The New Jersey State Museum in Trenton has a series of fascinating displays about New Jersey’s first inhabitants – the Lenape people. These indigenous people have left behind countless items in thousands of sites throughout the area that archaeologist use to interpret how people lived thousands of years ago. One very common artifact found during archaeological digs of Lenape encampments are flakes. Flakes or debitage, as they are also called, are bits of stone removed as a person worked to create a tool. Indigenous people would hit a stone with another hard object (percussion flaking) or put pressure on a stone  to trim the edges by removing small pieces (pressure flaking).  Because Native Americans would continuously create new tools or rework (repair) old tools, a great deal of debitage would accumulate over time. In the 1982 Scudders Mill Bypass archaeological dig, of the 25,000 artifacts collected, 95% was debitage.

To learn more about the Scudders Mill Bypass archeological dig, stop by for a free lecture the Wicoff House Museum on Sunday, February 11th from 1:00 – 2:00 pm. Register for this free event at