Double-bitted Stone Axe

Double-bitted Stone Axe

Chipped double-bitted axes are common artifacts found in most sections of eastern Oklahoma. There is variation in form but they have two chopping edges and a constricted midsection for mounting on a wooden handle. They are normally rather crude in workmanship with the shaping done by percussion chipping although more carefully made specimens are plentiful. The outline form varies from almost rectangular in shape to "bow-tie" forms, and the typical specimen falls between 100 mm and 150 mm in length (Figure 10). The midsection is usually quite thick in cross section and often has smoothed or worn areas produced by wear from the original wooden handle. The axe bits sometimes display use wear and commonly have indications of resharpening on the cutting edge.

The double-bitted axe is clearly a utilitarian tool, and many of them are quite crude and were quickly manufactured for the immediate purpose. They do not


seem to be found as grave offerings but are found throughout the site occupational area. They are apparently a substitution for the stone grooved axe and the celt as a wood cutting instrument. Stone axes and celts are sometimes found in minor numbers on such sites, but the flint double-bitted axe is much more frequent, perhaps because it could be produced with much less effort.

The double-bitted axe is common throughout the Ozarks region and is found in parts of Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, and Kansas. Within Oklahoma, it appears to be most common in Late Archaic and early developmental Caddoan time, such as Fourche Maline. It is commonly associated with early pottery such as

Williams Plain and was a popular tool from 1000 to 2000 years ago.


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