Sunday, August 12, 2012


August is a tough month for searching for Indian tools. In the sun and heat, vegetation grows quickly and obscures the ground in many places. I try not to complain about the weather but the older I get, the more difficult it is for me to deal with the heat and especially the humidity. I sweat through my clothes and it is uncomfortable and unpleasant. I get sunburns. The only objects I found last August were a few broken pieces of limited interest. I had wanted to do better for this month this year, and I have spent some time carefully looking in a few different places. As of yesterday all I had found this month were the broken tip of an argillite point and a broken base fragment of a quartz point, not worth showing. Last weekend was particularly unpleasant as I slogged through dust under the blazing sun being bitten by horseflies as waves of heat passed over the earth, it became hard to breathe and at one point I began to question if I would be able to make it back to my car at all. And I didn't find anything. After that experience I decided maybe it would be smart to take some time off from looking for artifacts, wait until the fall when conditions will surely improve. But then Friday night there was a great storm with heavy downpours of driving rain. Rain like this stirs up the soil and exposes new stuff. I couldn't resist going out yesterday to see what might have been unearthed.

The first place I went to yesterday was a sandy area by a river. Because the soil is sandy, a good storm can really change the appearance of the ground surface, in the places where it is visible. Unfortunately getting to these searchable patches requires wading through a sea of grass and tall plants. With each step, pollen swirled around me, it mixed with the sweat on my skin and became a gritty yellow sludge. My skin began to itch, my eyes were watering. After about 40 minutes I realized to my horror that something in that place was provoking a strong allergic reaction. I was sneezing, hives appeared on my arms, and my eyes started to swell up, it became hard to see. In a terrible state, I fled that place and met up with my friend Dave who wanted to search a different place that he had identified. Dave was alarmed by my appearance but we went and started looking in this place anyway. With swollen watery eyes, I could barely see anything and I had zero expectation of finding any artifact. Right away, Dave found a large broken midsection of a stemmed felsite projectile point that I would have walked right past. And minutes later, he found a very nice intact quartz triangle. After that we walked for a long while without finding anything. It was cloudy and conditions were good, as time passed I began to recover and was feeling better, though I still was not expecting that I was going to find anything. After some hours we came to the end of the area that was searchable and started heading back to the car, I was not really disappointed about going home empty-handed. As we were leaving I was stunned to suddenly notice this lying fully exposed on the sand waiting to be picked up:
That is just how I found it, it could not have been easier to spot. This is one of my very best finds ever, it is a Neville point, 7,000-8,000 years old. The very tip is gone but for the most part it is intact.
The material is beautiful, I think it is a type of felsite. I don't have any other tools made from this colorful striated stone. It is wafer thin, the workmanship is fantastic.
Here it is with Dave's finds from the same place. A very lucky day.


pwax said...

Magnificent! What a beautiful material.

pwax said...

Also comment that that is probably the best picture of a Neville you can find online.