Welcome to my new blog. Here you will find stories and pictures of my most recent finds straight to you from the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country in Berks County, PA. Please contact me if you have an interest in learning more about what you see here or for your professional artifact appraisal and informational needs. -the Arizona Drifter

An excerpt on direction

Friday, March 21, 2014

As spring comes closer and brings with it a new season and a nice thaw- I have been taking some time to reflect on ceremony and the culture of some well known local tribes. Some collectors and artifact researchers have used such writing and descriptors involved in these ceremony to aid them in their quests. And so why not take some time to consider a short passage originally authored by Alfred A Knopf, in 1992, in a publication entitled America in 1492: The World of the Indian Peoples Before the Arrival of Columbus. And also frequently found in cultural research writing, often summarized, such as the enjoyable read Arts through Native Teachings that followed some years later. While I can do little to build on this text, I would like to note the directional attachments that the Lenape afforded. Both in this example and historically.

As often pictured with a traditional long house the Thanksgiving Ceremony is described from historical account. Here the Turtle faces the West, the Wolf the North, the Turkey the South, with the entrance at the East end.

The building represented the universe. The oval floor space was the turtle holding up the earth. On the posts were the carved faces of twelve spirits living in levels of the sky. The center post united people with the Creator, an ancient male figure sitting in heaven for all eternity and controlling the world by his thoughts.




I like to keep accounts like this fresh in mind. And especially with a new season of exploring around the corner!

Jasper Effigy "Lion"

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

I am not sure if the word would sit well with every reader But finding such a beautiful face in Jasper and quartz crystal really is neat! This "Mountain" Lion face of an obvious cat was found as is at a private site near Lehigh County. As with some artifacts I've found this particular piece had a certain energy. Have since found some very similar items from this quarry area- As noted prehistoric, 10000 and older.


My first YouTube video and some Nice stone


A quick no nonsense look at a very nice selection of sacred Nuh-Yah. Lots of quartz crystal inclusions in this one. My latest trip to a favorite site of mine has produced some of the most exotic Jasper stone I've come across yet.

Dad hit a home run at Site A

Wednesday, November 20, 2013



Really nice spear point at our best Site A field. Is a tough going time of the year to pull out good points -But this one was not trying to hide. After about twenty minutes of walking along rows of winter wheat this sweet 2 1/4" spotted black flint spear point was located right in a hoof print from a local white tail. Not only does this bring our count for this location to a rough twenty total points for 2013, But as seems to be the case in this wild we confirmed another great camp area close to a local spring and in the direct path of local wild game that has likely been using the area for water and traversal for some thousands of years. Great one Pop - Another one up for the stammnson' team!

Neat group of Jasper lithics

Sunday, November 17, 2013


It's just pretty cool

Vera Cruz Jasper

Saturday, November 16, 2013

One topic I'd like to address is the terminology and general nature of a phrase I have coined, Vera Cruz Jasper. Often the issue comes about from an interested collector or artifact hunter inquiring about my personal collection of lithics. And the debate surrounding that phrase not surprisingly will frequently address the legality of hunting for this stone and composite lithics. There is a quick, not so quick, and long summary of this topic. The quick summary is that without discussing the geography of Jasper and Silica composite veins running through the Earth, the phrase is simply that-An honorable mention of the same composite material and Circa used in such amazing and popular attractions as one might find near Emmaus, PA., and the surrounding Lehigh County area. A more drawn out explanation is that I have a number of private, personally owned sites far from this area where enormous quantities of Jasper can be found in abundance, and in plain view. Many collectors from afar and a good number in my locale have little knowledge of these veins and run the risk of assuming such materials are highly localized, as in many states across the US they are. In Pennsylvania they simply are not. Jasper quarries and pits of ancient and undisturbed origin are a better descriptor for the general areas in which this material exists-Numbering in the thousands across Pennsylvania. And an even more geographically correct identifier for these veins is the somewhat forgotten But still very well known Reading Prong. In following with this understanding I can very happily acknowledge that Not one of my own sites is on or even near Federally protected, State Game, Native or Reserved land. Around this time is generally when I start to catch the attention of even seasoned hunters. Virtually all are quite unknown to the general public, very private, and produce an amazing variety of high quality Jasper.


