Friday, September 19, 2008

Stone Drills

Before the advent of metals, stone was crucial to make the myriad of tools needed in daily life to pound, cut, scrape, abrade, pierce, and drill... Stone drills go back thousands of years and is evidenced by the artifacts of bored wood, stone, bone, and pottery. Simple drills consisted of a flake with a 'nippled' end that was twisted back and forth. Hafting a drill onto a shaft allowed the operator to spin the drill faster, increasing the efficiency. The Iroquois and Pueblo Indians were known to have used a 'pump' drill. A stone, wood, or pottery weight was attached to a shaft with a hafted drill. A wooden board, with a hole in the middle, is slid over the shaft and a cord attached at the ends of the board and top of the shaft. With this technic the operator could work the pump drill with one hand and have the other free to hold the item being worked on, spinning the drill with greater speed and less effort. This is a good example of the evolution of primitive technology. Primitive doesn't mean crude, but first...the base from which inovations grew.

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