Have you ever experienced the thrill of hunting for arrowheads? I did as a young boy wandering the scrub fields of my dad’s property in northern Texas. Over the years, we collected all sorts of flint flakes, finely crafted arrowheads, and other Indian artifacts.
As I grew older, I learned that every region has its own unique human artifacts, from Neanderthal axes in Europe to so-called Homo erectus cleavers in Africa. Here in the Ohio River Valley, where I now live, people hunt for spear points left by the “Paleo-Indians” at the end of the Ice Age. How cool is that?
These early people fascinate me. What unique challenges did they face, and how did they overcome them? What do their lives reveal about our Creator, who made each person in His image with unique gifts specifically designed to glorify Him?
Ever since I became a Christian, I’ve wanted to know more about all these people, and I’ve wondered where they belong in the biblical timeline. As a history buff, I’m not content with generalities. I want specifics!
Ultimately, I’d like to be able to read any archeology book or visit any museum and see how the Bible’s timeline explains all these archaeological findings. As a Bible believer, I believe that every artifact, no matter how obscure, should make sense within our worldview.
So when we settled on the Ice Age for this issue, I was excited. Did we have enough information to put together a rough timeline of events immediately after Babel?
Our past isn’t just a chaotic jumble of unrelated facts. Using God’s Word as our foundation, we can begin to sort out these facts and make sense of our world.
Using God’s Word as our foundation, we can begin to sort out these facts and make sense of our world.
I think that God expects us to look for patterns and draw wise conclusions. Christ said as much, when He rebuked the Jews for failing to use their everyday skills for predicting weather to recognize the signs of His coming: “You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times” (see Matthew 16:2–3).
Dr. Andrew Snelling, a leading creation geologist who directs research at Answers in Genesis, has been showing me how creation scientists can make sense of these patterns. While radiocarbon dates are based on old-earth assumptions and therefore too old for the biblical timescale, they are useful for establishing “relative dates.” (Finds with older dates are older than finds with more recent dates.)
By comparing relative dates, it was possible to establish a rough outline for Ice Age events. And the results are fascinating. (By the way, I now have a massive Excel file with hundreds of entries for major finds worldwide, and I hope to keep adding to it!)
Creationists still have a long way to go, but I can now—for the first time—look at any radiocarbon date for a human artifact and put it somewhere on my timeline.
A friend of mine at church, an amateur archaeologist, recently loaned me his book Ohio Flint Types, published by the Archaeological Society of Ohio. I can now take every flint tool, beginning with Paleo-Indian fluted points (dated 9,500–10,000 BC), and show where they would line up in the post-Flood timeline.
The Ohio area is rich in artifacts. My friend told me that his rural property is loaded and he plans to begin a dig in his own backyard. You can guess where I’ll be spending some warm summer afternoons!
It’s an exciting time to be alive and work with other Bible believers who love God, love His Word, love science, and love learning more about the world around us.