Artifact of the Week: Grinding Stones

Grinding tools were used to process many materials, not just seeds. The grinding table is called the netherstone, and the tool held in the hand is called the handstone.

This netherstone and handstone are examples of ground stone tools. There are two general categories of lithic tools in San Diego County: chipped stone and ground stone. Local inhabitants made ground stone tools by smoothing, grinding, or pecking stone into the desired shape.

Grinding is a method of stone-working that involves smoothing of an edge or surface by rubbing it with a hammerstone or other abrader. Pecking is a percussive technique that involves battering a granular rock with a hammerstone to form an intended shape by removing very small chips.

Date: La Jolla Tradition (7,500 ya – 3,000 ya)
Material Class: Lithics – Ground Stone

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