Obsidian Hydration – An Inexpensive, but Problematic Dating Technique
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searching for obsidian arrowheads in… – Larkmead Country Inn
The hunting and gathering peoples who populated the South Texas Plains throughout prehistory left no ruins like those of the settled farmers of Mexico or the American Southwest. Most of what remains are artifacts made of stone, shell, pottery, and sometimes bone, that have survived the ravages of time. Archeological evidence, however, clearly shows that trade and exchange were very important to the native peoples of south Texas, beginning in Paleoindian times, and, as the above quote from Cabeza de Vaca demonstrates, well into the Historic era.
Such objects must have had an importance that went beyond the daily grind of food-collecting. They also needed inland cane suitable for arrow shafts and perhaps preferred bow-making wood. The Cabeza de Vaca account shows trade processes in place which may date back thousands of years.
I selected 10 projectile points for sourcing; one is Paleoindian and nine date to the Archaic. From the excavated assemblage I sampled. obsidian artifacts .
Arrowheads are among the most easily recognized type of artifact found in the world. Untold generations of children poking around in parks or farm fields or creek beds have discovered these rocks that have clearly been shaped by humans into pointed working tools. Our fascination with them as children is probably why there are so many myths about them, and almost certainly why those children sometimes grow up and study them.
Here are some common misconceptions about arrowheads, and some things that archaeologists have learned about these ubiquitous objects. Arrowheads, objects fixed to the end of a shaft and shot with a bow, are only a fairly small subset of what archaeologists call projectile points. A projectile point is a broad category of triangularly pointed tools made of stone, shell, metal, or glass and used throughout prehistory and the world over to hunt game and practice warfare.
A projectile point has a pointed end and some kind of worked element called the haft, which enabled attaching the point to a wood or ivory shaft. There are three broad categories of point-assisted hunting tools, including spear, dart or atlatl , and bow and arrow. Each hunting type requires a pointed tip that meets a specific physical shape, thickness, and weight; arrowheads are the very smallest of the point types.
In addition, microscopic research into edge damage called ‘use-wear analysis’ has shown that some of the stone tools that look like projectile points may have been hafted cutting tools, rather than for propelling into animals. In some cultures and time periods, special projectile points were clearly not created for a working use at all. These can be elaborately worked stone objects such as the so-called eccentrics or created for placement in a burial or other ritual context.
TESSERA Finale – Obsidian Arrowheads
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In fact, Obsidian Cliff artifacts dating back 11, years have been found at sites outside Yellowstone, so researchers know people visited the Yellowstone Lake.
Considered one of the finest ever found in the state, the axe has been featured in several archaeological publications. Reminders of North Carolina’s earliest inhabitants appear in the form of Indian arrowheads that were once plentiful in central North Carolina. These Carolina gems have been found in almost every area of North Carolina, especially in the central Piedmont region.
There are numerous collectors throughout that area who have hunted, traded, bought and otherwise accumulated collections of various sizes over the past decades. The earliest inhabitants of what is now North Carolina were the Paleo Indians of the Clovis Culture, who made beautifully flaked stone Clovis points read about a North Carolina museum highlighting Native American culture.
Fluted channels on the points aided in “hafting” or attaching them to a spear shaft. Clovis points date back 10, to 12, years ago and are infrequently found at various locations throughout North Carolina as well as other areas the United States. Clovis points are highly prized by collectors and are displayed with pride, considering their rarity. Later cultures, like the Hardaway people, inhabited various areas of the Piedmont region in slightly greater numbers than did the Clovis.
The Hardaway technology in the making of flint-tipped spears or “atlatl” darts changed to what is called the Hardaway-Dalton, and Hardaway side-notched style points.
Yellowstone’s Prehistoric Bear Hunters
Projectile point s, sometimes just called “points,” are sharp tools, such as the spearhead in this photograph. Most ancient projectile points were made of stone or bone. The large spearhead above was crafted from obsidian , a type of volcanic glass. Archaeologist s and anthropologist s sometimes classify a site or an entire culture by the shape of the projectile points found in the area.
The presence of a particular style or type of point helps identify the time period in which it was made, and by what tradition or culture.
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Obsidian Spear Point
Archaeologists exploring the remote reaches of a military training base in southern California have uncovered nearly 9, artifacts that represent more than 11, years of human history in the Mojave Desert, a new study reports. The evidence turned up by this research led archaeologists to propose that two sites on the base be placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Among the finds was the lone biface blade, discovered near the surface in a northern stretch of the range. This biface blade, fashioned in the Clovis style from local jasper, was found near the surface on the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, and is thought by archaeologists to be around 13, years old. Elsewhere on the base, the review of previously unpublished research showed that dozens of other distinctive stone points had also been uncovered, dating back as much as 9, years.
Near a dry lakebed, or playa, by the western border of the base, for example, archaeologists in found at least 19 points fashioned in the Western Stemmed Tradition at various sites in the area, as well as more than 14 so-called Pinto points, whose triangular style has been found around the Great Basin at sites dating back 6, to 8, years.
This huge spear point is another artifact discovered near Ohio’s Hopewell mounds. The point is made of obsidian, a black, volcanic glass found.
These artifacts help to explain much about the different people and cultures that once lived in what is today the Stockton area. When archaeologists study artifacts, they focus on what are called “diagnostic” objects. For instance, a stone tool that is fashioned a certain way can be dated to a particular time period based on its style and shape.
The same is true for pottery, glass bottles, and even fishhooks. An artifact that is in good condition barely broken, if at all with a distinctive craftsmanship is considered to be diagnostic. It’s these artifacts that allow archaeologists to understand how old a site might be and who was living there. Twenty-one projectile points arrowheads were found at the Weber Street site.
Most of them were made from obsidian traced to sources in Napa Valley and Eastern Sierras. This suggests that trade networks were in place and reached far and wide. These are two special artifacts. The black one is called an obsidian “tinkler”. They were valued for the “tinkling” sound made when one was hit against another. Tinklers are commonly found in burial or ceremonial contexts.
TWO PRE-COLUMBIAN TRANSLUCENT TANGED OBSIDIAN ARROWHEAD PROJECTILE POINTS *PC240
Contact Us. Archeological finds are often exciting in themselves. What is it? Who used it? How old is it?
Discovering an arrowhead is like finding a golden needle in a haystack. In fact, the Sandias of New Mexico date back to 15, BC. all had their uses, but arrowheads were mostly made from chert, obsidian, and flint.
They both display a design where they would have been wrapped and hafted onto a shaft. Each was masterfully fashioned out of obsidian and was found in the Lake Sayula Region of Jalisco, Mexico. The hand-written find location and date notes from Dr. Heflin are still intact on the reverse sides. Allen Heflin Collection, formed from his work in Mexico from into the ‘s. No lithic type is more mesmerizing and flakes as beautifully as obsidian. It was so highly prized by all the Central American Pre-Columbian cultures and for good reason.
The sharpest cutting edge of any substance in the world, can only be obtained with obsidian. Obsidian is unique in that it can be flaked down to one molecule in width, hence the popularity with this incredible material in Pre-Columbian weapons and tools. Even today, obsidian scalpels are still used in modern medicine throughout the world.