Native American stone tools or just interesting rocks?

JenaLoren

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Hello all! I found these on the Russian River in northern California near a documented Pomo Indian village in the 1800's. I believe they may be stone tools but my husband thinks they are just interesting rocks. Can anyone confirm if it is a good possibility that some of them may be tools?Thanks so much! Here are front and back pics...

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Jason in Enid

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First picture, top left has the possibility of being a very worn point, but everything else are just rocks.
 

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skeeterd

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I'm pretty sure they're just rocks. If you go to the artifacts forum, those guys can explain what to look for in an actual stone artifact. Not just the shape of a rock, but if it has been worked into a tool.
 

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grannyfixit

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I ask men all the time about my "finds" and unless it's a "named" shape of a bifacial, expertly worked, perfect condition "point" or other weapon, they say "It's a jfr" which I take to mean just a flippin rock. Men don't seem to get that people had to do things besides kill stuff, and so needed differently shaped tools and gadgets to do those things. The most obvious one is "make fire". If you can hold the curved stones firmly in your fingers and they have a hook on them, it is likely a fire starter, which when scraped against pyrite made a spark to ignite the tinder, to light the fire, to cook the stuff the stupid men killed, and so they could tell their stupid hunting/war stories. I'm interested to know if the ones you found had the shape of a bird scratched into them, like mine have.

Also, shine a light on each piece in a dimly lit room and look for pictures made by the shadows of carvings that might not be noticeable to the naked eye. I have seen many cool stones that have wonderful pictures in them, perhaps for illustrating the stupid stories told by the stupid men around the fire we started with your finds!
 

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rangler

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jena,
The most common tool I have found in the wild is the thumb scrapper..a smalll tool that was knapped or chipped to make a sharp edge on one side, used to scrape the fat off deer and buffalo hides in order to perserve them for clothing, housing, ect - there is no mistaking them as they remaiin pretty sharp after up to 20,000 years..they look like the prototype of a modern serrated knife edge only in stone...I even found one that after examiiing it, realized left handed person had crafted it..as only the left thumb had a small divit that held the tool securily ! Oh and there is a theory that most large arrowheads are really 'knives' just missing there wooden handles~! I have also found hand axes made of stone-not for choppiing wood, but to smash bones to get the marrow from the bones...it still had a greasy coating on it after all the centuries..
rangler
 

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Treasure_Hunter

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Just nice rocks in different shapes

Mother nature makes trillions of rocks into intetesting shapes and mans imagination can turn any rock into an artifact, but in the end they are still just rocks.

Wish you better luck next time....
 

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Jan 8, 2013
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Rock Tools?

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Any ideas on what this is? From looking online, it appears to be a maul or hammer... Would love to see what everyone thinks!
Was found in South Texas...
 

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skeeterd

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Welcome to T-net! I'm sorry to say, but I think it's just a rock. Or more likely, two rocks fused together with sediment. I don't see any tool marks or wear from use, just erosion. But then again, I am not an expert. There are others on here that are and they will give you better information than I can.
 

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Treasure_Hunter

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Could have been a weight of some kind, does appear to have wear, but with only one picture hard to tell. What does back and sides look like? Should always give us multiple pictures of all sides to help identify.
 

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Archeodeb

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View attachment 722673

Any ideas on what this is? From looking online, it appears to be a maul or hammer... Would love to see what everyone thinks!
Was found in South Texas...

Probably just a rock, but it could have been marked like that a LONG time ago by having a drill or spike alongside while still in the ground. The drill/spike may have formed the groove, which may have weathered like that after being exposed on the surface.
 

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rock

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Really hard to see the edges on the brown one by the quarter but that might be a flake or a scraper. The green one is just a rock but has nice color.
 

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Reed Lukens

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hahaha, Granny, so the big green one was used by cave men to throw at the women who were too slow with the beer :occasion14:
Honestly the C shaped was a shaper most likely. When you hold them in your hand you can feel exactly how many of them were held. I believe that I can see the finger impressions on it but you will have to hold them to see if it feels right. I have piles of them where you can easily see how they were used for many different things. Scraping torn meat from the hide was common and we still do it basically the same today & the 5th pic lower left looks like a scraper also. Remember that a big part of the native meals included acorns. I find pestles all of the time, stone arrow heads, shapers, grinding stones, etc. You will know it when you hold it. Definitely some small points like the top left in 1st pic but once again feel them, hold them, then tell us what you think they were used for. Looks like a good assortment especially the sharpened ones and the C shaper.
 

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Archeodeb

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I just wanted to add that a lot of "tools" are expediency tools -- that is, someone needs to hammer in a nail and doesn't have a hammer, so they pick up the closest big rock and use that, then toss it when they finish. Another sort of artifact is what is left AFTER a tool is made -- the thin slivers and spalls from making points are a good example. So just because something is not a manufactured, recognizable tool, does not mean it was not associated with human activity in some way. That is why context is so important for some of these things. It isn't the object itself that tells the story, but the things you find it with and the place you find it. Some of your rocks may have fallen into one of these categories.
 

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Jan 10, 2013
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It is harder to identify "tools" with pictures alone in some cases. I do see some evidence of knapping on some of them. I always start by looking for tooling marks/knapping and notches first then I trace the tie patterns to find out ....where a handle may have been placed. This helps me understand it's identity. If there are no tie off notches, I try to fit it to my hand., left and right. If it has tool marks and fits your hand where flaking was done such as a fingertip depression etc. you may have a hand held tool. I think you have some actual artifacts. I really can't be 100% sure from this picture but maybe taking individual pictures up close would help.
 

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randazzo1

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Hi - In the first picture - numbers 2, 5 and 7 are good candidates. They all appear to be made of what are known as cryptocrystaline sedimentary rocks (e.g. chert). These types of rocks were often used for making a variety of everyday edged and non edged tools. Numbers 2, 5 and 7 also appear to exhibit what are called "flake scars" and result when material is removed from the surface of the tool during the shaping process. It is, as others stated above, difficult to make a call from the photos -- but I would venture a guess along with Jason In Enid, that the first item is a well worn archaic point.
 

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Jan 10, 2013
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To the lady with the hammer picture... It looks like a hammer! Keep in mind these were not made in factories with machinery. they were made by different tribes in different styles and time periods. I can't see the tool marks from this picture and it's dirty so clean it up and take better, closer pictures or look for the tool marks yourself. It seems to me that the groove is to straight to be nature.
 

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Reed Lukens

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View attachment 722673

What I see could be a hammer but... we need more pics of the other sides to make sure. Originally I think it was long ago an attached piece of granitic host rock with a seam of quartz most likely attached at that point. In the river after this piece broke away from the main body of granite, the quartz seam eroded away leaving what we see now. Since the other side of the rock has not been shown, whether it was ever attached & used for a hammer will be a mystery. It will be obvious with all of the pictures.
 

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