Sunday, May 21, 2006

ISHI and His Points


My name is Ray Harwood, I have only achieved a
BA in Anthropology. However, I have been flintknapping
for 35 years. On several occasions I have been requested to submit
specific research technical papers for publication.

I am requesting access to the Ishi lithics for collection
for the purpose of measuring, weighing and classifying
the projectile points and subsequent byproducts of Ishi’s
knapping process. Furthermore, the lithic classification
of the byproduct material based on material and attribute

For Book: Papers in Honor of Errett Callahan, PhD, Hugo Nami, Ph.D. Ed.)
Rough Draft By: Ray Harwood,

Life and Lithics, the Saga of 1-24363, The Classic Ishi Point.

E-mailed as a partially complete document to johnsonnl@berkeley.edu ).

. The purpose of this article/ chapter is to document certain aspects of
the "lithic" reduction/ production sequences of a certain
protohistoric artifact anomaly, the glass Ishi, specifically those
crafted from man made colored bottle and clear window glass, by Ishi
at the museum, circa 1911.

Flintknapping today is a part of the world lived in by a very few,
but at one time it was part of everyone's world to some degree. The
transition of these worlds was paved with horror and death. The man
named Ishi was at the end of that time and the start of this time.
Like Alice through the looking glass Ishi entered a new and strange
world, from his wilderness life to one with foolish devices and
white people running about like mad rodents. The new world was a
dream like circus, but a dream come true and a deliverance from the
nightmare of solitude .It was considered of the utmost importance
not to understate the importance of Ishi's background, the dark
horror that was the American holocaust. (see Kroeber 1961, Burrill
1990, Harwood, R. 1999 , Harwood, J. 2000, Shackley 1996) The
darkest hour is just before the dawn and it was just the break of
dawn, on a hot August night, the 9th, of August 1911, some miles
south of Red Bluff, California, a down trodden, exhausted and
fearful man was found in the stable of the Charles Ward
Slaughterhouse on Oro-Quincy Road . The story ends with Ishi's
lifeless brain being carved out of his skull and sent to the
Smithsonian. The ashes placed in a small black jar. Ishi's remains
have been repatriated under the provisions of the National Museum of
the American Indian Act of 1989, as amended, 20 U.S.C. 80q et seq.
(see Rockafeller, 1999)

Today Ishi is well known for the arrowhead named after him, a
stylized side notch type, he commonly knapped at his museum home, In
this case, Ishi's short five-year stay at the Museum of
Anthropology, University of California, a legend born of an odessy
that began August the 9th, of August 1911 ending on Ishi's death
March 25, 1916. According to Nelson (1916) . Nothing gave Ishi, and
the visiting public, as much interest and satisfaction as his
arrowhead chipping. The Ishi Point type discussed, he made several
varieties, is as follows: The classic Ishi point is best known for
its symmetrical tear drop notches in the lower margin of the point.
The notch enters at less than a thirty-second on an inch at the
entry point then expand to an eighth of an inch wide or more in the
body of the point. The deep teardrop notches extend three eighths to
a quarter of an inch deep into the face of the basal region. This
gives the neck area, between the notches, a similar diameter of the
prospective arrow shaft creating the perfect haft.

The classic Ishi point has a blade edge that is either straight or
incurvate. The base is concave. The point has sharp angular ears
below the characteristic notches. The point has a triangular form
giving the point the overall delicate but deadly outline. The point
has diffuse diamond cross-section created by a medial ridge. Ishi
points have closed tear drop notches.

The medial section of the Ishi point has subtle oblique flaking
patterns, more pronounced on the elongated specimens. Oblique or
parallel flaking is done, according to Errett Callahan, to create an
extremely sharp edge, as oblique edges do not have delta flakes and
therefore less final retouch is necessary and the blade edge is
razor sharp. The blade edge on an Ishi point is usually incurvate,
this a result of the final pass of oblique medial flakes. The clear
glass material gives the point an ice crystal look, that combined
with its' oblique parallel pattern flakes and near perfect symmetry,
transcends all description of beauty. Ishi collector Charlie Shewey,
relayed to me that the last authentic Ishi point that sold at
auction sold for a cool $27,000.00, other black market dealers, underworld,
state $2,000.00 to $5,000.00 for those not of the classic “Ishi” form. .

