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Stone Implements
- of the -
Tidewater Province

William Henry Holmes - 1897

 Gustav's Library Vintage Reprint

Originally published in the Fifteenth  Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, this is another great book by one of U.S. Archaeology's most prolific and respected authors, William Henry Holmes (1846-1933).  Although the main focus centers around the Chesapeake Bay area, the descriptions of the quarrying and implement manufacturing applies to most of the Eastern United States as well.   

A nice section is devoted to descriptions of primitive quarrying techniques, flaking and stone implement manufacturing processes.  Many of the sites are are in Maryland, Washington D.C. and Virginia and it seems amazing to me that a major prehistoric quarrying center was only 2-3 miles from the White House. 

The cover picture is one of the plaster dioramas designed by Holmes for the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893.  Another of the dioramas of a quarry group that was set up on the Piny Branch site is pictured below.  As is typical with Holmes, this  work is wonderfully illustrated with many maps, photographs and drawings.

This 7-1/2" x 10-1.2", soft cover, facsimile reprint contains: 152 text pages, 102 full page plates (4 are foldouts) and 29 in-text illustrations.  $24.95  


Bannerstones from Washington, D.C. Diorama at Piny Branch Steatite Bowl Steps

Blade Preforms Area Map

Quartz Points

Potomac Blades Dumbarton Quarry

Rhyolite Forms

Quartzite Pick Axe from Luray, Virginia

Gouge used in Steatite Quarry

Steatite Preforms Resharpened Axe for Steatite Quarrying

Unfinished Steatite Bowls

Sample  Plates - click on image to enlarge


Prefatory notes
Chapter I—Introductory
The field of investigation
The art remains studied
Character of the stone implements
Materials and their distribution
Initial stages
Shaping processes
Chapter II—Manufacture of flaked stone implements
Introductory statement
Quarry-workshops of the District of Columbia
History of the research
Geology of the locality
Piny branch quarries
Location of the quarries
Operations on the site
Discovery and reconnoissance
The first trench
The tree pit
The second trench
The third trench
The fourth and fifth trenches
The sixth trench
Other Piny branch sites
Piny branch shops
General features
Special features
The quarry-shop product
Tools used in flaking
Processes of manufacture
Destiny of the quarry blades
The Dumbarton heights quarry-shops
Geology of the site
Distribution of quarry pits
Other Rock creek sites
Shop sites of the middle Potomac valley
Falls section of the Potomac
Anacostia valley
The tidewater Potomac
Sites in James river valley
Chapter II—Manufacture of flaked stone implements—Continued
Quarries of the highland
Materials quarried
Location and product
Rhyolite quarries
Flint quarries
Jasper and argillite quarries
Chapter III—Flaked stone implements
General features
Implements of leaf-blade genesis
Typical characters
Blades—blanks, cutting implements
Specialized blades—projectile points, etc.
Narrow-shafted blades—perforators or drills
Specialized blades, etc—scrapers
Leaf-blade implements grouped by material
Quartzite implements
Quartz implements
Rhyolite implements
Flint and jasper implements
Argillite implements
Rude flaked implements
Chapter IV—Battered and abraded stone implements
General processes of manufacture
Special processes
Classes of implements
Materials used
Examples of the implements
Manufacturing shops
Comparison of celt making-with blade making
Miscellaneous pecked implements
Chapter V—Incised or cut stone utensils
Scope of the topic
Processes and materials
Use of mica
Steatite utensils
Character, use, and distribution of the material
Surface indications of quarrying
Special investigations
Early knowledge of steatite
Development of the quarrying industry
Mining and shaping operations
Quarry product
Implements used in quarrying and cutting
Character of the tools
Manner of using the tools
Steatite quarries
The Clifton quarry
The Connecticut avenue quarries
Site and surface indications
Excavations made
Tools recovered
Correlation with bowlder quarries
Chapter V—Incised or cut stone utensils—Continued
Steatite quarries—Continued
The Shoemaker quarry
The Little falls sites
The Bryant quarry
Quarries of the Patnxent valley
Quarries near Olney
Falls Church and Holmes run quarries
Amelia county quarries
Madison county quarries
Culpeper county quarries
Brunswick county quarries
Relation of clay and steatite pottery
Various articles of steatite
Chapter VI—Distribution of stone implements
The area investigated
Distribution of materials
Geologic distribution of stone
Geology and art
Comparative distribution of implements
Distribution by classes
Distribution by particular sites
Distribution by genesis and function
Supplementary notes