Yes, I’m A Stone Artifact Nerd

Was scrolling through my reader just now, and Science Daily is one of my reader mainstays. I saw this morning, an article about some very old, earliest known points in the states. They found these points, which date up to 16,000 years ago, at a site in Idaho, known as Coopers Ferry.

These points, if the timeline holds true, outdate the Clovis, which has until now, been widely accepted as the earliest point type in the U.S.

Well, color me interested. I am a walking encyclopedia on stone artifacts in the region where I live. I have been been a rock hunter ever since my first dive find umpteen years ago. Once you find one, it’s like Lay’s potato chips, you got to have more! I have found many in my diving days, and I still walk creeks and rivers hoping to find them. My wife is addicted too. She found her first whole point last year in a creek nearby, and oh my that woman will see the weather and say “hey honey it looks like we could go to the river.” Be still my heart. What a gal.

Anyway, the article I saw had no actual pics of the Coopers Ferry artifacts, so I did a Google search and found this.

That’s them.

Now I mentioned I’m a walking encyclopedia on stone artifacts in my region, and when I saw those I immediately says to myself, “those look a lot like an Adena.” The Adena is a common type here, they date back to around 4,000 years ago. I have come across many, many, Adenas, from whole points to barely identifiable pieces of points.

The Adena culture comes from an era known as the Woodland period. The Adena culture most likey evolved from an earlier point type, the Benton, named after the county I live in. The Benton evolved over time from an earlier type, and so on and so forth. So… it surprises me to see this point type, which is claimed to be 16,000 years old looks a lot like a type here in Tn. from 4,000 years ago.

These are Adena Points I cribbed from the net:

The Adena has a very wide range, and also has many sub types, all evolved from the early design. The range for Adena runs from Wisconsin and Michigan, south along the Missippi River, all the way along the southern Gulf states, and east to roughly the eastern Tn. River boundary. The Adena, and its variants can be found just about anywhere in this massive region. I’ve seen a lot of Adenas. I have found 2 that were 6″ long and perfect. A friend of mine found one 7″ long and also perfect. Probably thousands of Adenas found by divers here over the last 30-40 years. A common artifact. For us.

A sub Adena, known as a “Turkey Tail,” also has the general look of the Coopers Ferry points:

So, what’s my point? Well, mostly just that the Coopers Ferry points, at first glance, sure do look a LOT like the Adena, or it’s sub types. But, I’d have to get an up close, personal inspection to see how these Coopers Ferry points were made. There are more than a few flint knapping techniques, and the techniques generally changed with the times, as did the point types. You see more pressure flaking, generally, on earlier point types, (Paleo through Archaic time periods,) and mostly random percussion flaking on Woodland point types.

If you go back to the first image, the B, I, J, and K, illustrations, do show what appears to be pressure flaking. Look at the darker flake lines, then look inside those darker lines. You will see slight curved ripples inside the flake lines. This is indicative of pressure flaking. However the photos F, G, and H, there’s just not enough detail there to see any indication of pressure flaking. So, without holding one in my hand, so I can put eyeballs on the rock, I just can’t tell.

The one thing I can see though, is points G, and H, and to some degree C, and F, in that first pic, do have very fine serrations on the blade edges. Which it should be pointed out, is not common with the Adena.

So, in the end all I can do is point out the very close similarity of the Coopers Ferry points to the Adena and Adena sub type artifacts. Which is interesting, for a rock nerd, given the vast timeline discrepancy. Does that mean anything? No, not really. Designs that work…work. Things that go out of style come back eventually. And I’m no conspiracy theorist looking to make a case for something that may or may not be there.

A rock nerd is just going to rock nerd.

The site I cribbed the pics from:

EDIT: It would help if I’d noticed the first graphic is a comparison of the Coopers Ferry points to a Japanese point from the same timeline. While that too is interesting, it does not detract too much from what I’ve said, excpet for the fact that my dumb ass missed it! πŸ˜‰ The Coopers Ferry points are A, C, F, G and H. The others are Japanese origin. And, it is the Japanese points that bear the hallmarks of pressure flaking.

Nuther Edit: This is the Science Daily link, for anyone who wants more info. ie. Steve πŸ™‚


I just found a pic of several of the Coopers Ferry points. As I told Steve, if it weren’t for the fine serrations on the blade edges, these would likely be identified as Adena.

The link where I cribbed the last pic:


Holy crap it’s cold. 4 degrees below zero this morning, it has warmed up to a whopping 5 degrees as of right now. With the wind blowing out there from 15-25 mph, that makes for some damn cold.

A few hours ago I was practicing in the music room, and the power went out. “This ain’t good!” I called the power company, TVA who supplies the power to the local money grubbers, I mean power companies, in their infinite wisdom, instated mandatory rolling blackouts.

