Catalog of Pieces: #18-22

Artifact piece 18

#18 Red color made from ocher red pigment, this stone paint palette was turned upside down and stuck like a lid in a mortar bowl.  The color was protected by the bowl keeping it very bright.

Artifact piece 19

#19 Maybe a Wintuan Shaman’s, Good Luck Stone or for some other purpose. The eyes have been worked and pecked out to give it that look of serpent eyes. What do you see?  Black scale like lines on top gives it that snake like look.

Artifact piece 20

#20 The bright colors and animalistic shapes in this rock got my attention.  According to a Cherokee Chief’s son, rocks like this one had spiritual meaning to the ancestors.  It is not known if the natives used this rock for any purpose.  (It was found in the area.)

Artifact piece 21

#21 These two Mortars were made out of a porous (soft) lava.  According to Maria Peralta of the Aztecs of Mexico, this type of lava was used in making mortars to hold things in or to serve food in such as salsa or soup because it was the easiest to shape into a bowl.  Maria’s dad would go to the river and pick out a rock that was the right size and shape for the bowl he wanted.  He would then work his chosen rock into a bowl.  Mortars made out of this type of lava would not have been used for grinding seeds into flour by the Aztecs because the porous lava would break off creating sand in the flour.  They were most likely traded from the Achumalwl on the Pit River or the Atsugewi on Hat creek to the Yana or Yahi.  (Dr. Johnson’s notes, Nov. 30, 2009)

Artifact piece 22

#22 This mano is one of two white granite ones that I found in an adjacent field.  This one was stuck in the fork of the root of a tree that had been pushed over.  I only tell about this because there was no indication of there being any camp there.  The root pulled up gravel rocks from what was an ancient streambed.  I hope that when this area is replanted someday, that the workers pay attention to what they are running over and will preserve the artifacts that may be found.  This will allow for a better appreciation of the people that were here before us.