Despite my grumbling, my shoulder surgery and the limited approved activities my recovery allowed provided a wonderful opportunity to catch up with one of my oldest and dearest friends, Bethany.

While sitting at her kitchen table reminiscing about our childhood in Coker, she produced a large box. We dug in, pouring over pictures and mementos from her childhood.

Placing a small tin box in front of me, she displayed several diverse arrowheads on the tablecloth she and her recently-deceased father had collected over the years while trolling large fields and creek beds in Coker.

Then she produced another rock she'd discovered down the street from her house in an old corn field which clearly depicted a face. The top of of the small stone was rounded in the shape of the head and two eyes were clearly visible. The nose and mouth were less defined but still noticeable.

Kimberly Madison

The artifact didn't appear similar to other early Native American artwork I'd seen before so I reached out to Betsy Irwin, the Education Outreach Coordinator at the Moundville Archaeological Park.

After studying the images I'd sent via text, Betsy's verdict was that the unusual piece was mostly likely a pottery fragment, possibly broken off from a bowl, dating back to around the same time as Moundville. She suggested this fascinating relic was most likely created between 1250-1300 AD. Even more surprising, Ms. Irwin informed me that such discoveries aren't so unusual for our area.

Feel free to share any amazing artifacts you've discovered in your own backyard.