Sunday, November 29, 2009

SRAC Stone Drills - 101

Drills from SRAC's Fox collection

One of the most interesting artifacts at SRAC to me are the stone drills. While these tools were made from many materials such as antler, bone, and later even metal, the workmanship in the stone drills on found in NY and PA and on display at SRAC are certainly worth discussing.

Just like the points used for arrows and spears in our region, the drills had alot of different styles and shapes during the many thousands of years they were created and used. In fact, it is believed that some of drills were actually points that were modified from their original shapes to create the drills.

Below are the illustrations of bases of some stone tools.... and I have to say that they indeed look like the bases of many points we have at SRAC...

But they are instead the bases to the following drill shapes.

In some cases, such as the following it is difficult to determine if the specimen was used as a point or a drill. Some say that drills will give themselves awya by showing extra wear that a point normally would not...

Keir/SRAC Collection

Here are some more drills- and these ones have always made me wonder how they could be used without breaking them as some of these are incredibly long and fragile...

But all stone drills found in our region do not have a specific design to the base on them. Some are much more rough in design and are believed to be made from scrapers or miscellaneous flakes:

These are some from SRAC's member Jack Rowe's collection:

And still other drills have no base at all (these should not be confused with the broken end of another type of drill):

There are also many Y and T-shaped drills found in our region:

I hope that you find this information helpful, and as you peruse the collections in the SRAC Exhibit Hall, keep your eyes out for this rarely discussed artifact. You may not have noticed them before but once you do, you will find that they are more abundant than you thought!

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