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On this particular summer day in northern Colorado I was walking in the sand of the dry streambed when I noticed a large piece of chert (a rock type used to make prehistoric tools) lying on a small mound of sand. I knew immediately I had found a prehistoric artifact of great importance. Before picking the artifact up, I studied it from every angle. Finally, I pulled a camera from my backpack and took several photographs of the artifact the way it was found, in situ. After what seemed like an eternity, I picked the artifact up and brushed away centuries of accumulated dirt and sand. One side of this prehistoric artifact had hardened deposits of limestone encrusted on it, another indicator for great antiquity. I gazed at the prehistoric artifact and smiled, knowing that I was the first human to touch the artifact in approximately 11,000 years.
|Four inch long discoidal biface made from Alibates chert, |
a rock originating from a prehistoric quarry in Texas.
|Reverse side of the discoidal biface showing |
carbonate deposits formed on the rock.
When I found this ancient discoidal biface made from Texas rock, my mind wanted to know who made this artifact, what was he or she like, and what ended up happening to him or her? Shadows on the Trail is my version of the adventure that led to this discoidal biface travelling from Texas to northern Colorado at the end of the last ice age. The main characters of the adventure belong to a real culture of prehistoric humans called the Folsom People, a mystical group or hunters and gatherers who roamed western North America from about 10,200 to over 10,900 years ago. Folsom people left behind beautifully crafted stone projectile points that had the distinguishing characteristic of a wide flute or channel running from the tip to base on both sides of the projectile point (See examples of Folsom projectile points and an end scraper below). Today, finding a Folsom projectile point out on the prairie or plains is the equivalent of finding the Holy Grail. Folsom projectile points are the rarest and arguably, the finest made projectile points in North America’s prehistoric past.
|Discoidal biface surrounded by Folsom dart points. Age between 10,900 to 10,200 years old.|
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