This is a typical adz. Adzes were used by Native American peoples to shape wood into particular designs, such as canoes or decorative wood carvings. Chipped as well as rounded adzes are the first in a long line of wood-cutting tools and appear first during the Early Archaic period, circa 8,000 BCE.
Archaeological evidence indicates that Chicago's first peoples arrived around 12,000 years ago, during the last ice age. Known as Paleo-Indians, they lived in small, nomadic groups, hunting wild game such as mastodon and caribou. They used simple tools, such as adzes or stone axes, to help their way of life. When the ice receded, a new way of life emerged known as the Archaic Period. While people continued to hunt, they also grew crops, established semi-permanent villages, and developed trading networks throughout the region. The Archaic Period lasted about 7,000 years and was followed by the Woodland, Mississippian, and Late Prehistoric periods. Around 1600 A.D., the Miami and Illinois tribes arrived from the eastern woodlands. They lived in small villages near fresh-water streams and built dome-shaped homes known as wigwams. Like their ancient ancestors, they fished, hunted wild game, grew crops, and used Chicago waterways to trade with neighboring tribes.