Carbon Steel of the Stone Age?

Tesorodeoro

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Jan 21, 2018
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Interested to learn anything folks are willing to offer on this thread. I was going to title it Adze vs. Axe, but I hope that topic gets discussed anyway.

This is something that was passed down from an old farmer in Northern California to someone, then someone, then someone. To be continued. I can only assume it’s local. There is local of similar looking material, which would be hard enough to take a polish and durable enough to last.

Interested in suggestions of the material type, age, use, ect if anyone is willing to share knowledge.



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joshuaream

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Jun 25, 2009
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There are a couple of different minerals that people commonly lump in with Jade. Harder varieties of Serpentine, metagabbro, and a couple of other greenstone minerals with names that escape me. Given the form, I don't think you have jade (Monterrey or deposits to the north.) Most jade celts/adzes have strait bits, and you see some saw marks because it was so difficult to work. It's got some translucency, so Serpentine might be a better guess.

Several of the green stones are quite tough (resistant to breaking), which is different than hardness (resistant to scratching.) Toughness is ideal for a tool stone. You can hit it hard, and it won't break. (Whack a Diamond with a hammer, and you get exceptionally hard Diamond dust.)
 
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Tesorodeoro

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Jan 21, 2018
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There are a couple of different minerals that people commonly lump in with Jade. Harder varieties of Serpentine, metagabbro, and a couple of other greenstone minerals with names that escape me. Given the form, I don't think you have jade (Monterrey or deposits to the north.) Most jade celts/adzes have strait bits, and you see some saw marks because it was so difficult to work. It's got some translucency, so Serpentine might be a better guess.

Several of the green stones are quite tough (resistant to breaking), which is different than hardness (resistant to scratching.) Toughness is ideal for a tool stone. You can hit it hard, and it won't break. (Whack a Diamond with a hammer, and you get exceptionally hard Diamond dust.)
While we have a lot of serpentine in my county, none of it seems awful hard or consolidated enough for a stone tool. I know serpentine comes in many flavors. My first thought was greenstone, but the high polish (which doesn’t come across properly in the picture) and translucency indicates something other than greenstone bedrock. As you clue’d into, I was hoping it may be a Vesuvianite variant, since our local tribe would have possibly traded with an adjacent tribe that had access to this stone. Obviously it not a gemstone. I’m getting carried away here.

How would one tell if this was an adze or an axe? I understand both are considered celts. The poll end shows what looks like end battering.

These types tools are simply not that common in my area and in my opinion, it’s incredible. I’m in love with it. It must have taken an incredible amount of time to fashion.
 
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