Evidence of ideas flowing up and down the Mississippi River

Object of the Month: 01/2018

What is it?:

Projectile pointsDiffering arrowheads
Differing arrowheadsCourtesy SMM


Age: 1000-1400 CE
Made by:

Oneota people


Where was it collected:

Collected at Silvernale site near Red Wing in the 1970s


What is it made of?:

Prairie du Chien chert


Accession #: A2017:1:100:1 (left) and A2017:1:62:1 (right

The Oneota and Mississippian people may have lived hundreds of miles apart, but the Mississippi River allowed them to share ideas.

These two arrowheads were found in the 1970s at the Silvernale site near Red Wing. Both are made from Prairie du Chien chert, a rock chert commonly found in the Red Wing area.

The one on the left is a Madison Triangular point, common to the Oneota people who lived at the Silvernale site. The one on the right is Close-up: A five Cahokian Trinotcheds point
Close-up: A five Cahokian Trinotcheds pointCourtesy SMM
a style common to the Mississippian people who lived near what is now St. Louis. This chert is not found that far south, so the Oneota people at the Silvernale site most likely used their own local stone to create a point inspired by their neighbors hundreds of miles downriver.