Type:  Single Platform Core

Location: Barkly Tableland, Northern Territory



MoST ID: 3422

Pedestal Link: https://une.pedestal3d.com/r/cgcf-yPW_W

Model Author:  Emma Watt

This chert single-platform core is from the Barkly Tablelands of the Northern Territory, Australia.  The core was flaked by the Camooweal Standard Method, but simple flakes were produced from it rather than blades or macroblades.

This core shows the same organisation as usually seen on macroblade cores, but the flake scars are wide and not especially elongated or point-shaped.  The flintknapper followed the same process used to produce blanks for pointed spearpoints and knives but instead produced at least one relatively wide, thick flake, and several smaller flakes.  This may be a failed macroblade core, or it may indicate that the Camooweal Standard Method was used to produce both macroblades and flakes.

The core is part of the Archaeology and Palaeoanthropology teaching collection, University of New England.

The first two steps of the flaking sequence involved removing one side of the stone with hard-hammer percussion, rotating it, and then removing the adjoining side.  The resulting flakes scars are oriented at about right-angles to each other.  One of the scars became the platform for reducing the core, and the other scar became the core face.  To make the pointed flakes, the knapper next removed the edges of the core face to produce a ridge down the middle.  The ridge was then removed by a carefully-calibrated blow so that the flake was triangular in shape with a central ridge.  This was done by striking behind the ridge with just enough force to ensure the flake feather-terminated on the core’s face.  This is trickier than it sounds—it is very difficult to prevent a hinge or step by striking too weakly, or an axial or overstruck termination by striking too hard; or, for that matter, a too-short flake from striking too close to the core edge.  An axial termination is probably the second-best outcome because the tip of the flake could be retouched to form the point.  Once the desired flake was removed, the central ridge was re-established by removing the edges of the core face.  The next triangular flake was struck, the ridge re-established, and so on until the core was exhausted.