51 Photos - Aug 3, 2012
Photo: Photo: Georgetown chert, TX. High quality material was prized by prehistoric peoples. Sometimes the raw material comes like this, tabular blocks.Photo: Five large biface preforms were found in a firebreak trail.  They were hit while plowing it. (The Jackson Five).  They may have been incomplete and were steps along the way to smaller finished products.Photo: Jackson county Five. Cached bifaces, possibly 9,000 years old.  All made of the same material, no doubt at the same time, one person probably crafted them and then buried them.  Why?Photo: Jackson County, biface cache.  Placed in position they were found (reasonable approximation anyway).Photo: This is the outcrop the raw material was quarried from.  Within  500 meters of where the bifaces were found.Photo: Additional raw chert from the general area.  Coarse, grainey and hard to work.  Collected from the surface of a field.Photo: Collected items from the general area some of which is clearly not the same as the Jackson Five.Photo: Inventory of early Florida lithics.  Compared to many areas some of Florida's stone is not of great quality.Photo: Broken Preform - Harney Flats, Florida.  A pretty good quality material, probably broken during manufacture.Photo: Modern knapper working Georgetown chert.  Antler flakers being used.  He is fairly far along in the reduction process.Photo: Knapper's tool kit (modern).  Difference sizes and shapes for different purposes.Photo: Chert deposits can be right on the surface in some karst areas (lots of limestone on the surface in parts of west Texas).Photo: Small core from which flakes are removed.  Even small flakes can be hafted and are like razor blades. This guy is about 1.5 inches tall.Photo: Historic flints, lead shot and shot fragments.  Sometimes we can trace the historic flints back to European sources.  The lead may have a distinct chemical fingerprint as well.Photo: Ms. Julie Byrd, FSU Alumni, now Bureau of Archaeology staff, demonstrating flint knapping.Photo: Collector's display case of lithics (not all from Florida).  Shapes and size change over time.Photo: Spectacular lithic product by a modern knapper.Photo: Lithics also include polished stone like this small jade item from Belize (Mayan).Photo: This dart point with foreshaft and binding has eroded from a Canadian ice patch.Photo: Gravel bars like this may be a source of some lithic material.Photo: Cut stone is also a type of lithic industry.Photo: Stone work has a great range of possibilities.Photo: Big blocks of stone make big statues.Photo: Cracker Barrell in Ashevill, NC. An eastern European sled for thrashing grain - the cutting teeth are flaked stone - amazing.  From the 1920s - flaked stone still has some modern uses.Photo: Mayan carved stella - now, which god or ruler is this, hmmm? (photo courtesy of Daniel Seinfeld).Photo: Piles of raw lithic material, ready for flaking.  In a karst limestone area with lots of chert material.Photo: Small cave in karst area, central Florida, couuld have been mined prehistorically for the chert.Photo: ONE OF THE FAMOUS MYSTERIOUS (fake) crystal skulls - nice work but recent.Photo: Don't forget polished and ground artifacts, they are techhnically in the lithic category as well.  (Aztec  snake about 2 ft tall)Photo: Cut stone can be used in a variety of architectural and ornamental waysPhoto: Shell beads and pendants and flaked bifces - probably from a burial at Spiro, Oklahoma.Photo: A few carefull removed flakes can provide a sharp edge.  This one is easy to make and is several million years old.Photo: Sometimes line drawings do a better job of showing flaking patterns.  These can tell us about manufacture and the whole knapping sequence.Photo: Very simple tools several million years old attest to the technological importaqnce of stone tools.  Bone, wood and antler has long ago disappeared.Photo: A long thin flake that has been shaped and flaked into a fine fool - 30,000 years oldPhoto: Lots of dimensional analysis is common in lithic studies. Change through time and function are important considerations and show lots of variation.Photo: A soft hammer (antler) is used to remove long thin flakes. Leather pad protects the leg and glove protects the fingers.Photo: Making an eccentric - pressure flaking with a metal tip in an antler handle (beaver teeth,  ivory and other hard items were used prehistorically).Photo: Specialization in size, shape and edge details tell a lot about the technological needs and capability of a society.Photo: There is a very specialized terminology for lithics, usually both descriptive and informative as to manufacture details.Photo: Metal tools quickly replaced stone - held an edge longer and were not as brittle.Photo: Mixed media art - cut and polished turquoise inlaid over a skull with either shell or coral lips and shell and mother of pearl eyes.Photo: Care to kill an elephant/mammoth with a stone spear?  Takes some planning and expertise.Photo: Smaller than a mammoth or elephant but still an impressive pray item. Quick kills are important - look at that rack = lots of tools, provides bone, hide, sinew as well as meat, A grocery store and tool kit on the hoof!  The 'pouch' /stomach also provides greens that are perfectly edible and were used by many people around the world.  Much like canned spinach.Photo: Lithics are also used to manufacture bone, wood and antler tools - gathered foods are probably more reliable than hunted foods. Ah, but we guys emphasize the hunt!  It does seem males were more frequently the knappers (flakers).Photo: Archaic stemmed biface hafted for throwing on a shaft or  handeled for a pocket cutting knife. Looks like it might be a fossilized coral.  The 'fabric' of the stone can sometimes be geographically distinct to those in the know.Photo: Similar bifaces, juxtaposed with Pleistocene megafauna - central Florida - they dont go together except on his shelf.  (from near Vero).Photo: Hafted canine teeth are also cutting tools.  May have been used on bone and antler but the glue on the hafted end still survives after 8,000 years,  Wet sites are amazing.  Probably domestic dog.  My, what nice teeth you have.  Pretty sure Fido was also food.  Bet it does not taste like chicken.Photo: 90+ percent of people's inventory of items were organic and disappear pretty quickly. Stone can last almost forever was  much smaller inventory of material culture, but clearly was important.Photo: Hafted sharks teeth are like prehistoric serrated blades - trust me they are naturally sharp and easily scavenged from dead sharks washing onto the shore.  Note the one with two holes drilled in the root - for hafting to a small handle.