Beachgoers often take home a souvenir from the sands of Long Beach Island, such as a pretty seashell or if they're lucky, a rare piece of sea glass.
But 10-year-old Noah Cordle, a visitor from Virginia, found something truly extraordinary: a 10,000-year-old Paleoindian arrow point. Ancient Native Americans used such arrows to spear fish and to hunt mastodon.
Last week, the arrow clunked against Noah's leg as he stood at the edge of the surf in Beach Haven. It was still sharp enough to hurt.
"I thought it was a crab," Noah said.
When he picked up the pointy, black, 2.5-inch object, he figured he better show it to his parents, Andrea and Brian Cordle. His 6-year-old sister, Natalie, was unimpressed. But his parents were excited.
His mother contacted Greg Lattanzi, president of the Archaeological Society of New Jersey and assistant curator of the archeology and ethnography bureau of the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton.
"I was basically blown away," Lattanzi said. "Finding these points is rare."