L’Anse aux Meadows Tool Mark Report, Unpublished

[…]The debitage includes wood chips from cutting tools, waste from splitting large blocks of wood, and trunks and limb sections that have had pieces cut from them for use. Wood chips carry the most useful information for analysis. The characteristic used from the wood chips for analysis are the length, width, thickness, angle-in, facets, and profile. On the basis of these parameters it is possible to determine between types of activity such as shaving with either a knife with axing or felling type cuts with adzing. Additionally it is possible to determine certain information about both the tool edge and material.

In analyzing, the chip is first oriented as to grain direction. Generally the chip is struck either in the direction of the grain, or at a slight angle to it. Chips are determined generally by the presence of a cut and slightly split of feathered area on the dorsal surface. This area is the cut made by the tool removing the chip. The angle formed by the removal cut is referred to as angle-in.

The debitage that is both the discarded wood and the chips indicates the presence in the House D area of metal bladed tools. The chips from the Area D/A and from Area E/G are also characteristic of metal bladed tools. The House A area materials have no clear indication of being from a metal bladed woodworking technology. There is also a part of the House D area wood chips that may be from a high angle convex edged tool of either stone or metal.

Five wooden artifacts and several stakes and pegs recovered from the site were examined in detail. All but one of these artifacts come from the area of House D. One artifact was found in the long trench running into the bog from the House D area.

Artifact 4A68T2-7 [shaped board] is of problematic function. It is a flat piece of wood that has been brought to a point on one end while the other end is a broken, morticed hole. The board was split from a log and one side has finish adzing on it. There is an angled step on one margin of the piece which has a distinctive metal blade end cut. The mortice hole remaining was made by drilling two holes in the board and then chiseling out the remaining wood to form a rectangular morticed hole. The remains of the hole are very regular and stria from the drilling can still be seen. […]

[…]The composite nature of these items fit well with general Norse items such as boats, furniture, looms and other items which were complex wooden artifacts. The observable adze and knife marks appear to be done with metal bladed tools. The very regular cylindrical holes with the regular stria marks would have to have been made with a sharp regular drill made of metal.

[…]Norse activity is associated with the metal bladed technology found around Houses D and E and Area E/G. Not only is the debitage from these areas consistent with metal bladed tools, but the artifacts fit with Norse wooden artifacts. The strongest case for an Archaic sample occurs in the House A materials. In this area there are a number of chips which show possible stone bladed technology and no indication of metal bladed tools.

Source: Parks Canada Atlantic Service Centre, Halifax, , , Paul Gleeson, "Study of Wood Material from L'Anse aux Meadows," 1979, 3,9-13.

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