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Great basin site gives up ice age treasures

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posted on Apr, 2 2015 @ 10:42 AM
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From western digs.org


An array of stone tools discovered in northern Utah — including the largest instrument of its kind ever recorded — may change what we know about the ancient inhabitants of the Great Basin, archaeologists say.
Researchers exploring the desert flats west of Salt Lake City have uncovered more than a thousand tools, such as spear points, a type of rectangular implement that hasn’t been reported before, and objects that an archaeologist describes as “giant scrapers coming out of the ground … fresh as daisies.”


One of the spear heads found at the site is the largest Haskett point yet found, measuring 22.6 centimeters, or about 9 inches. (Courtesy of Far Western Anthropological Research Group)
“We collected a thousand-some artifacts on this survey, and those are tools, not just [stone] flakes,” said Dr. Daron Duke, lead researcher of the team that made the finds. “There are tools lying out there.
“It’s a virtual blitzkrieg when you’re walking. I had to be careful about how people stopped and recorded things.”
The tools were found in 2012 on the grounds of the U.S. Air Force Utah Test and Training Range, where Duke’s firm, the Far Western Anthropological Research Group, was hired to conduct a survey before a section of the range was developed.
“I’ve driven around down there and have found a few things, and I was always interested to be there,” Duke said, who stresses that removing artifacts from federal lands is illegal.
“Then lo and behold we have a project right where I always want to be. So I was telling people, ‘Better keep your eyes peeled — I think we’re going to find some cool stuff.’
“But I couldn’t have predicted the scale at which we did.”
Based on ecological evidence and radiocarbon dates of organic matter in the area, laid down when this desert was a wetland, the oldest of the artifacts date to between 12,000 and 13,000 years ago, Duke said.
The most striking of the tools are 55 long, slender spear points and fragments, fashioned in a style known as Haskett — a tradition that’s associated with the Great Basin region, but rarely found.
One of the complete spear heads is the largest Haskett point yet found, measuring 22.6 centimeters (about 9 inches).
And another was found to contain a residue of elephant proteins, making it the first likely evidence of mammoth-hunting in the Great Basin.



Haskett is very rare, anywhere,” said Duke. “Like Clovis, it relates to the earliest folks.
“They were probably moving around with a sort of condensed tool kit, and I guess you could say they were low visibility. There weren’t many people around, and they didn’t leave much of a record.
“But we just got lucky here.”
The archaeologists’ good fortune was probably the result of a bit of bad luck for ancient hunters, Duke pointed out.
“If you’re slinging these [spear points] at an elephant in a marsh, you’ll probably lose some of them,” he said.
“And that’s what I think we’re finding — things lost in action.”

Haskett points are thought to be part of the larger Western Stemmed tradition of tool-making, whose artifacts are found throughout the Great Basin.
And mounting evidence, including the new findings from Utah, suggests that the people who fashioned Western Stemmed tools were contemporaneous with the Clovis culture.
“There’s no doubt that the people who made fluted [Clovis] points are not those people who made Haskett points,” Duke said.
“Even though they accomplish the same thing, they’re just completely different in their design.”


a hasket fragment
westerndigs.org...




This is very exciting stuff,
the difference in knapping techniques between clovis and hasket, i believe as a few others do, points to non related groups.
Again there is good evidence for a movement of people from SA in NA during this time period.
Have a look at these different points.


www.ele.net...
laIf i were to look for signs of an early occupation in NA, the great basin would be a good place, as it would be where different groups would overlap.
The creation mythos of the skull valley piute, very near this find, reflects that notion, describing different types of people with different lifestyles.




posted on Apr, 2 2015 @ 11:07 AM
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a reply to: punkinworks10

Wow the skill of the Hasket spear point is amazing. I have "favorited" a man on YouTube who is very good at the technique of spear point making for future reference when I next visit obsidian terrain. I will reply later in this thread with the imbed, I am mobile right now.

It will demonstrate how amazing this Hazlitt style is.

Nice thread
S&F!



posted on Apr, 2 2015 @ 11:10 AM
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Wow that is interesting.. I will have to follow updates on this dig.

History of man, the most wondrous path to evolution to current chaos (hehe..).

Then, you think, where are we heading from here how will our current civilization be remembered by future generations?

The history on the planet is like a pretty written book, a most fascinating one at that


Thanks for sharing friend



posted on Apr, 2 2015 @ 11:10 AM
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a reply to: Granite
yes,
the skill of the person who made that hasket point is phenominal.

