Friday, May 02, 2014

Broken quartz rules everything around me

     I would rather find one nice arrowhead, in an interesting shape, made of an unusual material, than a whole pile of broken quartz arrowhead fragments.
     But, I would rather find a broken corner of a triangular quartz arrowhead, than search all day and go home empty-handed. So when I can, I like to go to those places that are productive and where I have the best chances of finding an artifact.
     Lately that has meant going to a place where I find a lot of broken quartz arrowhead fragments. Here are the results from a walk after work.
     That piece at the far left is one corner of a huge triangular point. There are some broken triangular arrowheads, some crude stuff that might be preforms or scrapers. This stemmed base was a heartbreaker, it was a big point and I do not find many in this shape at this site.
     This Squibnocket Triangle has nice flaking on one edge (left side) but the other edge is more crude, I'm not sure if this was resharpened, damaged, made that way?
     This was the most intact of the points from that evening. Rather crudely made.
     It's really thick. Probably used as a knife, I guess.
     I went back to that place this morning before work. The warm air felt nice, I only had around 20 minutes to search and it rained the whole time but it was worth it. I spotted this and took one (blurry) photo before I picked it up. Lots of slugs on the ground out there today.
     It's a tiny Squibnocket Triangle missing the tip. It's really thin and nicely flaked. It is flaked on one side only, flat and smooth on the other- carefully crafted from a quartz flake. I only have a very few unifacially flaked quartz triangles like this and they are all small. Some call these "bird points" but I don't know if anyone really knows the purpose of these smallest projectile points. Here it is cleaned up with another find from this morning, I have a number of roughly chipped artifacts in this same shape- I think they are scrapers.
     The place where I found these is small. There's a little hill next to a stream. The hilltop, the slope, and a small flat area at the base of the hill next to the stream are covered with quartz chips. I have found very many triangular quartz arrowheads there, a few small stemmed types (Wading River, Squibnocket Stemmed), some Levanna triangles. I found a Brewerton base, a fragment of a bannerstone, a pottery fragment, tantalizing fragments of large points made of different materials including flint. I think the debitage there is 99 percent quartz, very rarely I find a flake of argillite, black/white rhyolite or red felsite. The hammer stones must be there, probably I pick them up and drop them without recognizing them. I don't know if families lived there, maybe it was a fishing camp, perhaps this site was used in different ways at different times?


pwax said...

The scraper in the last picture looks like something I heard called a "teardrop scraper".

By the way, they just plowed up here and it rained hard last night. So the season is open in Concord!

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