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Was there such a tool made by the indians? I can swear i've seen one somewhere, but i can't remember when or where? I think i'm about to purchase what i believe to be a grave digging tool, made of slate.
Glenn, I would certainly think that a tool made from slate would be to soft a material to have been used for a digging tool. I have gorgette pieces made from slate, but they are brittle, but carveable. I have seen large flint hoes that would be well suited for digging even in stoney or gravely terrain. Some of these hoes I saw were found at caddoan sites in far Northeast Texas. The majority of on purpose burials I have seen in central Texas were done by mounding lots of various sized flat rocks over the bodies, even within the back wall sections of rock shelter sites. Alot of other burials were by very unorthodox methods.
I'm certain that cultures outside the region did fashion specific digging tools, especially the more agricultural cultures.
Well now, there is nothing in current available literature on specific Amerindian grave digging tools. There is some casual mention in historic times of bison scapulas being used to dig graves.
I do concur with Mike on all of his observations.
I went back to purchase, upon agreeing upon a price, and he'd sold it to someone else. Upon doing a little more research, looking at artifacts on the relic shack, it may of just been a spade. It was about 12"
long and about 3" wide. i did get a few other tools from this estate, and the material may not be the slate i thought it was after all. It might have some iron in it or something(upon trying to clean what i thought was dirt, appears to be rust?), but it's black heavy material. It doesn't work to well, for the flaking is very crude.
i do agree with the rocks way of burial
my grandmother told me when i was a teenager when i found my first arrowhead about a burial site on her parents land in kendalia it was on a high bluff above the creek where the waterfall feeding the creek was!!
she was told by her father never to go there when her and her brothers where little...
i was about thirteen at the time and curiosity got the best of me so off i went to see for myself
when i got there it was the most awesome site several mounds of rocks i cant remember all but there were alot also lots of wild grape, pecan and either a peach or apple tree...
my hair stood on end it was like i was being watched at the bottom of the falls was a deep hole that i was told my grandmother and her brothers went swimming in after a hard days work in the fields
my great grandfathers brother jessee lawhon was scalped along a creek nearby by a raiding party of indians him and a african american man where out looking for oxen when they where jumped he was shot and scalped the other man ran and hid and got back to tell the story of what took place ..its also mentioned in the book called the boy captives and also in the book called indian depredations in texas but they spelled his name wrong in that book they said longhorn but i was lawhon..
the burial ground still remains untouched and still in family hands ...
hope you didnt mind my family history but since it was about burials thought you might be interested !!
After looking at these pieces, an axe and a hoe/spade made of the same material, I feel certain the material is not slate, and I'm still not completely sure, but it appears to be a metamorphic limestone, heavy laden with iron ore, and definitly hard. The yellowish splotchings are oxides precipitated from the iron content as corrosive staining, much the same way copper corodes to a bluegreen. They do look authentic, but it would best to know where they were found to speculate the origin/outcrop of the material.
Such information is likely too much to hope for from an estate sale. For someone to tell you either piece was used for digging an indian grave is quite whimsical, and litterally blowing smoke towards your posterior end. Ancient peoples tools were fashioned to promote better Living, not dying.
Very interesting history Lee, UT archeologists have identified ancient "cemetaries" but the papers didnt say much about the possible setlements that must have been nearby. In talking about most ancients they are usually described as very nomatic with seasons and game. I usually think of them burying their dead right where they drop rather than transporting to an assigned plot.
Mike, good try at type of material. I tried to find a solution to the 3 objects in ANY IDEAS WHAT THIS IS on JUL 7. No positive results, the minerals in that Llano uplift are unreal, Then they blend two or three together and we're talking alphabet soup !
I too enjoyed Lee's presented history, great stuff. One of my favorite books from the past which I still pick up and read from time to time is The Indians of Texas by WW Newcomb. I always got the impression that he had a great deal more information, but refrained from using it from fear of excessive speculation. Lee's account is a thriling window glimpse into the recent past of the historic period through which we try to imagine pictures of earlier times.
SH, I looked at Bart's find and concur that it does not appear fashioned or used by early man in any way, and that it's shape is an oddity. I have looked at numerous caves in the Ordovician age limestone around Marble Falls, and the metamorphic zones of the llano dome batholith that transect across the Colorado. I do recall finding alot of Jasper, and sometimes mixed with onyx or marble, of which I think this is probably what this specimen is. As to the shape....?