Museum Lobby

Old Salt Lake | Virtual Museum

Report by Galen Hunter

Artifact and/or Manuport?

[ Page updated - February 14, 2020 ]

On January 26, 2020, this writer while walking south down the middle of Torrance Beach near Malaga Cove, noticed a small dark grey rock lying in the sand freshly raked by Los Angeles County. County rakes the beach nearly every morning (Figure 1). The rock I saw sort of, maybe, looked like it had been worked, so I picked it up. My first thought was it might be a prehistoric scraper, but I realized I couldn't be that lucky. So, kept walking knowing if it had been worked, there is really no point in photographing and noting exactly where I found it because it was not found in the ground. Had it been in the ground I would have photographed it in place and not moved it. However, this rock was near the top of the raked sand and with no footprints. Obviously, this rock had been dragged from any distance north or south this morning and probably likewise the morning before, and so on for who knows for how long. So, I put the rock in my pocket, thinking I'll take a closer look at it later. This report documents my closer look. I still don't know if it's an artifact and/or manuport. What do you think? The measurements: length 6.5cm (2.55 inch), max. width 1.25cm (1.5 inch). I've been told it looks like the basalt found in Palos Verdes.

Definitions from Wikipedia:
"An artifact is something made or given shape by humans, such as a tool or a work of art, especially an object of archaeological interest."
"Natural objects that humans have moved but not changed are called manuports."

[Figure 1 - looking south. At the top of the bluff (center right) is the Malaga Cove pre-historic archaeological site (CA-LAN-138).]

[Figure 2 - Side A]

[Figure 3 - Side B]

[Figure 4 - Edge A, sharp]

[Figure 5 - Edge B, rounded]

Video recording by Galen Hunter on February 12, 2020 of the rock found on the beach - view video (mp4, 29 seconds).

[Figure 6 - screenshot from the video, looking at the rock.]