Virginia boy makes 10,000-year-old discovery at the beach

Ten-year-old Noah Cordle kicked off his summer vacation by dipping his toes into the Atlantic Ocean, only to make an ancient discovery when a sharp object hit his foot.

BEACH HAVEN, New Jersey — Ten-year-old Noah Cordle kicked off his summer vacation by dipping his toes into the Atlantic Ocean, only to make an ancient discovery when a sharp object hit his foot.

“It felt like a crab, so I jumped backward,” Cordle, who was vacationing with his family in Beach Haven, said.

But it wasn’t a crab, or a mussel shell as he deduced it might be next, after seeing its black color.

Boy stumbles upon an ancient arrowhead on a New Jersey beach

It was an arrowhead — one that an area expert says dates back to the Paleoindian period, approximately 8,000 to 11,000 years ago.

“A couple of people told us they didn’t think it was real,” Noah’s mother, Andrea Cordle, said of the find, which she described as being about 2½ inches long and black with a small fleck of orange along a ridge on its side.

Andrea and her husband, Brian Cordle, turned to Greg Lattanzi, the assistant curator at the Bureau of Archaeology and Ethnography at the New Jersey State Museum.

Lattanzi, who said the museum has a collection of more than 20 similar arrowheads — more technically termed projectile points — called Noah’s find “rare.”

Boy stumbles upon an ancient arrowhead on a New Jersey beach

He said that most similar arrowheads have been excavated from archaeological sites in the northeastern United States rather than washing ashore.

After examining the arrowhead under a microscope, Lattanzi said it appears to be made of Jasper and Chert stone and was probably attached to a spear and used for hunting.

The Cordles, who live in Lorton, Virginia, say they plan to hold on to their treasure for a while before finding it a permanent home.

“It’s really cool, but we’re not collectors,” Andrea Cordle said. “We’re going to donate it.”

6 comments

  • Michael J. Soroczak

    From the picture it looks like an obsidian point. If it is than that point is not made from any local material found on the east coast. It would have had to travel across the country from where obsidian is common in order to get to where it was found. And if the coloration is correct then that type of obsidian only occurs in northern Mexico. The name we use for that coloration with the black and flecks of red obsidian is Flame Obsidian. There is only one deposit that I know of and that is located in northern Mexico. I have a small supply that I use for lapidary work. It is beautiful when polished. As a spear point it would have some special meaning attached to it at the time. Treat it with care. Congratulations.

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