Brent’s Story

I am Brent Thompson.  I grew up working on the farm owned by my parents.  The Yahi tribe once occupied this land.  I feel a strong connection to these people whose land I grew up on.  By sharing with you these stone made artifacts, I hope to give the Yahi Native Americans a better legacy.  Thank you for viewing the collection of Ancestral Native American artifacts and rare ground stones.  These implements were shaped and used by the ancestors of the Yahi tribe. 

I started this collection in the early 1980’s.  As a boy, I was curious about the pieces of worked rocks and artifacts I found along the edges of the orchards and irrigation ditch banks.  The farmers had discarded these broken pieces.  I could tell from some of the plow broken pieces that the original makers of these stone made artifacts were very good at shaping rocks. 

I recall the autumn scene of the acorns and leaves falling into the cold clear pools of the creek that ran by our farm. I can picture the colorful wood ducks feeding on the acorns and the large King salmon splashing at the head of the pool laying their eggs.

Obtaining their winter supply of food was not always guaranteed for the Yahi.  Some years the food supply was very hard to come by.

I imagine the Native Americans looking at this same scene and thanking their good fortune for having such a plentiful supply of food that year.

Around 1984, a major flood washed away acres of my boss’s ranch including some 400 to 500 year old Oak trees along the river.  Over the next few years when walking over the river cobble bar on my way to the fishing hole I found a few rocks that had holes worked and pecked through them that could have been used as fishing net weights, some ground stone implements, and the rock I call the snake (Shaman's good luck stone). 

In the late 1980’s, a 100-year-old walnut orchard was removed on the ranch that I helped to take care of.  As the caterpillar tractor was in the process of pushing over a large walnut tree, it left a deep track.  In the  track a large dirt clod with a protruding handle rolled out.  Jumping down quickly to avoid being run over, I saved the mortar bowl with a conical shaped handle from being smashed.

The ranch owner and others came to see why I had jumped in front of the tractor.  They were amazed by what I had found, we had not seen anything like it before.  I was fortunate a few days later to find another well shaped conical handled implement (metate) and the rest of the ground stone implements were found over the next few weeks and years while I was working the field.  

I contacted Dr. Jerald Jay Johnson of the California State University, Sacramento.  He had undertaken an archeological project on the Dye Creek ranch in the hills to the East.  Dr. Johnson came to our field and studied the artifacts we had found there.

In creating this website I hope to show the aesthetically pleasing ground stone made artifacts in a way that will better the legacy of the ancestral Yahi tribe and all ancestral Native Americans. 

Brent Thompson