This engraved argillite river pebble is from the Hardaway site (31St4), Stanly County, North Carolina. The precise age of the pebble is unknown, but it likely dates from the Late Paleoindian to Middle Archaic periods, ca. 10,500-7000 BP.
This small, flat river pebble is engraved with a crosshatch design on both faces. The engraving was done with the sharp edge of a stone tool. Geometric crosshatched designs are found engraved on stones in various times and places world-wide. In North America, engraved pebbles and stones occur in Paleoindian assemblages (most famously at the Gault Site in Texas), and crosshatch designs are often found on stone pendants and gorgets made during the Archaic period. The nature of the engraving on these stones, and the context of where they are found, has suggested to some researchers that their importance was in the process of engraving rather than the decorated object itself.
The artefact is curated in the North Carolina Archaeological Collection, Research Laboratories of Archaeology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.