FINDS OF SPRING 2013

Saturday, October 12, 2013

          Spring of 2013was an exceptional year for me and my son Nathaniel. It was cold and wet and every hunt was a success. We never had a spring where we found some many full points and other unusual artifacts at our old haunts. All the relics pictured were found in a small area of eastern Berks County, Pennsylvania and all were surface field finds. It was certainly worth the effort and tired legs after weeks of walking recently plowed fields.
        Artifacts of note was the large portion of a well made, jasper Perkiomen Broad point  ( which before broken measured at least  3 inches long ) we are still searching for the other half, a large polished mano ( loaf stone, grinding stone )  and a large, complete metate  or mortar.  The pictures below are from our Spring, 2013 hunts.












SUSQUEHANNOCK CACHE BLADE

Pictured is one of 11 quartz cache blades found together on an ancient Susquehannock site near Manheim, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The blades are all quartz and measure in size from 2 inches to 4 inches in length. The blades are well made and thin.

VARIEGATED PERKIOMEN BROAD SPEAR LITHICS - FROM THE PREHISTORIC VERA CRUZ and MACUNGIE QUARRIES

Excerpt from : " Broad Spearpoints and the Transitional Period Cultures in Pennsylvania by John Witthoft 1953.

Lithic material : Spearpoimts of this type are most often of Pennsylvania Jasper and rarely of other material. Rhyolite is the most frequent of the minority materials and rhyolite specimens are ordinarily found in the Schuylkill drainage whear the Jasper examples abound, rarely in the Susquehanna. The Jasper specimens are usually of very carefully selected material, of much better quality then the run of the mill stone at the quarries. Sometimes the Jasper used is a rare varient of the Pennsylvania stone, apparently a phase of the Jasper which was not used by other peoples or in other times. Actually, even chips of this stone are diagnostic of a site of this complex. This peculiar stone sometimes has a greyish white, variegation with opaque brown-red splotches, white opaque spots and dark gray areas. In other examples it is a purplish-grey, mottled and streaked with dark blue grey, reddish or blueish zones. Sometimes the mottling is absent and the whole specimen is blue-grey, pink-brown, violet-brown, tan, orange-red, pink, greenish or near black. The molttling pattern may be blotches, dendritic structure in black, veining or brecciation and there is almost no limit to the variations or combinations. We do not know whear they obtained this stone, but it intergrades into normal Jasper in some specimens, and it shows the same fine structure in prepared cross-sections. It either came from one of the Jasper quarries which we have not yet found or from rare variants within one of the known quarries. The last alternative seems unlikely. These broad spears are also frequently made of Jasper which is not like any samples from the known quarries and a glassy bright yellow Jasper used frequently for these spears is the most common of these varieties. An unduly large proportion of spearpoints of this type are made of the chalcedony-like phases of the Jasper and from the chalcedony vein-filling rarely found in sizeable pieces in the Jasper quarries. These peculiar jasper vavieties seem to be restricted to this type of projectile point. I have also seen four specimens of this type of point made from a bright jade-green jasper which I have never seen eleswhere. A single specimen of the broad spear was found in Lancaster county made of pink agatized wood. Spears of this type were rarely made of argillite, quartzite or other rougher stone. Ordinarily they were made from the very finest flint available, with a conspicuous emphasis on attractively colored and mottled materials of some rarity. Actually, broad spear specimens made of materials other than jasper are rare. Judging by collections from the jasper quarries and their associated workshops, the people who made these broad spears were responsible for most of the digging at the quarry near ....., in Berks county, Pa. Their relics are somewhat less conspicuous at Vera Cruz, but they certainly did do a fair portion of the quarrying so apparent at this jasper outcrop. They do not appear to have utilized the Durham or Macungie quarries at all, since the distinctive jasper varients of these outcrops are not found in broad spears and since broad spears and rejects from their manufacture are not conspicuous at these sites. They also appear, judging by certain jaspers represented in the spear points, to have known of other jasper outcrops which have not been found by later Indians or by modern collectors.

