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Archaeology/I found this quartz artifact


QUESTION: I was wondering if this artifact is worth anything? The quartz is clear as glass but the quartz will cut glass. I tried this to verify that it was not glass. you can tell where Indians worked around it chipping at it. The bottom is flat it's 4'' long 2 3/4'' wide and
2 1/2'' tall. Found in North Carolina. Any information would be much appreciated.

ANSWER: Hi Dusten,

Where in NC did this come from?

I suspect that it is glass.  Quartz crystal that size would be very unusual and the Native Americans would have kept intact for spiritual reasons.

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quartz artifact Ashe Co. NC
quartz artifact Ashe C  
quartz artifact Ashe Co. NC
quartz artifact Ashe C  
QUESTION: I found this in Ashe Co. North Carolina. I actually have looked for arrowheads all my life, started when i was young. I'm 99% sure this is not glass and indeed was work by Indians. Hope this picture will help.

ANSWER: Hi Dusten,.

Many years ago, I taught Archaeology in Greesboro and in those classes, I taught flint knapping using glass.  It was more predictable then stone and easier to work with as well. We used glass which was 3" thick and 12" square.  

To find a quartz artifact of this size would be highly unusual.  Ashe county does have veins of quartz in the rock structure but I am not aware of any large crystal cashes or anything simiar.  If this is quartz, it would have been made from a crystal as vein quartz is rarely this clear and flawless.  In my 30+ years of professional Archaeology I have only seen one point made out of nearly clear quartz. And it did not come from NC.  

So, assuming that it is real, where and how did you find this?  Was it in a farmer's field, in a stream... Please give me some idea of how it was found and where in Ashe county you found it (does not have to be specific).

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

quartz artifact Ashe Co. NC
quartz artifact Ashe C  

quartz artifact Ashe Co. NC
quartz artifact Ashe C  

It was found in the Crumpler area 28617 zip. I was digging rocks out of a place in my yard for a flower bed. There is a lot of quartz rocks in the ground here. I know that Indians was in this area too, my neighbor has found arrow heads in his yard. Also a bunch of Indian artifacts have been found a few hundred yards from here been told by different people in the neighborhood. How would you test it to see if it was glass or quartz? Here is a few more pic hope you don't mind.

Hi Dusten,  

No prob.  Thank you for the additional pics.  These are quite enlightening.  They do show a crystaline shape.  Do you know if any of the artifacts that have been found in your immediate area are made of the same quartz?  Or are they all made of other materials or if quartz made from the same crystal?  

I'd love to see any other artifacts found in your area made from the same material.

A flower bed... It is amazing what can be found when planting flowers!


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Ralph Salier


Archaeologist for the last 30 years. Norh American generalist and Hopwell culture/Red Ocher culture specifically. Lithics Expert and Ground Stone tools.


Past/Present clients
Numerous museums in US and Canada. Several University Anthropology Departments.

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