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Plummets, Charmstones, and Mystery

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  • Plummets, Charmstones, and Mystery

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ID:	554715 I have always been captivated with the mystery behind the use of these hard stone objects. There are several different assumptions behind their use or purpose. These hematite plummets are known as Poverty Point Macon ridge types that were found here in Chicot county Arkansas on the Macon bayou just north of the famous Poverty Point mounds. The other 2 large charmstones shown were found in Kings county California at the Tulare Lake site. I would like to hear some other opinions from the folks that enjoy this hobby.
    SE ARKANSAS

  • #2
    Check out the erosion hole in this hematite/magnetite plummet. The pictures don’t capture the sparkle in this material. Click image for larger version

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    SE ARKANSAS

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    • Cecilia
      Cecilia commented
      Editing a comment
      Hematite, hematite, my middle name, right after quartz.That looks like Rainbow Hematite!

  • #3
    I really don’t know what they were used for myself but I will be looking for others to give opinions I know in Florida they find some interesting types made from shell
    NW Georgia

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    • #4
      Those are great, Art.

      I'm still dreaming of finding a charmstone.


      Central California charmstones are spiritual objects , considered to have considerable power. Used as talismans, they were often suspended in hunting and fishing spots to ensure success. Also said to have the ability to fly and to be able communicate to a shaman the location of prey or enemies through dreams. The occur throughout the archeological from Windmiller through Augustine patterns of California cultural history.

      Proceedings.13Sharp.pdf

      CENTRAL CALIFORNIA CHARMSTONES AS CULTURAL TRACERS .pdf
      California

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    • #5
      Way too beautiful for duty as actual fishing plummet, net weight. Groove not sufficient for cord secure as pendant, and would hang crooked and whack teeth when bending, moving about. Some found grave goods, but none in snare/hunt locales. Mostly, recovered among domestic stuff.

      I buy into definitely a weight, and, altho elegant and ornamental, definitely had job. Before had fixed-frame looms, cloth woven with loose strands held together by weight, and other strands gathered and pushed between them with shuttle. If I sat/stood my residence hours creating couture, I’d sure have “silver threads and golden needles”, so to speak. When fixed-frames came along, beautiful plummets kinda lost popularity. (I got lotsa citations basis theory, and will provide if want)
      Last edited by Cecilia; 05-11-2021, 08:23 PM.
      Digging in GA, ‘bout a mile from the Savannah River

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      • tomf
        tomf commented
        Editing a comment
        These charmstones are widely distributed in areas where weaving was not practiced.

      • Cecilia
        Cecilia commented
        Editing a comment
        Poo, Naysayer! Sure theory could be somewhat right, somewhere for some People!
        Huh....you California People wore fig leaves? .......Grape Leaves!😘
        Last edited by Cecilia; 05-12-2021, 12:53 AM.

    • #6
      May sound crazy but I still think that some of them might have been used as actual plums. Need a tree beam straight up and down? Use a plum line. I'm sure with all the styles they were used for other purposes or had another cultural significance, not ruling out the obvious.
      Central Ohio

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      • SDhunter
        SDhunter commented
        Editing a comment
        I’m with you. That’s my theory as well. I’m going with the obvious. I have one (plum bob),that hangs when I set up my tripod for my transit. I just assumed they used them to set up their tipis straight. Lol

      • south fork
        south fork commented
        Editing a comment
        Not in California too many found in lakes / ponds . Some were used in healing once the illness was drawn out they were tossed into the water .

      • Cecilia
        Cecilia commented
        Editing a comment
        This is great exchange! The ole hoofbeats theory: if sounds like horse, don’t need to be thinkin’ zebras. A real plumb, for lotsa uses, including teepee/tipi/lodge alignment.... and, that’s not totally inconsistent with possible household loom sidejob...

        Alternatively, eclectic California People intuited bigger purpose as disposable medical/spiritual containment of negative juju/mojo/booboo. I see that easily, as every time I got a wart as a kid, my G’ma take me in garden, pull some leaves, rub them unto wart, dig a lil’ hole, say some words over leaves, drop in hole, and bury ‘em...

        Really!

    • #7
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      Professor Shellman
      Tampa Bay

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      • tomf
        tomf commented
        Editing a comment
        Those are great too. Amazing how the shapes are consistent across the continent.

      • redrocks
        redrocks commented
        Editing a comment
        Plumalicious Tom!

      • Artifascination
        Artifascination commented
        Editing a comment
        Excellent finds! Thanks for sharing!

