The purpose, of this article is to report on seven previously,
unreported, Edgefield Scrapers and to provide the geographic distribution
and age of these, unique, tools. Michie (1968) was the first to report on
this tool type.1 At first glance, this artifact appears to be a broken side,
notched point with the blade edge re-worked into a scraper. Michie (1968)
(1972 p. 85) describes this artifact as a large, side notched tool that
is typically uniface, with a working edge that is at a 45 degree angle to
the medial axis.2 The primary blade is on the left
and the secondary blade is on the right side of the ventral face. The base
can be straight, concave, or convex with the notches and basal edge ground.
Most examples are manufactured from a large, thick, prismatic flake and
the evidence of the flake still exists in some specimens. Michie states this tool “is the product of intentional
This artifact type is uncommon, even in its core area of distribution. The
geographic distribution of this artifact is typically thought to lie within
the coastal plains of the Tri-state area of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.
The northern boundary is the Santee River, in South Carolina. The western
limit is central Georgia and the southern boundary is Tampa, Florida.4 Examples
can be found in the western South Carolina piedmont and eastern Georgia piedmont,5
and decrease, in occurrence, as you move north. The author is aware of a
single example being found in Cobb County, Georgia (just northwest of Atlanta). Another
single example is reported from Ball Ground, Cherokee County, Georgia, by
Jerald Ledbetter, 1986.
Goodyear (et al. 1980) reports the Edge-field dates to the Early Archaic
time period 8000 to 7000 BC. He notes a similar tool form, the Albany scraper,
also occupied an early position; it was first reported by ClarenceWebb in
1946 from a site in NE Louisiana. Goodyear goes on to report, that Michie,
Bullen and Purdy note that Edgefield’s have identical haft elements
to Big Sandy, Taylor and Bolen points.8 One Edgefield Scraper is reported
to be found in the lowest six inch level at the Theriault Site on Brier Creek.
(Brockington 1971) The lowest level is mixed but the associated types include Clovis,
Dalton, Taylor and Kirk. Clearly, the Early Archaic age is deserved.9 Edgefield
scrapers are reported in the Kirk component at the G.S. Lewis-East site on
the Savannah River (Aiken County, South Carolina). The absence of a side
notched component indicates that Edgefields are also a component of the Kirk tool
In conclusion, current evidence indicates the Edgefield Scraper is an Early
Archaic tool form dating from 8000 to 7500 BC, and is part of the Bolen,
Taylor and Kirk tool kits. Its antiquity is inferred by its form, and association
with side and corner notched artifacts, at several sites, Taylor, Theriault,
and E. G. Lewis-East, previously mentioned above.
The Edgefields pictured in this article are from 2 sites in Houston Co,
Ga. and all are personal finds of Mark Oliver and the author over the last
2 years. The largest in the two photos is four inches long.
1 1968 Michie, James L., p.30-31
2 Ibid 1968 and 1972 Michie, James L., p. 85
3 Ibid p. 85
41980 Goodyear, et. al p. 3
5 Ibid p.4
6 1986 Ledbetter and Smith
7 1980 Goodyear p. 3
8 Ibid p. 3
9 1971 Brockington, Paul E., p. 23-46
10 2002 Sassaman Kenneth E., et. al p. 62
Brockington, Paul E.,
1971 A preliminary investigation of a early knapping site
in Southeastern Georgia. The Notebook, Vol. 3, No 2
Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of
South Carolina, Columbia.
Goodyear, Albert C., III, J.L. Michie, and B.A. Purdy
1980 The Edgefield Scraper: A Distributional Study of an
Early Archaic Stone tool from the Southeastern U.S.
Paper presented at the annual Southeastern Archaeological
Conference, New Orleans, LA.
Ledbetter, Jerald and Smith, Charlotte A.,
1986 Laffingal Clearcut Survey, Cherokee Co., GA,
UGA Manuscript No., 350.
Michie, James L.,
1968 The Edgefield Scraper.
The Chesopiean 6:30-31
1972 The Edgefield Scraper: A Tool of Inferred Antiquity and
South Carolina Antiquities Vol. 4
Sassaman Kenneth E., Daniel, Randolph I., Jr., and Moore
2002 G. S. Lewis-East: Early and Late Archaic Occupations
along the Savannah River, Aiken County South Carolina,
Savannah River Archaeological Research Papers