Just a few short weeks ago a local news anchor in Arkansas stooped to a new low for local television journalism by stating “arrowhead collecting and selling ” was the new financial support system for “illegal drug use, the distribution of illegal drugs”, and she even went further to promote “”it supports child pornography”! Talk about over reaching and viewer backlash.
Viewer backlash was in the 1000’s. The news reporter did not take the time to research the beloved collecting hobby and passion of millions of people around the globe and tens of thousands of people with her state’s broadcast signal.
But a new, legal collectors initiated self-management program is combating the negative publicity and rooting out “illegal arrowhead collectors”!
The TV News Reporters over reach was to add further fuel to the negative publicity fire that makes good, honest and hardworking Americans that love to collect arrowheads and collect them legally, look like the bad guys. Instead of reporting on the hobby and its strong advocate base in the US, the decision was made to attempt to besmirch the industry and lump it in with “druggies, drug dealers and purveyors of child porn”.
Any logical and reasoning individual knows the selling of arrowheads does not support or fund the drug trade. So who are these passionate and legal collectors and hobbyist?
You may be surprised to find out the sport of “arrowhead collecting” (yes many consider it a sport since it involves being outside, walking and hiking, which the obvious by-product is EXERCISE). Collectors consider it a sport as well since many engage in a “can you top this?” friendly challenge of competition with other collectors.
Doctors, Lawyers, Teachers, Writers, Police Officers, Fire Fighters, EMTs, Soccer Moms, Realtors and even a vast array of retired individuals who hail from the military, former state legislative positions and even former mayors are passionately engaged in the legal hobby of collecting and recovering arrowheads. That impressive list does not even include the many who are students and professionals of all types and ages.
Seems Artifact Collecting is an addiction along the lines of those passionate about bowling, fishing, hunting, painting or even other collecting trends such as trinkets, silverware, guitar picks, old books and even the collecting of art.
Interesting point is most collectors of artifacts DO NOT consider themselves collectors, but more importantly “rescuers of artifacts”.
How does one rescue artifacts?
Technically arrowheads were lost many, many years ago, but now with more and more land being plowed over in the name of urban sprawl, arrowheads are being scrapped up to the surface and exposing them to damage. What kind of damage? If tractors keep inadvertently driving and plowing over exposed arrowheads the arrowheads then end up being broken and suffering an even more damaging fate than just being lost to history. So many hard working men, women and their families head out when the weather is great (working hand in hand with private land owners) and start rescuing these artifacts so they can admired, enjoyed, learned from and shared among honest and legal collectors.
In fact, private collectors and artifact rescuers have saved more arrowheads than all archaeologists combined, and a significant number of the most impressive rediscoveries in the documenting and preserving for posterity of arrowheads have come directly from the individual artifact rescuers, their friends and family.
Without this dedicated and passionate hobby, history would surely be lost to time.
The simple fact is educational institutions, with ever decreasing budgets, almost no longer fund any diggings, excavations and artifacts just keep descending deeper into the ground and the forever lost hole in history.
So why all the bad press and hub-bub?
Simply put: it has become rabidly politically correct to bash the collecting of artifacts and specifically arrowheads. This is the unintended consequences of people hearing a “report” (like the horrible press that instigated this report) and then they just jump on the “politically correct” bandwagon and repeat hearsay, never taking the time to dig for the real facts.
So when criminal individuals enter a Native Reservation and decimate and rob a mound, those actions of a very, very few, backlash on thousands upon thousands of honest, legal, law abiding and history promoting and artifact protecting citizens.
Fact is most people do not dig into the real facts, and just regurgitate ill-conceived inflammatory reports and as such, arrowhead collecting by private, law abiding citizens who are actually protecting history and rescuing it for future generations.
Unfortunately, one intentionally incredulously reported news story leaves a stink covering good people that are actually the ones protecting the artifacts.
Consider this, when legal collectors come across illegal digs, these honest citizens are the ones who REPORT such crimes to authorities. With state and federal funds disappearing, areas that need protecting just simply cannot be patrolled and protected, however real collectors are outdoor people and as such they come in direct contact with outdoor spaces and immediately recognize illegal digs and report them.
More legal collars have been fostered over the last several decade’s thanks NOT to law enforcement, but to those aware citizens, who happen to be artifact rescuers, who recognize illegal activities.
But as long as news stations care more about ratings than truthfulness in reporting, stories will keep airing and keep harming private citizens and their perfectly legal private collecting rights.
But change has come.
Since the hobby is being harmed by the activities of a few (very few – maybe 1 – in 225,000) the LEGAL HOBBY is now being forced to take steps to keep the hobby safe, protected, legal and allowable.
Leading the charge in this step to improve the image of legal collectors and to educate the public at large that artifacts and arrowheads can and are being collected and rescued legally is Artifact Addictions and its Administrators.
Artifact Addictions is a global Facebook Group of over 10,000 legal artifact collectors and rescuers with policies in place to expose illegal arrowhead “diggers”.
But it does not stop there. Artifact Addictions and other groups representing collectors all around the world are instituting “self-management” procedures and stepping up to improve the image of all collectors and it seems to be working and catching on.
Since news stations and reporters who are “against” the collecting of artifacts, including LEGAL COLLECTING are using online images to “build a case” that illegal collecting is rampant across America. But they ignore the fact most the people collecting are legal and recovering and collecting legally.
The downfall has now become the “Selfie” and the “Selfie” has now become the “Selfie-Incriminating Evidence”. Legal Collectors now need to protect themselves from their “selfies” being used against them.
Think of it this way, when a rogue reporter pulls an online a photo of a person standing in the dirt holding an arrowhead and then adds that to a “report” to a Senator or Congressman, they don’t bother to disclose the photo is a fully legal “collection of an artifact”; so to the short attention spanned who don’t do their own research, it can seem 100’s of thousands of people are “robbing ancient graves” and that is just not the case.
Here is what “legal collectors” are doing to improve the situation and image of legal collecting: Instead of selfies they are now photographing their finds ONE THE GROUND where they were legally found. Thus no bad connotation can be drawn from the innocent photo of a rescued artifact.
Collectors are now willingly posting their support of legal collecting and denouncing illegal digs. Collectors are now, with pride, displaying within their online profiles and websites the “Collectors Creed” and “NOTICE of Origin of Posted Artifacts”.
These public notices are showing to the public and those who despise “artifact collecting” that collecting of artifacts is both legal and a respected hobby participated in by people who care. Soon, as the banners and notice catch on, one will be able to tell an amateur or illegal collector, by not seeing the approved banners and Collectors Creed displayed by honest law abiding collectors.
Arrowhead collecting is a beloved sport and hobby of many and this new grass roots self-management program proves just how much they love the hobby and care to keep the hobby safe, protected, legal and to root out those who destroy protected sites.
Great job guys!
NOTE: If your group administrator or local club has not provided you with a digital copy of the “Collectors Creed” and “NOTICE of Origin of Posted Artifact” feel free to right mouse click and grab them here.
Display your support of legal collecting and ethics among proud arrowhead collectors.