Helpful Hint On Chipped/Worked Stone


Silver Member
Apr 15, 2013
Southwest Mississippi
Detector(s) used
Garrett, and Whites
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
I wanted to start this to help some folks with what they are finding and it was asked for, but these photo's will only carry you so far. I say read and read and read some more, look at photos of artifacts and pay attention to detail and I mean every detail of an item. Ask someone their opinion on your finds, but if it is not what you want to hear, don't get your feelings hurt. I had a mentor, more than one so I was very blessed. Below I will go over what is chipped/knapped stone and talk about some tools using these photos.

The first 2 photos are of a natural piece of stone that was removed from a larger stone with a few chips that have been broken off by nature. worked stone.jpg worked stone1.jpg The next photo show what a piece of stone looks like that man has knapped on. Most NA would try out a piece of stone just to see how it flaked or worked and just because you find one like this you can not say it is a hand axe. worked stone2.jpg

The next few photos are what is called a preform blank. worked stone3.jpg worked stone4.jpg worked stone5.jpg You will notice that the edges are uneven, so this would not make a very good tool unless it was to be used 1 time. Now lets talk on tool types for a moment. In the 3rd photo in this section what you see is the wide end of this blank. You can not say this is a Celt or Adz because with such a jagged edge it would not work very well at all. A Adz has the center of the bit off to one side just like a modern chisel because that's what it was used for, to chop out material. Can you see a modern chisel working well with a broken metal edge. This photo is what a Adz edge would look like. worked stone6.jpg Notice the edge is off to one side of center.

The next photo is what the bit of a chipped Celt would look like. worked stone5.jpg Notice the center of the bit is in the middle of the blade, that way it can do what it was made for and that is chopping. Now to say was it used are not you are getting into another level so lets just stay on( Is this worked stone are not).

Flaking types or styles are something you will learn with time and working hard at the study of artifacts. These next photos show just a small example of flaking. worked stone10.jpg This photo shows what would be called a worked piece of stone. It has been knapped but not really worked on. worked stone11.jpg This last photo shows that someone took the time to try and make a tool out of the same stone on the same side has the other photo. You can see this in what is called flake scars , these will not wash away wear off unless it is some type of soft stone. Water will only give it a smooth shine from rolling in a creek. Notice one thing the little white spots that are all over were the flake was removed, that is what is called most of the time finger nail flakes. Sometimes and I say sometimes that is a red flag to some collectors for a reproduction, but we will cross that deep hole another time.

I hope this helps someone and I will be doing other post like this as time lets me another day. This site is not a place just to show our collections and finds, but a place that we can educate beginner and each other. If you have a question PM me and I will try to help, like most of the folks on this site we want to help you in this great hobby not mislead you, puff our self up are to say we know it all.
Upvote 15


Jul 22, 2017
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Great information. We brought a 4-5 lb. piece of obsidian home from a hunt in Montana. It wasn't until my husband was reading Native American history that we suspected it was more than a paperweight. It's a hide scraper with tally marks on it. It was on a lookout point above the Powder River, 2 feet from a large boulder. Someone left it behind when they moved on to the next camp.


Staff member
Jul 27, 2006
Detector(s) used
Minelab_Equinox_ 800 Minelab_CTX-3030 Minelab_Excal_1000 Minelab_Sovereign_GT Minelab_Safari Minelab_ETrac Whites_Beach_Hunter_ID Fisher_1235_X
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
* Monsterrack's thread is for instructional information only, please do not post pictures asking "is this an artifact" *
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Jr. Member
Feb 19, 2018
New England
Primary Interest:
* Monsterrack's thread is for instructional information only, please do not post pictures asking "is this an artifact" *

Oh, super helpful then. Thanks!

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