Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 9.djvu/638

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612
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

CORRESPONDENCE.
 

A STONE BATTLE-AXE.

To the Editor of the Popular Science Monthly:

I HEREIN give you the outlines of a large-sized battle-axe, found in a thick bed of drift on the elevated surface of Rose or Cemetery Hill, Cumberland, Maryland. This locality is situated on the first plateau at the base of Will's Mountain, on the south side of Will's Creek, and east side of the mountain, and within the limits of the city of Cumberland.

The unassorted drift that spreads over this plateau for miles, and which lies about two hundred and fifty feet above the bed of

PSM V09 D638 Paleolithic axe blade 1.jpg
Fig. 1.A, pole; B, blade. Length from A to B. 10¾ inches; thickness from C to D, 2⅝ inches.

Will's Creek, varies in thickness from two to ten, and in some places twenty feet, and the point at which this implement of the Paleolithic age was found is about five or six feet beneath the original surface—the soil, gravel, sand, and water-worn bowlders having been carried over the declivity into Will's Creek by rains or other means.

This remarkably large relic of by-gone ages has a very sharp edge, compared with hundreds of the small Indian axes and hatchets, so called, found in many parts of this country. It weighs seven and a half pounds, measures eight and a half

PSM V09 D638 Paleolithic axe blade 2.jpg
Fig. 2.—A, pole; B, blade, edge very sharp from mark to mark +, then thickens abruptly; C C, thong-marks.
The lithological character of this relic of the Stone age is that of a dark-blue cherty, siliceous and coralline limestone of the Paleozoic age, and, possibly, of an upper silurian stratum, as it very much resembles some of those fossiliferous strata, and, in fact, presents on one side what very much resembles a large (but not very distinct) polyparium of the fossil coral lichenalia concentrica of Prof. Hall's "Paleontology of New York," vol. ii., Plate 37, A.

inches around the sharp edge of the blade; it is ten and a half inches long, seven and three-quarters inches across the widest part of the blade; is two and five-eighths inches through from side to side, and tapers gradually toward the pole to a sharp point, in a