Native American artifacts return home

Local treasurer hunters Bob Johnson and John Zahm found artifacts discarded by early American Indians. The items were kept by the state for many years but have been returned to the Allen County Historical Society Museum.

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March 28, 2022 - 3:27 PM

Bob Johnson looks at artifacts with Kurtis Russell, director of the Allen County Historical Society. Photo by Richard Luken

In early summer 1971 someone mentioned while having their hair cut by John Zahm, at his shop next to the Iola post office, they had seen some flint chippings in disturbed ground along Deer Creek north of Iola. He and I had started hunting artifacts lost or discarded by early American people, now politically correct referred to as American Indians, for about two years and decided after the next rain we’d take a look.

We did.

Not long after arriving we split up and John, with a keen eye, immediately found a very nice knife with beveled edges made from gray flint. A few minutes later I noticed a piece of white flint protruding from the ground. On closer inspection I saw the edge was chipped to fashion a simple knife or scrapper. I dug it up and in so doing was met by two or three other pieces of worked flint.

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