An Unusual Tool

While out walking the other day with one of the LSU Arthopod Museum's staff the tool shown below was found amongst a scatter of mano fragments.  Downstream of several room shaped crop marks, the presence of flaking and grinding stone tool fragments suggests we were close to a former habitation site.

The oddly shaped piece measuring 3.3 x 6.5 cm was constructed out of a fine grained local red rhyolite common to the area.  Four long primary flakes running the length were removed from one side to create the tool from a single larger flake.  Several very small secondary flakes were removed from the inner curved surface creating a partially serrated cutting edge.  The shape and curvature of the tool suggests right handed usage and when held the thumb fits comfortably in the basal depression at the base while the index finger comfortable wraps around a groove on the backside.

Tentatively identified as either a burin or awl, this unusually shaped tool would be a handy addition to any early tool kit and would work well in either punching holes in leather or cutting and scraping wood or bone shafts.

An oddly shaped rhyolite awl or burin

The back of the tool showing natural finger groove

The tool fits neatly into the right hand.


  1. Good observation skills! I sure don't see such things when I'm walking about.................

  2. Thank you. I have added a photograph showing how it fits into the right hand. I would suggest walking along the old San Simon riverbed, I know of sites just south of your house and across the riverbed.