Knives and Daggers

Stone knives were essential tools throughout prehistory. A stone knife that was hafted onto a handle would often have the proximal end of the tool modified to fit within the handle.

Stone knives were often (but not always) hafted onto a handle, and the proximal end of the tool was frequently modified—thinned, notched, or narrowed—to fit within the handle and to facilitate gluing or lashing.

Stone knives in many parts of the world were made on blanks made by flaking across both surfaces, called bifaces. A cutting edge was present on both edges of the knife. These two-edged bifacial tools are called ‘daggers’ in European convention; in North America, the term ‘biface’ is often used, or the misleading term ‘point’.

The label ‘knife’ should be considered cautiously, as there is not an unequivocal difference in shape or size between bifacial tools used as spear or dart points, and those used as knives. Indeed, some of these bifacial tools may have been used for both projectiles and knives, as observed historically in the Kimberley region of Australia.

Archaeologists can sometimes infer that a tool was used as a knife from the way it was resharpened. Use-wear analysts can a knife by the micro-wear left behind on the tool’s edges.

Juan knife Selwyn 1

Juan Knife

Leilira macroblade knife

Macroblade (Leilira) Knife

Hafted macroblade knife 1

Macroblade (Leilira) Knife

Leilira with bark sheath 1

Macroblade (Leilira) Knife

Leilira knife sheath

Macroblade (Leilira) Knife Sheath

Yilugwa Mithaka 1

Yilugwa Knife

Macroblade Yilugwa 2, Mithaka

Yilugwa Knife

Biface 1, UAE

Huwayyan Foliate Biface

Aterian Point 1

Aterian Point

Aterian point 2 17 Jul 2023

Aterian Point

Gerzean knife blank

Gerzean Knife Blank

Biface, Egypt

Shouldered Knife

Tenerean disk re-do

Tenerean Disk

Hafted bifacial knife, Switzerland

Hafted Bifacial Dagger

Solutrean biface Volgu

Laurel Leaf Biface

Danish Dagger, type II two pieces

Type II Dagger

Danish Dagger Type IV 1

Type IV Dagger

Danish dagger type V mwm

Type V Dagger

Sweetwater Biface

Caddo Biface

Etley point, Missouri

Etley Point

Lost Lake point, Alabama

Lost Lake Point

St Charles point, Indiana

St Charles Point

Mesoamerican biface UNEMA

Tecpatl Biface

Thebes point Ohio 1

Thebes Point

Thebes E notch, Indiana 2

Thebes Point, E-Notch

Ulu 3, Alaska


Ulu 2, Alaska


Ulu, hafted


Ulu with slot


Macroblade knife, Papua New Guinea

Macroblade Knife

Mataa Point 2

Mata’a Point

Mataa Point 1

Mata’a Point