Backed Spearhead and a Broadax

From the article “Finger Lakes Explorations at Keuka Lake,” the location dubbed Guyanoga Road-North, on survey (for lack of better terms to describe digging for a new septic tank), produced several unusual non-flint pieces that look to challenge the sense that humans first used only small stone tools only, and flint, for their foraging in the Finger Lakes. As indicated previously, the surrounding area may well have supported mastodon, and depending on when the stones were made, they may have been at the shores of a larger Keuka Lake. When European settlers finally arrived in the modern era, the lake had receded from the point where the site is now, leaving it effectively on a ledge, perhaps 30 feet or more above the lake level, with the shoreline at least a few hundred yards distant. It was also reported that they would have looked directly east into a dense forest of enormous basswood, filling the resultant valley north of the lake’s west branch. (See: Cleveland; History and Directory of Yates County, 1873.) Found at the north plot with what I consider a normal spear point, tagged sample #112 (see previous post), the following two stones were unearthed together with a few others and separate from #112, in a cache located at nearly 1 meter of depth, beneath a small layer of soft wood and/or decayed flora inconsistent with the surrounding strata of mostly clay. The pieces were indeed exciting when looked at closer, of similar ironstone as #112, noticing also the astounding primary knapping on the edge of the spear, with its more refined marks at the point, and the general shaping of both samples. And though they do look quite sturdy, and perhaps were used without consequence to their structure, while other samples appear to indicate some wear, aside from the break at one end of the broadaxe, the alternative implications of their apparent non-use are that they were intended for larger prey and never utilized, or were used for ritualistic reasons and perhaps even buried in ritual.

Broadaxe, front and back..