Since you have mentioned “olives” a number of times, I wondered if you had visited The Olive Branch (IL) dig site. It was a fascinating read for me, learning both about the Dalton people’s site along the Mississippi in Southern Illinois and the New Madrid Fault. I continue to learn at least something new on a daily basis while on this journey.
Interestingly, while researching The Olive Branch site, I learned about “The Fenn Clovis Cache” that I believe you purchased in 1988. I looked at photos of some of the amazing (56) stone artifacts, learning also that they are from an unknown (field) site near the borders of Utah, Idaho and Wyoming. Is the Fenn Cache currently on display anywhere?
I was going to try to sneak in your “how deep is a hole?” question also, but I will refrain, as perhaps I understand why you asked it.
As always, thank you. Ellen
Good questions Ellen. I have not visited the Olive Branch site but I have several friends who have excavated there.
How I obtained the Fenn Cache maybe of interest to you. I was called by a local trader to look at the 56 large Clovis projectiles and preforms. They were affixed to a wooden frame. At first glance I told myself that they were too good to be real and I was about to reject them when I noticed the copper wire that held them to the frame was heavily patinated. I knew from my days casting art bronze that it takes many years for copper to reach that dark brown color, not unlike the color of an old penny. So I asked to take the pieces overnight for study.
Upon high power magnification I discovered that each piece had minute traces of red ocher (hematite) in the flake scars, and was pretty sure that the pigment came from the Sunrise Red Ocher mine in Wyoming, a known Clovis site.
Further inspection revealed that amber mastic was present in the flutes of three obsidian points. It had been used to attach the projectiles to atlatl dart shafts.
That did it for me and I purchased the collection, which has since been published in numerous stories related to early man in North America. A book has been written about the collection and it has been widely exhibited at shows. It is now being studied at Texas A & M University.f