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Thread: northern ohio nutting stones or pitted stones

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  1. #1
    mickey

    northern ohio nutting stones or pitted stones

    pitted stones are found from the archaic to the fort ancient time periods. they are common to all sites, and i'm sure that most of you have found at least one in your fields. they are not very glamorous, and i think that a lot of them get overlooked. all of mine have pitting on both sides. i like to think that they were used for a variety of purposes including cracking nuts.
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  2. #2
    Charter Member
    us
    Jan 2009
    South East Tennessee on Ga, Ala line
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    Re: northern ohio nutting stones or pitted stones

    Nice. All mine here in Tennessee are worked both side also.The ones from the shelters will have bunches of dipped out places on both sides to crack the hickory nuts.Then they had the ones with just the big scoop out also just for grinding. So one for cracking and one for grinding.
    You are right they are easy to miss and are in most fields. Good finds mickey.
    TnMtns
    Please read our rules and enjoy the site. TreasureNet.com Rules

    All finds posted by me are from private property with landowner permission.

  3. #3

    Mar 2007
    West "by god" Virginia
    Fishers CZ5 and 1280X
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    Re: northern ohio nutting stones or pitted stones

    Nice to see interest in other artifacts! This is one of the big production models("bench grinder",not exactly portable), I found along a riverbank. Labeled as nutting stones, although there are many uses for these stones, like maybe cracking open clams or processing the waterworn flint nodules into arrowheads.

    Thanks for showing your finds!

    HH
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  4. #4
    us
    I breed scarlet and gray

    Feb 2009
    fairfield county,ohio
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    Re: northern ohio nutting stones or pitted stones

    nice artifacts!always liked finding those down on the ohio river when i was kid.I once got into a little debate on a different forums about whether or not nutting stones/cup stones(the large sandstone type with many cups)are really artrifacts or just geofacts.just wondered what any of you thought?i think they are artifacts.
    aint gonna find any heads sittin on the couch

  5. #5
    us
    May 2009
    Northeast Missouri
    451
    135 times

    Re: northern ohio nutting stones or pitted stones

    I've been calling these nutting stones. Notice the first one has drag marks to one side of the pit. The other has a less uniform pit...it isn't uniform in depth. Both are made of the same material but the second looks different because it is wet. Both were found on the same farm about a mile apart in different streams. The pit is about an inch deep in both.

    Sorry about the shotgun shell I was turkey hunting when I found the second one and needd something for size reference. I didn't want to carry the rock around with me so I have to go back and get it when I get the chance.

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  6. #6
    mickey

    Re: northern ohio nutting stones or pitted stones

    technically, what you have there is a cupstone. they date from the early archaic to later periods. they have one to several depressions and average from 3" to 12" across and are almost always made of sandstone. i have seen natural stones that look like cupstones, but i have yet to find a good one. thanks for the pics.
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  7. #7
    us
    Mar 2009
    Connecticut
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    Re: northern ohio nutting stones or pitted stones

    your right, these are overlooked. Now that I think about it, I'm sure I've picked these up before...denied them...and smacked them with my walking stick.

  8. #8
    Charter Member
    us
    Jan 2009
    South East Tennessee on Ga, Ala line
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    Re: northern ohio nutting stones or pitted stones

    Quote Originally Posted by mickey
    pitted stones are found from the archaic to the fort ancient time periods. they are common to all sites, and i'm sure that most of you have found at least one in your fields. they are not very glamorous, and i think that a lot of them get overlooked. all of mine have pitting on both sides. i like to think that they were used for a variety of purposes including cracking nuts.
    Here are some pitted stones like yours mickey, one large nut stone multiple cups both sides and some morters and acorn style pestles. All the morters seemed to be worked on both sides.
    Great tools.
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    Please read our rules and enjoy the site. TreasureNet.com Rules

    All finds posted by me are from private property with landowner permission.

