Brilliant find! First point of the Season.

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Brilliant find! First point of the Season.

Postby lost_shaman » Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:32 am

This is a real beauty of a point. Found Wednesday just before sunset on a dirt road we had never looked at before near Paradise creek here in Wilbarger Co. Tx.

Image

I'm tentatively typing this dart point as a Castroville. It appears to be made from petrified wood.

A field guide to Stone Artifacts of Texas Indians by Turner and Hester

Castroville

This point has a large, triangular body and long and narrow to massive barbs formed by basal notching. It is distinctive for both its broad and generally straight stem and its usually straight lateral edges. Specimens were found with a bison-kill at Bonfire Shelter. Interestingly, points of similar shape have been found with bison-kills in the Texas Panhandle.

Late Archaic, ca. 800 B.C.-400 B.C.


The way I found this point was awesome! We had been scouting around and ID'ed this particular road, my friend and his cousin had went out a couple days earlier and had picked up a few flakes. So Wednesday he and I went out there in my rental car (my car was in the body shop) and I turned onto the road and my friend was talking about finding the flakes starting around this sandy area just in front of us. As he was saying that I just decided to pull over and start looking right there. We both got out of the car and met up in front of the car as he was finishing talking about finding those flakes, so I said "Alright then let's find a Point!". No sooner than the words slipped off my tongue, I looked down and right at my feet this point was just lying there in the sand! "There's one right there!" So cool, too bad it isn't always that easy!
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Re: Brilliant find! First point of the Season.

Postby MrPenny » Sat Mar 07, 2009 1:16 am

Not always that easy, but when it is, it's really cool.

I was once walking along the edge of a freshly plowed field that a hard rain had just fallen on. I looked down at precisely the right moment to see an utterly perfect point, stuck at the apex of a dirt clod like someone had thoughtfully placed it there for me to find. It was very cool. A little tiny point, barely 3/4 of an inch long.
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Re: Brilliant find! First point of the Season.

Postby mavn » Sat Mar 07, 2009 5:59 am

Really awesome - good work LS (seems like once in a while relics from the past almost find you!)
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Re: Brilliant find! First point of the Season.

Postby lost_shaman » Sat Mar 07, 2009 7:03 am

MrPenny wrote:Not always that easy, but when it is, it's really cool.


Yeah it is!!! That's always nice, it makes all those days you don't see or find anything worth the effort.

I also found a point last year in a similar way that you found yours, except it was on a known campsite we had searched for several months. It had recently been plowed and we had a day of drizzly rain several days earlier. We didn't expect to find anything but had went out to see how things had changed for better or worse. BTW, this site is just maybe a mile or so down stream on Paradise creek where I found this Castroville. Anyway, my friend had walked over to show me some strange looking rock or something. I handed it back to him and was just standing there looking off at some dirt clods in front of me and after a second or two my eye trained onto this PERFECT little 3/4 inch Washita laying right there nearly on top of a clod! It looks like someone just made it yesterday, and it looked like someone had just set it down on top of a dirt clod and there it was for me to find.

That was a really cool find too. As I was standing there and I suddenly saw the point, one face fully exposed, I had a huge rush of adrenaline and kinda screamed out loud and fell to a knee! My friend was just standing there looking at me like I was crazy, ROFL. Eventually I recovered and reached over picked up the point and handed it to him. Then he understood.
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Re: Brilliant find! First point of the Season.

Postby lost_shaman » Sat Mar 07, 2009 7:35 am

mavn wrote:Really awesome - good work LS (seems like once in a while relics from the past almost find you!)


Thanks mavn.

Yes, that is weird how that works out. I was just telling my friend on Wednesday after I found this Castroville that it was crazy how about half the points I've found were found while I was just kinda standing around and not really looking. Five of thirteen counting this latest point!
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Re: Brilliant find! First point of the Season.

Postby MrPenny » Sat Mar 07, 2009 1:42 pm

Some are even more surreal. Believe this if you want.....several years ago, I moved into a freshly constructed home. There was nothing but fill dirt in the back yard for a long time. Finally, I got some scraggly grass growing--sparse--but grass nonetheless.

One day I'm out pushing a mower across the thickest parts. I look down and see what appears to be a point of a spear tip. I pick it up, look at it closely and judge it to have been manufactured. I'm thinking, that's cool, in my own backyard.

3 weeks later, I'm out doing the same thing. I look down and see a chunk of what looks like the same type of rock. I pick it up, get the feeling it's also manufactured, and put it in my pocket.

Later that evening, I have both pieces out on the table, comparing the color and appearance of each chunk. I finally conclude each is the same type of stone. Then I idly begin trying to match them up......you may have guessed it. While there was some missing material, there was an absolutely perfect fit between the pieces. I had found the two major halves of a spear point, in my backyard, weeks apart.

