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Waco Sinkers

by Dr. Charles L. Boyd, College Station, Texas

Originally Published in the Central States Archaeological Journal, Vol.53, No.2, pg.71


A group of unique artifacts were found in central Texas by members of the Central Texas Archaeological Society in the early 1930’s. H.G. Moore published a paper, A Sinker Factory Site in the Central Texas Archaeological Society Bulletin No.1, 1935. The name Waco Sinkers was given to these artifacts by Frank Watt who published a scientific paper describing them to specific types (Watt-1938 CTAS Bulletin No. 4). 536 specimens were located on this site. Fewer numbers have been found at camp sites in our counties in central Texas between the Brazos and the Trinity Rivers. The author has documented two thousand and sixty-eight specimens in various collections in this area.

These artifacts are associated with those points and tool forms from the Paleo­Early Archaic period. The material from which they are produced is primarily quartzite, quartz and sandstone. Specimens of hematite are rare.

The colors are creamy white, purple and reddish black.

The shape of the majority of these spec­imens is rectangular, ovoid or round. Pecked and ground notches are found at each end of the rectangular stones and are opposite each other on the round or ovoid stones. Grooves do not circle the stones as in true bola stone forms. True Waco sinkers are notched only.

The provenience is usually the first or second terrace where the camp site is located. One collector of a large number alleges that all his sinkers came from creek beds. All other collectors indicate upper terraces. One hundred and fifty nine specimens were found by three col­lectors at a gravel processing plant.  (Nolan-1986)

The manufacturing technology involves either abrasion or flaking and abrasion.”Used by Permission of the Author”
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