Post By tomclark
Oct 18, 2012, 10:53 AM
Last edited by tomclark; Mar 03, 2013 at 02:10 PM.
Oct 18, 2012 10:53 AM
Oct 18, 2012, 12:38 PM
Information is Not Knowledge
Oct 18, 2012, 05:14 PM
Very very nice!! I have one that at first glance appears to be the bit end broken off .. which are found that way alot but is ground and polished smooth where the break would have been. The bit is still sharp so I know it wasn't from overall wear. I was wondering if you have ever heard of them being strapped to the top of a shaft like a traditional celt or adze. Please take a look.
Kinda like that.
Oct 18, 2012, 08:44 PM
GB, I have a box of those. I believe that one is broken but off a Pleuroploca gigantea "plane", the other end was socketed. Do you think it is Horse Conch?? Looks like it. When they made adze type tools from them for some reason they used just the columnella. That one has a very filthy bit!
Oct 18, 2012, 08:51 PM
Its a beauty! It appears to be horse conch. I found it in northern St. Lucie county...a long way from its natural home. I can see how socketed would work on this. Thanks for the info!!
Oct 20, 2012, 11:43 AM
Really nice Tom!! Congrats!
Live and learn from digging the past.
Oct 21, 2012, 10:01 PM
Pretty cool. The whole shells in the first picture, where they hafted as is? That's a pretty sizable tool <insert joke here>?
Oct 21, 2012, 11:03 PM
All those pics were the same two artifacts.
Yes, they were hafted as is, with a handle going through the notch in the lip and out the hole on the other end, and then lashed together, sometimes using another hole in the top. This would give the tool's bit the proper angle for adzing. I think this tool/adze was used almost exclusively on canoes, scooping out wood that was charred. I think the handle was not long.
As this tool is used the hafting hole opposite the hafting notch becomes damaged, as well as the notch. The bit takes damage. They could often break more off the lip, renotch it and make a new hafting hole or rearrange the sinew/cordage. Eventually such a tool can become more of a hammer, then maybe a plummet when only the columnella is worth anything. Continuum of wear and use. FL museum of nat'l history has made some distinctions in that continuum and call them by types A through D and describe as adze to hammer in various stages of breakdown and use,.
They are usually found discarded with bit broken off, or notch gone and lip destroyed (some do not have notches and are perfect, the notch was not always necessary) or hafting hole completely blown out. Since they looked for particularly robust individual shells to make this tool, the columnella is also thicker. Better for making nice big plummets LOL.
All below are Busycon/Lightning Whelk shell tools, except where noted.
Type A, cutting edge
Type B, cutting edge
Type B hammer, Horse Conch
Type C, hammer
Type D, hammer, at this point they also used the columnella as a hand handle and bashed with the bigger end, whorl.
A type D hammer made of Horse Conch
Type G, King's Crown Conch
top hafting hole, if present, is always between 80 to 120 degrees on the whorl with zero at the end of the suture.
Last edited by tomclark; Oct 21, 2012 at 11:42 PM.
Oct 22, 2012, 07:29 AM
Great informative post Tom! I always find it difficult to try to explain that.
Oct 22, 2012, 12:54 PM
Very interesting thread. Those hefty shells are something... does anyone know if they used oyster shells for tools- with similarly noticable alterations? I got a world of oyster shells when I am. Never thought to inspect. Thoughts?
Oct 22, 2012, 06:38 PM
Here are some oyster shell net weights of mine. And yes they were made into tools. I've seen scrapers and adze type tools made from the more robust ones.
Oct 22, 2012, 07:26 PM
hey thanks gator. I'll keep my eyes peeled and post what I find. I've seen old oyster shells that would cover your hand- and boy are they thick and chunky! Thanks again.
Oct 22, 2012, 07:52 PM
Yeah those meal sized shells are here too. East coast of Florida.
Oct 22, 2012, 08:04 PM
Oct 22, 2012, 08:26 PM
Oct 22, 2012, 08:36 PM
It's rare to find these types of tools in perfect working condition like Tom has posted. usually they are broken beyond salvage and discarded or worked down to a nub or both. It's not a real common find but sometimes they even made handles out of the center column of the big busycon/lightning whelks.
Oct 22, 2012, 09:59 PM
Oh..one more oyster shell. Here is one that is ground smooth and was used as a small dish to hold pitch or tar/asphaltum
Oct 23, 2012, 05:40 PM
thanks for the education, Gator. I'll be keeping an eye out!
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