SOME HISTORIC LITHIC (STONE) ARTIFACT TYPES
Marbles: limestone, flint, agate…
Whetstones, novaculite, etc.
Slate pencils, school/store tablets, roof slates
Beads: amber, cornelian, buttons, jewelry setting, cufflinks, watch fobs
Furniture: marble tops
Tombstones: marble, slate, fieldstone….
Stove or boiler isinglass (mica window)
Amber ferrules, cf pipe, pen
Meerschaum (a clay)
Bullet, pipe etc. mold
Soapstone lab sink, etc. apparatus
Salt: licks, etc….
Manganese and other ores mined, slag
DELOS HISTORIC CATEGORIES
ARMS, gunspall, gunflint, French, English
PERSONAL, gemstone, slate board, slate pencil, whetstone
Grinding wheel, headstone, millstone, statuary
BUILDING MATERIAL, cut limestone block
Graphite battery rod
Block, Robert, 1999, Marbles Illustrated, Schiffer Publishing Ltd,
Alabaster and marble marbles were used in England by the 1400s. The first
widely available stone marbles were made in the Salzburg and Berchtesgaden
regions of Bavaria, in alpine southern Germany, with water mills in the
1600s. The first mills were side-operations to farming and forestry, but
by the 1700s and 1800s, larger mills were in use in Saxony, especially
Coburg, and Thuringen, in eastern Germany. A marble industry began in the
Sonneberg around the time of the Thirty Years War, peaking in the 1740s
when Salsberg immigrants arrived. There was a second peak in production in
the Sonneberg in the later 19th century, when Germany had a significant
export trade. During this later period there were many mines and mills in
the Mengersreuth area, with 20 in the Effelden valley alone. With this
expansion, many miners went to work in the wider toy industry and the
rough materials began to come from the limestones of Sachendorf and
Veilsdork and Spitelstein and Blumenrod near Coburg. Here, shallow,
temporarily leased and then restored pits in fields produced limestone.
The stone suitable for building and paving was also removed, then the
desired stone was knapped into 100 pound blocks and stored in barns to
protect the rock from frost splitting. The pits were backfilled and the
reduction work was carried out in winter and wet weather. Eventually,
ceramic and glass production became cheaper and stone marble production
The Berchtesgaden industry peaked 1780-1790, when the Almbach powered 40
mills. Three other local streams powered around 30 mills each. The Pfnur
family of Almbach creek, Untersberg village, Bavaria was established in
1683 and has operated continuously from 300 years. German stone marbles
became part of the export trade to northern German states, Holland and
England. As ships ballast they made it to the East and West Indies. In the
1780s, up to 1000 hundredweights (around 10,000 marbles/hundredweight)
were exported annually. In 1800, there were still 600 mills in
Berteschgaden, but production had declined to 300 hundredweight.
A limestone from the Trudenthal region was mined from small hand-dug
shafts. Only the smooth anchoring sediments of the Muschelkalk (mussel
shell chalk) was needed, so shafts were low and horizontal to obtain books
or leaves of this stone. The mine families hammered cubes from these still
moist plates of limestone, knapping them down to even sized rough balls.
They were then packed or wheelbarrowed to the mill for sale at a
streamside settlement. The size of the mills was limited by the size and
flow of the creek or river where they were placed. Here, timber frames or
cribs held two millstone plates against each other; the bottom one of cast
iron and the upper of beech wood. Both plates had a series of concentric
grooves. The cubes or balls were sprinkled with fine sand and the blocks
were set in motion. There was an opening in the top so that water could
run through and cool the plates as well as carry away the resulting sludge
and grit. The grinding of each run of production took 6 or 8 hours. The
rough marbles were then polished in a turning barrel, sometimes with a
color stain and flowers of sulphur.
Other Stone Marble Types
Agate: Handcut, modern machine cut; some faceted, gouges, some machine
ground to polished; banded, black and white, grey,
brown/red/orange/carnelian, occasional crystalline planes/inclusions.
Sometimes dyed (blue). Germany ca. 1850-1920.
Other “mineral spheres”: limestone, onyx, dyed agate, jasper, obsidian,
black obsidian, mahogany obsidian, snowflake obsidian, malachite, rose
quartz, goldstone, tigereye, agateized petrified wood. Mostly machine
ground, modern, some Mexican. Some handcut, probably turn of the century
German marbles (1850-1920).
HISTORIC STONE ARTIFACT BIBLIOGRAPHY
#3 Bonds, a boatstone with a metal pin in it, Cherokee?
#6 Bonds, a glass point, Pope County, Cherokee?
Hoffman, Michael P., 1980, An Effigy Catlinite Pipe from Northwest
Arkansas. Arkansas Archeologist 21:12-13.
A catlinite squirrel effigy pipe was found near a spring branch in
Fayetteville. It was made with metal tools. Glass beads were also found.
It is perhaps associated with the immigrant tribes of the late 18th-early
19th century, perhaps the Osage; it is attributed in style to the Upper
Mississippi Valley groups. Good photos.
ARKANSAS RESEARCH SERIES
RS11 Martin, 1978, Arkansas Post Bright & Montgomery
p. 58-65 gunflints, detailed description, drawing and poor photos
RS26, Stewart-Abernathy, 1986, Moser
p. 85 whetstones, one may be novaculite
p. 88 graphite pencils
RS56 K. Cande, 2000, Spradley Hollow rockshelters and a homestead (Ozark
NF), Newton Co.
mortar/plaster (lime), graphite battery post
Cande, K., 2005, Davidsonville, SRP.
Dolomite and limestone (structural/foundation trenches)
2000, Ashley Mansion (3PU256), SRP.
Huge mess of DELOS categories: building material and modified lithics,
building stone, crystals, granite, cobbles, shale, slate, sandstone
asphalt, coal, graphite, limestone, tar: mostly architectural
Guendling, et al., 2001 Sanders kitchen, SRP.
Old Washington, an urban farmstead.
fieldstone slab pavement, rock footings
limestone marbles, “sarah’s slate”, tobacco pipes w/ meerschaum-like face,
2002 Block kitchen, old Washington (Hempstead), assimilated Jew’s urban
limestone marbles (n=12)
local chert gunflint
1962 The Dalton project
a gunflint, 12-M-12/3CS9, honey colored