Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Groswater Palaeoeskimo Artifacts from Peat Garden, Bird Cove, Newfoundland

Groswater Palaeoeskimo Harpoon heads from
Peat Garden at Bird Cove, Newfoundland
More than a decade ago, I co-directed an archaeology project for a couple seasons with Latonia Hartery at Bird Cove on Newfoundland's northern peninsula.  Today, I'm working on some artifact plates for a paper on one of the Groswater Palaeoeskimo sites from that project.  The publication is going to be black and white, but I like the look of the colour plates before converting them to greyscale as well, so I figured I'd pop a few up on the blog.

A) Sandstone abrader - the sort of thing used to grind the edge and faces of burin-like tools and side scrapers at the site. B) Knapped blank, ready for grinding.  What happened here?  Its perfect and big and the left it behind. C,D) Chipped and ground burin-like tools.  E,F) Chipped and ground side-scrapers.  Why are the ground facets white on the burin-like tools, but not on the side-scrapers?

Asymmetric Knives.  They start out asymmetical and that asymmetry grows as they are used and resharpened.  At Peat Garden, the Groswater Palaeoeskimo people like to finish their bifaces with stems and shallow notches for hafting.

This is the greyscale version of the colour photo at the top of the post.  The larger harpoon head (A) is nearly complete.  Its made on some sort of marine mammal bone, is self-bladed and has an open socket.  There is some damage around the base, but it appears to have terminated in a single, central spur, which is a little unusual for the Groswater harpoon heads found in the province. The smaller barbed harpoon tip (B) is made from ivory and its broken above the line hole.  The outside edge has a partial slot for a small side-blade.

Photo Credits: Tim Rast

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