|Ocala Chert (also known as Coastal Plain Chert), is a beige to cream-colored rock that occurs as float across much of southeastern Alabama (e.g., Houston and Henry Counties). It was the lithic material of choice for people living in southeast Alabama for the manufacture of chipped-stone tools such as spear points and knives.
The source of Ocala Chert is not completely certain. It is geologically mapped as residuum across several counties in southern Alabama. Given sedimentological and paleontological characteristics, Ocala Chert likely originated from limestone units, specifically the Ocala Limestone or other carbonate formations of the Jackson Group.
Interestingly, heat treatment of this material seems common, which increases the knappability of this material, as well as commonly causing a change in color and luster.
Ocala Chert quarries were positively identified in two counties during this project, but the geographical distribution is probably much larger. One location produced mainly homogeneous white examples of Ocala Chert in contrast to the variable colors noted at other sites.
|An example of the variation of Ocala Chert found in Alabama.|