JASPER TURTLE EFFIGY

TURTLE EFFIGY OF YELLOW JASPER WITH BLOOD RED TRANSLUCENT VARIEGATION. OVERALL LENGTH IS APPROX. 3 INCHES. THIS EXOTIC FORM OF JASPER WAS FOUND IN BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA NEARBY THE VERA CRUZ JASPER QUARRY IN 2009.

JASPER ARTIFACTS FROM BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA

The following text will be an on going discussion of jasper artifacts, jasper quarries, jasper work shops and production of finished jasper tools as found predominantly in Berks, Lehigh and Lancaster counties, Pennsylvania. The observations, maps, charts, photos and video that will be posted have been compiled by myself over a period of twenty years and are offered to share with others interested in this subject. There have been over 100 present day jasper pits, quarries or mines visited by myself since 1960, all having been dug and laboriously worked by prehistoric man and later by the Native Americans ( pre-clovis points are not uncommon to this area ).




1891 - 1892 JASPER QUARRY DIG BY H.C. MERCER

The following observations were recorded by H.C. Mercer, University of Pennsylvania Expeditions during a dig in one of the jasper pits in Berks county, Pennsylvania in 1891-92.

1-4 foot level : clay and loam, jasper chips and charcoals with two layers of jasper chips on the bottom.

5-7 foot level : Yellow ocher-clay mixed with jasper chips and charcoal.

8-11 foot level : Brown earth or loam interlaid with masses of yellow ocherous clay mixed with jasper chips, larger jasper nodules and scattered bits of charcoal. At 11 foot depth two worked jasper blades.

11-19 foot level : Dark brown earth mixed with smaller lumps of yellow clay. Jasper nodules and charcoal. Three fire places used to heat and split large Jasper nodules. Large stone implement. Jasper turtle back. Worked jasper blade. Small piece of unio shell.

PHOTOS OF THE PREHISTORIC PENNSYLVANIA JASPER QUARRIES - BERKS COUNTY

February 28 - 2010































I spent this day photographing the Paleoindian jasper quarries near Topton, Berks County, Pennsylvania. This site yields a high grade, exotic jasper not found at other jasper quarries in Berks or Lehigh counties. The day was cold and followed two weeks of Feburary blizzards - some of the worst ever recorded.







NOTE : These photos are not of the Vera Cruze Jasper Quarries. This quarry site is a larger and more complex site located in Berks County, Pennsylvania.





























After years of roaming various Native American village sites in Berks County, Pennsylvania I have learned that winter with its snow covered fields yields a wealth of data not visible in the Spring, Summer or Fall. The snow covered valleys, glens and mountain tops offer a very different perspective of landscape features not seen when the ground is bare. Indian village sites ( if undisturbed by modern man ) actually come alive, prehistoric trails become visible, foundations and burrial mounds jump out at you, visually, it all comes together and your standing in the middle of an ancient culture. So was this winter day, the jasper quarry came alive, I seen features, rock croppings and discarded jasper boulders that I never noticed after dozens of summer surveys - Let me share the visit.















Joe Stamm



Nathaniel Stamm











































LAST DIALOGUE OF THE DELAWARE INDIANS

The following is the last recorded dialogue between the early Moravians in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and the Woodland Indians. This dialogue took place at the Moravian Seminary in March of 1792.



In March, 1792, fifty-one chiefs and warriors of the Iroquois confederacy visited Bethlehem on their way to Philadelphia, then the Federal city of the Union. It was an imposing spectacle, such as not been witnessed for many years.

