Archaeologists, This Is Your Chance to Shine!

A Bear submitted a bit o’ a puzzle. Good thing, too, as I am deep in frantic research and prep for a trip to Mount St. Helens this weekend, so I haven’t time for anything gorgeously detailed. Especially not since WordPress ate my gorgeously-detailed prior post. Grr.

I’ll just quote from his emails:

Artifact or artefact? This rock came from the beach nearby, is it a product of natural forces or culture? This rock originated from the Karmutzen formation on Vancouver Island and has been entrained in glacial drift as well as marine beach activity by my guess.

Given the odd shape has it been culturally altered?

It would be interesting to see what your readers can make of this.

There is a midden nearby that is eroding onto the beach where I have found some nice artifacts, so it would not be out of place.

If there is interest in its composition, it is dense, specific gravity of almost 2.5, fairly hard and the black crystals appear to be magnetite as the rock has a fairly strong attraction to my neo-magnet.

So there’s some lovely detail, and we have photos, complete with scale:

Rock or artifact I

Rock or artifact II

Rock or artifact III

If this had been found in Arizona, I’d be tempted to call it a mano, which is the bit Native Americans there rubbed against metates to grind corn. I don’t know if our local tribes used anything like that. And I have no idea how to tell the difference between a wave-smoothed rock shaped like a lozenge and a human-smoothed rock shaped like a lozenge.

What say you all?

Also, consider this practice. Trebuchet sent me a riddle I’ll be springing on you soon, and it is brutal. This is your opportunity to sharpen your brains in anticipation. Use it wisely.