It's boxed up somewhere....if I can find it, I'll take a series of photos and share them.
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Re: Brilliant find! First point of the Season.

Postby lost_shaman » Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:44 am

Hey MrPenny,

That's a great story! Please do post pics if you can.

We found two points from one site last year where we both found bases first and then several months later my friend found a tip that matched my "Gary" base and then several weeks later I found a tip that matched his untyped base. So I have the tip he found and he has the tip I found so we both have whole points that have been snapped in half. When I get around to it I'll edit this post and include a picture of that broken "Gary" I have.

I have some more impact fractured (snapped-in-half) points from that site and I'm always hoping the other half to these will turn up soon. I wish all artifacts were whole, but if they are broken it's always better to have all the pieces if you ask me.
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Re: Brilliant find! First point of the Season.

Postby lost_shaman » Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:05 am

Here is a pic of that broken 'Gary'.

Image

Sorry that I did not include a reference in that picture. The point is 1 and 9/16 ths inches from tip to base.
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Re: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Postby lost_shaman » Sat Apr 11, 2009 7:06 am

Sometimes it appears that a little amateur Archaeology can be more hazardous than I had realized! LOL...

Let me explain, last Wednesday my hunting buddy "Bobby" and I both had dentist appointments out of town with my Dentist that my Dad turned me on to last year and because my Dentist is so good and cool Bobby decided to go see him too. So we went together and our plan was to hit one of our best sites on the way home which produces artifacts only about a mile or two after you take the exit off the Highway. Anyway Bobby got his evaluation done and I brought my Dentist a small jar of local "medium" Hot Sauce and only paid for one filling even though I had two fillings done!!! (Like I said my Dentist is cool!) Now we headed out of town back home and stopped, got gas and a 6-pack and went out to our site "China Creek".

Things started off well, we found new chert and flint debitage, simple flake tools and about 7 pieces of crude pottery that is likely from one artifact. Here's what is crazy... The best find of the day was a 'beautiful' Mano and I found it in a small drainage gully where the road is cut into a ridge near the Creek. The local Farmers had taken the large and small "rocks" they found in their fields and they had taken these "rocks" and tried to use them to help prevent further erosion from these small drainage gullies that developed after the road was cut through the ridge. So I swear that I've looked at this one pile of "rocks" at least 6-7 times over the last year and as we neared it I said to Bobby that it was strange that we've never found anything in that pile of sandstone "rocks" when we had found large "Bowls" and many Mano's all over in the Fields and even on the road! No sooner than I said that we had reached the rock pile and I looked at it and laying right in front of me was a very nice Mano!

Awesome! Had it been there the whole time and we just didn't see it before? I picked it up, it was a nice Mano. That was 'The Good'...

Right after that I experienced 'The Bad'... As I was holding the Mano I just picked up in my right hand I attempted to lift a large 50-60 Lbs sandstone slab to look underneath it with my left hand. Holding that Mano meant that I wasn't bracing myself so I lost my balance and my left pinkie finger got smashed between two large rocks! OUCH!!!

Now for 'The Ugly'... My stupid pinkie finger is broken and black and the nail is going to come off! Can't wait for all of that. #-o Needless to say I wasn't anticipating physical injury from surface hunting. :shock: But I'm wise enough to look on the bright side of things; the Mano I picked up is a great example from that site and only has three "plow marks" which basically means it is only three small blemishes away from being a "Museum quality" artifact. I'm very pleased even though we have something like 30+ Manos from multiple sites and several examples of different styles. However, pristine Mano's found on surface hunts are very rare and three plow marks or less on a sandstone Mano is a sweet find in my book.
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Re: Brilliant find! First point of the Season.

Postby Access Denied » Sun Apr 12, 2009 3:47 am

Ouch! I'm glad the Mano wasn't injured. :P

Cool story, thank you for sharing. I enjoyed the read but I had to look up what "Mano" meant... apparently it's the opposite of "Metate". #-o
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Re: Brilliant find! First point of the Season.

Postby lost_shaman » Sun Apr 12, 2009 7:22 pm

Access Denied wrote:Ouch! I'm glad the Mano wasn't injured. :P


Ha ha! Yeah me too! lol

Access Denied wrote:Cool story, thank you for sharing. I enjoyed the read but I had to look up what "Mano" meant... apparently it's the opposite of "Metate". #-o


Sorry,... Guess I should have explained what a Mano is. There is a pic of one I found on another site Here that I posted in my first thread on this forum. Native American Camp Site discovered! (North Texas)

Here in this part of the country Metates are very rare. Probably for different reasons maybe early settlers picked up Metates or the fact that naturally occuring sandstone slabs are very common and Archaic and Prehistoric natives simply used the natural slabs discarding them or making other sandstone tools from them once suffeciently used up. If the latter is the case then something like the slab of sandstone I broke my pinky finger with may have served as a crude Metate. In any case in this area the Manos are very common and many are extensively worked with great care. About 90% are sandstone and here and there Quartzite Manos are found. On this same site "China Creek" we found a large broken sandstone "Bowl" (Milling stone/basin) which was probably used as a Metate but the classic "Trough" Metates one might typically think of are not if only rarely ever found around here.

