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Hammerstone

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A flintknapper uses a hammerstone to knock flakes off a flint core.

A flintknapper uses a hammerstone to knock flakes off a flint core.

José-Manuel Benito Álvarez
Definition:

A hammerstone is the archaeological term used for an object used as a prehistoric hammer, to percussion fractures on another object. Most frequently used in discussion of stone tool working, a hammerstone is likely to be of a rounded cobble of quartzite or other medium-grained material, and to weigh between 400 and 1000 grams. Hammerstone usewear is identified by one or more edges showing battering damage.

In the drawing, a flintknapper holds a hammerstone in his right hand and bangs it against the flint core in his left, making flattish stone flakes come off the core. This process is sometimes called "systematic flaking".

For More Information

This entry is one of the guide to Stone Tools in Archaeology, and part of the Dictionary of Archaeology.

Alternate Spellings: hammer stone
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