Fluted Points Bombshell
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  1. #1
    us
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    Paleoindian-Early Archaic tools
    Last edited by uniface; Aug 09, 2020 at 12:40 PM.
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    "[T]o silence a man is to pay him homage, for it is an acknowledgement that his arguments are both impossible to answer and impossible to ignore." -- JBR Yant

    "Take heart from Noam Chomsky, who wrote that nothing in the social sciences cannot be understood by the average bus driver in a couple of minutes – this is not calculus or physics, after all." -- Ramin Mazaheri

  2. #2
    us
    Banjo Man

    May 2019
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    I wonder how they determined that fluting done by ancient Arabs was not to facilitate hafting but rather to show off their knapping skills?
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    Savant Banjo Picker

  3. #3
    Charter Member
    us
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    Ever heard of Japheth? Explains a lot.
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  4. #4

    Jun 2014
    California
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    So not an actual flute for hafting just removing some fat rock ?
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  5. #5
    us
    Jun 2009
    Central Pennsylvania
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    Paleoindian-Early Archaic tools
    Notice that they made arrowheads from the fluting flakes they detached.

    Impressive that they kept them in one piece.

    T : they have to say something to maintain the expert pose, so they just invent something to "explain" the "why" of them.

    NB: Nobody has ever answered a "why" question. Every proposed answer always turns out to explain "how."
    Tdog likes this.
    "[T]o silence a man is to pay him homage, for it is an acknowledgement that his arguments are both impossible to answer and impossible to ignore." -- JBR Yant

    "Take heart from Noam Chomsky, who wrote that nothing in the social sciences cannot be understood by the average bus driver in a couple of minutes – this is not calculus or physics, after all." -- Ramin Mazaheri

  6. #6
    us
    Banjo Man

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    Quote Originally Posted by smokeythecat View Post
    Ever heard of Japheth? Explains a lot.
    Shem, Ham and Japheth? Damn right. Noah's boys. Maybe I just don't get the reference.

    Savant Banjo Picker

  7. #7
    us
    Jun 2009
    Central Pennsylvania
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    Paleoindian-Early Archaic tools
    Google has a ton of links somebody motivated to could check -- maybe some with additional pictures. But from only what's shown above, it's pretty clear that what they're calling "points" were cores -- points were made from channel flakes from these.

    Charlie . . . ?
    "[T]o silence a man is to pay him homage, for it is an acknowledgement that his arguments are both impossible to answer and impossible to ignore." -- JBR Yant

    "Take heart from Noam Chomsky, who wrote that nothing in the social sciences cannot be understood by the average bus driver in a couple of minutes – this is not calculus or physics, after all." -- Ramin Mazaheri

  8. #8
    us
    Jun 2009
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    It's an interesting article... This site was referenced back in 2004 at the Paleo Americans: Beyond Clovis conference as an example of how unique Fluting is that it has only been found one other time. This research was published in 2005, and largely just treated as a neolithic site in Yemen/Oman. I assume this is all older research as Yemen's had a full-blown civil war going on for a while, and insurgency problems going back several years before that.

    It's interesting that it's popped back up and gotten press again, I haven't seen the new paper but the 2005 paper basically covers everything in the link Uni posted. It recognizes a lot things as cores.

    The items on the left side of this picture look like standard neolithic triangular points. It's a cool knapping technique that results in a spike like 3 sided point. Some of the other stuff from the article looks almost like Levallois technique where you are knocking off a finished point from specially knapped core, this time with some trimming to form a stemmed point. Both things show up in several areas over huge swaths of time.

    Orange piece on the right of the picture does look a lot more flute like, and it's amazing that it stayed together like that. Since the article shows someone knapping, I wonder if that is one of the recreations for illustration purposes? It's not in any of the detailed sketches or official looking pictures.


    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by joshuaream; Aug 10, 2020 at 02:10 AM.

  9. #9
    us
    Jan 2012
    Rhode Island
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    Quote Originally Posted by uniface View Post
    Google has a ton of links somebody motivated to could check -- maybe some with additional pictures. But from only what's shown above, it's pretty clear that what they're calling "points" were cores -- points were made from channel flakes from these.

    Charlie . . . ?
    https://journals.plos.org/plosone/ar...l.pone.0236314
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  10. #10
    gb
    Dec 2019
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    Just for interest, there’s also something known as “Dorset Tip Fluting”, which is a palaeo-Eskimo technique, not found anywhere apart from the Eastern Arctic coast of Canada.

