SCALE ARROW POINTS
ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MISSOURI
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30, 2012 PETER A. BOSTROM
This cache of thirteen
gar scales were found
by Chuck Adams in 1929. They have all turned yellow with age and are heavily patinated.
Gar scales have a natural shape in the form of a point, sharp edges and
a stem that is ready made for use as arrow points. It's possible that
gar scales were in
use as early as A.D. 200 with the beginning of bows and arrows in the
The largest gar scale in this cache measures 1 1/8 inches
(2.8 cm) long.
freshwater fish that measure up to 10 feet (3m) in length and weigh up
to 300 pounds (135k). The scales that cover their bodies are made of a
very durable material with an enamel like coating on the
surface. These scales were also used for other things besides
arrowheads. In 1960 there were 40 fishhooks found with a burial near
Memphis, Tennessee that were made of gar scales. Ancient cultures around
the world have always utilized whatever they could from their local natural
resources and gar scales are just another example.