FRANKLIN TWP., NJ - Erich Zeh, an avocational archaeologist and collector, will exhibit Lenape tools and hunting weapons collected in Hunterdon in a special program.
The talk will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 2, at Faith Chapel Wesleyan Church here. Use 43 Lower Landsdown Rd., Annandale for GPS.
Franklin’s Rural Awareness, a non-profit civic group, will sponsor the free program. No reservations are required.
Zeh grew up in Clinton and now lives in Phillipsburg. For three generations, his family has amassed a collection of Lenape artifacts that date back some 12,000 years. The collection includes tools used for hunting, food preparation, and clothes making. He will explain how the stone tools were made and how changing climate and lifeways affected their design. The artifacts themselves are considered distinctive to particular time periods and are used by archeologists to determine when a site was occupied.
Of special interest will be the atlatl or spear-thrower – a weapon used for hunting before the bow and arrow. It was especially useful in hunting large game animals, many of which are now extinct. Using the atlatl, a hunter could throw a 7-foot long dart at speeds up to 80 miles per hour to target an animal more than 150 yards away. This kept hunters a safe distance from their prey, while giving greater velocity to the dart.
Zeh has participated in archaeological excavations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and is a frequent demonstrator for schools, scouts, historical societies, and archaeological groups. He is President of the Forks of the Delaware Archaeology Association, a member of the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology, the New York Atlatl Association, and the World Atlatl Association. He is active in atlatl competitions throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York.
This year’s Rural Awareness speaker series ends with this talk; it will resume next March.