Indian Stone Tool Technology
Dominican Republic Artifacts
This stone artifact is a tool which was most likely used for agricultural
purposes by the Taino Indians. It is made of a basalt lava and
is representative a handaxes typically used for chopping.
The illustration above shows a brief analysis of the wear patterns on the
agricultural axe. The scares indicated on the bottom are believed to be
from natural disturbance or by flaking the tool for small pieces of raw
material to be used for other purposes. The wear pattern on the top of
the axe shows evidence of general usage as a chopper that once had a
fairly sharp edge.
The Adz featured in the photograph (dark stone piece in center of table) and
illustration are representative
of stone tools that were probably used by the Taino Indians for felling
trees and clearing fields. The raw material appears to be lava that has
be quarried from large flakes. The end product is a smooth stone adz
which is typically hafted to a wooden handle with the use of some sort
The best representation of how an adz is manufactured is displayed
through research in Irian Jaya, New Guinea conducted by Nicholas Toth and
Kathy Schick (Indiana University).
A skilled New Guinea adz maker has selected a large flake blank and,
with a hammer stone, roughs out a large biface that resembles a handaxe
during early stages of manufacture.
A line of New Guinea stone workers at various stages of stone adz
manufacture. Note the large handaxelike form in the left foreground and
the finished elongated forms at the bottom right, ready for grinding and
A flaked adz has been ground and plished and is being hafted to a
wooden handle using split liana vine as a binding material.
Last updated: 3 October 1996
Comments: Underwater Science
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