SPECIALIZED KNIFE, SURFACE.

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READING FLAKED STONE ARTIFACTS

When you read an archaeological report, the flaked stone artifacts are usually described and interpreted using a typology or an attribute analysis. Before doing such an analysis, each artifact must be "read." The surface of an artifact is composed of many scars caused by striking flakes. As an artifact is flaked, each flake that is detached partially removes and obscures scars from previously removed flakes. This creates a pattern that makes it possible to "read" the order in which flakes were removed to create the edges and final shape of the artefact. Thus, you can tell both how the artifact was shaped and which edges were engaged when the artefact was being used in particular tasks. When you know this, it is then possible to group artifacts into types or select attributes that reflect the their making or use.
   This gallery is given over to several examples of how artifacts are read and thereby interpreted. Unless otherwise noted, these artifacts all come from the beaches and banks of the Columbia River between Saddle Mountains and Lodge Pole Rapids, at the north end of Quilomene Bar. They are mainly from the west side of the river. Many are from the beaches adjacent to The Hermit Site (45Kt6) and The Sunset Creek Site (45Kt28).We will begin with the knife shown in the page header, above.
   Be aware. These explanations are designed for those who want to learn how to read artifacts and are, therefore, technical in character.

Scale bars are always 1 cm.



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LAST REVISED: 8 MAY 2017