Which are artifacts?
Post your answers below such as: "they're all bogus"; or "B and C are fake, but F is real", etc.
Dont worry about a wrong answer, this is sort of a trick question, one about perception more than anything. After a bit I'll add the contexts for the items so that we can discuss these things.
BTW, scale is in inches - sorry that's all I had on hand...
Post ID#12407 - replied 1/19/2009 10:23 PM
A and F look man made. It's hard to tell on the rest. :?
Post ID#12408 - replied 1/20/2009 9:34 AM
I'm laughing at I - if I picked up every piece of chert I found in the UK that looked like that and called it an artifact... well I'd probably not have a job very long.
Post ID#12421 - replied 1/20/2009 8:25 PM
Post ID#12422 - replied 1/20/2009 10:16 PM
Post ID#12426 - replied 1/20/2009 10:43 PM
Post ID#12427 - replied 1/21/2009 12:03 AM
Except I've seen similar ancient codexes describing Hebrews in ancient America, but I just can't put my finger on the exact, ancient codex. :?
Post ID#12428 - replied 1/21/2009 12:11 AM
Good eye, Rich!
You should write a book.
Post ID#12429 - replied 1/21/2009 12:43 AM
Post ID#12430 - replied 1/21/2009 4:14 AM
Just now reading this, and filtering out the characteristic twaddle in some of the postings subsequent to your first one: From what little is discernable to me in the photos, unlike some here I would not assert and probably would not even hypothesize that human agency is evident in the morphology of any of the lithic material. (But then it would be presumptuous to categorically rule this out simply from the presented images.) I would, however, suggest that "A" is an artifact if we were to very broadly interpret "artifact" as meaning any object that clearly has been modified through human activity. The presence of what looks very much like an inked inscription in Latin characters in the English language on the surface of "A" (maybe recent ceramic or plastic material?) strongly suggests to me that the object was at some point in time associated with human activity. (And what the hell was going on here? Particularly intriguing is the possible inscription "R.O.C." on the surface of A's "platform" - Republic of China, perhaps?)
And by the way, what is your definition of "actual artifact"? Is "artifact" really precluded by "unintentional and/or incidental" production? If so, is debitage incidental to the production of tools to be rejected as archaeological evidence? I suspect this is not really what you're trying to say, but please clarify.
Post ID#12438 - replied 1/21/2009 11:03 AM
Post ID#12439 - replied 1/21/2009 12:57 PM
Oops! I did inadvertently filter out the part where you noticed the ceramic. Sorry. Preconception on my part, I guess, or more likely I had just stayed up too late.
[quote:="Bob"]Was my twaddle insufficiently stilted and pompous?
No, you do just fine. (You might want to look up the word "parody".)
Delenn74's assessment of "F" seems plausible from appearances, but is that chert? I sure could be wrong, but in the photo it looks to me a lot like limestone.
Post ID#12441 - replied 1/21/2009 2:12 PM
All lithic materials are local to San Diego County and are considered to be fine-grained metavolcanic, some of which are porphyritic. None have been thermally altered as far as can be discerned; I see how folks might think that is the case with "H" but that is the way Cretaceous Santiago Peak Metavolcanic materials weather when situated in stable environments; forming a coarse-grained rind of yellow-red to yellow-green color.
BTW, it's great to see everyone's comments; please keep adding to them, this is great stuff.
Post ID#12442 - replied 1/21/2009 2:27 PM
I cant stop laughing....
Portable Lithic Cartography, what a great phrase. Beautiful.
Post ID#12443 - replied 1/21/2009 2:51 PM
I regard debitage as the byproduct of intentional tool production to be intentional itself; I think it would be hard to argue otherwise (I intend to make a flaked-lithic tool without making debitage - see it doesnt work). There are, however, events that can produce debitage, or "debitage-like" if you will, material that are purely unintentional and incidental. Clarence King's "Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada" (1872) noted on more than one occasion that their footsteps along the high ridges would send down cobbles and boulders hurtling at great speed, sending broken debris flying off at dangerous rates. No doubt these debris had the appearance of "flakes" as the principles of two rocks banging into each other are similar to those in archaeological sites. These, however, I would regard and unintentional, as I would for items trodden on by man or beast, or even some sort of vehicle or rock crushing device. And I would say the same holds true for all the recovered eoliths produced by natural forces.
Post ID#12444 - replied 1/21/2009 4:12 PM
Didn't think it was chert either. Looked to me like quartzite. Could be wrong though, especially having never set foot in So-Cal.
Post ID#12445 - replied 1/21/2009 6:34 PM
Post ID#12447 - replied 1/22/2009 1:52 AM
Interestingly, all of your specimens do have one thing in common: A marked lack of zoomorphic or anthropmorphic iconography. Coincidence? Hmmmm.....
I have to disagree, Bob:
These are so clearly rock portraits of H. erectus that your denial proves you've been thoroughly brainwashed by Daz Club. :roll:
This is the benefit of not having a formal education in archeology: you remain much smarter, not being indoctrinated into the machine.
I'm here for you, if you ever want to know the real truth.
The man with the real answers,
Post ID#12453 - replied 1/22/2009 10:54 PM
Post ID#12476 - replied 1/23/2009 1:27 PM
Post ID#12485 - replied 1/23/2009 7:16 PM
This infant H. erectus has obviously had his head bashed in. This proves that infant sacrifice was among H. erectus' cultural practices.
Pretty smart, huh? 8-)
Post ID#12873 - replied 2/12/2009 7:59 PM
A: is a ceramic cup with a denticulated flaked edge. The question is, has it been manipulated to create a working edge or usable flakes? It was found during a monitoring project and outside any meaningful context. I dont think it was intentionally flaked, though it is known that during contact period ceramic flakes and flaked materials were used.
B: if found in a direct archaeological context would likely have been described as a hammerstone or chopper. As it was, it was recovered while monitoring area excavations within the margins of the floodplain of the Tijuana river. This would explain all the rounding and incipient cones seen on the margins and body of the stone.
C: is a well rounded flake found in the same monitoring context as B. It seems likely that is an eolith formed by cobble to cobble action during high-energy water events.
D: has two photos of two different rocks (my error in the original post) The first is the same as C. The second is from the same context, but has all the same attributes of a core, but is like B with all the attendant rounding from being in a riverbed context.
E: is from the same context as B. This one clearly, at least to me as I've handled the thing, has a clearly defined platform, point of percussion, and bulb of force, but weathered by being in a riverbed. The margins have be subsequently "flaked" as can be seen.
F: is one of my flakes from some knapping I was doing on local Otay Mesa material. This stuff (Santiago Peak Metavolcanic) is hard, as can be seen by the three strikes to the platform it took to get it off.
G: is a tractor-fact, resulting in a dual flake arrangement, with the larger flake's platform being crushed by the massive force applied. It was retrieved immediately after its creation.
H: is also a tractor-fact. It too was retrieved immediately after its creation.
I: is also a tractor-fact that mimics quite well a series of flake removals found on cores. What the picture doesn't show is the flaking face is nearly 90 degrees to the platform, and would be extremely hard to knap, unless you are a track-hoe. It too was retrieved immediately after its creation.