Artifact Blogging Grounds

A community of blogs from ancient artifact enthusiasts. Blogs pertain to Indian relics, ancient artifacts, and artifact collections.
Jim Bennett

Of the millions of artifacts that have been collected over the years, a few are so exquisite they become well known throughout the artifact collecting community. Many of these rare few artifacts take on their own name along the way as a tribute to their individuality and rarity. Examples of this would be the Sweetwater Bi-face, one of the thinnest and largest blades in existence - or the Rinehart Dove, a massive Dovetail knife that will have Dovetail collectors drooling for decades to come. Another such example of the personification of an artifact is the artifact pictured here, known for obvious reasons as "Old Scarface".
 
Old Scarface is in the collection of Mr. Charlie Wagers in Ohio, and recently I was honored with an invitation to view this magnificent collection with permission to photograph some of the artifacts for my upcoming books.  While I was at Mr. Wager's, I was amazed and intrigued by many of the super relics this collection houses, and I was able to obtain some great photographs for the Bannerstone Artifact book I am completing for the late Lar Hothem - yet - while I was there, I just couldnt leave Old Scarface sitting on the shelf. While the main purpose of the visit was to photograph bannerstones and atlatl hooks, standing only a few feet away for the display case that housed Old Scarface was too much to bare. Towards the end of the evening, as I was finishing shooting photographs of some wonderful bottle banners and composite atlatl hooks, Mr. Wagers invited Old Scarface out of his case for a short visit. As I held him and turned him over in my hands, I was amazed at the amount of detail that was put into this centuries old work of art.




Jim Bennett

We all know that an artifact in one's hand is like holding a link to the past. Iit is hard not to visualize in our minds the ancient crafter making the item, and then using it for its intended purpose. While many artifacts are similar and their use pretty much the same (example - flint dart points), others have something about them that is different, and their link to the ancient past has more to tell.  Anciently salvaged artifacts are an example of this - and I find them fascinating to collecting. A broken point that was renotched, a knife that was reworked, a pendant that was broken and then redrilled are some examples of such salvaged items.  But adding another layer of intrigue to salvage relics are those artifacts which were broken and discarded, only to be picked up hundreds or thousands of years later by another ancient one and then salvaged and put back into use. Think about this: You are walking along 5,000 years ago - you look down, and there is a big knife with a broken base. First, it would be a curiosity even back then to pick it up and look it over - see how it was made, what the material was, etc. Then, if it were possible to add a couple notched and use it again, why not? It would save time as it is already made. Add in the fact that we do not really know the mystic qualities of such items in ancient times, but it is possible that they viewed such items as good luck, or a link to their own past. Who knows. What we do know, is that tools were in fact picked up generations later and put back in use, and such items are a favorite of mine to collect. With that being said - I came across this flint hoe not long ago.


Aug 12, 2010

"Backed" Knives

Jim Bennett

I was sitting here writing descriptions for the artifacts that are going into our next auction, and I came across this knife. I picked it up, turned it over in my hand and thought to myself, neat relic - it's a backed-knife.  Then as I set it aside, I began to wonder if everyone knew what a backed-knife was? So, I decided I would stick a couple of pictures up here and some info in case anyone out there hasn't run across a backed-knife.


Aug 12, 2010

Divoted Net Weights

Jim Bennett

 


Jim Bennett

Not every piece of slate with a hole drilled in it and made in ancient times is a pendant. The piece pictured here is in fact an ancient artifact - but, it is not a pendant as it was reported to be when it was sold to a collector I met not long ago who was selling me part of his collection.  As I looked at the relic, he related that he bought it from a dealer who told him it was found in Ohio, and that it was a drilled slate pendant. Well - it is drilled, and it is made from a type of slate - but the fact is that is not a pendant, and it is not from Ohio. Actually, this relic hails from just a bit farther west than Ohio - like China.


Aug 12, 2010

A Couple Slate Traits

Jim Bennett

I was putting this gorget up on in my store at the sales gallery on arrowheads.com, and as I was describing it, I thought I would pop in here and mention a couple of the terms that are often heard when talking about slate - those being "hole wear" and "spotting".  So, I took a few extra pics, and here are the explanations of these two terms:


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