How to Identify Native American Stone Tools

May people ask about how to identify Native American stone tools. If you are an amateur in these tools, you may need authentication by an expert.

Read on to find out more about Native American Stone Stools, where to find them and how to identify them yourself.

What Are Native American Stone Tools?

how to identify native american stone tools

Native American stone tools and artifacts are sturdy, surviving from the ice age 12,000 years ago.

For thousands of years, the natives used stone tools. However, the usage of stone tools started to dwindle from the 1500s, when European colonization began to take shape.

Before the colonization, the native Americans made all sorts of stone tools. These include:

  • Spearheads
  • Arrowheads
  • Knives
  • Axes
  • Sinkers
  • Plummets
  • Hammerstones

The natives used full grooved axes to aid in the felling of trees. On the other hand, the natives used hammerstones to chip other stones into sharp-edged flakes. Other uses for hammerstones among the natives include:

  • Breaking apart nuts, bones, and seeds
  • Grinding clay into pigment

Where Do You Find Native American Stone Tools?

what is native american grinding stone

Before learning how to identify Native American stone tools, treasure hunters must first identify where best to find them. If you do find one of these artifacts, pray that it is a Clovis arrowhead. Clovis arrowheads are rare to find and worth a fortune, ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars!

So, where are these sweet spots?

Prominent Creeks

The first humans to have arrived on the continent needed daily access to fresh water. They, therefore, camped and hunted games near water systems. There, they made, lost, broke, and left stone tools.

Over the years, these tools became part of the gravel system of creeks and rivers.

High Spots Near Water

When you travel through water systems, look for elevated areas that would have given the natives good visibility and protection from raging water. If people now like camping on high grounds beside water systems, no doubt our ancestors did, too.

Dirt Spots

More Native American stone tools are likely to be found in agricultural fields. These fields are also some of the best places for prehistoric hunting and camping.

In these places, look for exposed dirt. Usually, fresh rain will reveal these tools from under the ground. Any spot with exposed and bare dirt has a likelihood to reveal these tools.

Look for spots where mules and cattle made trails and dirt wallows. Also, you can examine the places where machinery has turned the ground up, such as eroded buffs, dirt roads, and banks.

How to identify Native American Stone Tools

Native American Arrowhead Collection on Wooden Background

If you have found a Native American stone tool you may need a professional to help identify it. However, before heading to a professional, you can do initial checks, such as the following:

  • Arrowheads – Look for a well-defined edge and base. Native American stone arrowheads feature flake scars. These features are in places where pieces of the stone were hit away and are normally curved.

If the arrowhead is smooth with no observable scars, get a magnifying glass to closely examine the arrowhead’s surfaces.

Do the same for suspected native American spearheads and ax heads.

  • Knives – Knives and ax heads have at least one sharpened edge, made by chipping stone pieces on those edges.

For all native American stone artifacts, it is a must to identify the type of stone used. Examples of these types are obsidian, flint, and chert.

Chert – A hard, dark, and opaque stone consisting of silica with an amorphous or fine-grained texture.

Flint – Also categorized as chert, flint is a sedimentary crystalline form of quartz.

Obsidian – Obsidian is a rock made from magma that erupted out of a volcano. 

How to identify Native American Stone Tools – Final Note

If you are lucky enough to come across one of these historic tools, then well done! These ancient tools contain vital clues into Native American history, how the Native Americans lived, worked and played.

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