Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

I have taken the trouble to segregate the specimens in my Department in regard to material and locality and to ask a similar report from such private collectors as I could reach. The results I have given in the form of tables, and I have attempted in these to draw a sharp line between the implements which might, according to the Mr. Holmes' theory, have come from Piney Branch quarry, and those which did not.

No implement of quartz, found here or elsewhere came from the Piney Branch quarry, nor any of felsite or rhyolite, nor of argillite, shale or ferruginous sandstone, nor of flint, chert, or jasper; for Piney Branch was a quarry of quartzite only.

The following tables show the Aboriginal chipped stone implements from the District of Columbia and its neighborhood, divided according to material, form, locality, and mode of deposit, so as to show the number of quartzite leaf-shaped blades which might have come from Piney Branch quarry, according to Mr. Holmes' theory, and to compare them with those differing in these conditions, and thereby show what number did not come from Piney Branch.

TABLET. CACHES, HOARDS OR DEPOSITS OF LEAF-SHAPED BLADES.

ARRANGED ACCORDING TO LOCALITY AND MATERIAL.

[blocks in formation]

There have been found in the District (Table I) but two caches of quartzite, containing together only 12 leaf-shaped blades. These are according to Mr. Holmes' theory, “ the entire product of the shops” (p. 15), which “had been carried away to the villages and buried in the damp earth (cached) that they might not become too hard and (or) brittle.” This was a sorry product of so extensive a quarry as Piney Branch with the “500,000 pieces of waste and failures " found therein by Mr. Holmes; and must have been a sore disappointment to even the cynical and thriftless Indian.

Plate XXIII represents 20 specimens of a cache of 32 arrow or spear heads and leaf-shaped implements found near Pierce's Mill, Rock Creek. Most of the specimens are broken. They are of porphyritic felsite and, therefore, never had any relation with the quartzite quarry at Piney Branch.

Should it be urged that some of the leaf-shaped blades may not have been cached or, if so, that the caches had been disturbed and the blades scattered over the surface, I have made a schedule of these, (table II), which shows a total of 1,948 leafshaped blades found on the surface, not cached, of which 1,065 were of quartz, felsite, argillite, etc., and but 883 of quartzite. It

[blocks in formation]

is a part of Mr. Holmes' theory that "the working of such a quarry led inevitably to the production of blades in numbers (meaning in great numbers), and it follows that they were removed “in numbers” (p. 18), but my examination demonstrates the error of this theory, for it shows the blades of quartzite (which alone could have been carried from Piney Branch Quarry) to be in the minority.

Again, Mr. Holmes theorizes (p. 18) that a “time came for flaking them (the blades) into the final forms, knife-blades, scrapers, perforators, and arrow and spear points required in the arts." Therefore, I made still another table (III) to show any of these final forms which might possibly have been made from leaf-shaped blades; and, again, we find the theory not

TABLE III. ARROW AND SPEAR HEADS WHICH MIGHT HAVE BEEN MADE FROM

LEAF-SHAPED BLADES.

[blocks in formation]

borne out by facts, for of all these leaf-shaped forms, numbering 2,634, only 694 were of quartzite and could have come from Piney Branch quarry. Thus, it appears that of the leafshaped blades found in the District and its environments, cached or not cached, the greater number have been of other material than quartzite, and must have come from other localities than Piney Branch quarry. Is not all this cumulative evidence of error somewhere in Mr. Holmes' theory?

There have been caches found adjacent in Maryland, and it may be suggested that these implements from Piney Branch might have been carried beyond the boundaries of the District of Columbia. But, unfortunately for this theory, the implements which have been found en cache in Maryland and adjacent to the District of Columbia are of porphyritic felsite, argillite, and other different material from those in the quarry at Piney Branch, and thus totally dissimilar from them. J. D. McGuire, Esq., of Ellicott City, Md., has furnished the best Maryland collection of these implements known (Table I) and he has kindly furnished me a sample series which have been photographed and are shown in Plate XXIV.

They show 8 caches—one of them 100 and one 114 specimens and a total of 365 specimens, not one of which could possibly have come from Piney Branch for one cache is of flint and jasper specimens, and one of argillite (similar to the leafshaped blades found by Dr. Abbot at Trenton), and six are porphyritic felsite or rhyolite.

The leaf-shaped implements found en cache in Maryland and some parts of Pennsylvania are, I believe, mostly either of argillite or porphyritic felsite. Several of these caches from the respective localities are to be seen in the Museum, and a single glance is sufficient to establish the absence of their relationship with the quartzite from Piney Branch.

We have now sought for the Piney Branch leaf-shaped quartzite blades at the home of the Indian, throughout the Districe of Columbia and the adjacent parts of Maryland where, according to Mr. Holmes, they were “buried in the damp earth;” andwe have sought in vain. Caches of such implements are not found within the District nor in its neighborhood. It may be hardy to declare a negative and to say that because these quartzite implements have not been found that they do not exist; but how much more hardy and, indeed, perilous must it be for Mr. Holmes to risk everything by declaring the existence of these caches when they have never been found.

The story told by the tables is not completed. Table IV tells of the “flaked implements, knife-blades, scrapers, arrow and spear points and perforators ” (which Mr. Holmes says were common to the region), which were not from the Piney Branch quarry because not made of quartzite.

This table shows 21497 such specimens. Table III, showed 2,534 specimens which might have been made from leaf-shaped blades,

TABLE IV. OTHER IMPLEMENTS, SUCH AS KNIVES, SCRAPERS, PERFORATORS, ARROW AND SPEAR HEADS, ETC., APPARENTLY NOT MADE FROM LEAF

SHAPED BLADES

[blocks in formation]

but of these, only 694 were of quartzite. The aggregate of these counts shows 24,031 (21,497 + 2, 534) specimens in these collections not made from Piney Branch quartzite leaf-shaped blades, against 694 which might have been.

Plate XXV shows how arrow and spear heads are, or may be, made from leaf-shaped implements. The five specimens at the top of the Plate are such. They were at one time leafshaped implements, and by the making of the notch and stem, they have been changed to arrow or spear heads, that is to say, they have been subjected to the second process which has changed them “into the final forms re

« AnteriorContinuar »