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Between the time when people first arrived in the region  at about 13,000 B.C. and  approximately 2,400 B.C., Indians made all their tools and most of their decorative items out stone, bone, antler, wood, and shell.  Pottery was introduced at about 2,400 B.C., and metal tools were not incorporated into Indian technology until European contact in the 16th century.  Metal, primarily copper, was used to create a few types of decorative and ceremonial items during prehistoric times, however.  In the Southeast, these were almost exclusively limited to beads, ear spools,  and ceremonial mask coverings.  The following pages take you through a visual tour of Indian technology prior to the European  influence.


These three  spear points were discovered at Fort Stewart near Savannah, Georgia. The specimens on the left and right are called "Hernando"  points.  They were produduced between approximately A.D. 500 and A.D. 750.  The example in the center is a spear point that was made about 10,000 years ago.  It is called a  "Bolen" point.  All three are manufactured from high-quality chert that outcrops  in the Georgia and South Carolina Coastal Plain.


The stone tools pictured here were recovered during excavations in Rockdale County, Georgia.  They are approximately 3,750 years old. Although they look like spear points, they are too large to have been used in that capacity. Wear and breakage analysis suggests they were hafted on to short handles and used as knives and prying tools.  They may also have been used  for woodworking.  The material is a locally available metavolcanic rock..


The long, thin specimen was used as a drill to puncture leather, wood, and other media.  The three small triangular examples in the bottom row on the right are true arrowheads.  All of the others are spear points.  The bow and arrow was not introduced until approximately A.D. 600.  Prior to that time, hunting was primarily done with spears.  The three spear points on the upper row left are about 6,000 years old; the four to the right are approximately 4,000 years old.  The six artifacts on the left in the bottom row date to between 1,000 B.C. and A.D. 600, while the three arrowheads were made sometime between A.D. 600 and A.D. 1000.