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Re-collecting the Elk Lick Cache

In 1964 Col. Raymond C. Vietzen, of the Indian Ridge Museum, recovered 70 flint blades on the farm of Dr. Brake, located in southwestern Kentucky, approximately 50 miles north of Nashville, TN.  The 70 cache blades of a blue-grey nodular flint were placed in the ground as a ceremonial offering.  They ranged in size from the longest at 12″ and widest at 6.”  This nodular flint material is native to the limestone cave and cliff walls from the southern tip of Indiana and Illinois through Kentucky and Tennessee.

The Hopewell man made the cache and placed these blades in the ground, in a shaft 33″ deep and 17″ wide, around 100 B.C.  Red sand and red ocher were carefully placed in between the blades.  The ceremonial blades were covered over, and an offering of burned animal remains was made on a small limestone alter constructed over the blades.  A small mound was then constructed over top of the ceremony.

The 70 cache blades reposed in Col. Vietzen’s Indian Ridge Museum from 1964-1995, when the Museum closed and collection was sold, during which time the cache was broken up, each blade being sold separately.  Since 2000, we have been working to reassemble the cache and have recollected 4 of the original 70 blades here at the New Indian Ridge Museum.

Four blades of the original 70 from the Elk Lick Cache.

Four blades of the original 70 from the Elk Lick Cache.