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Archaeology/Stone hammer head?


stone 1
stone 1  
QUESTION: a couple of years ago my husband and I went to Natural Bridge VA and visited the natural bridge and the Indian village.  We continued down the path, along the river towards the waterfall.  Since we were walking along the river bank, I was looking into the river and found a stone.  Its a habit of mine to take a rock/stone from every place I visit - a memory piece I guess.  What caught my eye was it's shape. its shaped in an oval, with the top and bottom flatten, and all the way around the "side" is grooved, like a rope was tied around it and worn it down.  I just want to know if it is an Indian stone tool.  I have attached pictures.

ANSWER: Hi Loreen

It is difficult to determine.  It is possible.  Would you kindly send me some additional photos?  This  time very clearly focused on the top and bottom flat surfaces.  It could be a Maul but I need to see if the flat surfaces have the typical damage for a maul.  If there is little or no damage then it could be a net weight.  These nets were used for fishing and birding.  

What does it weigh?

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top or bottom
top or bottom  

top or bottom
top or bottom  
QUESTION: I don't know - not very much

Hi Loreen,

Yes. based on these additional photos, I would say that this is a netting stone.  This would have been tied into the margins of a net and then used for trapping birds like water fowl.  Water fowl form "rafts" or large groups on ponds and other wetlands.  The Native Americans would have used large round nets with weights around the margins to throw over these rafts of birds.  They would have then pulled to shore and clubbed and then processed for food.  These could also have been used on fishing nets as part of a fishing weir or gill net.



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Ralph Salier


Archaeologist for the last 30 years. Norh American generalist and Hopwell culture/Red Ocher culture specifically. Lithics Expert and Ground Stone tools.


Past/Present clients
Numerous museums in US and Canada. Several University Anthropology Departments.

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