Thursday, February 11, 2010

Stone Axes

It is interesting the amount of pecked grooved axes and polished celts made from grainy hardstone in the Midwest. Having made of number of these I am hesitant to use them due to the considerable hours and effort invested. But, just as efficient to use, and taking only minutes to manufacture is the flaked flint axehead. Perhaps it comes down to the availability of the right type of stone. There are limited areas in Nebraska with flinty type stone suitable for tool making. Pictured above are several celts: a pecked Virginia greenstone in handle; at lower left, my newly made flaked flint celt; and to the right a basalt-like pecked celt artifact found in south central Nebraska. The lower picture is a 3/4 grooved stone axehead with a missing broken bit. This was found just inside my sisters basement wall, that was being repaired, in the middle of Fremont, Nebraska.

9 comments:

F. Ramey said...

Would Obsidian work? I don't anything about rocks and where they are located, I know that Obsidian is volcanic so would probably not be around everywhere. I seem to recall that some primitive cultures used it though, maybe Meso-American?

Mark said...

Obsidian is formed when lava cools fast. Itis glass-like and forms a very sharp edge. Yes, obsidian was used prehistorically to make axes. Also, I know of a primitive skills instructor who uses a several pound obsidian axe on the trail.

Mark said...

Lol

Mr. Stranger said...

I cruise blogs every day...yours is one of the more interesting i have come upon recently. My brother and nephew love this kind of stuff...I'll be forwarding them a link!

torjusgaaren said...

How do you find stone axes work to chop frozen wood?

I made one basalt celt that I thought was really nice. First try was in the winter and it chopped really nicely until it chipped badly.

You know anything about axes for daily use in the Arctic/Subarctic? I have seen some from Siberia, they're very basic, bordering towards crude. Simply flaked. Maybe because they were quick to replace?

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