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Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center

Abrader

January 22, 2016

AbradersSandstone has been used for millennia as a natural grinding, shaping, and polishing surface. Abraders found on precontact sites might have an irregular series of lines, such as might have been produced by grinding the edge of a tool, perhaps to dull one edge of a flake knife to make it more comfortable to hold. Other abraders are more formal tools, such as the bar abraders that are common on Oneota sites. Experimental work making arrow shafts have shown that the abraders work well to smooth the shaft, and that their use produces abraders similar to those found archaeologically. (Left top and bottom: replica of a bar abrader; Right: archaeological examples of abraders)