It was not unusual for Farmers in West Essex to collect American Indian arrowheads that were found on their properties. Attached is a photo of my Father’s collection that he accumulated over his 27 years on our two Pollio Family Farms located both on Fairfield Road (# 170) and also on Route 46 West@The Horseneck Road Overpass ( at that time adjacent to Romano’s Farm).
Peter Pollio (1923-1967) was also an avid Hunter and found a few of these while enjoying his favorite pastime not far from the two Farms. These ‘points’ are varied and diverse because they were crafted over 10 + centuries, were often traded among neighboring tribes, and many distant tribes visited the area in search of game and tribute ( the Indian east-west “Menusen Path” crossed the Passaic River only five miles away. This is roughly 1.5 hours travel by dugout canoe ).
Any student of local West Essex history is encouraged to read Benjamin R. Norwoods “Old Caldwell” published in 1927 ( Fairfield Library R 974.9 NO ). But in 1927 very little was known about the many significant Lenape Settlements in Fairfield/ Pine Brook and Singac.
Norwoods sources believed there was little evidence of Lenape Indian settlement here and theorized that the abundance of arrowhead points and spear heads found locally were possibly because the area was an Indian battleground of some sort.
Since 1927, a great deal of archeological evidence has been discovered, especially at the intersection of Bloomfield Avenue and the Passaic River. 3,835 artifacts were unearthed during a NJ DOT intersection redesign project in 1995. According to expert Archeologists, these artifacts indicate that the Indian Settlements could have been ‘year-round’ encampments dating back as many as 3,000 years. The estimated introduction of the bow and arrow is about 500 BC ( 2,500 + years ago )
This key discovery weakens the theory of a great Indian battleground in the Passaic River Valley. It’s my opinion that the numerous arrowheads and projectile points are mostly a two thousand year accumulation spread out over very bountiful hunting grounds.
It was also easy for Farmers to spot arrowheads in Fairfield’s stone-free sandy soils, and many vegetable crops were harvested in kneeling positions while pulling them up by their roots ( beets, radishes, scallions, leeks, basil, dill, etc.). This close proximity to the soil and keen eyes resulted in finding many of these treasures of antiquity.
( Today Archery Hunters have Bluetooth trackable arrow nocks ! Not much chance of losing one of those arrows unless a wounded game animal takes it a very long way ).
..........Paul Pollio 8-28-2018
Dedicated to the memory of Peter Paul Pollio ( 1923-1967 ), belonging to the last generation of true Farmers in Fairfield. Avid big and small game hunter and casual arrowhead collector.
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