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Can Mike or anyone else identify any of these? Some of them are way to broken up to tell and its kind of a bad picture. I found all of these close or next to the middens. Should their be more buried? Also, almost all the points are broken, only found four that were close to being complete. All were found 12-29 and 12-30 on surface.
Just replied to your email thanks.
Your Right....they are pretty broken up alright, but I'll try. First Photo: Definitely a small knife, but unable to determine the type. Then a possible Bonham or Perdiz bird point. Then probably a figueroa. And then, a probable langtry or uvalde. And then it looks like a probable bulverde base. Can't determine any of the others. Hope that might help though!
Did you try matching any tips to bases? Sometimes I get lucky. I matched up and repaired a broken Barber Drill this summer (Rare). Interesting photos....thats definitely a hefty cooking midden (lots of soltol cooked there). Try digging along the outer edges of the main hearth. Looks like you'll need a screen too when the big rocks get separated out. I do the same thing in my big cave dig. I'd stay with it a while if you can, it could be worth while, but be prepared for more broken and pocked stuff within the hearth. I'd put in a test trench from the edge of the hearth outwards for at least a few feet, and see if you can find some points in reasonable shape. Best Wishes my friend!
Yeah, my father and I own 200 acres south of Sanderson Texas. We bought the land 3 years ago, mainly for hunting purposes. I actually live in Fort Worth, so its about an hour 7 to 8 hour drive. We have three of these Indian middens, possibly more. There is a lot of flint around the middens and if you venture to far away, the flint dwindles away. We have always wanted to find arrowheads, just never knew where to look. The last pic is of some caves we have on our land. We have more caves down the way also. The pic you see there is from the Indian middens looking back at the caves. Just wanted to give you guys and idea of what we have on our land. There is a river bed behind the middens about 20 to 30 yards. We also haven’t dug much just broke the ground inside the
Midden to see black soil that you can tell has been burned over time. We don’t have experience digging, but would if we had the right tools and knew what we were doing.
Hello there and thanks for sharing your pictures!!
I would, though rather ofcourse, that replys were here instead of sent personally ..
WE can't see all the asnwers to the questions that way! hehe
I just posted the same message I emailed to RGS sorry Michelle.
Thanks again Mike. Does it look like this midden was made over a long period of time from different generations of indians? I know you said look for springs in creeks or river beds to tell where a camp site might be, but with a midden this size do you think there should be one close by? Sorry for all the questions just can't always get the answer I need from the internet.
Hi DJ, Good pics and could be in the catagory of a dream find. Just a slight negative for the moment, are you positive the midden in the pic has not been disturbed?? [ dug ]??
Assuming not, I agree W Mike's input but would add. With that much burned rock , dont look for " A camp ".
It's ALL THE CAMP. There WAS a day when all that burned rock was only a total of four feet in diameter. Camp routines would have centered around this hub and therefore camp little [ artifacts ] would be progressively covered as the fire pit area grew. There DEFINITLY will be better "sides" than others based on wind direction, land contoursand mostly where those occasional cloud bursts washed the artifacts into "channels"
Bottom line...You gotta dig. It's your property, put a blade on your ranch vehicle or much better some kind of front end loader. For that size project look at the screen setup you can see in the pics of the NACHO SCREEN DIG on AUSDIGRS front page right side.
We all wish we had your dilema ! ! ! !
DJ, I forgot to mention in all that previous writting, I feel pretty confident I can identify that item in your third pic down...it's a....F O R D.
Check out the third pic. Looks like the cruise was set on about 80 when this pic was taken lol. Any how thanks for the pics and keep us posted on other finds.
Yeah, I'm kinda talented for taking that pic with my phone and driving 80 at the same time. Or kinda stupid. Like I said it is a 7 to 8 hour drive. I was talking on the phone to a friend of mine and I said, "check this little one out." Thanks for the information SH. The reason the middle of the midden looks disturbed is because I dug it out a little to check out the soil. The ground is very hard outside the midden, but inside it is a lot softer.
DJ, SH did shed additional light on the long term aspects of the hearth, and yes, it was used for a long time. What is hard to determine is if it was a daily long term camp, or restrictive to hunting party stop overs only. These people had to hunt each and every day just to survive, which made them very nomadic within the region. The hearth began much smaller of course, but as it grew, chances may not be good that enough carbon ash soil occurred to cover and protect points in the hearth. If you dig at it's present edge trenching outwards, and you do find good points, that in itself will quickly tell you that more than likely it became a daily use camp at some point in time. Further, it says that the whole site is probably worth digging (hearths and all). Again, alot depends on whether or not the river/creek bed was active at the time (water availability was key).
