New Adventures of Dances With Snakes
Joint Field Trip - Chisum Quarry, Gore, Oklahoma
Our day begins at around 8:00am at an abandoned trading post just off
Interstate 40 at Hwy 100 near Webbers Falls, OK.
Just down the
road is Gore, Oklahoma, and our planned collecting locality at the old
abandoned quarry known as Chisum Quarry. The quarry was extensively used
in the building of the McClellan-Kerr Navigation System, particularly
Webbers Falls Lock and Dam only a mile away. The collecting is
principally in the Pennsylvanian series of the Braggs mountain and
Brewer Bend limestone members of the Sausbee Formation.
interest in this quarry is the possibility of finding the occasional
Trilobite (Paladin morrowensis), several species of Goniatites,
Gastropods, and at least one known species of Cephalopod. Also known
from this locality are occasional remains of Deltodus angularis, and
Petalodus ohioensis shark. More plentiful are Pentremites
rusticus Blastoids, and numerous species of Crinoids, Brachiopods,
Corals, and a Bryozoan, Polypora submarginata.
Pentremites Blastoids found by DWS
Crinoid plate found by Dennis Swing
Petalodus tooth. Recovered by DPS President Brian Bowles
Ditomopyge Trilobite This is the best example of this Trilobite our FT
Leader, Dennis Swing, has seen come out of this quarry. This one was
found by TRMS member Tony Morris.
here for a 180° panorama of the lower portion of the quarry.
wanderings about the quarry, I happened upon an old friend, well,
actually a new friend. A king snake was taking a stroll to the watering
hole, so we got acquainted for a few minutes before going about our
business. He didn't seem to mind the attention much, but he did seem to
take a shine to my geo-pick!
I think we
both enjoyed the interaction. Jeannie Fulton of the Dallas Paleo Society
assisted with the pics. Jeannie is a science teacher and enjoyed
watching the interaction. The species is Eastern Black Kingsnake.
afternoon after leaving the group I decided to take time to visit a
Native American encampment site near 14-mile creek, just north of
Hulbert, OK. This is a site on private property with restricted access.
The owner has given me permission to visit the site and do a little
excavating from time to time in search of artifacts. Mostly what I find
is debitage, but occasionally I'll turn up a partial point or scraper.
The flint is abundant in one particular area, lending to the idea of a
seasonal encampment as much as 4000 years BP. The partial points that
have been found seem to support this. The site is currently about
fourteen feet above the normal water level in 14 Mile creek, and testing
of the soil indicates approximately that much top soil above the
underlying gravel beds. Not far away are alluvial hills rising as much
as 200 feet or more comprised of mainly of coarse , cherty gravels. The
meadow where the site is located would seem to have existed for some
thousands of years, and lend credence to the course of 14 Mile creek not
having moved much in that period of time. It lies in a mile wide valley
which winds it's way through the the hills at the bedrock level. It
would seem that a nearby waterfall would have been a plus to the
natives, and nearby springs also supply a necessary clean water source.
The meadow is somewhat sheltered, and would have been an excellent site
for a long term seasonal encampment. The surrounding hills would have
been excellent lookout points.
evidence that extensive lithic manufacturing took place, including the
"cooking" of spalls and blanks. A great deal of the debitage
exhibits characteristics of heat treatment, both in the color and the
enhanced fracture control of the flakes. There are some wonderful pinks
and greys, to stark white material, which is not typical of untreated
native flints and cherts in the area. Most of the chert gravels to be
found in the creek are non-descript earth-tones, and somewhat less
workable in their natural, un-treated forms. There is also evidence of
charcoal in the lithic work area, lending credence to this observation.
and the approximate six foot square plot that Brandon and I de-sodded on
an earlier visit.
of white flint, and a pile of debitage can be seen here from the small
area that is dug to the right.
As you can
see, the ratio of worked flint to un-worked stone is no comparison here.
This area is loaded with debitage. I have sampled several plots some 60
to 100 feet from here and come up with the same type of lithic waste.
Perhaps this area deserves a proper excavation and study. We'll see what
I can wok out with the owner in the future for an organized dig here by
BA Paleo members under the proper supervision... Maybe this will be a
good site for students of Archeology?