    Here’s the abstract from “Dorset tip fluting: A second American invention” by Plumet & Lebel (1997)

    This paper describes and analyzes a Dorset invention, the tip fluting of points, which is characteristic of the Early and Middle Dorset. This technique, which has been looked upon as a finishing touch, is shown to be derived from microblade pressure knapping. Tip-fluted points are the result of repeated knapping, very likely by pressure, of microblade-like spalls from the apex of a specialized blank. Tip fluting was applied at different stages of point manufacture, from the blank, to the preform, to used and broken points. The process could be applied to both faces, and in some case from both ends. The resulting flutes were achieved through a series of reasoned steps pertaining to the microblade knapping technique. Unlike the Paleo-Indian basal fluting of points, which was a finishing step of the haft element, the tip-fluting technique did not spread out of the Canadian Dorset area where it originated and was used for less than a millennium.

    The Dorset culture was active between 500 BC – 1,500BC and preceded the Inuit culture in Arctic North America.

    These are Dorset Culture. The one on the left has been tip-fluted.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    [pic from Elfshotgallery blogspot]
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  11. #11
    us
    Jun 2009
    Central Pennsylvania
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    Paleoindian-Early Archaic tools
    It's uncanny how some of them look so much like Redstone points.
    "[T]o silence a man is to pay him homage, for it is an acknowledgement that his arguments are both impossible to answer and impossible to ignore." -- JBR Yant

    "Take heart from Noam Chomsky, who wrote that nothing in the social sciences cannot be understood by the average bus driver in a couple of minutes – this is not calculus or physics, after all." -- Ramin Mazaheri

  12. #12

    Dec 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by uniface View Post
    Google has a ton of links somebody motivated to could check -- maybe some with additional pictures. But from only what's shown above, it's pretty clear that what they're calling "points" were cores -- points were made from channel flakes from these.

    Charlie . . . ?
    I was thinking the same thing. After mostly reading through the paper (thanks for that link, charls!), I still think it. Those "bifaces" are flake cores. When they couldn't get any more large flakes off they used the thickness remaining in the middle of the biface to try to get one more good flake from the end. If the exhausted core was thin enough, they then sometimes pressure flaked it into an arrowhead as well, with the "flute" still in it. In that sense it is like the Clovis platters we recently discussed: It is first and foremost a bifacial flake core, then the core itself can be used as a tool/point blank.

    The resulting arrowheads are interesting. The paper says averages of 60-70 mm long, 5.5 mm wide and 5 mm thick, so basically a sharpened spike. (For those having trouble picturing it, 25 mm is 1 inch.) Such a point would outright suck for big game hunting. Penetration would be superb, but the wound track would be so small the critter would be miles away before it bled out. The only reason I can think of to make a point like that is to punch through something very tough. I believe these were likely armor piercing tips, intended for use in warfare against an enemy wearing leather armor. In other words, these work sites were basically munitions factors. That being the case the idea that their knappers were intentionally using a more difficult technique just to show off is nutty. They needed a weapon that was good enough, then they needed to crank them out as fast and as easily as possible.
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  13. #13

    Jun 2014
    California
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quartzite Keith View Post
    I was thinking the same thing. After mostly reading through the paper (thanks for that link, charls!), I still think it. Those "bifaces" are flake cores. When they couldn't get any more large flakes off they used the thickness remaining in the middle of the biface to try to get one more good flake from the end. If the exhausted core was thin enough, they then sometimes pressure flaked it into an arrowhead as well, with the "flute" still in it. In that sense it is like the Clovis platters we recently discussed: It is first and foremost a bifacial flake core, then the core itself can be used as a tool/point blank.

    The resulting arrowheads are interesting. The paper says averages of 60-70 mm long, 5.5 mm wide and 5 mm thick, so basically a sharpened spike. (For those having trouble picturing it, 25 mm is 1 inch.) Such a point would outright suck for big game hunting. Penetration would be superb, but the wound track would be so small the critter would be miles away before it bled out. The only reason I can think of to make a point like that is to punch through something very tough. I believe these were likely armor piercing tips, intended for use in warfare against an enemy wearing leather armor. In other words, these work sites were basically munitions factors. That being the case the idea that their knappers were intentionally using a more difficult technique just to show off is nutty. They needed a weapon that was good enough, then they needed to crank them out as fast and as easily as possible.
    So those points shown were small like these Neolithic points ?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  14. #14
    us
    Jun 2009
    Central Pennsylvania
    2,116
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    Paleoindian-Early Archaic tools
    Probably larger. Key difference is that they're unifaces.
    "[T]o silence a man is to pay him homage, for it is an acknowledgement that his arguments are both impossible to answer and impossible to ignore." -- JBR Yant

    "Take heart from Noam Chomsky, who wrote that nothing in the social sciences cannot be understood by the average bus driver in a couple of minutes – this is not calculus or physics, after all." -- Ramin Mazaheri

  15. #15

    Jun 2014
    California
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    Quote Originally Posted by uniface View Post
    Probably larger. Key difference is that they're unifaces.
    So are some of what I'm showing '

 

 
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