Artifact of the Week: Biface

A biface is any stone tool worked on both sides. However, archaeologists commonly used the term to describe tools that were made to used as knives or spear points. They would have been attached to wood or bone handles and used for hunting game, cutting, or carving.

The culture known as the San Dieguito Complex produced these bifaces. Archaeologists have discovered San Dieguito sites mostly in river valley and near lagoons. The tools indicate these people were most likely hunters and gatherers. They probably traveled in small groups throughout the region looking for game.

The people of the San Dieguito Complex appear to have moved out of the area about 7,500 years ago. It could be that climate change made it harder to find game.

Date: San Dieguito Complex (10,000 ya – 7,500 ya)
Material Class: Chipped Stone

Want to learn more? Visit the exhibit By Land and By Sea currently on view at the Center.