The glory of the Indian mission had departed and Bethlehem was no longer the home of the heathen convert and the rendezvous of his Christian teacher. Delaware, Minnisink and Mohican had been driven west of the Alleghanies and the Ohio, or their existence utterly cut off from the land of the living by the relentless white man. The missionary, it is true, cast in his lot with the wanderer and the exile, and in the wilds of the west was fighting his `Master's cause with the almost hopeless pertinacity with which the Indian himself struggled against the inexorable destiny of his race. It must have been with reflections that the Bretheren witnessed this pagent, the last of its kind, and doubtless sorrow mingled with their joy, as they welcomed the Iroquois warriors with whose fathers Zinzendorf had made a covenant of peace. by whom Spangenberg had been beloved as a brother, and in whose country Zeisberger had walked as an apostle of old. How rich in promise had been the first labors of their heroic brethren ! What hopes had been dissappointed in the lapse of half a century, that had opened to them with most auspicious omens, but to leave them, at its close, unpossessed of the crown which they had nigh won in the race ! The Indian was no longer one of their number. They missed his form in their streets, his voice in their houses and his reverential presence in the sanctuary. The songs of Zion, chanted in his native accents, no longer floated up from the " Tents of Peace " on the secluded hill-side in the quiet of the summer's evening. ( Friedenshutten or " Tents of Peace " was the name given to a cluster of cottages, built by the Moravians in the spring of 1746 in Bethlehem. Here a portion of the Indian congregation had been gathered by pioneer missionary Rauch, between 1740 and 1746 and found peaceful asylum from the persecution of the whites. )



On the morning of March 9, the party arrived at Bethlehem by way of Nazareth from Wyoming. " They were, " says an eye-witness, " fifty-one chiefs and warriors, among them ten baptized Oneidas - Red Jacket ( Sa-go-ye-wat-ha, " He keeps them awake ", celebrated warrior of the Seneca nation, whose native eloquence won him the appellation of the Indian Demosthenes, played a conspicuous part in both conflicts between the United States and Great Britain. - Good Peter - Big Tree - Cornplanter - Farmers Brother - Little Billy _ Captain Shanks - and Peter Jaquette, all well-known personages. The majority were dressed in white linen shirts, short wollen coats, Indian leggins and snugly-fitting moccasins of deerskin. A number of the party had the sleeves of their coats adorned with large plates of silver, or wore trinkets of the same material on their bosoms. Some had silver rings and pendants inserted through the cartilage of the nose ; most of them wore massive ear-ringsof silver or copper, which, by their weight, drew down the extremity of the ear and lengthened the slit through which it passed. Their faces were curiously painted in red, and vermillion was strewed on the lock of hair left on the crown. A few carried rifles ; the rest were equipped with tomahawk, knife, tobacco-pouch and trusty bow and arrows. The deportment of this motlew group was animated and lively ; and yet they strictly observed the laws of decorum, and astonishes us by their deceent and quiet demeanor. The day after their arrival, the Brethren gave them a formal reception in the chapel. The pupils of the Seminary, at their special request, were among the specators, and participated in the ceremonies of the occasion. The Indians were seated across the length of the hall in two semicircular rows facing the minister's table, which stood against the west wall of the building. After the performance of an anthem with full accompaniment by the choir, Bishop Ettwein addressed them as follows : " Brethren of the Six Nations, you are heartily welcome to Bethlehem. We and our children are pleased to see you. Fifty years ago our chiefs and your chiefs made a covenant of friendship promising to love one another and to rensder mutual good services. We, the United Brethren, are lovers and friends of all men, as we have one common Father in Heaven, and one Lord, even Jesus Christ, who redeemed us from evil by his precious blood shed for the sins of all mankind. We have been waiting for the salvation of your tribes, and all the Indians in this country. It will prove a source of great joy to us, could we in any way contribute to this object and aid in converting you to the knowledge of the only true God. Be assured of our love and our sincere wishes for your welfare. " You see here present a number of young ladies from different parts of our country, who rejoice with us in seeing you here, and who have asked permission to express their satisfaction personally "

Miss Lydia Stansbury, of Philadelphia, hereupon handed a written copy of her address to Miss Eliza Fries, also of that city, who had been selected to communicate it to the Indians, - most of their number understanding English.

