parents.
    Bob Acuff

  25. Travis Langley

    January 3, 2018 at 9:47 am

    I am still looking to buy Indian Artifacts and I pay top dollar for them. Interested in arrowheads, pottery, shell ornaments, bone, etc. Can travel to you or buy and pay for shipping. I’ve bought over 50 collections so far and still going. If interested, please call or text Travis Langley at 423-255-0084 or email tbird423@aol.com

    Thanks

  26. Marie

    March 15, 2018 at 6:50 am

    I have a beautiful arrow Head that came from sugar valley Creek .it is in mint condition. And I also have a few more small ones. I would like to sell .

  27. Donna L Wheeler

    March 17, 2018 at 5:13 pm

    I have some arrowheads I want to sell from chattanooga tn nice ones. I also have some ?s on other things that I found that are very interesting

    • Steve windemuller

      March 31, 2019 at 5:09 pm

      Hi I’m a collector in Michigan and am interested in arrowheads and other Indian relics thanks steve

      • Mike Miller

        August 27, 2019 at 4:01 pm

        I have found tons in Alabama I want to sell

  28. Barbara Lockaby

    July 2, 2018 at 2:34 am

    I have for sale some beautiful petroglyphs, bird stones, effigies, paint pots, game stones and other artifacts, guaranteed authentic, I found each myself, on my own land.

  29. Jaclyn Jones

    April 19, 2019 at 12:14 am

    I have a huge arrow head , points, tools, tomahawk ,axes collection for sale as well as carbonferous fossilized coal with ferns, trees, ext. I need to sale

  30. ALENE BUTCHER

    August 14, 2019 at 11:41 am

    I am looking to sell my own personal finds. I have a very large collection found mostly in Warren County Tn. text me at 9317439212 if interested

  31. Amber Garner

    August 22, 2019 at 10:02 pm

    Does anyone want to meet up and hunt near Chattanooga or sequatchie county I’d love to have a place to go find them other than the one I found in my yard I don’t know anyone personal that can take me to a promising hunting site. My email is johnboy14u@gmail.com my name is Amber

  32. Rachel Baker

    January 8, 2020 at 2:43 pm

    I have some really nice pieces and one really old rare arrow head. I’m interested in selling. Please contact me. I’m in the Benton Tennessee area. Thanks.

  33. Tony

    May 19, 2020 at 12:04 pm

    I live in Cedar Grove between Carroll and Henderson counties.
    I have 12 acres and find arrow heads all the time but l also found what looks like an old stone hammer or tomahawk, you can see it is worn down near the middle like something was holding it in place.
    Can I send you a picture?
    Also found some odd elongated flat stones that look black inside, not sure what they are or used for.
    Again, a picture might help. Let me know if I can send a picture, I am still searching my old creek beds for more. Thank you, Tony

  34. Thelma dilldine

    November 13, 2020 at 1:17 pm

    I Have several arrowheads I need to sale TODAY…

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay Connected

Made in Tennessee giveaways, exciting events, delicious recipes and more delivered straight to your inbox.