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The first picture is what I found while digging. Are those snails in the midden for any reason? Did they cook them? I saw another post of someone who found snails while digging an indian midden. The second pic, I cleaned the stuff up a little bit. I dug in and outside the midden, but found myself digging in the midden because the soil is so much easier to dig. I forgot to mention that the ground down there is very hard. All other pictures are surface finds. Is that a mono next to the fossil? I also found this neat crystal. If anyone can id these please do so. I looked in the overstreet book on a couple but still unsure. Oh, and the little perdiz or bonham bird point was the first arrowhead I have ever dug up.
Yes, the snail shells are there for a reason. They left the shells behind after they ate the snails inside at the time. Snails were a very high source of protien. They would probably taste pretty bad to us, but those people were the epitemy of Tough, and they ate tons of them wherever they could find them. Some of the big middens I have dug in the past have had snail shell stratas/layers up to 14 inches thick! Looks like you did get a mano also. In the first photo of points, the niced one to the right looks like a caracara point.Next photo 3rd to right looks like a lange base (southwest style), and 3rd again underneath is a figueroa base turned up-side-down. The crystal is a chunk of redeposited rhombic calcite, a precipitated by-product of the limestone, and also common within caves. How much digging did you do this time?
Mike, I thought I did a lot of digging, but this was my first time to do it. What do you consider to be a lot? If I could ever do something like nacho's screen dig, there is no telling what I would find. If it was you would you destroy the middens looking for artifacts? Unlike a lot of middens these are still above the ground and I would kinda hate to see them go. Do you know what the first point is on the fourth pic down?
Well, the amount of digging, is really relevant to the amount of time spent I suppose, I was just trying to figure out if you've really dug out enough to adequately test the midden. I would estimate that 1 cubic yard of ground would be sufficient,but I doubt that the midden has 3 feet of depth in the strata, so a hole equivalent to 4'x4'x2'would be the same. I would consider 2 cubic yards or more, alot of digging. No, I don't advocate that you destroy the midden. My approach to digging is very systematic in that I start at one edge and work the trenches back and forth (like a typewriter on paper), making sure the bottom is into the original ground under the midden. All the tailings are displaced in one direction only. On small sites that I have started and dug out completely, it was done so that the entire midden is displaced no more than about 6 to 8 feet, and maintains the same original height. It's all in what your digging plan is, once a decision is made to excavate the whole thing. In our cave, I sift about 2 cubic yards in a 10hr day. Our digging plan however is different. We remove all of the tailings with a skidloader to an open field downslope of the cave. As the cave entrance area grows in size, so does it's impressive nature, and a gradual look at what it looked like before occupation began. Speaking of Nachos Dig, we are Very close to it, so if you do go there, let me know and I'd probably go to for the heck of it. Just seems pretty pricy to me, especially since we have our own site. I didn't comment on the point in the 4th photo on purpose, because I am not at all sure about it. If you'd like a wild guess, I'd guess piasano or uvalde due to the slight concave base, and the point may have been resharpened.
Mike, I realized I probably confused you when I said I would like to do the Nacho screen dig. I meant I would like the same set up at my site. I also think Nacho's prices are high. Sorry for not being clear earlier.
No problem, you didn't confuse me, but you would have some do some serious digging to find out if you got a site worthy of a pay dig, as people would quit coming pretty fast if they didn't find much for the efforts, and considering where the site is, is a long way to go for it, when you consider competition with all the other pay sites to way more heavily populated areas. The answers to all, good or bad, is in the digging that Proves what you have. I don't want to sound negative or discouraging, as I continue to hope you have a good site. I will probably bite the bullet and go to Nachos for a day this spring, as it appears to be a good site, but my reasons are multi-fold. My cave site will be dug out probably in about another year, and I am working on access to a 4,000 acre ranch nearby that has alot of sites. The exact location, quality, and characteristics of the Nacho site will benefit as reference in my area study. The only other pay site i've done is Randy's at Comfort,Tx. and it was worth it for the one day there. Keep the faith, and keep digging!
Let me know when you are going, I may still go as well.