Four Pre-Columbian Neolithic Celts from Madden Lake in Central Panama

Item PL08  

This Item was Sold on 24 April 2016 for $42

Similar artifacts for sale are often found on the Lithic Artifacts web page. 

Historical Pricing information for this item and similar artifacts can be found at: Historical Artifact Prices.

This item is a collection of 4 medium size Pre-Columbian Neolithic Celts from the Madden Lake region of Central Panama. These artifacts are surface finds from the shore of Madden Lake when it was at its lowest level at the end of the dry season. These celts were found by George Chevalier who lived on the Pacific side of the Panama Canal Zone. George hunted for artifacts only in the American jurisdiction of the former Panama Canal Zone. These artifacts have the letters " C. Z. M. L. " which identify the artifacts as from " Canal Zone Madden Lake " and identification marks " R C S " or "S" to identify the approximate location of the surface find.

Three of these celts are made out of a metamorphic form of Basalt, a volcanic stone that is common on the Pacific side of the former Panama Canal Zone. These 3 are polished smooth and there are no chips on the cutting edge. You can feel the rough texture of the surface when you rub your finger over the polished surfaces. The fourth celt appears to be made out of Basalt without metamorphic alteration of the material. The Basalt material is much harder and smoother than the other three made out of metamorphic froms of Basalt and it probably holds a better cutting edge longer. You do not find this material near Madden Lake. According to an Archaeologist at U.C. Berkeley, celts made out of this material came from 200+ miles away in Western Panama and these celts were probably obtained in trade. These is one small chip on the surface near the cutting edge, but this is probably from knapping and not abuse. This is a really nice collection of Panamanian celts in really good condition.

Length = 92 mm ; Width = 50 mm ; Thickness = 26 mm ; Weight = 180 gm

Length = 76 mm ; Width = 37 mm ; Thickness = 15 mm ; Weight = 76 gm

Length = 66 mm ; Width = 34 mm ; Thickness = 19 mm ; Weight = 66 gm

Length = 80 mm ; Width = 35 mm ; Thickness = 19 mm ; Weight = 78 gm (Basalt)

I brought several of these artifacts to U.C. Berkeley for identification. I was told that these lithic artifacts are similar to artifacts in the U.C. Berkeley collection that were dated between 500 B.C. and 1,000 A.D. View pdf files showing Panama Celt sale prices on eBay: Celt #1 and Celt #2.

George Chevalier lived on the Pacific side of the former Panama Canal Zone until he retired and moved to the USA. He was on the same Balboa High School swimming team as my father. George used to hunt for artifacts along the Las Cruces Trail and on the shore of Madden Lake. George usually looked for Spanish artifacts, but one day, he found a small stone ax and brought it home to show to his sister who lived with him. She liked the stone ax and asked George to bring home any others that he found. Over the years, he found dozens of artifacts for his sister and these artifacts are part of the Chevalier collection. All of these artifacts were collected in the American Canal Zone in the 1950s - 1970s and prior to when the territory was ceded back to Panama (1999).

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