Blades and Blade Cores

In the archaeologist’s terminology, a blade is a flake that measures at least twice as long as it is wide. The process of making blades was highly technical.

A blade has parallel or approximately parallel edges, and parallel ridges, called arrises, that extend the length of the dorsal surface. Blades measuring more than about 40-50mm long are sometimes called macroblades, and smaller versions are called microblades. Blade-making technology arose independently in most parts of the world because the long cutting edges on blades are ideal for a variety of tasks.  Blades often served as the blanks for other tool types, such as microliths and arrowpoints.

Blade-making was highly technical because the stone core must be worked in a very specific way to set up the geometries for repeated blade removal. To set up the core, flakes must first be removed to form a platform surface at the top of the core, and more flakes must be struck down the core face to create long, straight ridges. The blades are then struck in succession down the ridges to create the elongated and parallel-sided blades. The discarded blade core preserves the parallel, elongated blade scars.

Blade metased Qld 1

Blade

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Macroblade Core

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Macroblade Core

Microblade Hunter Valley 1

Microblade

Microblade core, Australia (2)

Microblade Core

Microblade core Australia, Nobby's chert

Microblade Core

Blade, Beidha

Blade

Blade, Jebel al-Faya UAE

Blade

Macroblade core, Azerbaijan

Macroblade Core

Blade core, bidirectional, Jordan

Naviform Blade Core

Blade from Pakistan

Blade

Microblade core Pakistan

Microblade Core

Microblade core North Africa

Microblade Core

Blade indirect percussion glossed

Blade

Blade, indirect percussion, Denmark 2

Blade

Blade, Indirect percussion Denmark 3

Blade

Blade, Europe AIA

Blade

Blade, Thetford England AIA

Blade

Blade core indirect percussion France

Blade Core

Blade core Livre de Burre

Livre de Beurre Core

Microblade core, Norway

Microblade Core

Microblade core, France

Microblade Core

Microblade core, France cambridge

Microblade Core

Retouched blade Grand Pressigny

Retouched Blade

Blade indirect percussion Denmark retouched

Retouched Blade

Obsidian Aztec blade

Blade

Aztec pressure blade core re-do 1

Blade Core

Microblade core, Hopewell

Microblade Core