Groundstone Tools

3.15 Groundstone Tools

Groundstone Tools

The people of the Archaic culture, and those who followed them, used a broad range of rocks beyond flint to make their tools. Cobbles of granite, gabbro, diorite, gneiss, porphyry, and slate – originating in the bedrock of Canada – could be found in glacial outwash along most Ohio streams and rivers.

When making a tool, the stoneworker first chose a cobble of the right size and weight. He or she then shaped the tool by striking the cobble many times with a hammerstone. Finally, the tool was smoothed using objects with rough surfaces, much as a carpenter uses sandpaper. With this method the toolmaker was able to make a polished axe, adz, or chisel for woodworking, a pestle for grinding nuts, or an ornament to wear.

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