• Temples and Towers of the Virgin

    Zion

    National Park Utah

Hafted Knife Blade

Hafted knife blade made of chert provides evidence of the way people lived over 5,000 years ago. 
Zion Museum Collection ZION 15497

Hafted knife blade made of chert provides evidence of the way people lived over 5,000 years ago.
Zion Museum Collection ZION 15497

This expertly crafted tool is evidence of the earliest era of human occupation in the park. People of the Archaic culture, living here from approximately 7,000 to 300 BC, moved with the seasons and relied on large game, wild plants, seeds, and nuts for survival. Because of this mobile way of life, they left few traces of their occupation. Archeologists typically identify sites from this era based on stone tools (such as dart points, knives, and scrapers) and rarely find remains of perishable prehistoric items.

A skilled toolmaker flaked this sharp knife blade from a stone called chert. It was likely hafted to a wooden handle to use as a dart point or to process meat from a successful hunt. It is approximately 4.5 inches (11.5 cm) long and 1 ¾ inches (4.5 cm) wide. In profile, it is a mere ¼ inch (0.5 cm) wide.


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