Never Seen Anything Like It!

OntarioArch

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This phrase most often means it's a modern reproduction or an ancient piece that has been re-chipped / re-shaped. And when looking through Old Timers' collections, even 'family' collections right off the farm, caution must be used. First thing I saw today as I opened an old collector's wooden box is a huge Grey Ghost. I passed on the last one I found, but I might...might...buy this one. They are pretty impressive. Gotta be 10 inches long and in absolutely pristine condition. Conversation piece, maybe.

But what I am really interested in is the piece shown below: I've never seen anything like it! I didn't have my microscope with me, but I believe one pic shows iron deposition. Think it's ancient? Ever seen anything like it? Thanks!
 

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crj1968

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Strange indeed. definitely cool
IMHO the second picture it looks like one side is more recently worked than the other.
Maybe? I'd have to find that myself to believe it.
 

dognose

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it could be a cache blade.
or it could be whats known as a sun disk - maybe.
A buddy of mine found a nice round disk back in the 90s, which was about 6 inches in diameter.
sun disk1.jpg

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What is the story behind the old collector's wooden box? If the one relic is a true grey ghost that may have some collector value among those who collect the old time grey ghost relics. that could be an indicator that other relics in the box where also obtained through trade or purchase.
 
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OntarioArch

OntarioArch

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Dog - thanks for your insight. Just now learning a little about 'sun disc' and how incredibly rare they are. Old timers wooden box included a grey ghost, this 'sun disc, maybe', two nice adzes, what appears to be a paint pot with reminants of ochre, stone effigy head end of a pipe, a dozen big imperfect but nice onondaga chert blades, repro obsidian Clovis I believe (looks like it was made yesterday, not a spec of patina), repro gorget. So old timer traded, and there's some repros, for sure. Even if 'sun disc' is a repro, I'm trying to buy it. Only question is a fair price. Who the heck knows?
 

ToddsPoint

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That's a Hopewell hornstone cache blade. They made a ton of them. Thousands of them came out of Crib Mound in IN in the 70's. Art Gerber dug them.
 

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newnan man

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I've seen smaller ones made like that but nothing that big. Maybe 4" or less in diameter. I think the small ones were called Adena Blades. That one is something else.
 
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OntarioArch

OntarioArch

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That's a Hopewell hornstone cache blade. They made a ton of them. Thousands of them came out of Crib Mound in IN in the 70's. Art Gerber dug them.
Thanks, ToddsPoint....I think you're onto something.....

I've just read a bit more about them, looked at a bunch of photos from previous auctions, and you are right on. Thanks! THOUSANDS were found. My only question now is, Where the heck are they all? I'm gonna have one.
 
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Buckleberry

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That iron deposit looks to be on a part of the artifact that hasn't been worked, so may just be actual patina that hasn't been recently touched. IMO.
 
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joshuaream

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There are a couple of types of Hopewell cache blades.

The vast majority of them, including the bigger caches at Crib Mound are pretty simply worked disks. Not thick, not thin, occasionally with only 2 or 3 flakes on one side. Almost always 3-4 inches long, 5 inches being a huge example.

And then there are smaller caches of larger, better worked blades, usually numbering 100 or fewer pieces. Shetrone uncovered a cache of fully worked bifaces like the one you pictured. They might be an Adena influenced trait as their cache blades tend to be very well made.
 
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OntarioArch

OntarioArch

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Very Interesting.
I have yet to find an image of a Hopewell Cache Blade of hornstone that looks like my example. Searching past auctions, for example, yields none. It sure would be cool to know the mound or mounds it might have come from. Thanks for the insight.
 

newnan man

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I saw an old black & white photo once of a huge (100's) cache of Obsidian blanks found im an excavated mound in Ohio. I'm sure it exists in some historical site. Maybe the Ohio Historical Society. Someone with better PC skills than me may be able to upload it.
 
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OntarioArch

OntarioArch

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I saw an old black & white photo once of a huge (100's) cache of Obsidian blanks found im an excavated mound in Ohio. I'm sure it exists in some historical site. Maybe the Ohio Historical Society. Someone with better PC skills than me may be able to upload it.
This is quite a famous photo. Hornstone 'blanks' I think....not obsidian.

fetch
 

unclemac

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but... what was the use? farming implement?
 
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OntarioArch

OntarioArch

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but... what was the use? farming implement?
Two schools of thought: they were 'quarry blanks' made from such high quality flint that they were trade currency to other Indians: or, at least some believe those with well-worked edges - like the one shown above - were used as tools. Maybe both are true!
 

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