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  • #16
    Originally posted by SGT.Digger View Post
    It’s possible for some to be abrading marks. If in a previously plowed area then most will be machine made. To what others have said I’ve found no big scratched stone in the shelter areas only in the fields where I walk
    Abrading or edge-grinding is a good guess. If many of these are hammer stones, then grinding and platform strengthening would be part of the process. No good reason for a second abrading stone when hammerstone can do the job.
    My only doubt is that it takes a lot of repetitive action (or less and more violent) to create scratches that deep and it's hard to imaging bothering to find a groove a second time. So how did the scratches get so pronounced and why so random?
    But if it's farm machines, then how to account for multiple passes (in different directions) that would have to created the chaos visible in the middle stone (for example)? And Xs?
    I think that if there is something going on, it's most likely local to this area and connected to either the ritual killing of implements, or maybe vaguely connected to the scratching that can be seen in some local petroglyphs (Pecked Curvilinear Nucleate Tradition).
    No doubt some damage is down to the disk, just struggle to understand how much there is.....
    California

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    • SGT.Digger
      SGT.Digger commented
      Editing a comment
      I’ve got some good examples of field find hard stones tools (nutting stones/hammer stones) with many different variations of scratches and lines. The plows around here are double rowed so it’s possible for a stone to get hit twice per pass. Earlier this year they had three tractors 🚜 with double towed plows working the same fields , going over the same area multiple times to get the dirt pulverized for plastic sheet rows. I often wonder how any arrowheads survive but most around here are small size and if a plow hit it in loose soil it would just get pushed out of the way . They actually plowed and pulled up the plastic this winter so I will have an amazing winter hunting points in the fields . I’ll try to see if I can find my rocks I may have thrown them away when I moved to a different house but I’ll look. I was confused too when I first started finding the plowed rocks 🪨 and initially thought I had something unique .

    • tomf
      tomf commented
      Editing a comment
      That's a great description of how artifacts can be damaged by intensive agriculture. Particularly how a piece might suffer multiple strikes in a single pass and how that might be repeated again and again. Definitely could produce a lot of scars.

      Vineyard cultivation is a little more constrained. Normally a deep ploughing only happens prior to planting vines. Once rows are created, shallow disking is performed annually (or every other year) to cultivate between rows. As rows run in single direction, so do the machines. Vines often produce for decades which means plenty of cultivation but rarely anything more intensive.
      Some of my vineyard artifacts seem to display more damage than regular rocks subjected to same routine and others show little or no damage at all.
      Also several of my pieces were surface collected from areas which have never seen a plough. So there's that.

      I think I'm flogging a dead horse at this point. Just wanted to explain what took me down the rabbit hole.

    • SGT.Digger
      SGT.Digger commented
      Editing a comment
      Some pieces could definitely be ground artifacts . I guess you could use an electron microscope 🔬 to see if there’s any metal residue 😀

  • #17
    Tom I have a large collection of hardstone tools from all over California and none look like yours . My guess is a rototiller type implement did the damage .

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    • tomf
      tomf commented
      Editing a comment
      Throwing the odd hare-brained idea out there for discussion is part of the fun and education of this forum, right?

      Interesting that you don't have any badly scarred hardstone. Are none from farm land?

    • south fork
      south fork commented
      Editing a comment
      A few vineyards and orchards still some ranches. But I only bring home the good finds lol .

  • #18
    Click image for larger version

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ID:	600387 Here’s some pic Tom . These are some that I ha v Click image for larger version

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    • SGT.Digger
      SGT.Digger commented
      Editing a comment
      Sorry images aren’t good . I’ll check my rock pile to see if there’s any

    • tomf
      tomf commented
      Editing a comment
      I see very little difference between your stones and mine. Proving your point. That last one pictured might fool me though...

  • #19
    Following this thread and been wanting to toss this out. I don't think it has been mentioned, but those rocks have been hit more then a few times by machines. Think of all the plow seasons those rocks have been thru? Getting hit and being moved on each hit and Maybe being hit twice three times with just a couple passing. Walking fields and tossing rocks out of the way so we don't hit them again.
    Hard to add comments when I know so little about artifacts.
    Missouri

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    • #20
      If you want to see why field rocks have so many scratches, do a search for "vertical tillage" and watch a few of the videos. It's amazing that any whole points are ever found nowadays.

      VT seems to be getting more and more common wherever the land is flat enough for it. I first saw it 10 or 15 years ago here in Central Ohio but I see it all the time now. Don't know if it's used in California but I'll bet there's something similar everywhere.
      Union County, Ohio

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      • tomf
        tomf commented
        Editing a comment
        Grapes are all we grow in Napa. Deep tillage is used before vine planting to remove old vine roots and loosen subsoil (up to 4' deep).
        Once the vines are in place, space between rows are cultivated with shallow disking (8-12" or sometimes as little as 2-4"). In contrast to your situation in Vermont, in wine country the trend is for less tillage, rather than more. Dry farming and no till vineyards are seen as ways to mitigate water and erosion problems. Soil management with extensive use of cover crops, amendments, mulching and other routines.
        As far as artifacts go, earlier in agricultural history, local mounds and middens were routinely scraped and ploughed under. That had the effect of smearing deposits across the fields, and that's where many still remain, slowly eroding out.

    • #21
      Growing up on a 320 something acre dairy farm here in NJ I spent hundreds if not thousands of hours over the years walking the fields picking up rocks and throwing them in the bucket of the old Ford scoop tractor. Every spring after dad plowed and disked the fields we picked tons and tons of rocks by hand before he would do any planting. So anyway my point here is I have seen a lot of rocks that have been scarred from tractor implements. Some with just one scratch some with maybe a dozen scratches. Some scratches that were very deep done not so deep, it all depended on the type of rock. Who knows what happened to your rocks, I’m definitely not a expert but just wanted to share my hands on experience with scarred rock.
      Warren County New Jersey

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      • tomf
        tomf commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for chipping in, HBird. It's a useful perspective. Type of rock is significant, as well as the random nature of exposure. No denying the destructive effect of the plough, though.
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