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Artifact of the Month

Stone Drills

When we hear the word “Drill” today we think of power tools.  We know that drills bore holes in a variety of materials.  Native Americans also had the need to drill holes into materials and created small stone drills to achieve this task. Chert drills or perforators are a common type of artifact found throughout Alabama.  There is much variation in material and size of these drills.  They can range from micro drills as small as 20mm to much larger examples up to 160mm. The base or mounting portion can also widely vary in shape.  Projectile points were sometimes reshaped when broken to create drills.  These drills were used in a variety of ways such as drilling animal hides, wood, shell, bone and stone.  Drills would have most often been mounted to a wooden shaft.  They are found in contexts with Archaic, Woodland, and Mississippian artifacts.

The Oakville Museum has hundreds of stone drill specimens. 


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