While spear points and knives made of native copper were made and used by pre-contact American Indian groups in the Great Lakes region during the Late Archaic period, iron and brass first came to the peoples of the Ohio country when Europeans arrived in eastern North America with metal kettles and knives to trade. The American Indians who first acquired this wonderful new material began to trade it among their neighbors. So, the first metal artifacts in Ohio came, not from the Europeans themselves, but from other American Indians. The kettles often were cut up into small pieces of iron and brass that could be made into arrowheads and other tools. Metal arrowheads were much more durable than arrowheads chipped from stone, but chipped stone points were still used by some early American Indians living in the era of contact with European settlers.
Arrowheads made from iron, and sometimes brass, are found on post-contact American Indian sites, as well as a few pre-contact sites.
- Henderson, A. Gwynn, "Early European Contact in Southern Ohio", in: Ohio Archaeology: An Illustrated Chronicle of Ohio's Ancient American Indian Cultures, by Bradley T. Lepper, pp. 231-235. Wilmington, Ohio, Orange Frazer Press, 2005.
- Mason, Ronald J., Great Lakes Archaeology, "The Old Copper Culture" pp. 181-199; and "After the End: Historic Indian Archaeology to the Close of the Eighteenth Century" pp. 373-406. New York, Academic Press, 1981.
- Stothers, David M., and Andrew M. Schneider, "Proto-History in Northwest Ohio", in: Ohio Archaeology: An Illustrated Chronicle of Ohio's Ancient American Indian Cultures, by Bradley T. Lepper, pp. 228-220. Wilmington, Ohio, Orange Frazer Press, 2005.