Tag Archives: jasper

Field Notes #11: Winter Solstice 2010, Part Four

Part One.  Part Two.  Part Three.

As we’d searched for the incised grooves and then the tower, the archaeologist and I traded small details about our families.  He mentioned how, when he takes his kids for hikes, they’re always running up to him and asking, “Is this an artifact, Dad?”  I told him how, when we first moved to the area, my two ambulatory kids would go out exploring and bring home rocks that struck their fancy.  A flashy array of jasper crops up from the ground here along with colorful cherts, etc.—the stones Ancestral Puebloans flint-knapped into arrowheads and other tools.  Lithic flakes—the waste and “misfires” of flint-knapping—abound, as well as partial and whole arrowheads and cores, which are the rounded remains of rocks from which workable pieces have been flaked off—a stone’s unusable “pit.” I had to sort through the adopted rocks for lithic flakes then explain to my kids, “This is an artifact.  Take it back.” Finally, I went out with them and taught them how to recognize possible lithic flakes and related artifacts.  These, I told them, were to be left in situ. Continue reading Field Notes #11: Winter Solstice 2010, Part Four