Welcome, Guest
Username: Password: Remember me

Donation Thermometer

Arrowheads.com

TOPIC: Fishing Weights, Plummets ?

Fishing Weights, Plummets ? 1 year 11 months ago #47984

  • CMD
  • CMD's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 4614
  • Thank you received: 2478
All the artifacts shown here are interpreted as fishing weights by archaeologists and collectors in New England. These particular examples are personal finds by my wife and myself.

It was a blazing hot day in a corn field atop a bluff overlooking the Atlantic in Westport, Ma. From several rows over my wife called out "want some water?". I walked over, took the bottle from her and as I did she looked at our feet and said "look!!" A nice plummet, tiny knob with a shallow ring at the base of the knob.


NewEnglandPlummets008.JPG


Not sure of the material, but there's an inclusion on the top of the knob that makes a figure 8. Of course, it would not have been a figure 8 to the maker, but the maker would have known the shape would end up on top of the knob. Wonder if it meant anything to him?


016.JPG


All I saw of the next plummet was the very top of the knob. The plummet was buried upright in frozen sediment along a river bank. We used sharp stones to hack away at the ground until I could wiggle it free and discover it really was a plummet!


NewEnglandPlummets018.JPG


I found the next one on the same river bank. Simple as it gets, just a groove pecked around one end of an otherwise unmodified sandstone pebble.


NewEnglandPlummets019.JPG


My wife found this next one. It's really just a notched weight, but the notches are ground smooth and the maker placed them so the piece resembles a plummet, and so I regard it as a type of plummet.


NewEnglandPlummets020.JPG


Next up, a nice grooved weight. Good example of how the same artifact class can go by different names depending on what part of the country they're found. In New England, this is a grooved weight, but in Texas, I believe these are called Waco sinkers.


NewEnglandArtifacts003.JPG


Another hot summer day. My wife and I walked to the waters edge on a Narragansett Bay beach carpeted with cobbles. We stopped, she looked at our feet and said "look!!". A waterworn grooved weight. A few seconds later, I said "here's another one" and picked up a notched weight less then a foot away from the grooved weight. If these were net weights, they were perhaps from the same net.


NewEnglandArtifacts004.JPG


Lastly, the simplest and by far the most common of weights, notched weights, usually interpreted as net weights. The plummets are usually interpreted as line weights, but the really big ones could have been anchors. The one on the left from a corn field, the other from a beach.


NewEnglandArtifacts005.JPG


If you have any weights you'd like to share, feel free to post some photos :cheer:
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Fishing Weights, Plummets ? 1 year 11 months ago #47985

  • cgode
  • cgode's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 2719
  • Thank you received: 1127
Cool stuff Charlie, the only ones I have are made of lead from a mold....I'm pretty sure they aren't prehistoric though! :P
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: CMD

Fishing Weights, Plummets ? 1 year 11 months ago #47990

  • CMD
  • CMD's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 4614
  • Thank you received: 2478
cgode wrote:
Cool stuff Charlie, the only ones I have are made of lead from a mold....I'm pretty sure they aren't prehistoric though! :P

Well we save them too when we find them, Chris :laugh:
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Fishing Weights, Plummets ? 1 year 11 months ago #47997

  • Hoss
  • Hoss's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 5946
  • Thank you received: 2842
I pick up the lead ones too. I used to melt and mold my own when I was into surf chasing!
Charlie thanks for the amazing show. I have several but unfortunaly they are packed away.
Those are some really nice ones you have there. :)
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: CMD

Fishing Weights, Plummets ? 1 year 11 months ago #48008

  • painshill
  • painshill's Avatar
  • NOW ONLINE
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 2579
  • Thank you received: 2078
Nice show, Charlie.

That first item might be grano-diorite. I can see some small orbicular features which commonly occur in this rock.
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: CMD

Fishing Weights, Plummets ? 1 year 11 months ago #48018

  • CMD
  • CMD's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 4614
  • Thank you received: 2478
painshill wrote:
Nice show, Charlie.

That first item might be grano-diorite. I can see some small orbicular features which commonly occur in this rock.

