Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Notching

The act of creating a notch, to attach a stone point, kind of gets glossed over when discussing Stone Age hafting technics. There are a number of methods involving sawing, drilling, wedging, and splitting. One used prehistorically for atlatl dart foreshafts and spears, was perhaps first described by archaeologist C.B. Cosgrove in 1947. The tale tell splintered condition at the bottom of the notch, score marks, and shaft splits, led to the discovery of how it was made. The shaft is notched on opposite sides, rotated 1/4 turn, and two more notches are cut farther down the shaft. Splits are started by bending the end of the shaft back and forth. Then the split section is carefully, and forcefully, bent and broken from the shaft - leaving a notch. This can be cleaned up with a stone flake. This is actually a fairly easy technic. The original Cosgrove drawing of this technic was published in, “Caves of the Upper Gila and Hueco Areas in New Mexico and Texas.” This same technic was noted in the artifacts studied in “Stone Age Spear and Arrow Points of California and the Great Basin”, by Noel D. Justice.


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