Pecking

Axe from Crescent Head

Pecking, also known as hammer dressing, was a technique used to shape robust stones that are resistant to refined percussion flaking techniques.  The technique involved striking the stone repeatedly with a hard hammer, pulverising the surface.  Each blow powdered a tiny amount of stone at the point of contact, and the attrition caused by thousands of blows incrementally reduced the object into the desired shape.  

Manufacture

Pecking was used to manufacture a variety of stone objects from coarse stones, such as bowls, statues, ornaments, clubs, and grinding stones, but particularly to shape stone axes and adzes.  

Celt, North Carolina

Celt

Mace head 2

Club Head

Mace head 1, PNG

Club Head

Grinding dish, Australia

Grinding Dish

Grinding dish twin groove Charleville

Grinding Dish

Axe from Crescent Head

Grooved Stone Axe

Axe, vivien muller

Grooved Stone Axe

Pitted hammerstone, Anaiwan

Pitted Hammerstone

Axe, Qld, Selwyn Ranges

Stone Axe

Axe, Anaiwan 2

Stone Axe

Axe from Retreat

Stone Axe

Axe, Moondarra from Atherton

Stone Axe

Resharpening

Grinding stones were used to abrade edible seeds into meal.  With prolonged use, grinding stones often became worn smooth and lost their effectiveness.   The surfaces of these stones were sometimes resharpened by pecking to break-up the slick surface and re-establish the stone’s abrasive qualities.

Muller 1

Muller

Axe, Charleville 2

Stone Axe