Some where South of Sanderson is a very large cave.
This particular cave is entered through a vertical sinkhole, and has a huge entrance room well decorated with large columns,flowstones,and numerous stalactites. If you hear of it, I'd like to know more about exactly where it is, possibly visit it, and maybe survey it as it has never been mapped. In 1981, I found and worked on the 2nd deepest cave in Texas (Terrell County at 388' deep & 7,000' long).
Sifting screens can be built inexpensively, it's not rocket science, just don't build them too big that you can't pick them up to shake them. Mine are 18 to 20" long by 14 to 16" wide with 1 X 4 wood sides and 1/4" or slightly small wire mesh (use screws for the wood frame instead of nails. You don't want to pass over and miss those fine fragile bird points! This is the time of year to go for it out there, so I hope you get the time you need to further figure out your site. Many of the rock shelters in that area do have pictographs. Best of Luck!
Hi DJ, I'm answering your new update of 1 / 21 to bring back this text with the overall midden pics for others to see. Thats a lot of firerock indicating a lot of occupation. There should / could be much more quantity of finds than what you are showing.
"IF" it was me, at your stage of the project, I would take my basic earth moving equipment along with afour inch paint brush, dust off the hardpan / bedrock right at he edge of the fire rock. Then keep dusting off the bedrock [ about 2 or 3 feet wide ] right to the middle of the mound.
Thanks Hal, We are also wandering if we are going to ever find a good arrowhead or point. One that is complete. Does it look like we are finding more broke stuff than what you usually find, or should I just be patient. We have found a couple that are almost there but have a broke tip or something. All though we are out in the middle of nowhere, would this be a good place to have a pay dig in the future?
Hi DJ, Well since you brought the subject up....I didn't want to belittle your finds... BUT. Frankly for a true original undug site the QUANITY of perfect, unbroken, magnificent points can be truely UNBELIEVABLE. All this talk of how did the ancients "lose" such items boggles the mind. In your part of the world that hard surface / bedrock around the firerock does not easily coverup artifacts and keeps them near surface for that once every 500 year flood. Whatever your going to find is in the last 1/2 an inch at the bottom of the fire rock.
NO PAY DIG until your sure what you have or would like to have.
It does seem like you are definitely doing the right thing. Going to the edge and working it is the best idea. Middens did grow over a peroid of time and finding ponts in the midden will and can happen. For whatever reason it seems like the majority of unbroken points are at the edge. Maybe it is because midden rocks were not thrown on top breaking them. Anyway be patient and careful you will find even better points as you work the midden and surrounding area.
Thanks for the input guys.
DJ, I don't recall if you've ever said, but have you had time to walk all 200 acres yet? Looks like alot of limestone terrain there. With that much, it would'nt suprise me to hear about another site, and more rock shelters/ caves or sinkholes. I have found a good many points opening sinkholes into caves, as they were popular spots for indians to hang out waiting for a ground mammal to come out (meal-time). Good Hunting!
No, I haven't walked the whole 200 acres. I have tried walking around, but haven't found as much if any flint to far off from the middens. I have only walked about 20 or 25% of the land, so I wouldn't be suprised to find another site elsewhere. I am a little confused to what you mean about opening a sink hole. What exactly is a sink hole?
Well, true caves are formed as an internal process underground by carbonic acid. This process is known as disolution of carbonate limestone. So, it becomes a case of whether or not this solutional activity migrates upward towards the surface to create an entrance (a sinkhole). When you enter a small vertical hole at the surface, and it leads into a large cave, you know that the main body of the cave is geologically much older than it's younger entrance. Many sinkholes become semi-filled and pluged with surface soil & rocks washed in over time.
Sinkholes vary in size, so when your out walking take note of any natural ground depressions/ sinks where it is possible for rain water runoff to enter the sub-surface. These are very good potential spots for a potential cave entrance. I have found and opened hundreds of them this way. Instead of only 200 acres, there could be more when you discover what might lay beneath your feet! Beware of the cave bug though, as it can bite every bit as hard as the artifact bug! See, now you have more to look for on future trips!