Groundstone in the Steward Collection consists of the bulk weight of the collection. Groundstone found in the collection consists of manos (hand-held grinding stones), metates (large blocks of stone used to grind vegetation or food), grinding slabs (for small seeds and minerals), mortars (large hand held tools for crushing and grinding in a shaft or hole), pestles (stone blocks with rounded depressions or shafts the mortars are used in), mauls (for grinding or crushing) and ground fishing/trapping weights.
Groundstone is only marginally time sensitive. Smaller manos and smaller metates tend to date from the Early Archaic, but are known to continue into Ancestral Numic times. Larger grinding implements such as the two-handed manos and “Utah Style” metates that are present in the collection are attributed to the Pre-Pueblo (Fremont) when domestic agricultural products such as beans and corn were a major portion of the Native diet. The general large and heavy nature of most grinding stones makes them non-transportable. Most if not all of the tool stone used for grinding implements is found within close proximity to the sites the artifacts were collected from.
Grinding stones are more valuable when collected in such a way as to preserve micro fragments of vegetation or pollen to determine what food materials were collected and at what season of the year. Stone weights for fishing or trapping are often found in association with cordage in dry cave environments. They are not time sensitive but suggest a more sedentary subsistence system around the sites. There are a number of such weights in the collection.