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Article contents

Chert hoes as digging tools

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2015

George R. Milner*
Affiliation:
1Department of Anthropology, 409 Carpenter Building, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
Scott W. Hammerstedt
Affiliation:
2Oklahoma Archaeological Survey, University of Oklahoma, 111 E. Chesapeake Street, Norman, OK 73019, USA
Kirk D. French
Affiliation:
1Department of Anthropology, 409 Carpenter Building, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA

Abstract

What type of implement was used to cut and move earth in prehistory? In the Mississippian culture at least, the key tool was the stone hoe – formed from a chert blade strapped to a handle. These blades were hoarded and depicted in use, leaving little doubt that they were for digging, in the service of agriculture and extracting earth for building. Drawing on a series of controlled experiments, the authors deduce the capabilities and biographies of the stone hoes, evoking the admirable efforts of the people who constructed the massive mounds of Cahokia.

Type
Research
Copyright
Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd 2010

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