Mar 17, 2013, 09:52 PM
Rock experts - Need help on lithic identification
I'm working on finding spots to hunt around Richmond VA and was talking to a guy today who agreed to hook me up with some people he knows who have land to hunt. Anyways, he doesn't look for them but has found 2 over the years. One of them was a point that looked like a small Stanly but the material looked like translucent obsidian with irregular light banding. I only just met the guy today so I don't know anything, really, about him, but he seemed credible to me. My question is this - is it possible that there's a local source that could explain this? I've only ever seen one quartz crystal point in person (thanks NCFieldhunter) and I didn't really study the flaking or material closely. Could this have been a smokey quartz piece? I don't think pictures will help, it looks just like obsidian in the picture.
Bottom line I'm trying to make good with the guy and I told him I'd try to figure out anything I can about the material. I'd hate to come back with "it's obsidian, clearly not from VA". Any thoughts or possibilities at all are appreciated.
Mar 17, 2013, 10:16 PM
Trimble Knob in VA is a now extinct volcano and I know there was some obsidian around so I guess it's possible...think I remembered hearing about places in TN and NC that had some but I can't be sure...also, living in Richmond, have you ever looked around Bell Island? I know a guy who found an axe there a few months ago and has found spear points in the past...I can draw up a diagram of where he said the stuff was if you'd like, just let me know...
Sorry I kinda veered off the path there...
HH, good luck
Mar 18, 2013, 07:22 AM
An archy that works for the state of V.A. told me that obsidian can be found in V.A. and P.A. I have a pic of a smokey quartz Yadkin if you would like to compare. Good luck finding some new hunting grounds. GTK96 had some good advise regarding Bell Island, I have heard of some nice artifacts coming from that area. H.H.
Mar 18, 2013, 08:21 AM
Rayholite is a volcanic product. Its all over that area. No reason why obsidian wouldn't be
Mar 18, 2013, 09:04 AM
Originally Posted by GatorBoy
Not always the case. I think it depends on the type of eruption, the minerals present and how it cools. Rhyolite can be found all over the east coast, but obsidian only in a few locations.
Mar 18, 2013, 09:11 AM
Just saying the possibility for the right circumstances existed.
And I'm sure obsidian was highly regarded and traded for long distances.
Mar 18, 2013, 09:44 AM
Yeah it all depended on how fast it cooled...i think alot of times obsidian formed when the lava contacted water, but I understand what you meant gator
Mar 18, 2013, 02:31 PM
GTK - Thanks for the offer, I'd appreciate it - I'll take any help I can get! I actually spend a lot of time on Belle Island with my family doing various things. Could make the trips even funner!
Originally Posted by GTK96
Mar 18, 2013, 02:32 PM
TheViking - I'd love to see it. Right now for me it's either odsidian or crystal smokey quartz, and I don't have any smokey quartz examples to compare against. Thanks for the help.
Originally Posted by theviking
Mar 18, 2013, 03:38 PM
Mar 18, 2013, 04:04 PM
It also sounds like agatized wood with the banding you described. A photo would help.
Mar 18, 2013, 04:06 PM
Although raw obsidian does exist in Va. ( the only eastern state with a dormant volcano to my knowledge ) the only recorded artifacts made of the material were thought to be traded in. Most likely from an Adena culture network from further west. The Potts site in New Kent Co. contained some woodland artifacts made of obsidian. There are materials scattered throughout the state that can be somewhat similar in appearance and texture including the aforementioned smoky quartz. Dark colored chalcedony and translucent high grade black cherts can also look like obsidian to some degree. Translucent Knox chert from eastern Tn. is similar as well. Some locals call it Cinch River obsidian. A really pure translucent piece of Knox can look like obsidian. Just some suggestions, if you can get a picture of the material I can probably be more specific.
Here's some Va. smoky quartz and some local high grade black cherts.
As far as finding some hunting spots in that area of the state I'd suggest getting to be friendly with some farmers who still plow their fields along the James.
Last edited by Th3rty7; Mar 18, 2013 at 04:19 PM.
Mar 18, 2013, 05:04 PM
Joe, if you need some pics of obsidian points found in VA. Let me know. All of the obsidian finds near us that I know of are paleo or transitional. Hardaway/dalton is the latest I have personally seen. If you have a pic of the piece in question, text me a pic of it. It's a long shot, but I may be of some service. Good luck on finding new grounds. Also, look at local petrified wood samples.
Their were so many fewer questions when stars were still just the holes to heaven
Mar 18, 2013, 07:12 PM
I collect Artifacts and Vintage Collectibles and Rocks.
I have seen what you are talking about and I do believe it is P wood. On Ancient Native American Indian Arrowheads, Indian Artifacts and other ancient Indian relics - Home Page they have some posted under gem quality points. It looks clear but with black lines running through it. Or even Agate.
Last edited by rock; Mar 18, 2013 at 07:15 PM.
Personal finds were on private property which I have permission to hunt.
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Mar 18, 2013, 07:27 PM
They come in different shades of many colors..some show more banding than others. Here is a couple.
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