Artifacts in 3D

Some of the extraordinary artifacts from the Ye'yumnuts site assemblage have been scanned in high-res 3D for close examination.

Using your mouse, each each object can be rotated and zoomed for close examination. If you have a VR headset (like Google Cardobard), you can also see these objects in 3D through the headset.

We have provided a web-link to a free downloadable file that you can use for 3D printing your own copy of these remarkable artifacts!

These objects, created hundreds of years ago, show how Cowichan peoples made ingenious use of stone, bone, and wood to manufacture tools using materials from the environment and via trade with other groups.

This jade adze, or skwuschus in Hul'q'umi'num', would have been hafted into a wooden handle and used for wood carving. What makes this artifact particularly special? It's made from a type of greenstone that is not found in the Cowichan valley, thus it would have been acquired by trade, likely from source hundreds of kilometers away in the Fraser Canyon. Note the incredibly sharp edge on this adze, even after thousands of years!

A beveled, bifacial leaf-shaped point made of locally-sourced slate stone is one of the very finely made artifacts from the site. While only a few centimeters long, this point would have been very useful for hunting small animals. Points like these were made by grinding a piece of slate rock on a whetstone until the desired shape and size is achieved.

This piece of carved bone is a portion of a harpoon toggle, which was used for hunting fish. The photo below depicts what a complete harpoon toggle might have looked like. A bone or stone point would be secured with rope between two toggle pieces and connected to a fishing line.

This harpoon comes from the settlement of Say-umiton in the traditional territory of Tsleil-Waututh Nation. Fishing harpoons used by Cowichan peoples at the Ye'yumnuts site would have looked very similar!

Photo Credit: Dana Lepofsky

Made of sandstone, whetsones are very useful as an abrasive surface for grinding and shaping stone and bone tools. The channel groove on the top of this whetsone shows repeated use.

The word for "sharpening tools" in Hul'q'umi'num' is: yuqyuq

This artifact is an example of a chipped stone point, which is not common among the objects from the Ye'yumnuts site, though frequently found at other sites. The types of stone necessary for this kind of tool creation are not generally available in the Cowichan Valley, but this point is a rare exception. The base is slightly notched, thus it is likely this point would have been hafted onto a small hunting spear.

Heavy hammerstones like this one would fit snugly in the grasp of a person's hand and were used to make hard blows to rock in flaked stone tool manufacture. The damage on this hard hammerstone shows repeated use from knapping.