This retouched flake from northeast Tasmania is made from a metamorphosed sedimentary rock known as cherty hornfels. The tool likely dates to the Holocene. This type of tool is referred to as a ‘steep-edged scraper’ in the early archaeological literature, a term that is still in use by some archaeologists working in Tasmania.
This retouched flake likely dates to the Holocene although they are also known to occur in Pleistocene contexts. Unifacially retouched flakes like this were a key part of the stone toolkit of Tasmanian Aboriginal people. They were struck from large cores at quarries and transported to living sites throughout eastern Tasmania. The tools were often resharpened many times, as was the case for this example. The edges show considerable microflaking use-wear damage, undercutting the edge. The stoneworker may have concluded that further resharpening was unfeasible because the tool had become so small, so it was discarded. This example is heavily patinated and devitrified, which is often the case for Tasmanian artefacts made from cherty hornfels.
See the annotations for technological details about this stone tool.