Tuesday, April 24, 2012

stones with holes


Every now and then I find these stones with holes in them.  These two are larger stones, the larger one measuring about 6" long, but I usually find them in smaller sizes.  The holes on these are about an inch and a half wide.  The one on the left has smoothed edges, as if it were worn away, but the one on the right has a sharp edge like something chopped into it.

I don't know what formed these holes, whether they were the product of nature or something manmade, but while trying to read about holes in stones this morning I found an article about the mooring stones of Minnesota, which led me to stories of runestones and of geology.  

And suddenly an hour had gone by.

I am now behind on my chores and without a proper blog post.  And a shower.  It is fun to imagine what these holes could be though... a product of glaciers rolling pebbles?  Blasting holes from foundation rocks?  Ancient artwork?  A marker of some sort?  Pure natural coincidence?

Edit: Rose suggested in the comments that this could be a Native American tool, which led me to more reading.  Now I'm giddy at the thought that the on the left could be a cupstone or nutting stone, or a fire-starting stone.  How exciting would that be?
What's piquing your curiosity today?

16 comments:

Cheryl @ handcraftedtravellers said...

Whatever created them, I find them beautiful! As for curiosity today...I am wondering what and how I am going to manage to cook for 5 adults and one baby for tomorrow lunch, some guests are dropping by to film us in part of a documentary. I don't usually get stressed, but right now I could use a second coffee!

Jacqui Wise said...

Do you have any history of mining in the area in which you find the stones? The one on the left looks as though it has been naturally worn but I wonder if the original hole may have been manmade and then worn by water? Do you find them in a river bed? Very interesting anyway.

Anonymous said...

They look like stones carried by native Americans used as a rest to hold a fire stick that is stuck into the hole in the stone. Then another stick (think of a bow) with a thread on it is drawn across the first stick holding a similar stone on the top of the stick as well... shreds of small bark and leaves are placed under the stick on the stone to catch the small fire that would start from friction. Some tribes would use stick on wood action but stones were also used and carried around from place to place.

I am not sure of this but that is what it looks like to me.
Are you in a area that you have found other native items? Arrow heads or the earth in your area looks very rich soil like it was burned off alot? Just a thought, good luck to find what they are.

Rose~

Lisa at lil fish studios said...

Cheryl - that's so exciting!! I can't wait to hear more about it. Go you! Have that second cup if you need it. In fact, I'll have one with ya.

Jacqui - we live about 50 miles south of the Cuyuna Iron range, which was heavily mined. The mine pits are amazing...but I digress. I had read that some homesteaders would dynamite rock to make foundations, but they didn't usually make a hole for the dynamite like the miners did. They would cover the dynamite with mud or something and blast. I love the mystery!

Rose - we live just outside the Mille Lacs Ojibwe reservation so it's entirely likely that the band traveled through here. I haven't found any other artifacts, but I love the idea of this possibly being a fire starter stone.

Lisa at lil fish studios said...

I just did a little reading and the stone I have looks remarkably like one being referred to as a "nutting stone", used by Native Americans for grinding nut meats. There are many wonderful white oaks here with big acorns... I'm so excited at the prospect of this being a tool. I'm not going to get anything done today, I can feel it.

Anonymous said...

well i'll make this harder by telling you these look like a set. They would cut one stick to a point... then put the point into the larger stone that has some small pit in it to start. Then the top of the stick would be cut off straight across.. topped with the small stone as leverage to hold the stick in place as they would draw the bow across the stick. as I said they would add shreds of stick or bark and dry leaves in the pit of the bottom stone.. even sometimes adding a few grains of sand to help with friction.
These stones look like they were a set. were they found together?
I grew up around native sites and have had them demonstrate the use before when I found them as a child. Good luck. as for the nut stone I have not seen but would not be surprised in the least if it was a multi~use stone. why carry alot of stones for one use each, ya know?
Rose~

Anonymous said...

well i'll make this harder by telling you these look like a set. They would cut one stick to a point... then put the point into the larger stone that has some small pit in it to start. Then the top of the stick would be cut off straight across.. topped with the small stone as leverage to hold the stick in place as they would draw the bow across the stick. as I said they would add shreds of stick or bark and dry leaves in the pit of the bottom stone.. even sometimes adding a few grains of sand to help with friction.
These stones look like they were a set. were they found together?
I grew up around native sites and have had them demonstrate the use before when I found them as a child. Good luck. as for the nut stone I have not seen but would not be surprised in the least if it was a multi~use stone. why carry alot of stones for one use each, ya know?
Rose~

Mel said...

How exciting! Your stones are lovely and they do look like Native American Indian artifacts.
I am hopelessly addicted to treasure hunting shows like Antiques Roadshow, Auction Hunters, American Pickers and now, annoying as it is, American Diggers. In their NC show, they dammed off the bend in a river and found the most amazing carved pipes, flint pistol and the biggest find of the day and of the most value was a grinding stone that was hundreds of years old.
I think that whatever yours is, it's a keeper.
Sometimes those random internet tangents are the most fun and the best possible way to not get other things done!

joanie said...

Wow! We only have crop circles near us, oh and a rather famous stone circle, slightly larger visited by thousands of tourists each year ;)
Your previous comments sound very logical to me.
If you get really industrious email the images to a local archaeological trust in the area. The closest university is the best place to find one.

Anonymous said...

We have a huge rock pile from years and years of field work, and I have found several of these rocks in it. They are very interesting! I pull them out and give them to my dad as he has several of his own.

Lori

bluedaisyglass said...

I have a collection of stones with holes right through them. I find them fascinating.

Nancy said...

There's nothing like a good exciting thing to get you a bit distracted for the day!! Indulge. That would be so cool if you had something like that on your hands!

Jamie said...

I love the stones I find with these holes, too, or a hole all the way through. My geologist husband told me the holes like this in the lava in Hawaii are caused by a little stone that get's caught and swirls around and around in the waves - perhaps the same method happens with river rocks?

Lisa said...

I thought they were called Witch's stones!

leFiligree said...

in the sabino canyon in AZ (and elsewhere) there are stones like these which the hohokam used to grind mesquite beans. i bet that's totally what yours are. lucky!!

curlygirlpress said...

I just looked up Witch's Stones - totally new term to me. Can you imagine the time and happenstance it takes to allow a little stone to bore a hole in a big stone, just through the power of water? Nature "rocks."
LOL

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