Pebbles as Artifacts
March 30, 2013
Photographer: Menashe Davidson
Summary Author: Menashe Davidson
Pebbles are individual rock fragments that have broken off a larger piece of rock -- they come in various shapes, colors and textures. They're mostly smooth, based on how frequently they've scraped against other pebbles and rocks and how many episodes of fast flowing water they've been subjected to. Tools made from pebbles were among the earliest known artifacts.
With Israel's Mediterranean climate, winter rains cause streams to flow very quickly for a limited time. As a result, during the long dry season riverbeds are littered with huge amounts of pebbles. Because of the extensive period of aridity between rainy seasons, the pebbles maintain their natural appearance, unspoiled by organisms such as lichen.
When looking at an oddly shaped pebble, the observer sometimes sees a silhouette that resembles something familiar from another ecological niche. This often happens to my wife, Nurit. I collect pebbles for her during hikes (frequently limestone pebbles -- at left), and then she adds a few spare parts, easily found in most any home, to help make the pebble resemble what her imagination envisions. As shown above (at top), they enrich the atmosphere in our apartment. Photo taken at Rishon LeZion, Israel on January 20, 2013.
Photo details: Camera Model: NIKON D80; Focal Length: 32.0mm (35mm equivalent: 48mm); Aperture: f/5.6; Exposure Time: 0.033 s (1/30); ISO equiv: 1600. Bottom - Same except Focal Length: 50.0mm (35mm equivalent: 75mm); Aperture: f/14.0; Exposure Time: 0.0031 s (1/320); ISO equiv: 200.