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Flint Rock Traders

A cache by neco_cachero Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 1/30/2011
1.5 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size: small (small)

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Geocache Description:

One more time many thanks to Professor Larry Young from Cloud County Community College for bringing his Geology class students to this area for a field trip experience. This is another excellent place to appreciate the morphology and structure of the Flint Hills, and also learn a few about the early Indian tribes that used the flint rock as a trading good.


It is a well known fact that before the coming of the white man to this country, the Indian artifacts, both those of war and of agriculture, were composed almost entirely of stone. Stone, for this purpose, must be hard enough to maintain a cutting edge, and brittle enough that it may be chipped or shaped with comparative ease. Flint was the most common material used by American Indians, although in many places, obsidian, quartzite, jasper, and agate were also used.

The greatest part of the Indian arrow-heads and other implements found on the Great Plains have been made from one of the rocks mentioned above, flint usually being the most common. This is the reason that on the Plains, deposits of flint are found more abundantly than any of the other rocks named above.

Flint Rocks

Arrow heads

There are three general regions on the Great Plains where flint occurs in great quantities; namely (1) in the region of the outcrop of the Boone Chert, of Mississippian age, on the outer rim of the Ozark Mountains, (2) in the Pennsylvanian-Permian Flint Hills of Kansas and northern Oklahoma, (3) in the Pennsylvanian area of north-central Texas.

The Flint Hills of Kansas and Oklahoma were a prolific source of material for implements. The Flint Hills, which stand out as a prominent escarpment, 200 to 300 feet above the level of the plains to the east extend northward from Osage County, Oklahoma, across east-central Kansas, nearly as far as the Nebraska State line. The summit of the Flint Hills is made up of several heavy ledges of limestone, containing vast amounts of flint in the form of nodules or concretions. The geologist has named the three most prominent ledges, the Wreford, the Fort Riley-Florence, and the Winfield limestones. As the limestone that made up these hills has been dissolved and eroded by the action of water, the flint being less soluble, has remained behind; and weathering out on the surface for tens of thousands of squared miles of country hence the name of Flint Hins.

The flint usually lies just below the surface at ridge level in a layer up to six feet thick. Unweathered flint was obtained by digging by hand or with sticks or bone tools. The indians of this area quarried the flint for tools and as trade goods.

On to the cache

In this location the cache container is a tan painted tin can. It blends very well on its surroundings but it should not be hard to find. The objective of this cache is for you to have a first-hand experience with the flint rock. Be careful while looking for the cache because flint rock is loosy and can easily break. That is the reason why Indians used it largely to make utensils and tools like knives, arrow and spear heads, rudimentary axes and tomahawks.

You can take some samples from the area and even try to make your own utensils. Flint rocks is a very malleable rock which on the hands of a dexterous handy artisan may turn into useful tools or beautiful art.

Please use the parking coordinates to park your vehicle. Do not park on the ramp's shoulder/right-of-way. It is a short stroll to the cache from the parking area. Also be careful and stay attentive to the traffic on K-177 and on the incoming traffic in and out of the interstate.

Additional Hints (No hints available.)



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