Scrapbook One Hundred Seventeen Point Five…

scrapbook

JANUARY 2015
Posted by Dal-

You might be wondering what to do with your mammoth tusk fragment from Forrest. Chuck and Terry made a really attractive shadow box for theirs with text from the original Scrapbook entry by Forrest, the fragment and the note that came with the piece of tusk.

cnt01

The text in the shadow box reads:
“Mammoths roamed all over the Americas, and if you get way out into the countryside you might find one. That’s what we did, and we were many miles from a road on a friend’s ranch in northeastern New Mexico. We first found a large mammoth tooth. The enamel plates had broken apart and the wear patterns said it belonged to a very old animal. A mile or so farther, as we walked along a softly flowing stream of water, I discovered a tusk. It had been exposed to the elements for a long time because the ivory had dried and layers were popping off in fragments. I guessed it was a mammoth because mastodons are not commonly found in the Southwest. I started excavating in the cement-like clay that engulfed the tusk. It was a hot summer day, and the bursitis-inducing work with a small handpick progressed slowly. Meanwhile my ranch friend scavenged the surrounding area, searching for artifacts. Suddenly he discovered a knife eroding from the bank. It was of useful size and made of Edwards Plateau flint. Heavy damage on both blade edges indicated that it may have been used to cut meat from bone. We knew that tool could not be associated with the mammoth because the flake patterns were not Clovis technology, and Clovis man was the only human known to kill the great beasts. I continued working as the sun burned low in the sky. Finally the tusk was completely uncovered and I took this photo. The mammoth tusk weighed 70 pounds when we lifted it into the bed of the pickup. Over the years it has dried and crumbled into a sad semblance of what it used to be. If one should grasp a chunk of an ancient mammoth in one’s hand and close one’s eyes, who knows what thoughts might flow into one’s fertile mind? I always intended to go back to my friend’s ranch and dig out the mammoth skull. But it’s been thirty years since I walked along that softly flowing stream of water, and now, at age 84 …  it’s just too much for me. ”

This is the note from Forrest that came with the tusk specimen.

cnt02

The text under the note in the shadow box reads:
“Look quickly down, there is a chunk below you are welcome to touch.”

 

 

Scrapbook One Hundred Nine…

scrapbook

NOVEMBER 2014

Hothgar

 

Here’s another volume in our library. It was written by two friends of mine who are among the most important players in the intriguing world of paleoarchaeology.

fenncachebooksmall

A few special copies were made just to keep for fun.

redpointbooksmall

The Clovis point embedded in this padded leather binding is a reproduction of Big Red, which is made of jasper from the Bighorn Mountains in northern Wyoming. It has faint traces of hematite on its surface, and may be the finest of its kind yet unearthed. The person who made the projectile lived in ice-colored surroundings, possibly 12,000 years ago.

IMG_1075

I like to put things in my books that relate to the subject. In this case it’s mammoth hair resting on the first page, which is a very thin slice of tree bark. The original 113 ink drawings that illustrate the book are pocketed at the left.

When I first clutched Big Red, and closed my eyes, I envisioned a long-haired, severely whiskered man sitting on a log knapping a Clovis point. Perhaps his name was Hothgar. The mountain winds moaned and wailed at his loins as he toiled. His small clan of wanderers stood anxiously by as a group of giant mammoths grazed in the distant view.

illustration01small
When the point was completed, and hafted, Hothgar stalked a calf that had strayed from the herd and with a mighty throw, his Clovis spear point penetrated the 2,000 pound body of his prey.

IMG_1082small

The hunter quickly retreated to the safety of a nearby cottonwood knot and waited. As the herd ambled on, Hothgar and his tribe followed, for perhaps a week or more, until the young animal succumbed to its wound. At last the nomadic family ate. And after a few weeks Hothgar again sat on a log and began to knap.

IMG_1085small