WTF? I have lived here for a long time, never ever heard of mandatory rolling blackouts. But then again, my heat pump, which by the way, doesn’t work that well in this kind of cold, has been running constantly for probably 24 hours, right until the power went out. I imagine EVERBODY is using massive amounts of power right now. So, I guess I understand the blackout thing.

Fortunately we do have a fireplace, there is a fire crackling behind me. One of my boys had got some wood up, just in case. And just in case happened. Soon as the power went down, we brought in wood and got a fire going. I turned the heat down to 60 degrees and it comes on and runs a bit then shuts off. The fireplace does not heat the house well, most of the heat goes up the flue, but it does radiate some heat. So it’s cozy close to the fire, chilly elsewhere in the house.

Yesterday, the wife said, “honey do you think we should stock up on some water?” (Which is something we do when bad storms, whether thunder or snow, are predicted. Having a well means if the power goes, so does the water.) I figured it’s a cold snap, we’ll be fine. Well, when the power went out, I had to concede she was right. So I have several gallons of water on standby now.

I am wearing long johns, 2 shirts and 2 pairs of socks right now. As I type this my fingers are cold. Even with a fire it’s just that cold outside.

But none of this is new to me. I grew up in a more northern clime than Tn. I grew up in Ill. and Iowa. Snow and cold were just another day of the week. On my Uncle/grandmothers farm, where I lived for a while, and visited often, there was a gas stove in the living room and that was it. It was set fairly low and what heat it put out was for the entire house. I wore long johns, 2 shirts, and 2 pair of socks then too. It was a matter of day to day living. When you went to bed at night, and you could see your breath in the room before you dove under the blankets, you just dressed for it and that was that.

I have experienced much cold in my days. Worst I was ever in, I was driving a big rig through Wyoming en route to Seattle. It was 60 below. The fuel I had been putting in the truck was pre-treated with fuel treatment, to keep the diesel from gelling up. There were dead trucks all over both sides of the interstate. I was sweating bullets, knowing I could be next. The truck heater was blowing wide open and there was a layer of ice a half inch thick on the inside of the windows except where the heat was directly blowing. I knew if I didn’t find a truck stop soon I’d be the next dead truck on the highway. Lo and behold I finally found one. I pulled in, parked, dressed up in everything I had, jumped out of the truck and I was immediately struck by the severity of the cold. It hurt to breathe, painful, you had to breathe very carefully in small doses, and more through your nose than through your mouth. Didn’t take long to figure that out either, I have never breathed air that actually hurt my lungs like this. The cold defied all my clothing as well, I was bloody freezing within seconds.

I managed to pop the fuel cap off a tank and shine a light in there. It was starting to gell. I went inside, probably the longest 150 yards I ever had to travel. Bought the fuel treatment I needed to keep the truck engine from starving, from gelled up fuel, and poured a couple quarts in both tanks. In the nick of time really. That was a close one. And undoubtedly the coldest cold I have ever experienced.

So, this cold snap will be survived I think. But I got to tell you it ain’t no fun. It is deadly cold out there. You do not want to be caught out in it, broke down, or whatever hard luck may find you. Much better at home with a meager fire burning and a pot of chile on the stove. Which reminds me, I need to make the cornbread.

Y’all stay safe. Stay warm. Stay Healthy.

Ummm, Yes?

Have you ever performed on stage or given a speech?

I’ve played guitar since I was 16, the math would require an abacus, maybe a calculator, and a fifth grade education, if you are wondering how old that makes me. πŸ˜‰

I’ve been in a few cover bands, that is bands who perform other peoples music. I am now in an all original band, that is songs we have written/composed ourselves. In both cases I have performed on numerous stages, on numerous occaisions. Well, moreso the former than the latter, we are just now getting back at it, our bassist/writer/and keeper of time signatures, had a triple heart bypass surgery a couple months ago. He is fine now, and back to monitoring my odd time signature arrangements. Though… he has let a couple slide recently, finding that once everyone is on the same page, a 4/4 signature isn’t absolutely necessary, and can be a fun adventure πŸ˜‰ We are both a work in progress I think.

Pretty much, I have been on stages enough, where now, being in front of people, whether speaking or playing music, no longer concerns me. I don’t get freaked out with stage fright.

I do still get a little nervous before a gig, but that soon goes away once the gear is set up, and we get through the first couple of songs. You just have to let it go, have fun performing, and don’t sweat the little mistakes most people will never notice.

We should be playing live again by the new year. We have been practicing and recording for a few weeks now, since the surgery.

I’m anxious to get back at it. Playing live is a drug, and musicians are addicts.