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  1. #1
    Arrowheadologist
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Posts
    74

    How did they make it into the ground?

    I got thinking about how people find points, axes, and charcoal when digging for points and was wondering how those things even made it 1-2 feet down in the dirt? Since rain washes away the surface and people find them that way, that means the 1-2 foot deep artifacts were even deeper, and rain washed away some surface? Is there a simple answer to this or am I right to be confused about it? Thanks, Alex

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  3. #2
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    High Desert
    Posts
    5,169
    I'd guess erosion is the most likely reason.
    Not all those who wander are lost.

  4. #3
    Graduate Arrowheadologist
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    844
    Depending upon the region, topsoil builds up overtime. Here in eastern Colorado, it is at a rate of 1 to 2 inches every 1000 years. This would suggest that in general, a 10,000 year old artifact on a solid foundation would be 10-20 inches below the present surface. Of course many artifacts are buried in kill sites, which out here were often in small arroyos which eventually sand in, and then later erode back out. Organic material in the soil will increase over time, but it's a slow process.

    At medicine creek site in Nebraska, the site was actually situated 60 feet below the modern surface. They brought in heavy earth moving equipment to remove the over burden. This site sat at the confluence of two rivers that flooded erratically for 10,000 years, piling sediment up at a amazing rate.

  5. #4
    Arrowheadologist
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Posts
    74
    Since more points are found on hills/mountains, how would top soil ever build up since rain constantly would wash it right away?

  6. #5
    God Bless Texas
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Central TX
    Posts
    3,562
    Top soil and blowing wind is my guess! We have sites up to 18 ft deep in my area! Straight sand!! ? Rain floods sand of high hills over sites and covers them up for thousands and thousands of years! That my guess in my area!?? Good question!
    You may all go to Hell, I'm goin to Texas!! D. Crockett

  7. #6
    Desert Rat
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    4,327
    Gravity.

  8. #7
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Weston, FL
    Posts
    5,554
    FtWayne,

    I'll send you a PM later tonight regarding a couple of questions you asked. But in short topsoil in your area can build up very quickly from seasonal floods, from leaves falling each year, etc. Dirt doesn't errode quickly unless it is uncovered, churned and then hit with water or wind (which doesn't happen on land covered in grass or trees.)

    Back in the 80's we used to dig on an archaic site out off of North River Road (near River Haven if that's still there) and we had to go down through 5 or 6 feet of silt to get to the main archaic site. IPFW dug out there a couple of years later and found late paleo point down about 13 feet. Oddly enough, 200 feet across the river archaic points were close enough to the surface that the farmers kids would find them on the surface after plowing.

    Joshua

  9. #8
    Arrowheadologist
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Posts
    74
    Thanks for the replies. Joshua, I wasn't to sure on the location you were talking about, so I Google mapped it, and oddly enough thats about a mile from where I fish at in New Haven. I wonder if the area is any good these days, as I know about some paths through the woods around there that I could search on during the spring/summer/fall. Are you currently in FL as your location states?

  10. #9
    Tribal Council Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    6,436
    Rain doesn't wash it down when it has plant life on it. The plant life dies and more grows, building up the soil. Even in areas where there is little plant life you have wind building it up and reducing it in different spots. Most of the field finds are examples of the first scenario, with topsoil getting thicker over time. Then it's plowed, washed down, etc.. exposing pieces.
    ... I have seen that in any great undertaking it is not enough for a man to depend simply upon himself.
    Lone Man (Isna-la-wica) Teton Sioux

  11. #10
    Artifact Jedi
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    423
    Ten feet in Montana is not uncommon, lots of water, lots of water.

 

 
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