Tallahatta Chert
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Tallahatta Chert, also known as Alabama Agate and Tallahatta Agate, is intimately associated with Tallahatta Sandstone, but probably formed through silicification of marly or fossiliferous limestone layers within the formation. Today, Tallahatta Chert is most commonly seen in recently cleared regions of southwestern Alabama as well in river channels. It is multicolored, varying from red, to amber, to yellow to blue. Not surprisingly, it has proven to be a popular rock for mineral collectors, especially those seeking raw materials for book ends and belt buckles.

A similar variety of points, drills and tools were made from Tallahatta Chert and Tallahatta Sandstone, commonly at the same site. This suggests a similar age range for the use of these lithic materials (Paleoindian to European contact). However, some archaeological sites contain only Tallahatta Chert artifacts, which suggests that some locations where this stone is available lack knappable Tallahatta Sandstone. Further investigation is necessary to better understand the prehistoric use of this stone.

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The University of South Alabama
Updated: 9/6/2004
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Tallahatta Chert exposed on the surface.