Lithics

Lithics (or stones) have been used by many cultures to create tools such as knives, axes, and arrowheads and have also lent themselves to being carved into ornate decorative items. The most common lithic material in most of Ontario's archaeological collections is chert, also sometimes called flint. Chert is an extremely fine-grained sedimentary rock which, thanks to the consistency of it's grain size, fractures in a predictable manner when struck. This allows chert tools to be extremely intricate and to include very sharp edges used for cutting. Because of these attributes and due to the ready availability of chert, it has been used by cultures around the world in the manufacture of versatile and effective cutting tools. The lithic artifacts in Sustainable Archaeology's include carved decorative items, intricately shaped points, disposable expedient tools created for temporary use, the by-products of tool manufacture (known as debitage), and more.

 

Serated scraper (Sealey Site-AgHa-4)

Serated scraper (Sealey Site-AgHa-4)

Stemmed Projectile Point (Sealey Site-AgHa-4)

Stemmed Projectile Point (Sealey Site-AgHa-4)

Catalogue number #13, 8, 6, Wood Collection #341, bag #11, provenience unknown

Worked Lithics and Projectile Point Fragments (Sealey Site-AgHa-4)

Flaked Tools (Jenzen)

Flaked Tools (Jenzen AfGw-1)

Lithics (Job FeJp-3)

Lithics (Job FeJp-3)

No catalogue number; provenience unknown

Stone Adze (Parsons Site-AkGv-8)

Case Collection #41, 47, 220

Flaked and Ground Stone Tools (Parsons Site-AkGv-8)

CrCr lithic 3

Lithic debitage (Mannen Site AhHb-6)

Lithic debitage (Mannen Site AhHb-6)

Retouched flakes (Slack-Caswell AfHa-1)

Retouched flakes (Slack-Caswell AfHa-1)

Lithics (Jenzen)

Lithics (Jenzen AfGw-1)

Flakes with cortex (Job FeJp-3)

Flakes with cortex (Job FeJp-3)

 

Flaked lithic tools (Guyatt AgGw-4)

Flaked lithic tools (Guyatt AgGw-4)

CrCr lithic 3

Lithic flaked tools (Mannen Site AhHb-6)

Lithic flaked tools (Mannen Site AhHb-6)

CrCr lithic 2

Groundstone tools (Mannen Site AhHb-6)

Groundstone tools (Mannen Site AhHb-6)

Quartz flakes (Job FeJp-3)

Quartz flakes (Job FeJp-3)

Lithic Flakes (Hurried Hare FeJp-7)

Lithic Flakes (Hurried Hare FeJp-7)

Lithic Flakes (Hurried Hare FeJp-7)

Lithic Flakes (Hurried Hare FeJp-7)

CrCr lithic 1CrCr lithic 3

Read about lithics

Cleveland: AhHb-7

Site Name: Cleveland County: Brant Borden Number: AhHb-7 Township: Brantford Date Excavated: 1971 Excavated By: William C. Noble About the Site: The Cleveland Site (AhHb-7) was excavated in 1971 by William C. Noble, after amateur archaeologist Douglas Mannen did small excavations and surface collections. The four-acre site is located northeast of Brantford (Fairchild Creek, Brant […]

McMaster Legacy Collection Project

A big part of our work at SA: McMaster is processing the legacy collections associated with decades of archaeological work by faculty and students in the McMaster anthropology department. We are tracking our progress and site information here, and also have a series of posts planned that detail what is involved in working with legacy collections.    While […]

Catalogues and Context – the Gunby Site (AiGx-5)

As we mentioned in our post on the Hicks Site, we will occasionally be reaching out to ask for assistance in identifying or clarifying site provenience. Today’s post is slightly different. We know when and where the Gunby Site was excavated but do not have associated records to accompany the 27 boxes of material from […]

Artifact Imaging: Z-Stacking a Scraper

Part of our work at SA McMaster is to explore artifact material and manufacture technique using our Zeiss AxioZoom high resolution microscope. Occasionally we will be posting photographs to highlight a range of artifacts and the imaging techniques we use to capture them in detail. First up, we have a scraper from the Sealey Site. […]

Day of Archaeology 2015

To our delight, Sustainable Archaeology McMaster recently participated in our first Day of Archaeology. Our post covers a bit of everything, outlining the purpose of the initiative as well as some of our ongoing projects and what our daily tasks consist of. We would like to give a big thanks to the organizers of this […]

Mystery Box #1: the Hicks Site

As we mentioned in our first post, the Sustainable Archaeology McMaster team spends a lot of time trying to sort out the provenience and excavation details of the collections in our care. To try and help solve these mysteries, we’ll be posting about some of the more bemusing cases from time to time, asking readers […]

Hicks Site

Site Name: Hicks Site County: Unknown Borden Number: Unknown Township: Unknown Date Excavated: 1970 Excavated By: Alex Hicks About the Site:Discovered in the box for another site, the Hicks artifacts in Sustainable Archaeology’s collection represent a mystery. As with many legacy collections, only very limited provenience information is available about this site and its artifacts. […]

Brodie Site (AfHi-19)

Site Name: Brodie Site County: Middlesex Borden Number: AfHi-19 Township: Delaware Date Excavated: 1973-1977 Excavated By: Brian Deller, D. Kelly, S. Couper, A. MacDonald, S. Pratt, Pamela McTaggart About the Site:Also known as the Browdie, Brody, or Delaware site, this site is located on the Thames River flood plain near Delaware, Ontario. The material from […]

Ludlow-Vanderlip Site (AgHa-8)

Site Name: Ludlow-Vanderlip Site County: Brant Borden Number: AgHa-8 Township: Brantford Date Excavated: 1971-1972 Excavated By: Ian Kenyon, William Fox About the Site:Located just over 1km south of the Sealey site, Ludlow-Vanderlip is a small hamlet site, on a plateau south of Big Creek.  At SA McMaster:One box of material including faunal and ceramic assemblages […]

Case Collection #111

Parsons Site (AkGv-8)

Site Name: Parsons Site County: York County Borden Number: AkGv-8 Township: Vaughan Date Excavated: 1954 Excavated By: J. Norman Emerson About the Site: First excavated in 1952 by J.N. Emerson, Parsons is a Late Iroquoian village site, thought to be the result of an amalgamation of two or more earlier communities. Considered to be one […]

G. Gee collection, no catalogue number, provenience unknown

Sealey Site (AgHa-4)

Site Name: Sealey Site County: Brant County Borden Number: AgHa-4 Township: Brantford Date Excavated: 1930s-1960s (looted) Excavated By: Unknown About the Site: The Sealey village was the site of severe, consistent looting from as early as the 1800s. It was revisited by archaeologists in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, including Bill Fox, to survey […]

The Archaeology of Archaeology

If there’s one thing archaeologists are good at, it’s gleaning as much knowledge as possible from the tiniest scraps of information. Today, archaeologists make a point of festooning their collections with all of this hard won data so that future generations won’t have to – er – dig for it quite as vigorously as they […]