Thursday, March 12, 2009

Asymmetric Knives and Mortgages

I've been scattered all over the place so far this week. I haven't been able to spend much time on the Korea order, Terra Nova harpoon, or the wholesale show.

I've got a lot done, but so far its mostly been peripheral to the work that I thought I wanted to do on Monday. There have been a lot of good visits with family and friends, I got my taxes filed, there was a CCNL executive meeting on Tuesday morning and a meeting with a mortgage broker and our lawyer yesterday morning to talk about refinancing to take advantage of the good mortgage rates at the moment. We have an appraiser wandering through the house this morning. We only bought here 5 years ago, but the St. John's housing market has been really strong ever since, so I'm curious to see what we find out.

However, the clock is ticking on the wholesale show and I'm going to have to focus on getting prepared for that. I've decided to have Fibre Optic brooches for my new jewelry product and Groswater Palaeoeskimo asymmetric knives for the new reproductions. I'll work on those and the harpoon today.

The Palaeoeskimo lived in Newfoundland from about 2800 years ago to as recent as 1200 years ago. They were arctic adapted people and this was their southernmost range. They moved south onto the Island of Newfoundland through Labrador from the Arctic. The culture that archaeologists call Groswater Palaeoeskimo predates the Dorset Palaeoeskimos and was probably ancestral in some way or another.

Both groups made very small chipped stone tools and one of the diagnostic tools of the Groswater were asymmetric knives. Although some of the broken or discarded examples of these knives might seem relatively short and squat, they probably all started as long narrow knives. They seem to have started out with a bit of a curve or bend to them and this asymmetry was accentuated through their life as they were used and resharpened.

We don't get good organic preservation in most of Newfoundland, but similar knives from Greenland have been found hafted in wooden handles, which I'll use as the model for the handles on the Elfshot reproductions.

Photo Credits: Tim Rast
Photo Captions:
Top and Bottom, Groswater Palaeoeskimo Asymmetric Knives from Burgeo, Newfoundland each chert knife blade is approximately 3-5cm

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