How to identify stone artefacts…

Do I have a flaked stone artifact?

Although the completed stone points and knives are easy to identify, hammerstones and cores are much harder to recognize. Another important feature to look out for is debitage, which are the bits of stone that come off a core in the process of creating flaked stone tools.

Do I have a pecked stone artifact?

Whole pecked stone artifacts are easy to identify, however if the remains are fragmented, it may be harder to distinguish. Questions to consider when looking at artifacts are:

  • Does either the whole shape, or a feature on the object look unnatural?
  • Is there a gradual slope that stops abruptly anywhere in the shape?
  • Are there dimple-like depressions on the surface?

Although a finished pecked object usually appears completely smoothed, the blank initially is roughly shaped by flaking. It is possible to have an object that is both flaked and ground, and this likely represents a discarded or work lost in progress.

Do I have a ground stone artifact?

  • Are there surfaces that are mostly uniformly flat?
  • Does the surface have a polished lustre? (not necessarily present in all artifacts)
  • Are there any gradual slopes that end abruptly?

Ground Stone Adze

< Back | Table of Contents | Introduction | Common Tools | Types of Tools | How to Identify | Next >

 Â©2012 SFU Archaeology &
Tla'amin First Nation