|Chert and obisidian atlatl darts representing finds|
form Ice Patches in the Yukon and Alaska's
Here's one last look at the Northern Archaic darts heading to Alaska and the Ice Patch dart that is on it's way to the Yukon. This project began several months ago with a request from Jeffrey Rasic with the National Parks Service in Fairbanks, Alaska to make an atlatl and dart set based on artifacts from the area. He sent me some Wiki Peak obsidian to make Northern Archaic (ca. 5000BP) dart points from and put me in touch with Greg Hare in the Yukon to help fill in the blanks with the organic part of the tools.
|A simple birch atlatl and the ice patch dart|
The ice patch darts recovered by Hare and his colleagues over the past couple of decades served as the models for the dart shafts. That led to adding a direct reproduction of an Ice Patch dart to the order for Hare. Unfortunately, there haven't been any atlatls found in either area for the time periods in question, so we decided that a simple hooked stick would be the safest way to represent that part of the kit. As the order evolved we added a lithic production sequence showing how a dart point would be made from a core of obsidian and a second Northern Archaic dart for one of Rasic's colleagues.
|The Ice Patch dart head is hafted into it's 182 cm long birch shaft with red ochre and spruce gum. The lashing is sinew and hide glue.|
|The Northern Archaic darts were made with foreshafts with a conical insert that fits into a sinew reinforced socket on the main shaft. The design of these forshafts is based on ice patch specimens.|
|All three darts have a dimple in the end to fit the pointed spur of the atlatl.|
|The birch atlatls are simple and nondescript. I used the length of my arm from the tip of my outstretched finger to my elbow as a guide for their lengt.|
Photo Credits: Tim Rast