Stone Tool Analysis: Finials

A finial is sometimes formed on flakes ending in hinge terminations.  An inflexed finial is formed when the crack, just as it exits the core, curves back in the opposite direction it was originally travelling, creating a thin, sharp overhanging edge on the hinge-terminated flake scar.  A large hinge-terminated flake scar with an inflexed finial is often ideal for scraping wood.  


Single platform core

Single Platform Core

A retroflexed finial is formed when the crack hinges but then resumes in the same direction it was originally travelling.  This creates a thin, sharp projection on the flake at the end of the hinge termination.

The bending fracture on a snapped flake or core can sometimes ‘roll over’ onto the other half before terminating, creating a finial.  Finials like this are often seen on flakes split by siret fracture.