Artifact found in Friendship is 3,500 years old

Ax head discovered in scallop drag
By Beth A. Birmingham | Mar 25, 2013
Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham Myron Wotton, a student at Friendship Village School, shows off the artifact his dad found in a scallop drag. The native American axe has been identified by an archaeologist at the Maine Historical Preservation Commission as being at least 3,500 years old.

Friendship — What began as a study of native American culture at the Friendship Village School turned into the realization that an artifact found in a scallop drag is actually 3,500 years old.

Jimmy Wotton found the ax head in his scallop drag a few years ago. When his son Myron's class began studying native American history, he allowed him to bring it in for show and tell.

Utilizing some contacts, teacher Kate Flanagan had the artifact sent away to the Maine Historic Preservation Commission where it was analyzed.

Archaeologist Arthur Spiess sent Myron a letter explaining the history of the piece. The findings explained that the stone is an ax made by Native Americans about 3,500 years ago. The sharpened end that did the chopping was broken off. It probably had a heavy wooden handle around the grooved end.

Spiess' letter said the "groove around the hafted end" was characteristic of how Native Americans of that era made axes.

Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or by email at

An ancient artifact found several years ago in a scallop drag in Friendship was recently found to be 3,500 years old by the Maine Historic Preservation Commission. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Combined first- and second-grade classes of Kate Flanagan and Heidi McKechnie have been studying native Americans at Friendship Village School. They have made dream catchers, charted an informational table of how the native Americans helped the Pilgrims, and discovered an artifact more than 3,500 years old. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Gatlin Bedenik demonstrates how a cradle board is used during studies of native Americans at Friendship Village School. Bedenik had lived on a Navajo reservation in Arizona prior to his family moving to the area. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Friendship Village School student Kendra Gladu shows the dream catchers her class made during recent studies of native Americans. Good dreams drip onto the feathers, then into your head. Bad dreams are caught in the web and never let out. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Comments (2)
Posted by: Albie M. Davis | Mar 26, 2013 09:05

Great story, Beth, and fabulous photos!  Kate and Heidi, the project is the most perfect example of how to engage young people and draw out interests and talents that might not every be found otherwise.I love the temporary "chaos" of it all as the topic becomes more and more exciting.  Reading it makes me want to make a dream catcher!  But, also the order shines through in the organization, and certainly the planning you both did together.  FANTASTIC!

Posted by: Valerie Wass | Mar 25, 2013 18:24

Cool!  Wonderful that the children learned about this treasure first hand in their classroom.  Kuddos to Ms. Flanagan for taking the time to have this researched.

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