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Discovery of cache of 181 killed Turkeytail Fulton Cache

Story of the recovery recounted by Monty R. Pennington

I received a call from one of our members of the AFACA yesterday

Discovery of cache of 181 killed

Turkeytail - Fulton Blades ....

Story of the Recovery

(see the cache at table # 67 at the expo)   

It all started when I received a call from one of our members of our local AFACA yesterday , May 25, 2004, at about 3:10pm.   This call set up events for a VERY exciting evening and morning till afternoon today.   

I was in my office when the call came from my friend Speedy that he had been walking a tobacco patch with another of our members when he had found a base of a Turkeytail and then several more pieces of like material and workings that could not have came from the same piece.  The pieces were all very thin and showed excellent workmanship.  He had then scraped around a little with his flipping stick and found some VERY dark earth a few inches below the surface.  

His voice came across the phone as the words, " I think that I have found a cache!  What should I do?"   I told him that if he would like me to,  I would throw my equipment and camera in the truck and come to him and he said, "Come ON!"

It took about 2 1/2 hours to get things together and pick up his uncle (another of our members) and make it to their location.

We carried my equipment into the patch and out to the place where he had found the pieces. 

It did not take long to discover that he had INDEED found a cache!  And most amazing is that he found it by "surface hunting" a tobacco patch....  !

Here again, as I have said before, I believe that erosion had FINALLY taken off enough top soil that the plow barely touched the top of the cache dragging the few pieces to the surface that tipped Speedy off the there may have been a cache below.  (I must give Speedy a lot of credit here for being able to recognize the signs that led to this GREAT discovery.

We discovered the first tail at 9 inches down.  At about 14 1/2 inches we started hitting the black material that the cache was buried in.  I believe that this may have been an animal skin, possibly a bear with lots of fat as the black that was  coating the blades was "greasy feeling".  Anywhere that we found the black dirt, there was material in it. 

The site bottomed out at  22 1/2 inches... was a little over 14 inches wide, 24 inches long.  The biggest concentration of pieces were in an area about 12 inches by 12 inches and 9 inches deep. Tonight a count of the bases revealed that the cache contained AT LEAST 181 Turkeytail - Fulton Blades....... EVERY one was a master piece when they killed them....... ALL 181 had been killed in what ever ceremony this cache was created in!  All 181 were completely finished blades of ceremonial quality, showing NO signs of usage. 

At the very bottom  of the cache, charcoal was found, some pieces still resembling the wood that was used...  Some of the points were fire popped as well as killed, showing that they were placed pretty much directly into a fire.  They were ALL together in the above mentioned small space.  We would find several tips together, then several bases.... some wound be on edge, some flat, some standing upwards.  Most of the middles were at the bottom..  This brought us to the following conclusion......... These points were killed on some sort of raw hide..... then rolled up... and dropped into the fire as part of the ceremony.  

WHAT A COUPLE OF DAYS!   I would like to thank David, Roy, Hayden, Danny, & Charlie for dropping everything to come to our aid in recovering this great cache!

I do not know that it is the Largest cache of Turkeytail Fultons that has ever been recovered in Kentucky, but it surely should rank up there.  

The recovery location was just outside Mt. Sterling, Kentucky in Montgomery County.

I am proud to be able to share this event with you all!

Just goes to show that they ARE still out there!

By the way...... Speedy ONLY started hunting artifacts actively last fall!   TALK ABOUT BEGINNERS LUCK !!!!


Monty R. Pennington

Above -  Here you can see the finder (on left) and his uncle discussing the "lay of the land".

Below is where Speedy and Roy had scratched around with their "flipping sticks"

We Started..........

The first tail..........

The first piece was found about 9 inches below the surface.  The group picture above and below at about 14 inches and were at the very TOP of the black dirt.

The Finder hard at work.............

Monty & David digging with Roy looking on ..... this was the first evening....We had to leave the field on the run ahead of lightning & rain after hastily covering the site

A Beautiful tail

Early the next morning...... Wed, May 26th, 2004

Yours truly setting up system for grid.  Hayden, Speedy, and Roy at work.  We screened everything through 1/4 inch screen and bagged samples of the charcoal and some of the black dirt around the cache.

Hayden going through top from day before.

Charlie with a fine killed tail !

Monty, Danny, & Hayden

Monty & Danny carefully uncovering...........

Charlie and Roy looking on....

In the bottom you can see the dark material that was around the cache

3 photos above.. close ups of a base and two tips with the "greasy black" coating!

Hayden, Myself, David, and Danny....  checking it out.

Above ---- Tearing down.......   After filling our dig back in and re-setting the tobacco plants, 7 tired rock hunters headed home.........


If you are interested in more information, contact:
Monty R. Pennington
office:  859-624-2609