This week, we showcase a stone drill. That’s right, you guessed it, this type of stone tool is used to drill holes in things. Like knives and projectile points, drills are worked on both sides to create sharp edges and a narrow tip. Unlike other stone tools however, drills are very narrow and thick, and often are diamond shaped in cross-section. This design makes the drill stronger, and less likely to break. In Alberta, stone drills are often either long and straight, with a bulb or a “T” shaped base. More often than not, you find the broken end of drills, because they snapped off while in use. The stone drill bit would be attached to a long wood handle using sinew, rawhide, and pitch, and then spun to create the circular motion for drilling. This could be either done by hand, or using a small bow and string to spin the drill.
We found this stone drill while working for Sundre Forest Products in 2012, in the Foothills west of Red Deer. The artifact is made from a brownish-gray chalcedony, and also shows evidence that it was heat treated. The drill has small “potlid” fractures, where irregular pieces of the stone popped off. This type of break happens when a stone is quickly heated and cooled.
By Braedy Chapman
July 2, 2023
Top sites of 2022, BC edition
Field operations in British columbia 2022 marked Ember Archaeology’s first year of significant field operations in British Columbia. Our BC crews conducted a number of sizable wildfire-related projects for the BC Ministry of Forests over the course of the season, ultimately surveying hundreds of kilometers of constructed fireguards and fuel reduction developments. These were nearlyKeep Reading
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By Megan Williams
June 1, 2023
The Quarry of the Ancestors
Alberta Oil sands The Alberta oil sands has seen it’s fair share of media attention over the last few decades! Unfortunately, most of it has not been positive… In this blog, we are going to discuss an amazing archaeological discovery from the Alberta oil sands, and how these findings have shaped our knowledge about prehistoryKeep Reading
By Tim Allan
May 1, 2023
Finding Tertiary hills clinker in alberta
Needle in a haystack Tertiary Hills Clinker is a natural rock that is formed when coal seams burn underground and melt the surrounding sediments. Lightening and forest fires can ignite exposed seams of coal, which burn hot enough to turn clay and sand into a near-glass like material that is suitable to make stone knives,Keep Reading