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Thread: trying to id this material.

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  1. #1

    Apr 2019
    93
    165 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    trying to id this material.

    It was found on a hilltop in Northern California.

    A cobble and a flake of the same stone.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    ToddsPoint and IAMZIM like this.

  2. #2
    us
    Jason

    Apr 2011
    Butte City, Montana
    ace 250/garret pinpointer, garret AT Gold
    1,425
    1792 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Looks like chert or jasper.

  3. #3

    Apr 2019
    93
    165 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Thanks for chiming in. Somebody else thinks it's jasper too. I found a outcrop of this material. The whole area around it is covered in flakes. I might have picked up the only cobble. The flakes seem to have come directly from the outcrop. Not really sure....

    If you are right that it's chert or jasper, I guess the other big question is; Is it knappable and could I have stumbled on a Native American quarry?

    I feel that it's unlikely, particularly as all the lithics from this area are invariably made of obsidian.

    I wonder if there is a natural process (like freezing or high temperature ) that can cause conchoidal fractured flakes?

    Thanks for you help.

  4. #4
    us
    Jason

    Apr 2011
    Butte City, Montana
    ace 250/garret pinpointer, garret AT Gold
    1,425
    1792 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by Out Of Time View Post
    Thanks for chiming in. Somebody else thinks it's jasper too. I found a outcrop of this material. The whole area around it is covered in flakes. I might have picked up the only cobble. The flakes seem to have come directly from the outcrop. Not really sure....

    If you are right that it's chert or jasper, I guess the other big question is; Is it knappable and could I have stumbled on a Native American quarry?

    I feel that it's unlikely, particularly as all the lithics from this area are invariably made of obsidian.

    I wonder if there is a natural process (like freezing or high temperature ) that can cause conchoidal fractured flakes?

    Thanks for you help.
    In answer, yes, freezing, and just plain erosion can and does cause conchoidal fractured flakes. I frequent many creeks and rivers here in Montana (fishing mostly, but sometimes rockhounding) that are full of different jaspers, cherts, and agates, and these type of "flakes" like you have pictured are more than common. However, Native Americans did use this stuff. And there are quarries here, I rockhound at one known (HUGE) quarry site here for jewlery grade jasper and nodules of druzy quartz in that jasper in a spot that has been quarried for thousands of years. There are literally hundreds of pits where they mined the stuff. This particular spot is ok to rock hound, but any artifacts here are illegal to take according to the Forrest Service that controls that particular land. I personally have also found a spot no one knows about that are obvious pits where a mixture of agate and jasper was "mined" in another area that I discovered while hunting elk, and I have found points 30 miles away from that series of pits, that are made of the exact material, that is distinct from that spot. To answer your question about knapping it, it depends, some jaspers and cherts have to be heat treated to make them knappable. That's the extent of my knowledge on what you might have there. I'm not saying you have found a quarry, but I would say it is possible. It's also possible that it is just an outcrop of jasper. There are others on here with more knowledge than me that might help you further.
    Last edited by IAMZIM; May 14, 2019 at 03:10 PM.
    stdenis_jd likes this.

  5. #5

    Apr 2019
    93
    165 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Wow, that's a lot of interesting information.

    Given that these jasper flakes can be produced by nature I'm going to assume they were.

    The material seems a bit flimsy or light weight to make effective tools. Not sure if heat treatment would mitigate that.

    I know Native Americans knew of this site - I found several points within yards but they were the typical black obsidian - but I think they valued it as a lookout point rather than a quarry.

    One of the main obsidian sources in northern California is at Saint Helena in Napa County which is only 10 miles from this jasper (?) outcrop.

    I really appreciate the time you took to answer my questions. Thanks.
    IAMZIM likes this.

  6. #6
    us
    Jason

    Apr 2011
    Butte City, Montana
    ace 250/garret pinpointer, garret AT Gold
    1,425
    1792 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Spring 2018 Jasper Quarry CAUTION pic heavy Out Of Time, I forgot that I recently posted about this, here is the link. Just in case you were curious.....

  7. #7
    ge
    Gold Miner and Treasure Hunter

    Mar 2017
    South America
    Minelab Fisher Jeohunter
    38
    29 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by Out Of Time View Post
    Thanks for chiming in. Somebody else thinks it's jasper too. I found a outcrop of this material. The whole area around it is covered in flakes. I might have picked up the only cobble. The flakes seem to have come directly from the outcrop. Not really sure....

    If you are right that it's chert or jasper, I guess the other big question is; Is it knappable and could I have stumbled on a Native American quarry?

    I feel that it's unlikely, particularly as all the lithics from this area are invariably made of obsidian.

    I wonder if there is a natural process (like freezing or high temperature ) that can cause conchoidal fractured flakes?

    Thanks for you help.
    High temperature
    Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno.

 

 

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