Tools 1,000 AD
...the Vikings navigated the sea when it was cloudy by using a quartz 'sun-stone' to 'see' the sun through the clouds. In fact, the substance probably most commonly used for a 'sun-stone' I was iolite cordierite, otherwise known as 'water sapphire', which is found in Scandinavia. It is bipolar, or dichroic, and a thin slice of it would polarize the light seen through clouds so that the sun's location could be readily determined, thereby effectively 'abolishing' the clouds as an obstacle to maritime navigation. (139)
Here we have an unambiguous description of glass balls filled with water being used for reading purposes by the Romans. In fact, these were extremely common in Roman times, and I have encountered about 200 of them, either whole or fragmentary, in museums. They were mass-produced, and very cheap. For it was in Roman times that the mammoth glass industry made mass-distribution of magnifying aids possible, and they no longer had to be obtained in the expensive form of ground and polished rock crystal. (139)
Huron-Petun Iroquois Culture Artifacts.A. Fragments from the rims of typical pottery vessels.
B. Stone and bone arrowheads.
C. Bone dagger made from one of the human forearm (ulna) bones.
D. Bone awl.
F. Ground deer toe bone.
G. Typical pottery smoking pipes.
H. Juvenile vessel made by a small girl learning the potter's art.
I. Stone pipe to which a wooden stem would have been attached. Notice the small hole in the base of the pipe; the bowl was ttached to the stem by a string and could not accidentally be broken or lost if it became detached from the stem.
Courtesy: National Museum of Man, National Museums of Canada
Stone tobacco pipes are found in some Adena sites, and smoking probably played an important role in rituals. The native strains of tobacco were much more powerful than modern strains and could have produced narcotic effects much more powerful than modern cigarettes. (53)
Stoltman has listed some characteristics that define Mississippian culture, including: distinctive pottery in shell-tempered wares, sometimes in the form of animals, and often beautifully incised, polished, or in other ways decorated; use of the bow and arrow, with distinctive small, triangular stone arrowheads... (53)
…between AD 900 and AD 1200, many other Mesoamerican elements were imported, including cotton textiles, certain ceramic motifs, pyrite mirrors, effigy vessels, cast copper bells, ear plugs, etched shell ornaments, and even parrots and macaws--probably imported from the south and kept and prized for their feathers. (53)