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SPANISH CONQUISTADOR or AMERICAN INDIAN HATCHET?

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Found along side a very narrow, eroded, steeply inclined trail on a  desert mountainside where 2 small Silver Ingots had reportedly been found by an MDer. Trying to ID the hatchet or ax head but can't find anything like it on the net. The dimensions are: Approx 4'' in length x 4" inches in height. Seems a little small to be a warrior's hatchet? Edged weapons opinions? Any  thoughts or suggestions?

Thanks,

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Why do you think it's a hatchet, besides the general shape?

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No reason, Clay, other than it was found North of Hatch?  :)  Seriously though, I really didn't know what else to call it, not having any expertise in the field. About 20 yrs ago, an acquaintance friend of mine, Sonny Hale, of Hillsboro, NM, introduced me to a lady seated next to us in the Hillsboro cafe, and told me she was an Archaeologist. He suggested that I show it to her. I did, (rather reluctantly) and she examined it for a few minutes, then said that it might be from the Coronado expedition, and suggested that I take it to the University and get them to ID it. I didn't think Coronado had journeyed through this area, so I wrote it off, thanked her and left. I actually suspected that it might have been a remaining piece off of one of those Spanish Lance/Banner things that you see in photographs of Spanish Conquistadors on horseback, but I couldn't find anything on the net that matched the exact shape of my item, either.

You can see it appears to be missing some of the metal at the back end, ( and to me), it looks hand forged and old enough to be from the period, but other than its shape and size, not much else to go on (to me at least)

Thanks,

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1 hour ago, BMc said:

No reason, Clay, other than it was found North of Hatch?  :)  Seriously though, I really didn't know what else to call it, not having any expertise in the field. About 20 yrs ago, an acquaintance friend of mine, Sonny Hale, of Hillsboro, NM, introduced me to a lady seated next to us in the Hillsboro cafe, and told me she was an Archaeologist. He suggested that I show it to her. I did, (rather reluctantly) and she examined it for a few minutes, then said that it might be from the Coronado expedition, and suggested that I take it to the University and get them to ID it. I didn't think Coronado had journeyed through this area, so I wrote it off, thanked her and left. I actually suspected that it might have been a remaining piece off of one of those Spanish Lance/Banner things that you see in photographs of Spanish Conquistadors on horseback, but I couldn't find anything on the net that matched the exact shape of my item, either.

You can see it appears to be missing some of the metal at the back end, ( and to me), it looks hand forged and old enough to be from the period, but other than its shape and size, not much else to go on (to me at least)

Thanks,

That is funny BMc. Sonny (Embree) Hale is a close friend of mine. We go way back.

With that old stuff it is hard to tell. It is a funny shape and I can't tell that there is any provision for hafting. It could be about anything. Does it look like it has a taper toward the edge?

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Yeah Bob, I assumed that you knew Sonny. I ran into him once in awhile when I was up that way since, as you know, he was a fixture at the Hillsboro cafe.  Real nice guy, kind enough to let me nugget hunt on a claim of his on the North side of NM 152. No sign of of tapering or grooving. Unless it might be no longer visible toward the back away from the front, which definitely has a bladed edge. 

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I am betting that is a native tomahawk,  Spanish blacksmiths took great pride and detail in their work, even horse shoes. Spanish horse shoes for example have always  had counter sunk nail holes and until the industrial revolution no one else took the effort. I learned that from an old  Archaeologist years ago working a 16th century  Spanish wreck.  All of the Spanish axes and even mallets I have seen on wrecks had shaft or handle holes. Many native pieces I have seen had no holes or grooves and look much like the flint or obsidian ones. when they where set to the wood handle properly with jerk, hide glue, and muscle sinew they where  solid and strong enough to split bone or wood. The two arrow points are also examples made from iron seat brackets from buck boards. the tomahawks where made from the iron bands of wagon wheels. Native Americans wasted nothing everything was used and reused. On two of the Manilla Shipwrecks I am involved with we find,(in nearby Native sites)  spear tips and knifes made from the ships spikes and even arrow heads knapped out of the broken porcelain Ming dynasty plates. Sometimes the Napper took great care to center the colored designs and kiln marks into the arrow head. Even the blocks of beeswax that washed ashore would be taken to the villages to use in waterproofing leather and combed into the hair to aid with the battle against lice, flees, and ticks. A practice that was adopted quickly by colonist and soldiers alike, mixed with charcoal or ash it makes a good repellent.  I think you have a great find and a rare one at that!

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Boy Ski, I have no idea, but it strikes me as being a little small to be a tomahawk. It's puzzling that I can't find an image like it on the net.

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If we have specialized tools, why couldn't the indians have them as well?Perhaps it was a meat cleaver or some other specialized tool.

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Hawks and war clubs varied greatly from tribe to tribe, region to region - and iron replaced stone in only a decade much like the musket replaced the bow, Bows varied greatly as well. Plains Tribes made very long powerful bows to drop large game from great distance.  Woodland tribes made less powerful short bows because they could get very close to the smaller game and one can not run through a forest with a long bow very easily. Coastal tribes used short bows and often poisoned the tips even for hunting, much like the primitive south American tribes still do today. Not every tomahawk was made for fighting, certain game was hunted by clubbing. several tribes here in Arizona hunted manly with a short throwing stick not that different than an Australian boomerang. I am just going by the size shape and look of the object. It is certainly  hand made metal and looks old enough to be Spanish, Colonial, era. The French started importing trade items even on the first arriving ships. I would imagine Spain had similar thoughts when they where loading their ships for voyages to the Indies or even the island or  California .  It is possible to proof old iron from post atomic iron using GCMS science as well as proving Viking made Iron from Carbon counts because their art of metalica was unique and never repeated elsewhere. 

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If you leave behind the thought that it's an edged weapon it's small size and shape are more reminiscent of a wood wedge, finish debarker or a flat rock wedge. Looking at it that way includes a logical explanation why the narrow end suffered more damage.

Or it could be an antique Hatch mince pie server. :89:

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If you'ed said enchilada server or cornbread slicer, I'd have tried to stay with you. The area it was found in kinda influences my thinking that it's a small cutting instrument which I suppose doesn't rule out a wedge of some sorts, but it doesn't widen much toward the non-edged side. It's a puzzler to me.

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Well Ski, I think you may be in the ballpark here, simply because the photo graphic evidence in your exhibits are getting closer to the shape of the find. I think perhaps we can rule out Viking influence though. :)

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Lots of knives are just an edge like that. The Inuit knives and the ones they use in the islands are just a shaped piece of metal with an edge. No handle at all. Kinida like a cigar knife with a bit more shape. It could have been hafted but at 4" X 4" that right there might be all there was to it. 

The basal end looks like it could have been hardened from blows. It looks like it is actually split. Rust does not split metal. So I kinda think it was something that was driven like a wedge. It might be a purpose built item rather than a classic design if you know what I mean. 

It is an algo.

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