Marshalltown trowel

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The Marshalltown trowel is the favoured tool of archaeologists in the United States of America.[1] Korean, Japanese, and Canadian archaeologists are also particularly fond of this useful tool.

Made by the Marshalltown Company of Marshalltown, Iowa, it was given iconic status by the American archaeologist Kent Flannery in his article 'The Golden Marshalltown', published in American Anthropology (1982). The Marshalltown trowel is made of a single piece of metal and so it is strong and resists breakage. The most popular sizes are the 5-inch and 6-inch pointing trowels, but archaeologists sometimes also use the trowels that have a squared end. It is larger and more flexible than the WHS trowel preferred by archaeologists in the United Kingdom which makes it better for cleaning sections but less well-suited to digging heavy clay and gravel deposits.

Also of particular interest are Bon Tool's Stainless Steel 'Pointing Trowels.' Bon, the exclusive manufacturer of stainless steel pointing trowels, developed this product to be longer lasting, sturdier, and to resist rusting. It is available with a 5½" blade.


  1. ^ "WHS Trowel bites the dust?". The Digger. January 2006. Retrieved 2007-12-23.