Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/781

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ANCIENT DWELLINGS OF THE RIO VERDE VALLEY.

Of stone implements, the metates, used for grinding maize, form an exceedingly interesting set of specimens, exhibiting considerable variation in size and form. The greater number were of the hard, porous, gray scoria known as malpais, a material well adapted for grinding. Others were hewn out of sandstone, varying in color from red to creamy white. The manner in which they are fashioned with no better tool than another stone speaks in eloquent praise of the skill and indefatigable patience of these aboriginal workmen. A series of these primitive stone mills may be seen in the writer's collection at the American Museum. Grooved stone axes and hatchets were numerous, and likewise exhibit an unusually wide range of variation in size, shape, material, and workmanship. Several of them are, in form and finish, scarcely inferior to the modern articles. Some of the picks and hammers were also models of the handicraft of the stone age. Not the least interesting were stone wedges (doubtless intended for splitting timbers) and agricultural tools. There was also a large assortment of stone knives, resembling in shape the chopping-knife of modern housewives. Heavy malls, pipes of lava, whetstones, polishing-stones, and other implements whose use is not apparent, were obtained, besides mortars and pestles, stone vessels, and plates or platters of volcanic rock. Besides such articles of domestic use, there were the implements of warfare and the chase, including rounded stone hammers, mostly of sandstone and scoria, grooved for attachment to a handle by means of a hide thong; also grooved stones used in arrow-making, spearheads and arrow-points of obsidian or agate, and flints from the war-club (maquahuitl).

Pigments—red, blue, gray, and black—were found; also a heavy, black powder, and the usual chipped pieces of obsidian (volcanic glass) and agate, together with ornamental pebbles, etc. Nor were ornaments lacking, such as amulets of shells and rings of bone and shell. Several heavy pieces of obsidian, which were probably transported from New Mexico, were doubtless kept in stock for the manufacture of knives and weapons. A heavy block of red catlinite, or "pipe-stone" of which small fetiches found in several localities were made, extends the commerce of this people to the region of the Upper Missouri, where the only known quarries of this material exist; and sea-shells, doubtless from the Pacific, are of equal interest, as showing the extent of traffic to the westward.

In several rooms large earthenware vessels were uncovered, which, although broken, were still held in position by the pressure of their contents and the earth surrounding them; fine rootlets also penetrated the cracks and formed a meshwork serving to hold them together. The largest were of coarse material and