VirginiaKnapper
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VirginiaKnapper
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September 13th, 2018, 11:00 pm #121

Copi and I actually had a conversation devoted to this element, he described to me the effects of a colorful stone, how it has some sort of a seductive appearance, luring one to believe that it might be a good piece because of the color, but in fact it turns out to be a low grade knot.
"It's about what you learn, not what you make" - Erret Callahan
"Nothing like busting out a Savannah River out of some gnarly shit." - Robert Godshall, 1st annual ThunderRidge knap in.
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Forager
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September 14th, 2018, 2:53 am #122

The draw of color and pattern certainly catches the eye but more purposefully oriented experience tends to discriminate toward practical toolstone grades.  The legendary quartzite Broadspear artifact known as "Big Linc" (aka "Big Red") is not so pretty but astonishing for its thinness and controlled form -

The principle portrait -
Big Lincoln Broadspear.JPG Additional perspectives -
Big Lincoln Broadspear Views.JPG
...To my eye the presence of steps, short stacks, and deep flakes make this more of a masterwork because of the obvious obstacles and compromises which were successfully managed.  No small feat, and one which implies as much strategic and mental control as kinetic.  I consider that the knapper who finessed that piece was a greater master than the guys who made Solutrean Laurel Leaves during the European Upper Paleolithic - they did their work on premier-quality flint... this is on something of a technical par, and is quartzite
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VirginiaKnapper
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September 14th, 2018, 3:08 am #123

Would you consider "Big Lincholm" a variant of Savannah River?

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"It's about what you learn, not what you make" - Erret Callahan
"Nothing like busting out a Savannah River out of some gnarly shit." - Robert Godshall, 1st annual ThunderRidge knap in.
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VirginiaKnapper
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September 14th, 2018, 3:11 am #124

And absolutely, to make a thin biface out of quartzite certainly requires more skill, strategy, and thought than one out of chert or flint.

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"It's about what you learn, not what you make" - Erret Callahan
"Nothing like busting out a Savannah River out of some gnarly shit." - Robert Godshall, 1st annual ThunderRidge knap in.
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Forager
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September 14th, 2018, 3:24 am #125

VirginiaKnapper wrote: Would you consider "Big Lincholm" a variant of Savannah River?

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I would.
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Forager
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September 14th, 2018, 4:13 am #126

Among Big Linc's virtues, consider the tension of restraint maintained beyond every incomplete or slightly miscalculated flake removal.  The perseverance and control exceeds optimal knapping conditions where every move goes as planned, and this master triumphs in presenting us with a portrait of excellence in fallibility.  

This accomplished in "The use of quartzite, the toughest lithic material ever to be used by early man for flaked stone tools...."  - Callahan's Basics, p 143.
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Forager
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September 14th, 2018, 4:46 am #127

Yet further, even though it is abundantly clear that nobody knapped this today.  

The gentle asymmetry and sweeping curves expressed in this carefully edged Broadspear cannot be anything less than deliberate in a piece crafted with such formidable control.  Whether culturally determined or suggestive of a 'makers mark', this character lends a gracefulness of form which contrasts with the craggy contours and rough texture of its facial and profile topographies.

One is left wondering about the other works necessarily accomplished by this knapper.
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VirginiaKnapper
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September 14th, 2018, 6:46 pm #128

Do you think that methods indirect were employed in the reduction of the broadspear?
I wonder what variety of quartzite makes up the artifact, I'm guessing that it has to be a more workable variety purposefully sourced for this task.

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"It's about what you learn, not what you make" - Erret Callahan
"Nothing like busting out a Savannah River out of some gnarly shit." - Robert Godshall, 1st annual ThunderRidge knap in.
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freeze cracked
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freeze cracked
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September 15th, 2018, 5:12 pm #129

impurities and/or incomplete metamorphosis can cause "quartzite"-type materials to retain a degree of fissility which is of benefit in reduction, which i guess is all you can hope for when you've got no conchoidal fracture to work with.
i dream of a better world in which chickens can cross roads without having their motives questioned.
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Forager
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September 15th, 2018, 5:39 pm #130

Jack Cresson has demonstrated that some grades of quartzite benefit from thermal alteration more than others.  I hope to see him in a few weeks and hope to remember to discuss this artifact with him... pretty sure he's examined it in hand.
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Hummingbird Point
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September 15th, 2018, 11:52 pm #131

Steve,

Do you know if there is anything published on that point?  I would love to have a cast of it!  It does look cooked.  The fine grained gray quartzite turns pink like that from heat.  I wonder if maybe it was heated enough in a passing brush fire to pick up the color after the fact.  I would be very curious what Jack thinks.
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Forager
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September 16th, 2018, 12:21 am #132

Keith, Jack has mentioned his experiments with multiple deliberate episodes of cooking quartzite between thinning stages with incidental reference to color changes, some of which may have had ritualistic bearing within the cultures of their day (think of the widespread usage of red ochre in prehistoric burial rites) - the technical factors playing into the context of our overall practice.  I'm intrigued by what appear to be 'islands' of pale high zones especially evident in the edge-view shot contrasted with the facial image, which prompt me to wonder about the effect of heating of laminated stones (and this eastern quartzite knapper has seen this structural pattern more times than is warranted).  I'll keep this in mind when I catch up with him.  I'm writing a list of topical issues and questions to review with him concerning this piece - he's my primary resource for the details since he introduced me to its existence as a focal point.  

I feel that it warrants some deeper inquiry, especially for those of us who are willing to put the information to work... this may be worthwhile as a separate topic even if only consisting of a few posts, at least out of respect for this one which I've detoured beyond reasonable tolerance... sorry about that, friends.  Let's see what information may be forthcoming - and to the more expansive community of traditional knappers looking to see What's Been Knapped Today, thanks for your patience during this sidebar excursion.

And, if anything has been published on this artifact I am ignorant of it or else I'd be quoting from it.  Further, although I possess no casts of any artifacts, this would be the one I would require due to its referential relevance to my prefered practice... if ever there was an intriguing artifact to cast, this would be one.  Given the current catalog I can think of some which are represented due to their 'Top-10' pop-value which may be appraised more for visual appeal than technological challenge.  For 'Alternative Traditional Knapping' this would certainly be one worth studying toward replication.
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cnyle
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September 16th, 2018, 11:49 pm #133

Wrong forum sorry. 
Charles
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