Things that are old.

Things that are old.

I’m in Covid 19 lock down and I wander around my home. The good news is I am not yet infected and I have enough space to continue to wander, both inside and out.

This time in our lives has given me time to slow down and squint at what I’ve gathered over the decades….maybe half a century.

I’ve tried to be hyper observant over my life time and I’ve notice that my family has a genetic disposition to appreciate antiquities and value them at about 15% more than reality. This may have been a convenient way to “pass them on to the next generation?

My fathers glass cutter was passed down even though he acquired a new one? It took me 25 to 30 years to realize an old used glass cutter is worthless. They do not work properly and you destroy glass rather than cut glass. I consider it a life lesson passed on by my father. He was a generous man and I suspect he recognized that I would realize that I needed to go out and buy a new one.

Today I wander about and assess the old antiques that haunt my home. The older pieces would be considered “poor mans” antiques. Does anybody really need an Admiral Dewey glass pitcher that has a flawed base?

How about my only colonial artifact…the simplest antique I possess, a colonial whale oil lamp. It has a repository for whale oil and a wick trimmer.  I currently have limited access to whale oil.  It doesn’t look like much except upon close examination you realize the threads/screws on the brass post have been hand cut and filed.

This leads to the photo. These are arrowheads and spear point that I have found or my great grandfather found. The smallest is the drill point I found on a bison kill site on the Riverere Du Rocher (river of the Rock). The largest spear point was obtained from my great grand father who spent his life as one of the first dozen pharmacists in the State of Iowa. This wasn’t enough so he studied and received a degree in Optometry. (I suspect mail order was the method at that time)

His passion was neither, it was anthropology and through his life he would have read the 6 volume works of the famed and noted MInnesota State Geologist N.H. Winchell-The Aboriginals of Minnesota 1878 to 1884? and did in fact consult with the state geologists in the 1920’s and 30’s. Great Grandfather was considered professional enough that his observations were included in recent treatises on native cultures.

What is old? If you glance to your left in the picture you’ll see a whitish spear point. It is precisely one inch wide by four inches long and it is called a Clovis point. The Clovis were a prehistoric Paleo American culture and this spearhead was produced by the Clovis culture approximately 13,000 years ago.

The size, the shape, the functionality served to bring down extra large animals.

It is more recently postulated that the Covis Culture did not enter North America to go “deer hunting or rabbit hunting”. They were a cult of big game hunters and it was a time of mega fauna. To be a man you needed to hunt something big!

These points are found embedded in the bones of mammoths and Columbian Elephants throughout North and Central America. History has depicted these hunters as stealthy and stalking. History did not take into account that the mammoth perhaps had never seen a human before and might not have realized that there was any reason to be afraid of the humans?  The Clovis hunter could have easily have walked up to these lumbering giants that had few predators. On the count of three they drove their Clovis spear points and ran!! The mammoth went extinct quite rapidly…. as the Clovis manhood was at stake?

Admiral Dewey you’re in second place.

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