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It was once said that most of the history of the mankind could be written in flint. When man first realized that a spall, inadvertently struck from a flint boulder, had sharp edges and could be used to cut with, and more importantly, that he could repeat the process and obtain more useful pieces, he became a tool maker. With the first purposeful altering of stone, man began a technology which would last for hundreds of thousands of years and eventually was carried into the Ohio area. Given the reliance on flint tools and projectile points by prehistoric people, sources of obtainable chippable stone were crucial to their survival. There are three major flint sources in the Upper Ohio Valley: Indiana hornstone in southern Indiana, and Flint Ridge and Coshocton in Ohio. Flints from these three deposits are found hundreds of miles from their sources. Literally millions of prehistoric implements, tools and projectile points were fashioned of these three flints. Flint tools and projectile points, along with ground stone tools, and the enigmatic, non-utilitarian group of artifacts generally referred to as “slate” represent the majority of material left by the pre-historic Ohioans. Identification, study, documentation, and preservation of these artifacts are an exciting, rewarding, critically important part of archaeology.

Among the various important publications of the Archaeological Society of Ohio are books on Ohio Flint Types, Ohio Slate Types, and Prehistoric Stone Tools. Each of these books is available through our online store. We have also developed a Simplified Guide to Identifying Ohio Flint Types,  The free,simplified guide contains line drawings of most of the Ohio flint types and is a good starting point to help you identify flint tools. To learn more, consider purchasing Ohio Flint Types, or one of the other companion books, and joining the Archaeological Society of Ohio.





The ASO does not allow the display or sale of fraudulent artifacts at our meetings. Our position on the sale and display of fraudulent artifacts has been a cornerstone of the ASO since its inception in 1941. The ASO Fraudulent Artifacts Committee will review displays at each State sponsored Meeting. Items deemed fraudulent will be identified and the own/exhibitor will be asked to remove the piece(s) from his/her display. If the fraudulent item(s) is not promptly removed, the exhibitor will be issued a written notice of the fraudulent display and will be instructed that unless the fraudulent display is immediately removed, the exhibitor will be asked to leave the meeting.

We will do our best to limit the display and sale of fraudulent artifacts at our shows, but ultimately, the responsibility is yours to educate yourself against fraudulent artifacts. Knowledge, experience, and good dose of skepticism are the best tools to combat fraudulent artifacts. Nowhere in the country will you find more people knowledgeable on authentic Midwest artifacts than at our State meetings. Most of these people are willing to share their knowledge and experience if asked. So, if you are not confident an artifact is authentic, ask as many knowledgeable people as you can before buying and make sure to ask how they came to their conclusion. Even better, don’t spend your hard earned money on artifacts until you have handled and closely studied as many field found and broken artifacts as you can, and don’t ever stop learning or take authenticity for granted. Along these same lines of reasoning, we do not allow Certificates of Authenticity (COAs) to be displayed at State-sponsored meetings in the sale of an artifact. A seller is allowed to mention that a COA is available for a particular artifact, but the COA cannot be displayed on the table.

If, as an ASO member, you feel you have purchased a fraudulent artifact at an ASO State sponsored meeting, you do have recourse. The following language is taken directly from the ASO Constitution and By-Laws:

“Upon the sale of any artifact at a Society meeting, the buyer must notify the seller within 10 days that the artifact is questionable. If the seller does not feel the buyer is justified in his opinion, the artifact in question may be judged on by the Fraudulent Artifacts Committee no later than the next Society meeting. The buyer has 30 days to return any questionable artifact to the seller after the date of purchase or date of authenticity determination by the Fraudulent Artifacts Committee to receive a refund of the purchase price. The article must be in the original condition as purchase when returned.”

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