Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/681

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
663
PREHISTORIC JASPER MINES.

of "Grimes' Graves" near Brandon, in England? Did he encounter the rock in solid ledges as in Arkansas, or in loose nodules? Did he reduce it by fire, splinter it with hafted stone hammers, such as are found at the prehistoric copper mines on Isle Royale, in Lake Superior, or by battering bowlder against bowlder? Did he finally chip the material into arrowheads at the quarry, or carry away lumps of the stone to be worked up elsewhere?

These and many other questions we asked ourselves on a first glance at the bramble-grown pits and refuse heaps on the lonely hilltop at Durham. And after a careful study of the place, several

PSM V43 D681 Casts of pointed wooden implement and stone sharpened log.jpg
Fig. 1.(19)—a, Cast of Pointed Wooden Digging Implement; b. Cast of Log sharpened by Stone Tools. Jasper Mines, Macungie, Pa.

expeditions sent out on this and the preceding summer, resulted in the discovery of eight new quarries lying in a continuous line from the Delaware almost to the Schuylkill.[1]

All, though varying greatly in size and quality of material, tell the same story.

In some, the excavations, filled with forest mold and overgrown with trees, would escape the attention of the casual rambler until the piles of flakes, yellow and rose-tinted, easily displayed by scraping away the leaves that concealed them, revealed the handiwork of the ancient quarryman.

But at others, as at Macungie and Vera Cruz, the passer-by would halt in amazement. The appearance is too unusual, the work too vast—one hundred to one hundred and fifty pits, some of them fifteen and twenty feet deep and one hundred to one hundred and fifty feet in diameter, is no every-day sight. Again, the tinted flakes and refuse heaps tell the tale, and the neighboring


  1. At Coopersburg, Limeport, Saucon Creek, Vera Cruz, and Macungie, in Lehigh County and at Long Swamp, Bowers, and Leimbach's Mills, in Berks.