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Chert hoes as digging tools

  • George R. Milner (a1), Scott W. Hammerstedt (a2) and Kirk D. French (a1)
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.

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Antiquity
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