" Brothers of the Six Nations, we bid you welcome to our town. We are rejoiced to see you. We see you without fear or trembling. We regard you as friends and brethren. You are on a good journey, you are going to smoke the pipe of peace with our great chief, George Washington and his council and to polish anew the chain of friendship. We wish you a prosperous time and a favorable issue to your undertaking and hope that you may return to your wives and children with gladdened hearts. We are here in Bethlehem to be instructed in what is good. Tell your little ones what is good ; tell them we love them, - that one Father feeds and protects us both, - that the same sun shines on us and that we were born in the same land. May our children and their decendants always dwell in peaceand friendship with your children and their decendants. May the song of the heavenly messengers be realized in our land, when they sang, " Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good-will toward men "

These words , adapted to music, were then sung by the choir with full accompaniment.

Red Jacket now rose and addressed the bishop in a few words. " Father ", said he, - " for thus I call you, since you are a servant of the Great Spirit above, and strive to promote the ways of justice and peace, - Ithank you for the kindly welcome and reception we have experienced in your midst. I am persuaded that the United Bretheren are a blessed and happy people and I desire that your prayer to our common Father that our tribes be brought out of darkness be answered ."

The venerable Good Peter ( Goods Peter, or Dominie Peter, an Oneida convert, was at this time in his seventy-seventh year ) next rose, and, turning to the pupils, expressed his thanks for their interest in the Indian, saying that he felt constrained to acknowledge their tender address and friendly greeting ; that he and his companions were astonished that such young females ventured to welcome the wild sachems and warriors of the Six Nations ; that they had done so with the discreetness of mature years, - from which it was evident how they had profited from the instruction they enjoyed at school. " We will, " he concluded, " tell our children and grandchildren what has transpired today, and hope that, at no remote time, they may be favored in their dark wilderness with schools such as are to be found in this happy village, whear the grace of the Great Spirit reigns in so peculiar way ".

At the close of this interesting interview, cakes, apples and other trifles were distributed among the Indians. On the fourth day after their arrival, the party left by way of the Lehigh and Delaware for Philadelphia.



This text from : A HISTORY OF THE RISE, PROGRESS AND PRESENT CONDITION OF THE MORAVIAN SEMINARY FOR YOUNG LADIES AT BETHLEHEM, PA.

By WILLIAM C. REICHEL - 1874











YET OFTEN FROM THE SPRING THE DRAUGHT IS SOUGHT, WHICH HERE TO ALL DOTH FREELY FLOW UNBOUGHT.

JASPER BROAD SPEARS - BERKS COUNTY, PA.

WORKED EDGE

JASPER TURTLE EFFIGY

FOUR INCH CRYSTAL QUARTZ CEREMONIAL BLADE

CORNER KNIFE - SCRAPER KNIFE

PERKIOMEN WITH FIRE HARDENED TIP

JASPER QUARRY COMPLEX

JASPER PIT 24 FT. DEEP

JASPER QUARRY COMPLEX

SERIES OF SIX INTERCONNECTED JASPER PITS

EDGE OF A JASPER PIT

STONE DELAWARE PIPE FOUND IN LEHIGH COUNTY

LARGE JASPER OUT CROP ON QUARRY WALL

HAMMER STONES

HAMMER STONES
Hammer Stones found in the Topton Jasper Quarries

DELAWARE CLAY PIPE FOUND IN LEHIGH COUNTY

3 1/2 INCH JASPER PERKIOMEN BROADSPEAR

FOUR CRYSTAL QUARTZ CACHE BLADES

RED JASPER HAND AXE - 3 1/2 INCHES

BRIGHT YELLOW JASPER PREFORM - CHALCEDONY VEINS

VERA CRUZ FIRE HARDENED JASPER

UNUSUAL QUARTZITE AXE

UNUSUAL QUARTZITE AXE
AXE FOUND IN ONE OF THE JASPER PITS

PA. ARROWHEADS

PA. ARROWHEADS
PEKIOMEN BROAD SPEARS

JASPER PRE-FORMS - BERKS COUNTY, PA.

