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Axe with modern haft

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Native Americans used this type of stone axe 5,000 years ago for cutting down trees. It has a full groove at one end, which was needed to tie the axe to a wooden handle. The size of this axe indicates that it was used to chop down a tree that was larger than six inches in diameter. To do this, the people would burn the tree near the base to weaken the wood, and then use the axe to chop it down. Smaller axes, adzes, and celts were then used to scrape the bark, remove the branches, and shape the wood into useful items like dugout canoes, snowshoes, and wigwam supports.


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