Groundstone Tools

From Ohio History Central
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Image of stone tools used for grounding

By archaeologist's distinctions, Ohio's so-called "Archaic people" ground and polished hard stones such as granite into a variety of durable tools. Cobbles of granite, gabbro, diorite, gneiss, porphyry, and slate 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.

The axe pictured here is especially large and fine. It is more than six inches long.

See Also