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12 December 2005
Donors can save ancient site in New Hampshire

Ken White dreamed of finding evidence of ancient civilizations in the White Mountains (New Hampshire, USA). He was hiking with one of his sons two years ago on Father's Day when his dream came true. He said he found a piece of a stone artifact and was confident he was onto something big. His intuition proved right. He discovered, within weeks of his initial find, a site archaeologists have agreed was used by prehistoric people to quarry hornfels, a black volcanic rock prized for its hardness and ability to be shaped. The quarry is located on privately owned land on Mount Whittier's north face.
     White said he has struck a deal with the owners to be the first person eligible to buy a 50-acre parcel containing most of the site. But, he added, he can't afford to finish the transaction. He said he hopes donors will step in. "If it became a national historical site, it could be named after the person donating the money," said White, a painter and amateur archaeologist. "But I'd like to be part of it and retain a little scrutiny."
     On a recent sunny afternoon, White walked along a rutted path wearing a well-worn pair of hiking boots. He swept away leaves with his walking stick, revealing thousands of stone chips. During his frequent hikes in the area, White said he has found a softball shaped white quartz "hammer stone" used to shape tools, as well as several large "platform stones." He also found two sections of a hornfels spear point that he said can be dated to between 3500 and 5000 BCE.
     While archaeologists maintain it wasn't made at the site, but was dropped there by a visitor, he disputes the conclusion. The discovery, he argues, proves Tamworth was an important tool making area. He added that he found the first section of the spear point in a muddy puddle. The second piece was found weeks later, about 100 ft. away.

Source: Foster's Online (11 December 2005)

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