Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pecking & Grinding

Sometime during the early part of the Archaic Period (8000 BC - 1000 BC) it was discovered that fine-grained hardstones and slates, that could not normally be chipped, could be formed into durable tools by a process of pecking and grinding. Using a simple hammerstone, repeated blows would pulverize the surface of the new tool to dust. This often required many hours...and days, of monotonous repetition. After the new tool was generally shaped it was ground with an abrasive stone that smoothed the pitted surface. Finally, it was polished with animal fat and hide. In this way adze blades, axes and celts, bannerstones and pendants were manufactured.

Pictured is a full-groove axe, meaning that a groove was formed around the full diameter, and a plains-style war club head. The groove facilitates hafting by allowing rawhide bindings a more secure fit around the stone. Last weekend I worked an area gun show displaying and selling stone knives. A gentleman approached me asking if I would put a handle on these modern replicas. I'll post some pics of that when I finish. Hey, an interesting feather in my hat...I was approached by a representative with the History Channel, who had seen some axes I made on another site, about replicating a pre-Columbian Mayan axe for a show. It was flattering to be considered but I knew someone better qualified for the job, and probably had the makings on hand, and recommended Larry Kinsella. Check out his Megalithics website at:


torjusgaaren said...

Wow! Your blog is great, I don't know why I haven't seen this one before.

I'll put a link up on my page shortly.


Mark said...

Thanx, I appreciate the compliment Torjus. I know a number of us from here, and Paleoplanet, have watched your entries to learn from your experiences in Norway. Like-wise, I will link to your page. -Mark