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A gift from 5,000 years ago

SAFETY HARBOR — A striking find by an 8-year-old boy proves this city was an active hunting ground after the last ice age.

When a public works crew was replacing a storm sewer line on Joyce Street and First Avenue N last month, Jordan Emmett, a budding archaeologist, went to have a look.

"I saw a red thing sticking up and I brought it home,'' he said.

At first, his grandfather, Mike Emmett, said he thought it was a piece of plastic.

But the red thing turned out to be a roughly 5,000-year-old spear point made by the semi­nomadic middle archaic people before the Egyptians began building pyramids. The well-preserved tool was formed out of reddish agatized coral that turned into flint 450 million years ago. It's a little over 2 inches long and weighs about 0.6 ounces.

"It's known as part of the Newnan cluster of projectile points,'' said James Dwyer, curator of archaeology for the Safety Harbor Museum of Regional History.

Jordan's discovery comes almost exactly one year after a city worker found a spear point between 6,000 and 8,000 years old at the Marshall Street Park across from Joyce Street where he lives.

Dwyer said Jordan's spear point was used to hunt small game, such as rabbits, deer and raccoons.

"It's still sharp,'' Jordan said, tracing the side of the weapon with his finger.

If you'd like to have a look, both objects are on display at the museum. If you ask, officials will let you hold it up to the light, and when you do, it's possible to see tiny fossils inside.

"Jordan put it on permanent loan for us,'' said Bobbie Davidson, the museum's director of operations.

Eileen Schulte can be reached at or (727) 445-4153.

If you go

You can see the latest spear point found in Safety Harbor at the Safety Harbor Museum of Regional History, 329 Bayshore Blvd. S.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

Admission: $4 for adults, $3 for seniors and children 7 and up. Children 6 and under are free.

For more information: Call (727) 726-1668 or visit

A gift from 5,000 years ago 08/11/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 11, 2009 10:02pm]
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© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


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