• Exhibits

    Artifact of the Week: Discoidal

    These almost perfectly round tools indicate sophisticated technology. The exact use of these tools is unknown, although suggestions have included games, ceremonial uses, and weights. They do not appear to have been used for grinding foodstuffs or other material. They…

  • Exhibits

    Artifact of the Week: Projectile Points

    These projectile points may have been attached to spears or throwing darts. They are too large and heavy for arrows. Spears were frequently used with atlatls, or throwing sticks, which significantly increased the distance and force of the point. The…

  • Exhibits

    Artifact of the Week: Core

    Cores were selected as raw material to make stone tools. Flakes were stuck off the core and worked further until the desired shape was obtained. Cores may were discarded when they were considered exhausted or used up. Stone tools have…

  • Exhibits

    Artifact of the Week: Debitage

    During the process of making stone tools, knappers produce many waste flakes. These tiny flakes and stone shatter are called debitage. By studying debitage archaeologists can gain a better understanding of how tools were made and what materials were preferred.…

  • Exhibits

    Artifact of the Week: Hammerstone

    Hammerstones were used to make other stone tools. They required little modification and were chosen for hardness and size. After use, hammerstones develop whitish areas called stone bruising. This happens when the other minerals in the stone are crushed. Knapping…

  • Exhibits

    Artifact of the Week: Flakes

    Stone tools, or lithics, are the most common artifacts found at local prehistoric sites. There are two general lithic tool classifications in San Diego County: chipped stone and ground stone. The flakes above are examples of chipped stone. The best…