Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/684

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

sites there encountered, proved beyond a doubt that our excavation had not caved in, but had been deliberately filled up by the prehistoric quarryman, who, realizing the economy of keeping the unworked ground free from excessive earth heaps, had evidently PSM V43 D684 Stone digging tools.jpgFig. 4(211).—Stone Digging Tools. carried (in baskets or skins) the newly dug soil from the fresh diggings to the exhausted pits.

Turning to the surface refuse heaps, and from the artificially flaked fragments exhibiting no succinct design that strew the ground everywhere, we find (a) a series of well-battered quartzite hammer stones, not pitted on their sides, and varying from an inch and a quarter to five and six inches in diameter; (b) a mass of very interesting, artificially shaped blocks, that all tend in the direction of an ideal leaf-shaped form, and which in their various stages resemble the famous implements or objects from Trenton and Ohio known as "turtlebacks" and "palæoliths."

Our attention is further called to the facts that there are few, very few, arrowheads at these spots, and as yet no traces of pottery, no banner stones, net sinkers, gorgets, or grooved axes; that, in a word, these remote places, buried in the forest inconveniently far from water and arable land, were not fit for village sites. They were quarries—nothing more, nothing less—whither the jasper-using modern Indian, as known to Captain John Smith, Campanius, and Kalm, resorted, must have resorted, to quarry his material, knock it into portable shape, and carry it away to the distant village.

By a few blows of the pebble hammer the weathered surface of the nodule (Fig. 7) is chipped away and the thick block takes a pointed shape. A series of further blows, more careful and probably struck with the small hammers, produce a serrated cutting edge around the whole fragment, which now, well marked with the chipping that unmistakably proclaims the handiwork of man (Fig. 5), though still rude, clumsy, and an inch or two thick in the middle, has become the typical "turtleback" of Trenton. It may be that a final series of flakings, whether due still to the hammer or to pressure, results in a quite symmetrical blade, lightened to the desired weight and ready for transport (Fig. 6).