Artifact Spotlight — Sharpening Stone

Kristi Nichols, Director of Archaeology, Collections and Historical Research
October 1, 2019
Artifact stone used to sharpen knives, axes, swords, etc.

A whetstone was recovered during the excavations of a unit placed just north of the reconstructed Sacristy wall. The whetstone is also referred to as a sharpening stone or a schist hone or a honing stone. Schist is a type of stone that has quartz grains that act as an abrader. Whetstones were used to sharpen knives, axes, scythes, scissors, and swords,

The whetstone was recovered in the upper levels of excavations, in somewhat mixed materials (artifacts that spanned the date range of occupation at the site). The stone is approximately 10 cm(3.9 inches) in length and 3.5 cm (1.3 inches) in width and 2 cm (0.7 inches) thick. The edges of the stone are rounded, forming an elliptical cylinder. On both sides of the whetstone, there are areas that show wear.

The whetstone cannot be assigned to a specific time period, but could have been brought to this location at any time during the historic occupation of the site.