Moqui Marbles, Shaman Stones, Navajo Sandstone Concretions

by Sally L Potter
(Salt Lake City, UT, USA)

I am a scientist who conducts research on Navajo Sandstone concretions. A few weeks ago, I revisited a former study area of mine and found this site had been raked clean of concretions. I was horrified to find a unique site of critical scientific importance destroyed.

I decided to write to people who sell and/or use these to educate them about why these concretions are a scientific resource and why they should not be disturbed.

Concretions hold the key to understanding diagenesis (i.e., what happens between the time sediments are deposited and when the rock is uplifted and exposed).

Concretions can help us understand ground water better - water that we use for drinking and irrigation and need to keep clean. They also provide clues to understanding oil and gas reserves and subsurface carbon dioxide sequestration (to combat global warming) - industries that create well-paying jobs in the western U.S. Concretions may even help us to understand how life came to be on this planet.

When I found this site destroyed, I was stunned by the short-sightedness and selfishness of this act. Apart from that, this act is also illegal because it occurred within protected lands. (Nearly all large concentrations of Navajo Sandstone concretions are on protected lands.) Please reconsider selling/using these because it is a resource we can never recover and the scientific knowledge that we might gain from this particular site is now gone forever.

Please realize that although the ones you sell/use may not have come from this particular site, you can be sure that they came from equally critical sites that are now ruined.


Sally Potter

Comments for Moqui Marbles, Shaman Stones, Navajo Sandstone Concretions

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The average human...
by: Chris

Sorry to hear of your spoiled site. You have to remember the average person who stumbles across these sites is gonna be much deeper down in the gene pool. He will see them and think-- these would be nice next to my marigolds in the front yard! Next time you go out take your own rake and take samples home to keep safe. :-)

Native American Miniature Pots
by: Anonymous

No I didn't acquire my 4 or 5 on protected land. But we did acquire 2 or 3 at the same site and were wondering what they were. Since one looked like a lid to the pot shape of another one.

We thought they might have been miniature replicas made for the children. I've had the first ones for years and recently acquired a few more. Thank you for insight on what they are.

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