Saturday, February 22, 2014

Making and Breaking

Hi all,

For the last few weeks I have been producing projectile points and armed darts for a Texas A&M course focused on taphonomic processes.  This course, led by Dr. Darryl de Ruiter, illustrates how animal bones found in the prehistoric record offer evidence of human behavior and natural post-depositional processes.  For instance, differences in impact damage from projectile points and cut marks on bone from butchering may show changing subsistence strategies over time.  We have used stone-tipped arrows, atlatl darts, metal spears...all sorts of fun sharp things.

My part in all of this is to provide a healthy supply of projectile points and other stone tools for use in these experiments.  I have been having a blast and thought I would share what we have been up to so far.

As always, it's been fun to make functional points and destroy them.

Producing stone tools with students for a butchering experiment
Angela Gore testing obsidian point damage on bone
Antler composite point without  binding or inset blades

The durability of this point style surprised us all

Antler point damage from impact with bone

Hafted Folsom point ready for impact damage test
Impact damage from cow head on Folsom
Similar damage pattern on Folsom from Kincaid Shelter, TX. Photo:

This Folsom point passed through the throat with no trouble
Josh Lynch launching a Folsom point. Look at the flex in that dart!
Clovis point wrapped and ready
Clovis point entrance wound

Clovis point impact damage on cow bone

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