    • #8
      It's not a guessing game with the California ones. Evidence supports ethnographic reports. It seems they had no utilitarian function that wasn't magical in nature. Not weights or plum lines or marital aids.
      Not saying that at some point in distant past they didn't have a physical function that may have morphed into the metaphysical, but indian lore, and archeology seem to line up in agreement on this one.
      California

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      • #9
        Originally posted by tomf View Post
        Those are great, Art.

        I'm still dreaming of finding a charmstone.


        Central California charmstones are spiritual objects , considered to have considerable power. Used as talismans, they were often suspended in hunting and fishing spots to ensure success. Also said to have the ability to fly and to be able communicate to a shaman the location of prey or enemies through dreams. The occur throughout the archeological from Windmiller through Augustine patterns of California cultural history.

        [ATTACH]n554748[/ATTACH]

        [ATTACH]n554749[/ATTACH]
        Yes, agree about being sacred objects used by the shamans, have heard how these are used from a shaman who lived with the Lakia from Peru , it's a little over my head but very interesting
        2ET703 South Central Texas

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        • #10
          Originally posted by Cecilia View Post
          Way too beautiful for duty as actual fishing plummet, net weight. Groove not sufficient for cord secure as pendant, and would hang crooked and whack teeth when bending, moving about. Some found grave goods, but none in snare/hunt locales. Mostly, recovered among domestic stuff.

          I buy into definitely a weight, and, altho elegant and ornamental, definitely had job. Before had fixed-frame looms, cloth woven with loose strands held together by weight, and other strands gathered and pushed between them with shuttle. If I sat/stood my residence hours creating couture, I’d sure have “silver threads and golden needles”, so to speak. When fixed-frames came along, beautiful plummets kinda lost popularity. (I got lotsa citations basis theory, and will provide if want)
          Liking your theory , think I followed your silver and gold thread before
          2ET703 South Central Texas

          Comment


          • Cecilia
            Cecilia commented
            Editing a comment
            Gotta warn ya: I do lotsa back-stitchin!
            Last edited by Cecilia; 05-11-2021, 11:39 PM.

        • #11
          I do believe they were part of fishing tackle for NA... Except for the high grade polished ones
          SW Connecticut

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          • #12
            Click image for larger version  Name:	DABFDBBF-28FF-4DF0-A2FF-2A79514D9653.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	143.4 KB ID:	554812Click image for larger version  Name:	0B9DA320-CF38-491B-8E58-1D1CEC8892D8.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	95.8 KB ID:	554810Click image for larger version  Name:	9EC37CC3-05ED-44EB-A6DC-915E6DAC5FAF.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	72.6 KB ID:	554811 Those are great and a cool thread.
            Three in the foreground of that group with my one really symmetrical one in a couple solo shots. Sonoma CA, same site. I’ve just been reading about these.
            Last edited by Missouri Breaks; 05-11-2021, 10:56 PM.

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            • redrocks
              redrocks commented
              Editing a comment
              Nice!!

            • Cecilia
              Cecilia commented
              Editing a comment
              Wow....

          • #13
            Found in Onondaga County, NY.
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            Cayuga County, NY Finger Lakes Region

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            • Artifascination
              Artifascination commented
              Editing a comment
              That’s a unique one! What material is that made from?

            • Cmcramer
              Cmcramer commented
              Editing a comment
              No idea about this material.....I hope someone will know.

          • #14
            The figure 8 plummet. Westport, Ma. The maker has to have known this inclusion would end up atop the knob....

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            An old thread dealing with the subject of various fishing gear, and which delved into the issue of fanciful examples....

            https://forums.arrowheads.com/forum/...ights-plummets


            Rhode Island

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            • Artifascination
              Artifascination commented
              Editing a comment
              That’s the symbol for infinity! Not the car but the symbol for no end! Too cool!

            • CMD
              CMD commented
              Editing a comment
              I know, but I also assume it likely did not have that meaning to the native who fashioned the piece. But, of course it may have held deep meaning to him, including perhaps “no end”, or it may be simply decorative. I do assume, though, that he knew what he was doing when the pattern ended up atop the knob.

            • Artifascination
              Artifascination commented
              Editing a comment
              I believe they definitely put some work into making it appear like that! That’s an awesome piece!

          • #15
            Good stuff folks, keep it coming. Check out cmd’s link, great thread there.
            Searching the fields of Northwest Indiana and Southwestern Michigan

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