Object ID: 2014.59.1
A hand-maul is a type of pecked stone tool which was shaped by using a denser rock as a hammer stone, perhaps one made of basalt or granite, to pound the tool into the desired shape. After it was hammered into shape, the surface of the tool was weathered, and the distinguishable “pecks” or depressions were smoothed.
Hand mauls such as this were used by Tla’amin people for woodworking, beginning 700-800 years ago. An individual would grip it at the narrowest point with the larger end facing the target, and repeatedly strike. The weight of the stone made it an effective hammering tool, but its weight also made using a hand maul a very laborious task. Whereas an adze was used for carving, hand mauls were used for hammering tasks such as splitting logs by pounding in wedges or softening cedar bark.
This particular hand maul was found on a beach within Malaspina Provincial Park. It appears to be made of sandstone and is covered in the remnants of barnacles, the result of sitting for many years forgotten in the intertidal zone.
The Tla’amin Nation, the qathet Regional District, and the qathet Museum & Archives encourage the donation of any artifacts that may be held in personal collections so that we may learn from them and the public can enjoy their significance.
Removal of any object from archaeological sites in BC is illegal and subject to severe penalties under the Heritage Conservation Act. Individuals can report any contraventions of the Heritage Conservation Act, by calling 1 877-952-7277, (Option 2) toll-free or #7277 on a cellphone. If you think you have found an artifact, please take only a picture, leave it in place and immediately call the Tla’amin Nation (604) 483-9646 and/or the qathet Museum & Archives (604) 485-2222.