Let me know what you guys think about this. I found it today in an area where I have found other artifacts, so I am pretty confident it is what it is. This is a cool looking limestone block about 35 lbs, and that hole is 2-2 1/2 inches deep. I was cleaning it out but stopped because I think what I was cleaning out is a clue to what it might have been used for. Seems like clay for making pottery, but it could just be years of creek accumulation of fine particles. Before i started cleaning it, I thought it had two different levels of depth. It was almost like a big stick had been pushed in the middle and it hardened over.....maybe a fire starter possibly. A nice mortar though. You can see the clay substance that is still in there. I kinda want to clean it all the way out, but concerned I might be making it less impressive. What do you guys think?
Tough call from a pic.
Dont like the idea of a "paint pot " if for no other reason than the hole sides would not be so vertical
from all the pulverising the process needs.
the "mortar" might hold the answer..chip out a piece and send to a university geology dept with a pic and ask for an opinion.
My best start of winter guess is a core drill crew set the drill bit down slightly, made a dent and left some drilling mud residue
Thanks Michelle. I still get on from time to time to look at everybody else's finds, I just don't have much to post myself. There is a known rock shelter about 1/2 a mile from here, and at the entrance there are 2 mortars that look identical to this one in a huge boulder. If you google image "indian, mortar, texas" you will see other examples of mortars in limestone bedrock, including some in Big Bend, and 'they' say mortars are typically found at or around the entrance to rock shelters. They look just like these, so I am sure that it what it is. I don't know, however, how they got these holes so perfect and vertical. Years and years of use passed down for generations, I guess. If anybody on here knows of somebody that I could send the clay substance to, let me know and I'll do it. I think I might just clean it out and keep it separately, I want to see it all the way clean. Thanks for the input.
my other thought is that the clay and hole within the hole were formed by water running through it. It was in the middle of a creek which is usually dry. If water passed over it for years and swirled around as it did, you could imagine that it acted like a gold pan and left the hole filled with the finest of particles as well as the indented 'swirl' hole....if that made sense. These mortars were primarily used for grinding acorns and mesquite beans, I believe.