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  • Edge Wear

    For us newbies, recognizing a utilized flake or a not-so-obvious tool can be difficult -- because after all, they're all broken rocks! Can you post some photos of edge wear on some tools and flakes? How can I spot a flake that may have been used as a scraper or some other tool? I've got some that I believe show edge wear, but is are they maybe just chipped? Can you post some photos? Thanks!

  • #2
    For me those are hard to tell unless in hand. but let me see what I can come up with. Dang good subject. Thank you! I hope more join in with their thoughts. Click image for larger version

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    Look to the ground for it holds the past!

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    • #3
      Here is a nice little Connecticut scraper. To give an idea of size take a look at the second picture Click image for larger version

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ID:	200174That is my pinky finger nail next to the small flake turned multi purpose too. The beveled edge is obviously a scraper. The small protrusion towrd my nail was utilized as a graver spur. Click image for larger version

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      TN formerly CT Visit our store http://stores.arrowheads.com/store.p...m-Trading-Post

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      • #4
        This is a picture of the Proximal edge you can see the wear pretty good in these photos. Notice the curve in the left of this picture. It was also used as a spoke shave at one time. This one single tiny artifact tells us so much. It may not look like much but it is one of my favorite all time finds. Click image for larger version

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        TN formerly CT Visit our store http://stores.arrowheads.com/store.p...m-Trading-Post

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        • #5
          Good question!


          Here is a struck spall they put an edge on
          Click image for larger version

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          A lot of tools are from "uniface" pieces. They loved putting a beveled edge on them then utilized as a scrapers or knives that could be resharpened.
          Click image for larger version

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ID:	200385 Click image for larger version

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          This is a scraper from Mr. Ron Kelley that shows "chatter" from being used on a hard material. Next to it is a thumb scraper that does not show much use wear.
          Click image for larger version

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          Here is a flake I found just a couple weeks ago, it really shows tiny pressure flaking making it a tool. This is not to say they didn't use flakes, they do have a very nice sharp edge. Just no modification was made after it had been struck off. SEVERAL flakes are created making one biface.
          Click image for larger version

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          Attached Files
          Last edited by OBION; 03-29-2016, 09:49 AM.

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          • #6
            Here are a few flake tools (both found in the Schoharie Valley, NY and made from Onondaga Chert)... first is a tiny flake that was modified with an awl-like point. While not a great example of edge 'wear', it shows how a flake can be used for a specialized purpose and shows a definite tool form. Click image for larger version

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            Click image for larger version

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            Next is a highly modified scraper/blade made from a flake... the rounded scraper end in the first photo shows some wear from use. I'm sure there are indications of use on the other edges if magnification is used, but I can't photograph that very well.
            Note the 'crushed' looking flakes on the scraper edge... those step fractures are likely due to edge wear from use: Click image for larger version

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            Click image for larger version

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            Same step fractures on the bottom edge in photo above and below also show likely edge wear from use: Click image for larger version

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            View from the top: Click image for larger version

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            This is the underside of the tool: Click image for larger version

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            Last edited by Driftwood; 03-29-2016, 09:17 AM.

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            • OBION
              OBION commented
              Editing a comment
              I love that last piece. Good pics

          • #7
            This Levana point is interesting. Not your typical looking wear! Click image for larger version

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            TN formerly CT Visit our store http://stores.arrowheads.com/store.p...m-Trading-Post

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            • #8
              Thanks for all of the great information! I still can't spot a flake that wasn't worked but still utilized, however, with the info I learned here, I took a loupe and studied the edges of all of my "junk" flakes and I discovered a number that do appear to have some microflaking... From what I gather a couple of knife/scrapers and a couple spokeshaves. I'll post the photos if I can get some good ones.

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              • Driftwood
                Driftwood commented
                Editing a comment
                Perhaps the best way to see the kind of thing you are looking for would be to learn to knap flint... there are books, videos and articles galore on the subject. You don't need to become a knapping master, but just enough to bust off some large flakes and maybe add a few smaller touch-up flakes. Study the flakes and maybe use them for cutting/scraping different materials then study them again... you will get a much better idea of what you are looking at after that.

            • #9
              Bah, I can't get any good photos... almost pointless for me to post this photo, but here are three. I believe the two on the right are spokeshaves, looking a bit unimpressive from the angle I took the picture, but I can see individual flakes, tiny flakes, taken off on the top edges. The other just a scraper.
              Attached Files
              Last edited by gregszybala; 03-30-2016, 06:51 PM.

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