Here is a picture that looks more like the "Bowl" milling stone we found at China Creek and this site suggests that Milling stones/slabs probably should not be termed Metates.

Because this China Creek site is producing IMO Late Archaic/Early Prehistoric artifacts it would make sense that we've only found Milling stones/slabs. Actually only one "Bowl" Milling stone along with several similar fragments and there are many slabs piled into these gullies I talked about above although the slabs don't look used.

Interestingly, we find quite similar Manos on the first site we found last year (linked to above) although the point types (Harrell, Washita) found there suggest it is much younger than China Creek (untyped dart points,Williams-like, Gary, and Scallorn) however the first site hasn't turned up any eveidence of either Metates or Milling stones despite the fact that the site was literally littered with Manos. There on the first site (Paradise Creek locale #1 if you will) a Homestead apears to have once been almost directly built on top of the native camp and has subsequently been farmed for a very long time. Here the early settlers and Farmers may have removed larger rocks from fields including any Metates and Milling stones. The Manos there may have simply been to small or numerous to bother with and almost all sandstone examples tend to show dozens of plow marks.
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Re: Brilliant find! First point of the Season.

Postby lost_shaman » Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:11 pm

Friday I went to get my hair cut and the woman who cuts my hair had just been Married last week. She had talked to me about her Fiancee "Randall" before but I never knew who she was talking about, except this day one of her friends was there and they were talking... and talking... and talking...

It turns out that she had just Married the guy who Farms the field on the South side of the Road where I found the Castroville point shown in the OP!!!

No Sh*t! My friend had thought that he was who farmed that field and she confirmed it. So I got his number and she suggested I not call him until the next day, and I called yesterday and although he doesn't 'own' the land he does Farm it and gave us permision to hunt for artifacts there. We went yesterday and we did find some Historic glazed pottery like we've seen on the road and also a small handful of flint and chert flakes. Nothing major, but getting permission to be there on the private property next to the road was a big step forward for this site.
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Re: Brilliant find! First point of the Season.

Postby Access Denied » Thu Apr 23, 2009 6:26 am

lost_shaman wrote:Here in this part of the country Metates are very rare.

Interesting stuff. I wonder if another reason might be because that area was more “passed through” (e.g. by nomadic tribes) rather than settled for long periods?

Anyway, happy hunting in the new area you got permission for… never hurts to ask.
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Re: Brilliant find! First point of the Season.

Postby lost_shaman » Fri Jan 15, 2010 5:06 am

So 2009 is done with... Here is the best of 2009.

We (my friend Bobby and I) certainly found so many more lithic artifacts than this but these are (pictured below) a snapshot of the better artifacts I personally found this year. Here I've arranged the artifacts in a left to right top to bottom order where artifacts on the top left where found first and artifacts on the bottom right found last in the year. You are seeing artifacts representing 5 different sites even though I've only included just 8 artifacts!

Image

For reference I'll label the artifact from top left to bottom right, A,B, (the two Mano's on top) and C, D, E, F, G, and H. (The first point on bottom left to last point bottom right.)

A, D, and H were found on the same site (along with the broken 'Gary' pictured in this thread.). A is the Mano I mentioned earlier in this thread that I busted my pinky finger recovering last spring. D is a Scallorn point that I found close by right on the dirt road itself! And H was the last point I found in 2009, had this Alba-like point not been broken I'd say it would have been the finest crafted point I had found in 2009!

B and F, are both from the same location. This was a site that produced at least three dozen points in fall '07- 2008 along with maybe 20+ manos, this year only produced two points!

C, I've already covered in this thread. Found maybe 1.5 miles or so from B and F site on the same creek upstream.

E, is an Early Triangular point. It would be very old most likely early archaic and made from chert. I also found a triangular bone fragment (not pictured here) that seems to be petrified and has the same dimensions found in very close proximity, I assume both were used as points. E, was the first point found on this particular site but others of different type have been found since.

G, like E, was the first point to be found on its site. It like E should be labeled as an archaic point and many lithic tools have been found on the site but so far G is the only point to have been found.

That rounds out the best finds of 2009 for me and I'm hoping 2010 is just as good or better. Planning the first 2010 hunt after the Cowboy's game this Sunday.
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Re: Brilliant find! First point of the Season.

Postby ryguy » Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:33 pm

Wow - those are really impressive pieces...nice!

Thanks for sharing the photo, it's amazing to think how old those artifacts are and how they were used so long ago...

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