SMALL POLISHED JASPER PAINT POT

JASPER LEHIGH BROAD SPEAR

SCRAPER MADE OF THE RARE GREEN JASPER

HIGH GRADE JASPER SPECIMEN FROM THE QUARRY

VERA CRUZ JASPER SPECIMEN

VERA CRUZ JASPER SPECIMEN
WHAT A MATRIX

THREE LARGE JASPER SCRAPERS

THREE LARGE JASPER SCRAPERS
FROM THE VERA CRUZ JASPER QUARRY COMPLEX

CRESENT KNIFE

CRESENT KNIFE
VIRGINSVILLE AREA

SMALL STONE AXE

SMALL STONE AXE
SKULL CRUSHER

BERKS COUNTY, PA. PALEO POINTS

BERKS COUNTY, PA. PALEO POINTS
ALL THREE FOUND ON THE SAME SITE

JASPER PALEO SCRAPER

JASPER PALEO SCRAPER
VERA CRUZ JASPER SCRAPER 3 INCHES

JASPER CRESENT KNIFE

JASPER CRESENT KNIFE
CRESENT KNIFE - 3 INCHES

AN EXOTIC JASPER SPECIMEN FROM BERKS COUNTY

AN EXOTIC JASPER SPECIMEN FROM BERKS COUNTY
YELLOW JASPER WITH BLUE AND RED CHALCEDONY

PERKIOMEN BROADSPEAR

PERKIOMEN BROADSPEAR
THE ELUSIVE VARIEGATED VERA CRUZ JASPER

JASPER SPECIMEN

JASPER SPECIMEN
EXOTIC JASPER - BERKS COUNTY, PA.

BANNER STONE - POLISHED CELT

THESE BEAUTIFUL EXAMPLES OF A GREEN TRANSPARENT BANNERSTONE HALF AND A WELL MADE POLISHED CELT STILL SHOW THE ORIGINAL GRINDING AND POLISHING MARKS. THEY WERE BOTH FOUND TOGETHER ON AN ANCIENT VILLAGE SITE IN MAIDENCREEK TOWNSHIP, BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA. THE ENTIRE VILLAGE SITE SURROUNDS A MIGHTY FLOWING SPRING STILL PRODUCING A PURE SUPPLY OF WATER . A STEEP ELEVATED TERRACE TO THE NORTH IS THE BACKDROP OF THIS VILLAGE SITE AND OFFERED TOTAL PROTECTION FROM THE NORTH WINTER WINDS. HUNDREDS OF ARTIFACTS HAVE BEEN FOUND ON THIS TEN ACRE SITE WHICH IS APPROX. ONE MILE FROM THE SCHUYLKILL RIVER. THIS AREA WAS DENSLY POPULATED BY THE NATIVES AND AS OFTEN RELATED TO THIS GEOGRAPHIC AREA OF SOUTH EAST PENNSYLVANIA, ONE NEED ONLY WALK TWENTY MINUTES TO THE NEXT VILLAGE SITE. SUCH WAS THE BOUNTIFUL SUPPLY OF FOOD, SHELTER, WATER, FUEL AND PRODUCTIVE SOILS IN THIS AREA.

GREEN QUARTZ BANNER STONE

GREEN QUARTZ BANNER STONE
HALF OF A BUTTER FLY BANNER

POLISHED CELT - FOUR INCHES

POLISHED CELT - FOUR INCHES
CELT AND BANNER STONE FOUND TOGETHER
 

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