There are so many possibilities for how the aboriginals in North America
carried out their creative processes in their struggle to create tools and
weapons to feed and defend their particular people group. Are my below
experiments the ways they did it? My answer would have to be "I don't
know". My goal here is to provide useful experimental archaeology, food
for thought, and my observations while conducting these experiments. In
many ways, you will decide rather you will accept or reject my findings. I do
not wish to debate my experiments, but would like to hear useful feed back
if you have any.
See the use wear analysis of my flint knife as I put it to work on primitive tasks. You'll see pictures of the knife as it goes
through normal use, as well as read my observations on what effects these uses have on the blade. This will be an ongoing process
that will only end when the knife is completely exhausted from use and consequent resharpenings. My goal is to provide a unique
look into the life cycle of a Snyder's Point knife in a journal type structure with pictures. So why is this important to
Archaeology? Well, often times Avocationals & Professional Archaeologists find either the unused knife blade, one in an unknown
stage of use, or one that is completely exhausted from use. My experiments will give the archaeological world some idea of how
certian uses effect a knife blade, and approximately how much of those activities it takes to bring a knife from new to a completely
used up stage where the aboriginals would have discarded it. Additionally, I hope my recorded observations and pictures will be
useful to those inquiring as to what stage an artifact knife might be in as it concerns it's overall life span. Others have done
similiar experiments, so I hope to supplement their findings.
Avocationals, Professionals, and Collectors alike have all had at least one opportunity to see the magnificant Turkey Tail Point.
These points were often cached in large numbers with high importance burials within the Woodland Indian people groups in the
Midwest and parts of the Eastern United States. Often these points were paper thin and have the unique basal configuration that
has somewhat puzzled the amateur and professional. I know from hafting several knives, that the Turkey Tail basal configuration
wouldn't be the best configuration to lend to the stability or haftability of the knife. The most popular theory is that these points
had a cord attached to them and were used as butchering tools and for harvesting plant materials. I knapped a large Turkey Tail
point out of Texas Tabular chert and attached hand woven hemp cordage to it to test out how well it works for these tasks. This
too will be a use wear record much like the above knife experiment.
Primitive Arrow Replication
See my step by step process of making a replica arrow out of Red Dogwood shafts, turkey feathers, deer sinew, and pine pitch
glue. Everything will be done in a traditional manner right down to scraping the shaft with flint tools. The finished product will be
a replica of an Iroqois arrow that would have been in use in the North Eastern United States. This arrow actually resides with the
SUNY Cortland Archaeology Department in Cortland, New York, and is under the custody of Archaeologist Ellie McDowell-Loudan
as a personal donation from me.
Banner Stone Replication
See the process I went through to replicate a small winged banner stone out of banded slate that my brother found in the
Syracuse, NY area. You'll view each step in teh process from the pecking right down to the drilling of the center hole with an
Onondaga flint "T" style drill. This experiment has many purposes, but probably the most important is to record just how much
effort was expended by the ancient ones who made these prized artifacts.