Bicycle Lost Lake - found Marion County Indiana


Hunting fields close to home is always enjoyable. I have always been envious of those who live close to a field that produces nice artifacts, and then for a while I had my chance. Being able to go home for a short break in between searching fields helps to keep the energy level high. I had found scattered relics around my home area and many small points in one of the fields located very close by my house. The Harrison County Lost Lake found in Marion County Indiana during the summer of 1989 will always remain one of my better artifacts to come out of Marion County in recent years. The relic is definitely the best I had ever found so close to home.
Lost Lake found by Jeff Anderson in Marion County Indiana

It was early summer 1989 and I had been living on the far southwest side of Indianapolis after moving a year previously from the far east side. In the time since the move, during any available time, I had scoured the surrounding countryside in search of any producing fields. Whenever I had any time to get away from the house to relax, I would drive the country roads, or if I were checking out fields very close to home I would ride my ten speed bike. As luck would have it, after having looked all over the area I had found a field which produced the best finds in the most unlikely spot, and it was very close to my house.

The morning of June 27 started warm, I had some time available and decided to take off to go look for artifacts for a couple of hours. Previously I had walked out my back door through the small hills around the creeks to one of the few fields that produced points consistently, but that morning I decided to ride. This field was not too far from home and did not take long to reach.

Parking my bike in the corner of the field, I laid it down and looked around at the field. The ground was fairly smooth from having been plowed in the late fall. The winter rain and snow had reduced the rough field to a smooth surface. As I walked the field, I noticed footprints. After scouting the prints and backtracking, it looked as if they also entered the field throughLost Lake found by Jeff Anderson in Marion County Indianathe location I normally would have entered. The prints also never strayed from the edges the field, only skirting the entire field along the creek.

I was curious about the footprints in the area, never leaving the edge for the interior as we were in an area too populated for regular hunting, but felt confident that whoever they were, they were not searching for Indian relics.

Although I have found numerous relics here during one hunt in the past, this field was one which did not produced many artifacts in a single day. I had been visiting this field on a regular basis and was not worried that someone else had beaten me into the field. Within a half-hour I had the field checked out completely and felt certain there was nothing to be found today.

Feeling slightly let down, I walked around the field in a helter skelter manner and eventually finished over next to my bike. Picking it up, I looked around the field, and leaned against the seat as I thought how calm and peaceful the view was. So alone in a populated area, it was easy to forget that civilization was fifty yards across the road. After a few moments of enjoying the silence I casually lowered my head, and looked to the ground. There between my feet, where my bike had lain was a large brown point. The point blended in almost perfectly with the surrounding soil. I was amazed as I picked it up and marveled at its perfection. That I had laid my bike on it and might have overlooked it if I hadn't just happened to look down between my feet astonished me.

I had found a Lost Lake point in its unsharpened form with no plow strikes or breaks of any type. Measuring three inches long, by two and a half inches wide, the barb wings had been intentionally clipped, which does not distract from its esthetics. The material is Harrison County flint, also known as hornstone and Wyandote Chert, with crystal inclusions. Harrison County flint ranges in hue from a dark blue to black. When patina forms on Harrison County flint it can produce a brown to darker tan hue. In small areas on its surface it is possible to make out the darker hue of the natural material.

I did a double take of the vicinity for others I might possibly have missed earlier but I did not find even a flake. The location I had found this point has not so much as produced one flake in the past or since, but this point certainly is a memorable experience.

The Lost Lake point was the nicest point I have found so close to home. Harrison County flint has been a favorite of mine for a long time, and I now have two frames devoted to displaying my higher quality relics made of this material. The luster and variety in color always makes a point both desirable and interesting.

The Lost Lake is an early Archaic dating between 10000 - 8000 B.P and is found in Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, Kentucky, southern Indiana, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia. Over the life span of a point, the blade shape changed due to the use of bevel reworking techniques, generally becoming less excurvate to straight edged and then incurvate while continually becoming shorter with each reworking. Cross sections range from biconvex on blades in pristine condition to rhomboid cross sections on highly reworked examples. Most examples of the type are finely serrated along the blade edges and in general exhibit high quality flaking and a symmetrical outline.

James W. Cambron and David C. Hulse named the Lost Lake point for examples that were recovered from the Lost Lake area of Limestone County, Alabama.

My Lost Lake point found between my feet as I held my bicycle is a unique and important find. It is unique in that I did not find any relic in the field that day, either broken or whole beside it, nearby, and that this relic is still in its unsharpened form. It is important in that few, if any, Indian relics are found in Marion County currently due to the county being almost completely developed. That I had placed my bike on such a prize while I made a fruitless search of the field for the next hour is bizarre. Able to hunt a field close to home that produces nice relics is getting to be a rarity today, and makes this Lost Lake relic a cherished possession.

By Jeff Anderson
Thursday, October 02, 1997
© 1997 Jeff Anderson