Stage 8--Channel Platform Preparation (Face B)

At the beginning of Stage 8, the remnants of the striking platform for the removal of the channel flake from Face A were still present. During Stage 8 these remnants were obliterated by the creation of a new striking platform for the removal of the channel flake from Face B.

The most obvious change in the preform during Stage 8 was the reversal of the bevel on the proximal edge (bottom). In the diagram, I have depicted the edge and Face B views of a preform at the completion of Stage 7 and Stage 8. Dotted lines show hidden lines: the long vertical in the edge views is the channel flake scar on Face A, and the short, diagonal near the bottom (edge view) is the bevel in the concavity on the proximal edge. The angle of the bevel was reversed and the preform was shortened during Stage 8. In reversing the bevel the Folsom knapper had to work (chip) into the proximal edge and consequently shortened the preform.1

The platform was created in the center of the proximal edge as the bevel was being reversed. It was then ground.2 It is depicted as the "nipple" in the Face B view of Stage 8. When the channel flake was removed, a small concavity was created where the platform had been located. (The platform went with the channel flake.) I have depicted this concavity in the Face B view of Stage 7 which was the location of the platform for the Face A channel flake.

Stage 8 and the similar Stage 5 artifacts are very rare in the archaeological record, less than 1% of the failed preforms. The two artifacts shown on this page are the only examples I have of Stage 8. I have none from Stage 5. Based on their scarcity, these two Stages must have been relatively easy to execute.

Image-1 This artifact is a proximal fragment of a preform that was broken while reversing the bevel on the proximal edge. The bevel reversal appears to have been almost finished when the right ear (right image) snapped off. At that time the platform had been shaped, but not ground. I suggest the preform snapped across the body at the same time the right ear snapped off. Otherwise, the knapper might have started over re-beveling the proximal edge. Compare this bevel to the second image on the Stage 7 page. Note how the bevel is on the opposite face.

This artifact is a proximal fragment of a preform that has a similar failure morphology. The right ear in the right image is snapped off. The difference between this artifact and the first one is that this artifact is missing the beginnings of the platform.

Since the platform is missing, I am not sure that this failure actually occurred during Stage 8. The platform could have been finished and the failure occurred during Stage 9--Channel Flake Removal (Face B). The break on the distal end is not straight across so it probably did not occur at the time the ear was broken off. This is the type of break that occurs when the preform was lying on a flat surface and was struck in the center of its face with a rock. See Stage 10 for more discussion on this topic.

This artifact is very thin and the bevel on Face A is very difficult to see. In fact, when I first wrote this page, several years ago, I didn't notice the bevel and I classified this as a Stage 7 failure.

Proceed to Stage 9 or return to either the Folsom Point Cover Page or Paleoindian & Other... Home Page

Additional Information

1 The proximal edge was usually deeply concave after the creation of the bevel. It reminds me of the head of a horned owl with the lateral edges protruding far above the striking platform. Folsom replicators refer to these horns as "ears" and these ears interfere with the striking of the platform. If the replicators use percussion to remove the channel flake they must use a hammer that is narrow enough to fit between the ears. Often a misdirected blow will hit an ear ("ear strike") and destroy the preform. As a result, many replicators favor a punch that can be place on the platform before delivering the blow or applying the pressure. So, why did the Folsom knappers create this problem for themselves, when they could easily have made the proximal edge straight or even convex?

2 The word "ground" is misleading. A more descriptive word used by Bob Patten is "polished". The platform was polished and this often removed the beveling facets. Patten has suggested the polishing was done with a chip from the preform and not a coarser grained rock.