  9. #9
    us
    May 2009
    Northeast Missouri
    451
    135 times

    Re: northern ohio nutting stones or pitted stones

    The pits in the ones I have are much larger and deeper than the ones you folks have posted. Do you think mine could be something other than nutting stones...see the pics in my post above? I considered the possibility that they could have been used to grind seeds or berries or could have been paint pots also, but the pits in them seem to be just the right size for a walnut and of course would work for any smaller nut like Hickory. Since both were found in creeks I had no context and no chance of finding a pestile. There is no staining inside the pits so I was ruling out paint pots...do you agree with that?

  10. #10
    Charter Member
    us
    Jan 2009
    South East Tennessee on Ga, Ala line
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    Re: northern ohio nutting stones or pitted stones

    Quote Originally Posted by archer66
    The pits in the ones I have are much larger and deeper than the ones you folks have posted. Do you think mine could be something other than nutting stones...see the pics in my post above? I considered the possibility that they could have been used to grind seeds or berries or could have been paint pots also, but the pits in them seem to be just the right size for a walnut and of course would work for any smaller nut like Hickory. Since both were found in creeks I had no context and no chance of finding a pestile. There is no staining inside the pits so I was ruling out paint pots...do you agree with that?
    Well I don't feel silly now but when I saw yours I thought walnut too ?? Its definitely a grinding stone artifact.Maybe seeds and berries like you said or made specifically for walnuts.Are they in your area? We find them in the ancient midden and in cave shelters. Any old ochre or paint would be lost in the creeks.
    Please read our rules and enjoy the site. TreasureNet.com Rules

    All finds posted by me are from private property with landowner permission.

  11. #11
    us
    May 2009
    Northeast Missouri
    451
    135 times

    Re: northern ohio nutting stones or pitted stones

    Quote Originally Posted by TnMountains
    Quote Originally Posted by archer66
    The pits in the ones I have are much larger and deeper than the ones you folks have posted. Do you think mine could be something other than nutting stones...see the pics in my post above? I considered the possibility that they could have been used to grind seeds or berries or could have been paint pots also, but the pits in them seem to be just the right size for a walnut and of course would work for any smaller nut like Hickory. Since both were found in creeks I had no context and no chance of finding a pestile. There is no staining inside the pits so I was ruling out paint pots...do you agree with that?
    Well I don't feel silly now but when I saw yours I thought walnut too ?? Its definitely a grinding stone artifact.Maybe seeds and berries like you said or made specifically for walnuts.Are they in your area? We find them in the ancient midden and in cave shelters. Any old ochre or paint would be lost in the creeks.
    Yes there are plenty of Walnut as well as hickory trees in my area. I don't have a firm idea of what the place would have looked like all those years ago but have to assume that it was oak/hickory forest at least part of the time. Of course they probably utilized any mast they could find and those stones would have been handy for whatever...and are definitly large pitted enough to handle the largest hickory nuts as well as walnuts.

    I wasn't sure if there would be any paint residue remaining..if they had been paint pots. I can't see any staining with naked eye or with a strong magnifying glass. The magnifying glass really brings out the grindiing wear though. I know that some berries stain so well though that it takes days to wear off a young kids hands (have you ever tried to scrub mulberry stain off anything?)....of course those stones have been in the ground and/or that creek for so long....so I wasn't sure if any stain would still be present.


  12. #12
    ca
    Chris

    Sep 2012
    Da North Eh?
    Garrett AT PRO
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    Here's one from Ontario Canada.Click image for larger version. 

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  13. #13

    May 2012
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    Here is one from Florida I was lucky enough to find in the roots of a fallen tree on one of my sites. Both pieces were touching eachother. Also some good drag marks on this one. Looks like the indents were used for cracking nuts and the bowl for grinding the meat. I find some here that have pits that were obviously ground that look more to me like part of a fire starting tool kit. Like Mabey the top to a spindle

    Click image for larger version. 

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