If you happen to be near Mammoth lakes Ca, there is a mountain about 20 mile to the NE, Glass mountain. It is a whole mountain of solid obsidian, its the core of an extinct volcano.



posted on Apr, 2 2015 @ 11:12 AM
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a reply to: punkinworks10
Sweet! I'd like to see them source the cherts.
S&F4U!



posted on Apr, 2 2015 @ 11:26 AM
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a reply to: JohnnyCanuck
There are some very distinctive cherts in basin and ranges, in fact a very distinctive chert from sw colorado, turned up in the mojave at calico hills, and was found in situ and cemented into the assemblage that was dated to more than 100k years, HMMM? how could that be?



posted on Apr, 2 2015 @ 11:27 AM
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a reply to: punkinworks10

Yes, I know the general area.

Central Oregon is ideal for obsidian hunting...used to have property near Bend and rode my off-road motorcycle thru the whole area.



posted on Apr, 2 2015 @ 11:29 AM
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originally posted by: Granite
a reply to: punkinworks10

Yes, I know the general area.

Central Oregon is ideal for obsidian hunting...used to have property near Bend and rode my off-road motorcycle thru the whole area.

Nice,
avid offroader here, in fact i found glass mountain from a 300 mile desert race that used the roads carved into it.



posted on Apr, 2 2015 @ 11:40 AM
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originally posted by: punkinworks10
a reply to: JohnnyCanuck
There are some very distinctive cherts in basin and ranges, in fact a very distinctive chert from sw colorado, turned up in the mojave at calico hills, and was found in situ and cemented into the assemblage that was dated to more than 100k years, HMMM? how could that be?

Talk to the Anishnaabe...they'll be happy to explain. Even Monte Verde Has mutterings of 40kya. Calico Hills, eh? I haven't seen that date yet, though.



posted on Apr, 2 2015 @ 12:39 PM
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a reply to: punkinworks10

Those are nice. I have some obsidian that I want to make into knife blades and arrow heads.
Now, here's a story that may seem off topic on the surface. My mom was married to a guy that liked to make arrow heads. He'd made one out of part of a toilet, of all things. Well, they were invited to talk to an archaeology/ anthropology class and he was bringing some arrow heads they'd found. The toilet one accidentally got mixed in and he didn't realize until the college professor picked it up and saying this, that, and the other thing about it. She said it was at least 10,000 years old, came from this tribe or other, and a lot of other stuff. Meanwhile, he's sitting there trying not to laugh. He eventually told her that it was an American Standard, circa year 2002. She was puzzled until he explained what it was made of and when he made it. So, long story short, here is this professor that should have known better that was unintentionally tricked into believing this newly made arrow head was centuries old. After I head about that I always started to question when somebody said an arrow head was ancient.



posted on Apr, 2 2015 @ 12:45 PM
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If you're interested in finding arrow heads, here's a tip. Different nations would bury caches of arrow heads for later use. After they were removed from their lands the area was "developed", often turning into farm land, with the arrow heads still buried. Ask a farmer's permission to go out to his field after he tills. The tiller will dig the arrow heads up and all you have to do is walk the field. You'll find them near the surface. Some will be damaged by the tiller, of course, but others won't be. You'll find a lot of arrow heads and ax heads that way.



posted on Apr, 2 2015 @ 01:03 PM
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originally posted by: Skid Mark
If you're interested in finding arrow heads, here's a tip. Different nations would bury caches of arrow heads for later use. After they were removed from their lands the area was "developed", often turning into farm land, with the arrow heads still buried. Ask a farmer's permission to go out to his field after he tills. The tiller will dig the arrow heads up and all you have to do is walk the field. You'll find them near the surface. Some will be damaged by the tiller, of course, but others won't be. You'll find a lot of arrow heads and ax heads that way.

Thing is, in some jurisdictions (like Ontario) that's against the law. It's also bad practice just generally, because when you remove an artifact from it's context without carefully recording the details, you rob it of most of it's story and it may as well be made by American Standard. It stops being special and become mere stuff.

It's called looting.



posted on Apr, 2 2015 @ 01:35 PM
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a reply to: JohnnyCanuck

Good lord...then there is whole scale looting going on all over this area.

First, it was all the bison bones. In the late 1800 all the bison bones were gathered up and sold by the poor folks who lived in dugouts. It was an income no matter how meager. You don't find much of them laying around anymore....but there used to be enormous amounts of them.

Now its arrow points, and old west items made from metal. But you can find no short number of arrow points in a few places in the area. Typically, if its a place someone would have used for cover or high ground, there'll be arrow points around it. The more far flung, the less picked over.

