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  • Paint Mortar?

    I recently found this on a rocky hillside of an agricultural field in Minnesota. I don't know anything about artifacts and am trying to learn everything I can about it. Any and all info you can share would be great. A few questions/thoughts I have…

    Is there a way to find out how old it is? The engraving on the bottom looks like a turkey track in my opinion. I have searched through a lot of photos of mortars on the internet (National Museum of the American Indian has a large gallery) and few have had engraved pictures that I've seen. Would this be considered a rare find? If so do you think a museum would want it? Is it a paint mortar because of how small it is? There are also two engraved lines at the top. Any idea what they might be for/represent? Is there anywhere that records findings like this for a database that I should contact? The right side has gouges that are visible. The bowl area is rough and from the research I've done I've learned that that was intentional to help break up the contents they were squashing. What do you all think? Thanks!


  • #2
    Send pics of the markings described above, the better the pics the more can be discussed.

    I'm not sure it may be natural but more experienced members may have more to say.
    Wisconsin

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    • #3
      I agree with WAH's assessment of Natural rock. The Divot looks "Ice Popped" or some type of inclusion eroded out to cause it imo...

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      • #4
        Thanks. I'll take some better pics tonight.

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        • #5


          This reminded me of a post of mine
          Missouri

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          • #6
            Here's some close-up pics. I could see the two lines on the top being scratches but am having a hard time convincing myself the lower "turkey track" looking pictograph is not man made. I received an email back from my State Archeology Office yesterday afternoon and they didn't see signs of the bowl being worn down by humans so they concluded it was natural. They referenced the top 2 marks as possibly being from cultivating equipment but didn't go into detail about the bottom picture or side gouges. I offered to bring it in to show them as I live close to their office but they didn't respond to that offer.

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            • #7
              Apart from the center bowl looking naturally made what do you all think of the gouge looking indents I have circled in red? Is that something that can happen naturally also? Kind of looks "worked" doesn't it?
              Last edited by Outallday; 08-09-2023, 01:46 PM.

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              • #8
                No
                Searching the fields of NW Indiana and SW Michigan

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                • #9
                  It's a geofact! K
                  Knowledge is about how and where to find more Knowledge. Snyder County Pa.

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