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Author Topic: Even Paleolithic People Liked Cool Looking Weapons: Crystal Arrowheads  (Read 866 times)
RJBowman
Zeppelin Captain
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« on: September 16, 2016, 12:26:10 am »



Article:
https://www.sott.net/article/327988-Archaeology-dig-in-Spain-yields-prehistoric-crystal-weapons
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Banfili
Zeppelin Captain
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Australia Australia



« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2016, 11:54:36 am »

These would more likely be Neolithic than Palaeolithic, as they were found in a megalithic site. These have a date proposed for 3rd millennium, which places them nicely them in the Neolithic - "At the site of Valencina de la Concepcion, archaeologists have uncovered crystal arrowheads, an exquisite dagger blade, and cores used for creating the artifacts, that date to the 3rd millennium BCE."

On the other hand, they are beautiful!
« Last Edit: September 16, 2016, 11:58:38 am by Banfili » Logged
Atterton
Time Traveler
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Only The Shadow knows


« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2016, 09:39:31 pm »

It seems getting that kind of edge from a crystalline solid rather than glassy solid must be complicated. The breaking patterns would be rather different.
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Resurrectionist and freelance surgeon.
Banfili
Zeppelin Captain
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Australia Australia



« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2016, 10:54:33 pm »

I sent the link on to my Higher Degree by Research coordinator, who is a flintknapper. He has made some arrow and spearheads for me in the past (we did a trade in goods - deer antler for Boscombe Bowman arrowheads!), including a Kimberly Point made from glass. One of my arrow heads is made from pure white quartz.  Don't expect to hear back from him over the weekend - will be interesting to hear what he has to say.

The crystalline rock, or rock crystal is clear quartz, so it could be worked pretty much the same as any other very fine crystalline rock including obsidian, which comes in a clear form as well as coloured ones, and can have the colorless clarity of pure water, Amethyst is the purple gemstone variety, Citrine is a yellow to orange gemstone variety that is rare in nature but is often created by heating Amethyst, Milky Quartz is the cloudy white variety, Prasiolite is the leek-green variety, Rose quartz is a pink to reddish pink variety, and Smoky quartz is the brown to grey variety.

What would be really cool would be to find some tools in some of these!!

It is hard for me to imagine something like this spearhead being used as a practical tool - my guess would be that it had a ceremonial function, or quite possibly it may have been a winter project made purely and simply for the aesthetics of it. The old archaeological standby of "when in doubt, it's ritual" would come into play here!
« Last Edit: September 16, 2016, 10:57:56 pm by Banfili » Logged
Atterton
Time Traveler
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Only The Shadow knows


« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2016, 11:07:50 pm »

I believe obsidian is a glass, not a crystal.
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Hez
Zeppelin Captain
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Canada Canada


aka Miss Primrose C Leigh


« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2016, 09:46:52 pm »

wow
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Banfili
Zeppelin Captain
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Australia Australia



« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2016, 03:43:22 am »

Yes, Atterton, obsidian is a mineraloid, hard, dark, glass-like volcanic rock formed by the rapid solidification of felsic lava but does have minimal crystallisation.

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Miranda.T
Zeppelin Captain
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2016, 11:01:34 am »

(snip)

It is hard for me to imagine something like this spearhead being used as a practical tool - my guess would be that it had a ceremonial function, or quite possibly it may have been a winter project made purely and simply for the aesthetics of it. The old archaeological standby of "when in doubt, it's ritual" would come into play here!


Sounds like an opportunity for experimental archaeologists to make and test some rather lovely looking arrowheads.

Yours,
Miranda.
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Banfili
Zeppelin Captain
*****
Australia Australia



« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2016, 02:16:20 pm »

My HDR coordinator has seen these photos: "Those artefacts are stunning!" is his response. I have asked "From a knapping point of view, what are the difficulties of working with non-crystalline/minimally crystalline as opposed to crystalline rocks? There would have to be some differences in technique, wouldn't there?" May get an answer tomorrow.

One of the reasons I sent him a quarter of a rack of deer antler was so he could experiment with it!

Having thought about that spear head overnight, there is no way it would be used other than in a ceremonial or ritual context. Pure rock crystal that size is as scarce as hens teeth, and would have been recognised as something very, very special - solidified water, or un-meltable ice - and would not have been used for something as mundane as spearing a deer or some other animal - maybe another human being, but not dinner. Grin
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Atterton
Time Traveler
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Only The Shadow knows


« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2016, 06:33:35 pm »

As rare as hens teeth? I think I know a few places around here where you could get it, though perhaps not with that clarity.
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Prof. Cecily
Snr. Officer
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Spain Spain



« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2016, 10:55:44 am »

Good morning,ladies and gentlemen.
What a fascinating artifact.
I feel a steampunk story wanting to be written about this find.

I remain yours,
Prof. Cecily
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Cora Courcelle
Snr. Officer
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England England



« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2016, 05:46:59 pm »

I feel a steampunk story wanting to be written about this find.


With a time machine, so we can also meet its creator ....
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You have to tread a fine line between avant-garde surrealism and getting yourself sectioned...
Atterton
Time Traveler
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Only The Shadow knows


« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2016, 08:10:26 pm »

I'm wondering what sort of creatures they were fighting that could only be killed by crystal arrowheads. Were-mammoths?
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Banfili
Zeppelin Captain
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Australia Australia



« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2016, 05:27:17 am »

I'm wondering what sort of creatures they were fighting that could only be killed by crystal arrowheads. Were-mammoths?

Nope, that old favourite of B films - the human, or animal, sacrifice! Cheesy
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Hektor Plasm
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United Kingdom United Kingdom


All-Round Oddfellow.


WWW
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2016, 08:00:12 pm »

I never cease to be amazed and delighted by what can be learned from even just browsing these pages.

Carry on, all!

HP
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"all die! o, the embarrassment."
H Plasm Esq. ICUE    Avatar by and with kind permission of Dr Geof. Ta!!

Some musings:-
http://hektorplasm.blogspot.co.uk/
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