Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Alaska Archaeology Month Reproductions

Hafted and unhafted antler slotted points
 Here's a look at the completed reproductions that I made for Alaska Archaeology Month.  The set included six slotted antler projectile points (two of which were hafted onto arrows) and 4 pairs of sandstone shaft smoothers.  It should be noted that the antler points may or may not have been hafted onto arrows.  These artifacts have not been found in a complete state, so it's possible that they tipped other tools like lances or darts.  
Sandstone shaft smoothers.  The arrow shafts gave me a chance to use the shaft smoothers and they worked well for smoothing, polishing, and burnishing the arrows.  You can see the brownish discoloured plant residue collecting in the channels of the stones.

Every year, the Alaska Anthropological Associations Public Education Group coordinates the production of a themed poster for archaeology month.  This year's theme was Paleoarctic.  You can view and download these posters from their website.

Arrow points
The complete set - four unhafted slotted points, two arrows, and four pairs of shaft smoothers

The arrow design was speculative, so I made each arrow a diffent length and gave one two feathers and the other three.  When I'm reproducing a specific artifact, I try to follow the original piece to the nearest millimetre, but when I'm speculating or filling in gaps, then I try to build in as much variability as possible.  I don't want to give people the impression that I know exactly what the missing pieces looked like and if I make every reproduction the same, then my own personal style may become confused with a meaningful representation of actual artifacts.

Antler slotted points with chert microblade
I think I like this one the best.  It certainly photographs well.
Photo Credits:
1-2, 4-8:  Tim Rast

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