The San Luis Valley plains of Southern Colorado is one part of America which is full of history.
There is evidence of human existence here in the Northern Continent dating 2 million years ago called the Paleolithic Period. Some examples of the tools that they used can be seen at Projectile Points.Net.
No Atlas or Google maps were available and there was no roadside assistance to call if you mule train broke down. They lived in a time where you were self-sufficient and lived off the land, a time that we are learning about and training for.
Firearms were crude flintlock type devices which did not function if wet that left the Native Americans and the Spanish scrambling to make tools and weapons by hand out of whatever was available.
Rocks were the chosen material for primitive tools.
One of the materials readily chosen to make edged weapons and tools was rocks. Special stones to make an edged weapons must be solid and able to withstand abuse and retain an edge.
Obsidian stones were a common rock of choice coming in various colors, Black, Brown, Tan, and Green. Jasper and Goethite was used to make arrow heads and cutting tools. Goethite is still used today to make surgical tools because of its ability to retain sharpness.
These stones have a MOHS hardness of 5.5 or higher compared with Quartz being a 7 and Diamonds being 10. The MOHS hardness test is a materials resistance to being scratched by 10 reference materials of various hardness. A glass plate is rated as 5.5 in hardness.
Primitive tools can be found in many locations.
While taking many hiking trips around the countryside, I have had the pleasure of finding several parts of these ancient stone weapons and tools. The tools previously lost to the earth during a time when buffalo roamed the western plains have resurfaced many years later with the help of mother nature and father time. The handles and shafts long gone but the edges are as sharp as ever.
The making of the tools was crude
The process of making these tools was by finding suitable stones and then roughly splitting and shaping them into the head design you want. A harder stone or deer antler is used to flake the edge by striking the head vertically down ward on the harder surface moving in a random pattern around the tool head.
If the stone head is large enough the flakes can be saved and used as skinning tools and arrow heads. The original Comanche knife was made of rhyolite or obsidian stone material.
Finding one should not be taken lightly
If you are ever lucky enough to find one in complete condition don’t be stupid and throw it at a tree. The strength is in the sharpness. It is very brittle and may break if abused. I don’t expect Sitting Bull would tolerate a younger brave doing anything as foolish.
Some stone heads have eroded over time and others look fresh like the native owner dropped them yesterday. Workmanship and quality that I am proud to say was made in America.
These tools are a testament to the creativity and intelligence of a civilization that lived off the grid long before it was fashionable.
As always be safe and healthy my friends.