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Thread: Utah Haskett

  1. #81
    Arrowheadologist
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    609
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    homestyle...."Stem fragments which meet the criteria and are over 2" can reasonably be considered Haskett or CM. One of the dominate characteristics of the proposed continuum is a reduction in size and quality of manufacture over time."

    Mojave...."By this if you found the proximal-most 2 inches of Eric’s point you would conclude it was Haskett. But with the whole point you can clearly see a deliberate curvature of the stem so it is a CM.(??)"

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    No, if I found the proximal 2" of Eric's point I'd say it was CM or Haskett and classify it as indeterminate as to which. To firmly conclude a basal fragment is a Haskett it must be longer than the longest CM stem and not have PSS.

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    Mojave...."The “quality” of re-sharpening is almost never the same as the quality of the original piece. You cannot compare the flaking quality of a re-sharpened point to that of an un-re-sharpened one. Apples/oranges so to speak. The fact that quality decreases with size is obvious, and un-related to your logic."

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    I think I must be miscommunicating here. I don't think any of these types we're discussing are transformed from one named type to the other via resharpening. Rather over an extended period of time both size and quality/type of flaking deteriorates on points in the WST and is most noticeably different at the opposite ends of the continuum as is to be expected. So LM and SL are most noticeably different from Haskett CM. Also, in the case of SL, I think - based solely on speculation - it might be a sort of bridge or intermediate type between stemmed points and notched points.

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    Mojave...."OK, I’ve read all the arguments and cannot counter them, at least in any way that wouldn’t be exceedingly tedious. I have one question though. If all shouldered points were knives and all non-shouldered points were projectiles AND they were all part of a continuum in time, …then during the era when projectiles were made there were no knives, and when knives were made there were no projectiles? That is the only way to rationalize the argument. What did Lake Mojave people use as projectiles and what did Haskett makers use for knives? All the quotes you listed were by very smart individuals that didn’t think through all the implications."

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    I think I answered this above. The continuum I hypothesized has Haskett as the projectile at the early end of the spectrum and the Ovate (or non-shouldered LM) at the other end. But as I said, I won't argue this is a fact, only that is a more plausible alternative to the "resharpening continuum" and the notion concave based points are a part of the WST tool kit. Anything is possible, but I'd need to see unimpeachable evidence of the two types in the same layer of an excavation to give this notion much credence.

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    Mojave...."Well I agree with you. It is a flat-out incorrect statement. I don’t think they meant exactly how it reads. I understand your point that it may be significant. That was not their perspective. Being “arts” majors they could have worded it better and thought through what they were saying and clarified it better."

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    It really floored me when I read it. I understand why they said there were no Haskett points. They simply did not have a solid undeniable example, only basal fragments. But, choosing to call small fragments CM even when no PSS were present presented a problem which I would have dealt with by calling these fragments indeterminate H or CM, then Haskett could have remained in the discussion.

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    Mojave...."Anyway thanks for the indulgence. I tried to separate out the debates in hopes it will be easier to follow. Your theory that the wider ones were knives is fine. But then you can’t claim they are part of a continuum IMO. One or the other, not both. If the wider/shouldered ones are knives and the narrow/non-shouldered ones are projectiles, what have we learned? They were still most likely made by the same people at the same time using the same technologies. That is the important thing for me. That is why I lump them together. I will anxiously await new discoveries though."

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    I take your point. I think I may be more inclined to wonder about the function of these things than do you. I confused some separate issues. I've been arguing three separate, but similar things and at times didn't do a good job of differentiating between them. The alternative continuum I offered depicts a shouldered knife tradition along the lower portion with a companion projectile shown above. Again, it's not something I'd spend any energy defending, only an alternative to the resharpening continuum hypothesis based on some of the info presented in the book.

    With regard to the question of what have we learned. I'd suggest we zoom out a bit from the microscopic focus of your question and ask ourselves the bigger question, what tangible benefit has anything we've learned about paleo indians provided? In my view, learning anything about paleo indians is a luxury. At the end of the day nothing learned in this area of inquiry has or will provide any tangible benefits to peoples day to day lives, aside from the personal satisfaction derived from indulging our own curiosities. Very few of our fellow citizens could care less about any of this.

    With the above in mind, I think it is worthwhile to investigate the differences between H/CM before concluding they are the same and I tried to highlight some of the most obvious differences as I perceive them. I think you mentioned somewhere if a people made a separate knife form it would be somewhat of a precedent. Well, this is precisely why I believe there is inherent value in investigating this question. Is function an important characteristic? It is for me.

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    Mojave...."Why were Folsom/Midland points made so darned thin? Why were Montel points made so thin when all the points before and after were thicker? Why are so many points made so wide relative to the haft (Elko, Castroville, etc.) – it only adds resistance and kill-power. It is dicey in my opinion to arrive at speculation-based conclusions as to WHY they did what they did. Maybe the wider ones were made by larger and stronger individuals. Maybe the age of the knapper was involved. The gender? I can speculate on this all day long. It is becoming more of a pet peeve of mine when I read about beveling being intentional on projectiles to make them “rifle” in flight and better penetrators. Same argument. Just because experimenters have concluded that grinding margins did not protect sinew hafts didn’t mean the Indians believed it. So much was nothing more than anthropologically learned habit patterns."

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    I largely agree with you here. Another good example where I think this happens is in investigating the purpose of an atlatl weight. It has been shown they were attached to the atlatl, but trying to understand why by conducting physics experements is probably a waste of time because they could have believed it provided a benefit even if rigorous testing confirms it does not. It could even be a good luck type of thing, a way of individualizing their weapons or any other imaginable reason in-between. As for edge beveling, I've personally always thought it implied use as a knife, but again this is just my notion of beveling.
    Ancient footprints are everywhere....

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