Copyright Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield, MA

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Stone Axe

Native Americans used stone axes like these roughly 5,000 years ago for cutting down trees. Each axe has a full groove at one end for attaching the axe to a wooden haft (handle). The haft seen here has been replaced with a modern example. The size of the axe on the left indicates that it may have been used to chop down trees that were larger than six inches in diameter. To accomplish this, Native Americans would have burned the trees near the base to weaken them before felling them with an axe. Smaller axes, adzes, and celts were then used to scrape the bark, remove the branches, and shape the wood into useful items like dugout canoes, snowshoes, and wigwam supports.

Date: circa 5000 B.C.E 
Topic: Tools 
Materials: stone
Dimensions: currently unavailable 
Accession #: 1985.0186

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