Calling all fossil/artifact enthusiasts

Ok, my son went to his grandpa’s for the weekend & they went to visit a farm in BFE. While on the farm, my son found a tool. He is thrilled that he has found an artifact, and would like to know more about it if anyone can offer insight. The details: it is a soft stone tool, about 4.5"x1.5"x.5" (estimated, I can actually measure if need be), shaped like an eye with pointed ends. There are no obvious scrape marks, or chippings – in fact, it is rain-pitted only. It fits perfectly into the hand, and seems to me to be either a digging or cutting type tool.

Picture of side 1.
Picture of side 2.
Size compared to a dollar bill.

Please feel free to speculate wildly, but we would really like serious guesses as well. This was found in rural TN – Cherokee most likely, but Sioux also lived in the region, AFAIK.

1.) “Fossil” isn’t appropriate for artifacts – “Fossil” means preserved impressions or casts of living creatures. This is, as you note, evidently an artifact.

2.) I can’t open the third picture – it’s asking for FaceBook ID

3.) if this is really soft as you assert, then you wouldn’t think it very useful as a cutting tool, splitting tool, axe, or adze. It might be some sort of weight (Indians used weights for fishing nets, among other things. It lacks most of the requirements of a birdstone, but that’s another possibility. One very convincing (to me) explanation of birdstones is that they were ised as handles for atlatls (spear throwers).

4.) I’m surprised that there are no holes. For any of the uses above – weight, axe, adz, or birdstone, you’d expect a hole to help keep it in place in whatever it was used for.

5.) I note a depression on one side, although it’s off-center. If it were more on-center I’d suggest a top socket for a Fire Drill.

Thanks, CalMeacham I used the fossil/artifact appelation as IME, one follows the other as a hobby – maybe not for everyone. I do know the distinction.

Try this linkfor the third picture. See if that works – I might have used the link location rather than image location, I find I do that a lot.

When I say ‘soft’ I mean by comparison. It is rain-pitted, so not a very hard stone – but not soft like chalk or anything…overall weight (if it helps) is 2.5oz – I did measure it and I was dead-on accurate in my guesses – it’s 4.5x1.5x.5. My son was able to dig it into a tree trunk at the farm, I should have clarified what I meant by soft. Sorry. What is a birdstone? Sounds self-evident, but I would rather be told than guess :slight_smile:

There are no holes. There are no indications of attempts at holes either.

I am not sure what you are seeing as a depression – there are none. There is an area od dark dirt on it near one point – is that it? It’s pretty well shaped, one end (the one with the dirt on it) has a thinner side to the point, which seems intentional. The thickness is pretty consistent, except on the one edge of the point – there, it thins to about 3/8" maybe a little less.

If you need more information, I will gladly supply it if I can. Thanks for responding.

If you can’t see a depression, then it’s not be there. Probably a trick of the light and shading.

Perhaps what you have is a celt, like the ones here:
I’ve seen reconstructions of celts hafted in split sticks and in holes in sticks, without any holes needed in the stone itself