Abo Flintknapping Reduction Strategies
by
Rick Hamilton
Spirit in the Wind Enterprises


 

Click here for photo essay on abo flintknapping techniques and tools

A photo essay on abo flintknapping reduction strategies and techniques utilizing hammerstones and antler billets.

 

Some notes by the knapper:

This particular piece of Niobrarite had a seam which came apart on me about halfway through the reduction process, resulting in a smaller  biface. This triangular cross sectioned, tabular piece would have been very difficult to use a modern lapidary saw on with much efficiency.  I picked this piece as it was triangular shaped, with two square edges, and cortex on each face, which allowed for a variety of reduction techniques.

 I first edged the piece, than used  longitudal primary flakes from the proximal ends to thin and flatten the piece. Then I proceeded to percussion flake removal from the sides. Efficiency is the key to a good reduction process. Your flakes should travel as long as possible. Bob Patten taught me to look at my debitage pile when I was done. If you have mainly large thin flakes you have done a good job. In my opinion this is one of the major differences in antler knapping as opposed to copper and some of the other materials.

 Most of the resulting debitage flakes can be used for arrow points and scrapers, or as cutting implements as is.  Take a look at the last picture of the series to see the resulting debitage pile from this reduction.

 

A tabular piece of Republican River material a.k.a. Republican, Niobrarite, Smokey Hill Jasper, Smokey Hill Silicified Chalkstone. The piece is approx. 2 1/2" wide, 4" long, and 1 1/2" thick. The piece is triangular in cross section The opposing edge showing an angle suitable for a large platform for initial reduction flakes.


 

Stitching is the process of removing flakes alternately from each face to remove a square edge. A hammerstone was used at this stage. The opposing edge with a flake removed to help reduce the square edge.

 

An end view showing the triangular cross section of the piece. A challenge to thin while retaining the width on a piece like this.

 

A second flake removed from the base (proximal) end to further minimize the square edge utilizing a platform created by the previous flake removal. (the basic technique for blade removal). The platform was on the right hand side of the flake with an antler billet being used. A hammerstone was used to stitch the remaining edge after the reduction of the two flakes from the proximal end to minimize the square edge

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