Friday, April 26, 2013

An Antler Tipped Palaeoeskimo Pressure Flaker Reproduction

Antler harpoon head blanks and
the pressure flaker tip and wood handle
I was able to get one order out the door yesterday and have another small order completed, except for a bit of drying and then shipping.  I spent most of my workshop time this week working bone and antler, including an antler tipped version of a Dorset Palaeoeskimo pressure flaker.  This is the same design as the walrus bone flakers that I made last spring, but  this one is made from antler for a customer in the US, to avoid that countries marine mammal import ban.

The pressure flaker tip is designed to
be scarfed into an open socket on
the wooden handle.
Incidentally, I summarized the write-ups that I posted on this blog about the walrus bone Palaeoeskimo pressure flaker reproductions for the Provincial Archaeology Office's 2012 Archaeology Review.  You can find it on pages 132-134 of the .pdf report.  I appreciate the PAO letting me include some of the experimental work that I do throughout the year in these reports.  My write-ups are usually summaries taken from blog posts, but I think are a little easier for people to cite in their own research than referencing blog posts.

The walrus bone flaker on the left, next to the antler flaker on the right.  The antler flaker tip is a little narrower and probably slightly closer to the original artifact dimensions than the more robust walrus bone tool.

I'm using sinew and hide glue lashing on the pressure flaker.  When you use these tools for an extended time the lashing will get a little sticky, but I haven't had any problems with them coming loose.  I'd like to try a baleen lashed version in the future, although that's not really feasible for this particular reproduction because it is destined for an American client and baleen is a marine mammal part.

Rast, Tim
2013 Dorset Palaeoeskimo walrus bone pressure flaker: Observations after one year of use. in Provincial Archaeology Office's 2012 Archaeology Review. Edited by Stephen Hull. Vol 11:132-134

Photo Credits: Tim Rast

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