The Lockhart Harahay Discovery
Artifacts from past cultures can be appreciated on many levels. When looking at a nice
point a collector may see monetary value, a scholar may see a clue to past lives, and a ten
year old boy may see an "Indian War". Each of these views has importance. Most
enthusiasts have a mix of motivations that drive them to collect and study points and relics.
I would like to share a group of artifacts, found together, that exemplifies this phenomenon.
This group of Harahey knives was dug in March of 2004 in San Saba Co., TX. Bobby
Glass of Georgetown, TX, was digging a site on private property when his friend Cole
Lockhart called him to an adjacent square to see a find. The tip of a point, made of
Edwards flint, was projecting from the side of the excavation. Working together, they
unearthed a pile of half pieces. No other artifacts were recovered in association.
Even before the pieces were all recovered it was apparent that at least some of the halves
fit together. Later, Mr. Lockhart glued the pieces. The group was revealed to contain six
Harahay knives ranging from 5" to 6 1/4" inches in length. Two were full blades with little
use and no resharpening evident, two were lightly resharpened, and two were heavily
resharpened. All were broken across the center of the blade.
These blades look great on the wall. Finding them was an experience the diggers will never
forget. And although I acquired the group in a trade, I'm certain they have a fair amount of
monetary value. But the real value and true significance of these remarkable relics is the
window they provide into the life of the person who used them centuries ago.
I interpret this find as being part of one individual's working tool kit. The knives appear to
have been put into service in pairs, before the most used set was exhausted. The newest
blades show evidence of use as shaft straighteners, awl sharpeners, or cordage preparers.
The evidence of this use is gone after a few sharpenings. The total weight of the artifacts is
452 grams, slightly more than a pound. That's a lot of knife edge for the weight, an
important aspect to a mobile group of hunters. The flat bifaces stack beautifully for storage
and transport. And, as any Boy Scout will tell you, nothing is handier on a long camp-out
than a sharp knife.
But why were they discarded? Because the relics were found in a dry, rocky area that was
not farmed in historic times it seems likely that the knives were broken deliberately. "Killed"
artifacts are known from a variety of archaeological contexts in many parts of the country.
We can only speculate on the cultural aspects so tantalizingly hinted at by the condition of
the Lockhart Harahays. But isn't that what collecting Indian relics is all about?