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Bifacial blades were tools to process an animal after it had been killed. Like a knife, they cut meat and were used to scrape and prepare animal skins for tanning. They are called bifacial because both edges of the blade were used for cutting flesh, sawing bone, or scraping hide. This blade is shown with a modern haft or handle, however, they were not always hafted because their width and shape made them easy to hold by hand. Although this example dates to the Late Archaic Period (6,000-3,700 years ago), Native Americans used bifacial blades up to and after contact with Europeans in the 1600s.


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Bifacial blade with modern haft

creator   Late Archaic
location   Petty Plain, Greenfield, Massachusetts
process/materials   argillite
item type   Tools/Fishing and Trapping Tools & Equipment
accession #   #1985.0116

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See Also...

Perforator with modern haft

Basalt hoe or adzes

Projectile point

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