I don't care to go looking for that kind of stuff. But plenty of folks do. Now...looting? No. It isn't in a tomb. Its just laying on the ground. Property rights and all that.



posted on Apr, 2 2015 @ 01:45 PM
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a reply to: JohnnyCanuck

I can see how it would be looting. They'd be destroyed by the tiller otherwise, though. Gathering data on what you find is a good idea.
Here in the US it's illegal to keep certain things that you find. Civil war artifacts are an example. Say you're digging a septic system or whatever and find something you have to turn it in.



posted on Apr, 2 2015 @ 02:25 PM
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originally posted by: Skid Mark
a reply to: JohnnyCanuck

I can see how it would be looting. They'd be destroyed by the tiller otherwise, though. Gathering data on what you find is a good idea.
Here in the US it's illegal to keep certain things that you find. Civil war artifacts are an example. Say you're digging a septic system or whatever and find something you have to turn it in.
The answer here is that if you find something, go on line and find a local university with an archaeology/anthropology program, or look for a local archaeological society. With any luck, you might end up on an actual dig...



posted on Apr, 2 2015 @ 03:43 PM
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a reply to: Skid Mark
In most US states the only requirement to notify officials is the discovery of human bone. If you own the property on which artifacts are found, you own the artifacts---but not human remains. Some archaeologists will pressure land owners and even lie to get hold of collections but there is no law that states that you must turn over artifacts found on private property.
There are lots of amateur collectors out there who actually know far more of the local prehistory than a lot of the professionals simply because they have studied more than the professionals in that particular area. They are a resource that a goodly portion of the professionals dismiss because they don't have a string of letters following their name.
To the best of my knowledge surface collecting is not illegal in the US when done on private property with the permission of the landowner.



posted on Apr, 2 2015 @ 04:32 PM
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a reply to: diggindirt
you are correct,
If it is discovered on private property, the artifacts are the property of the property owner. If remains are found on private property the Native American Graves Repatriation Act does not apply, it applies only to remains found on public land. That is how the Anzick child's DNA was able to be sequenced, he was found on private property.



posted on Apr, 2 2015 @ 05:18 PM
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originally posted by: punkinworks10
a reply to: diggindirt
you are correct,
If it is discovered on private property, the artifacts are the property of the property owner. If remains are found on private property the Native American Graves Repatriation Act does not apply, it applies only to remains found on public land. That is how the Anzick child's DNA was able to be sequenced, he was found on private property.

Here, archaeological resources are property of the Crown. Under the Ontario Heritage Act ...no person shall do any of the following unless the person applies to the Minister and is issued a licence under this Part that allows the person to carry out the activity in question:
1. Carry out archaeological fieldwork.
2. Knowing that a site is a marine or other archaeological site, within the meaning of the regulations, alter the site or remove an artifact or any other physical evidence of past human use or activity from the site.
... A licence is not required if... the activity undertaken can be classified as normal agricultural work or the routine maintenance of property...


So nobody is going to come charging in to confiscate what a farmer finds in his fields, but it's not a good idea to try and sell it. Looters can be quite enthusiastically prosecuted. I try to coax farmers and such to donate their artifacts to a museum/university and let us know where they came from...to varying degrees of success. Meanwhile, sites get registered on the Provincial database so that if any land use changes are planned, archaeology becomes part of the process. And any significant discovery calls for consultation with the First Nations.

Just how we do it here...
edit on 2-4-2015 by JohnnyCanuck because: Yes!



posted on Apr, 3 2015 @ 03:06 AM
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Are Clovis and Hasket culture really different.

Or was the rock they were making points from different and they had to knap them without the distinctive clovis style.

You have agate, obsidian and cherts. all of these flake differently.

I have even see fire opal and quartz crystal points

www.lithiccastinglab.com...



posted on Apr, 3 2015 @ 07:25 PM
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a reply to: punkinworks10

Just a bit of clarification---if human remains are found anywhere---private or public property, the remains must be turned over to local officials under state law. Local officials will make the determination to call in archaeologists. Also, if the private property is part of a project that uses federal money the finds fall under NAGPRA. All federal projects require an archaeological survey before commencing a project to avoid these unexpected finds which will hold up a project.
I'm with Dr. Anzick on the genetic testing. I went round and round with a native tribe about this very thing. The Chickasaw nation refused to allow the retention of autopsy samples before reburial. Those samples would have allowed DNA testing of the residents of the village when funds became available. They refused. Interestingly enough, the refusal was political, not ideological. None of the people with whom I spoke had any issue with the DNA studies but the people in leadership simply refused because they realized that DNA testing might show that the people whose remains they were claiming might be shown to have little or no relation to the Chickasaw nation.
I argued with them for 12 years but lost because the reburial of the remains was the right thing to do.

Sorry, didn't mean to derail the thread with findings issues. Back on topic, these finds of blade caches do fascinate me. My very first dig was a find of points known locally as Turkey Tails. The cache included 72 finely crafted, brand new points that had been buried. Other than some red ocher at the bottom of the hole, there was nothing----nothing to be found associated with them. Very frustrating....isolated find of so much work, so much effort all piled into a hole and left behind.



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