Archaic Stone Technology
The Holocene warming ushered in the Archaic period at about 8,000 B.C.E. The size of game animals declined, and Virginia developed resource-rich deciduous forests. Hunting bands formed clusters in these forests. Archaic people hunted with new styles of projectile points, including side- and corner-notched points. They fished in the rivers and in the Chesapeake Bay using nets weighed down by worked stones. People began to use wood to build canoes for navigating the waterways; although the wood did not survive, the chipped stone axes that were used to chop down trees have been found at many sites.
During the Late Archaic, people started using a new method for shaping stone into the desired shape. Instead of chipping the stone away using percussion flaking, another stone was used to grind away the surface of the tool. This technique produced beautiful smoothed surfaces. Archaeologists refer to these artifacts as ground stone tools. They include grooved axes and net sinkers.