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Bar Abrader – Arrow Shaft Abrader

Bar Abrader – Arrow Shaft Abrader Arrows propelled by a bow are believed to have been the principle hunting tool and weapon of late precontact Oneota people in the La Crosse area. Manufacturing an arrow is by no means a simple task. One essential step in the process is producing an even, smooth arrow shaft. Sandstone abraders like this one (often called “bar abraders”) were used in pairs, with the arrow shaft pulled back and forth between them to smooth it. This abrader was found in 1988 during excavations at the Midway site (47LC19) in La Crosse County.

Images: left, bar abrader found at archaeological site; right, replica experimental bar abraders.

(Entry by Drs. James Theler, Constance Arzigian, and Katherine Stevenson)