Friday, December 25, 2015

Arrowheads - Summer 2015

     I hope everyone is having a very Merry Christmas or enjoying this season however they choose. I had a nice holiday with my family and now have some time to relax and catch up on some projects.
     The year is coming to an end and I am preparing to take a look back at all the stone tools I found this year. There aren't terribly many, less than in previous years. The summer was pretty dreadful, very few finds despite spending a tremendous amount of time looking. I did have a couple of good days in the fall. I haven't posted any of my finds since May, I realize. I just haven't really had all that much to show, and the camera on my phone is broken, so I am back to using my old digital camera. I do want to share some things here and I will start off with some items I found in the summertime. I apologize for the quality of most of this material but it has been slim pickings for me. Crude and broken as they are, these are the artifacts that are available for me to find; they are visible tangible traces left behind by early man and I learn from each one.
     First, an unusual photo from the beginning of the summer. This is the first time I was ever able to pick up an arrowhead without actually touching it. It's the base of a quartz triangular arrowhead and this is just how I found it, eroding out of this little dirt clod. Kind of a funny way to find something.
      I found that triangle and these other point fragments in the same place on the same day, in southeastern Massachusetts. None of these show grinding on the base. I refer to this triangular projectile point type as a Squibnocket Triangle. I have read that points with this shape but with basal grinding are Beekman Triangles. The Madison point type is very similar and may overlap morphologically. I am not sure if this is an Archaic, or a Woodland period site. I document all my finds and archive them by site together with debitage and any other evidence I find. I hope that in the future archaeologists may find these assemblages useful and that they may provide information about each place and when it was occupied.
     I left that spot and went to another place hoping for a better find and was not disappointed. This little quartz stemmed point was my best arrowhead find of the summer. I regard these as Squibnocket Stemmed, others call these "small stemmed" points.
     Very nearby, only a few feet away, I spotted a piece of blue stone. I find argillite flakes that are the same color so it caught my eye and I picked it up. A big chunk of rock, definitely no arrowhead. I was about to put it down but realized it felt artificial in my hand. I was elated to realize that this is the bit end of a broken stone adze. You can see, on the left in this picture, parallel lines that are grinding marks from when this thing was shaped.
     The bit end is very heavily worn and crushed. This thing was used.
     Here is the other side which was ground flat. You can see striations from the grinding.
     I think this picture, found online, gives an impression of what this thing might have looked like, when whole. This was a great find for me as I have never found anything like this before.
     July and August were not good times for me as far as arrowheads go. My friend Dave identified a spot a few years ago where we found some wonderful things when we began searching. After spending a lot of time there, there seems to be much less, now, to find. I didn't find anything at all there this year worth showing. Dave did find these objects in that place, a crude and broken Stark point made of argillite and a larger thing that I believe is a blank or preform, but possibly a scraper.
     I fount these things in Rhode Island, both damaged. The crystal clear quartz material used for the one on the left is really special. It's like glass. Sorry for my dirty fingers here. I picked up a lot of rocks that afternoon but as you can see, found little to show for my efforts.
     This was a frustrating find. I believe this is the base of a large scraper. It's very nicely flaked with a sharp and straight edge. I used to find a lot of artifacts in this place, this was all I found there this year. Probably a place to which I will not return.
     This point was the only thing found in a day of looking. Better than walking away empty-handed, certainly.
     The last couple of points in this post were found in the same place on different days. Dave found this broken base of a small stemmed point made of felsite. It would have been a very long point.
     I found this quartz triangular arrowhead that looked much nicer on the ground than it does in my hand.
     I will be posting a couple more times before the end of the year. The next post will show finds from the fall. And I need to get some photos of all the year's finds for a 2015 wrap-up. It's warm here- really warm- and no snow yet. Maybe I can find another point before the snow falls, but I'm not overly optimistic about my chances.

1 comment :

pwax said...

To me, those large "preforms" are the rarest. I never find them whole. Of course I never saw a celt - one thing I wish I had in my collection.