The stone tools from the Tse'K'wa collection were gathered over a period of 60 years by a farmer in the Peace River region.This exhibit features a selection of one hundred photographs from a collection of over one thousand lithics. The lithics in the exhibit have been organized into the four main archaeological types (unifaces, bifaces, cores, debitage) which are based on the manufacture techniques used to create the lithics.

If some of the lithic terms are unfamiliar, click here to view our lithic glossary.

A stone tool is considered to be a uniface when only one side of the tool has been modified or retouched. In this collection, unifacially flaked tools are primarily scrapers, but we also have some points. Both of these tools can be found at processing sites or manufacturing sites.

Unlike unifaces, bifaces are flaked tools that have been modified on both sides. Bifaces can be a variety of tool types, that may have been used for a diverse array of purposes, such as chopping, cutting, and hafting (meaning the tool is attached to a handle or shaft). In the collection there are bifaces that can be further classfied as points or axes. 

A core is a rock that functions as the primary source for flaked pieces. A core can be used to create blades, microblades, and flakes. Cores are not typically the end product, but a means to creating them. There are, however, circumstances where the core can be used or made into a tool for cutting and chopping.

During manufacture, detached pieces from a core or tool can be classified as debitage. Some debitage are immediately discarded and are left unused, whereas others are utilize3d as tools themselves. So, debitage encompasses a wide range of stone tool categories. In the Tse'K'wa collection, some of the debitage have been classified as  blades, knives, flakes, and spalls.

With such a huge diversity in stone tool technology, it should come as no surprise that not every type of tool can be nicely sorted into the above four categories. The "Other Tools" section contains stone tools such as adze blades, boat weights, chisels, and wedges. They have been placed in this category due to different manufacturing techniques, such as grinding instead of flaking, different materials used, such as bone instead of stone, and different tool purposes. 

Photography by Melissa Rollit and Katherine Luyten. Web page written by Chantel Smeysters and Melissa Rollit. Web page design by Melissa Rollit and Denee Renouf, 2017.
Special thanks to: Elizabeth Peterson and Chantel Smeysters for their help with lithic classification and analysis.