Thanks for the possible ID on that, Roger. Sandstone was the most common choice hereabouts, cobbles of it everywhere. Grano-diorite is probably spot on ;)
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Fishing Weights, Plummets ? 1 year 11 months ago #48029

  • twoshovel
  • twoshovel's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Member
  • Posts: 513
  • Thank you received: 94
thanks for sharing those, i always enjoy your post's and stories, i wonder how many of those if any i've missed,,twoshovel
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: CMD

Fishing Weights, Plummets ? 1 year 11 months ago #48044

  • rmartin
  • rmartin's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 6849
  • Thank you received: 3288
Interesting artifacts Charlie.
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: CMD

Fishing Weights, Plummets ? 1 year 11 months ago #48052

  • tomclark
  • tomclark's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 1141
  • Thank you received: 508
Man, those are great pieces, Charlie and Wife! :cheer:
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: CMD

Fishing Weights, Plummets ? 1 year 11 months ago #48055

  • gregszybala
  • gregszybala's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 5517
  • Thank you received: 2252
Nice Charlie, have yet to find anything like that around here and you would think being on the shores of a Great Lake, there would be opportunity.
Side note, Plummets, I don't understand how they would work. You would think the grove would be much more pronounced, deeper, to retain the line tied around it. It seems the line could slip off very easily. Also, why so well crafted, the smooth teardrop shape, less drag when retrieving from the water, but still alot of work and craftsmanship for something that is constantly getting thrown into the water?
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: CMD

Fishing Weights, Plummets ? 1 year 11 months ago #48058

  • CMD
  • CMD's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 4614
  • Thank you received: 2478
gregszybala wrote:
Nice Charlie, have yet to find anything like that around here and you would think being on the shores of a Great Lake, there would be opportunity.
Side note, Plummets, I don't understand how they would work. You would think the grove would be much more pronounced, deeper, to retain the line tied around it. It seems the line could slip off very easily. Also, why so well crafted, the smooth teardrop shape, less drag when retrieving from the water, but still alot of work and craftsmanship for something that is constantly getting thrown into the water?

Good question, Greg. Somewhere I have illustrations showing suggested hafting for plummets as line weights with hooks. If, and it is a big if, I can locate those illustrations, I'll post them here.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Fishing Weights, Plummets ? 1 year 11 months ago #48060

  • painshill
  • painshill's Avatar
  • NOW ONLINE
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 2579
  • Thank you received: 2078
CMD wrote:
gregszybala wrote:
Nice Charlie, have yet to find anything like that around here and you would think being on the shores of a Great Lake, there would be opportunity.
Side note, Plummets, I don't understand how they would work. You would think the grove would be much more pronounced, deeper, to retain the line tied around it. It seems the line could slip off very easily. Also, why so well crafted, the smooth teardrop shape, less drag when retrieving from the water, but still alot of work and craftsmanship for something that is constantly getting thrown into the water?

Good question, Greg. Somewhere I have illustrations showing suggested hafting for plummets as line weights with hooks. If, and it is a big if, I can locate those illustrations, I'll post them here.

Charlie, is this what you were thinking of?

www.artifactsguide.com/discus/messages/4...2122.html?1143361842

I'm with Greg. Even with the benefit of the above finds that suggests those items were all used in association with each other, I still don't understand how the weight didn't slip off the string. I also have some fishing weights (presumed, although from riverside locations) from neolithic French sites with grooves that are so shallow I imagine the weight continually being lost. It doesn't feel right, so there must be something we don't yet know or understand. I've tried tying a couple of items onto lines myself. If you tie them with wet twine it shrinks when it dries, so that tightens it all up... but then it dawned on me that as soon as you put it in the water it's gonna loosen again! :laugh:

What is is that we aren't getting?
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Fishing Weights, Plummets ? 1 year 11 months ago #48061

  • CMD
  • CMD's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 4614
  • Thank you received: 2478
Thanks for the informative link, Roger. I'm sure I cannot provide the answers you and Greg seek, but I did find one illustration of a suggested hafting. This illustration is taken from C. Keith Wilbur's The New England Indians(1978), p.8, and is based on a display at the Robbins Museum(known as the Bronson museum when the book was published), which is the museum of the Massachusetts Archaeological Society.


SuggestedPlummetHafting001.JPG


Hope this helps somewhat. Here they are interpreted as line weights. This particular arrangement uses 2 two piece bone fish hooks.
Last Edit: 1 year 11 months ago by CMD.
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: gregszybala

Fishing Weights, Plummets ? 1 year 11 months ago #48062

  • CMD
  • CMD's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 4614
  • Thank you received: 2478
Here are a couple more RI plummets. The first one is knobbed and grooved, and is easier to imagine hafting without slippage. The second is just one of my favorite plummets.


NewEnglandPlummets003.JPG


NewEnglandPlummets002.JPG


NewEnglandPlummets007.JPG


NewEnglandPlummets014.JPG


And one from Maine where drilling and a groove made for easy hafting.


004_2012-04-21.JPG
Last Edit: 1 year 11 months ago by CMD.
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: tomclark, gregszybala

Fishing Weights, Plummets ? 1 year 11 months ago #48103

  • ksrocks
  • ksrocks's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Member
  • Posts: 2310
  • Thank you received: 381
Very good post Charlie, lot of good information and nice artifacts. That second one is very nice!!

Joe.
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: CMD
Moderators: turkeytail, Butch Wilson
Time to create page: 0.756 seconds