To demonstrate the diversity of Ishi's points and existing specimen
data of Ishi's points(see Shackley , 1991, 1994, , 1996, 2000 ).
Unfortunately Ishi gave away and sold many of his points while doing
his demonstrations. But fortunately there are 120 specimens in
museums and 4 in private collections, some of which are now
available as castings. The "classic Glass Ishi" is an ornate Desert
Side Notch, and the style reflected in this paper, the totals of
these specimens is 49 and another 8 DSN with serrated edges,
certainly not what most of us see in our minds eye as a true "Ishi"
yet he made them. 17 of the specimens are corner notched, expanding
stem points, with another 5 of these being the same form but
serrated - again = certainly not what most of us see in our minds
eye as a true "Ishi" yet he made them. 10 of the Ishi specimens are
of the cottonwood triangular -concave base-again = certainly not
what most of us see in our minds eye as a true "Ishi" yet he made
them. 18 are basal notched with contracting stem, 6 more are basal
notched with contracting stem but serrated-again = certainly not
what most of us see in our minds eye as a true "Ishi" yet he made
them. Of the "classic Ishi" is a ornate Desert Side Notch the bulk
were made after , and during, 1911 at the museum 49 in the museum
collections, 4 in private collections for a total of 53, 2 were
excavated at Payne's Cave, TEH193 (see Shackley , 1991, 1994, ,
1996, 2000 ), 3 at Kingsley Cave, TEH-1, (again see Shackley , 1991,
1994, , 1996, 2000 ). For a grant total of 53 classic Ishi points .
The problem with cross-tabulation for statistical data is this, what
if Ishi (or Kroeber) simply held on to his best points, or his
worst? this would have set a majority of "non classic Ishi's into
the public giveaways and left a disproportionate number of the
classic style in our data base. We can sit and think, were the
cottonwoods preforms for "classic Ishi's?", saving preforms for
opportune times of concentration are best for advance notching. and
so on... After looking at all the Ishi's I see none that were not
very well crafted, despite the stage of reduction/production. The
medial oblique -parallel flaking on prepared platforms set and
abraded to perfection. Ishi's point style and form varied from one
setting to the next, his environment, necessity or public opinion
seems to have played a role in the point type he crafted at any one

Many projectile points have a diagnostic element that may, or may
not, earmark some chronological period, region or cultural
tradition. A class of artifact sharing generalized, definable
attributes is known as a "type", the type may then intern be part of
a larger tradition. Within each tradition there are often several
distinct sub-traditions. Sub-traditions are most often characterized
by stylistic variations.

Projectile point typology has been a controversial subject, best
summarized by John C. Whitaker (1994) "Archaeologists are
occasionally accused , even today, of a pathological desire to
classify everything into neat little pigeonholes. While
classification can be carried to absurd extremes, there are a number
of good reasons why we are interested in typology, studying and
establishing schemes for classifying objects and phenomena." This
being established. the Ishi point being discussed is actually a
hybrid of a classic western point type the Desert Side Notch Point,
referred to most often as the "Redding Subtype", mean weight = 2.99+-
0.98, basal width/max. width ratio = 1.00 +- (Shackley, 2001). The
Desert Side Notch point is best known for its characteristic
Isosceles triangular, basic shape with side notches and concave
base. The blade edge is straight while other California area side
notched points have an excurvate blade edge. The average width to
thickness ratio for this point is 5/1. Some specimens have some
basal grinding for the haft. The average length of the Desert Side
Notch is 2 to 4.5 cm. The carbon 14 dates for this series suggest
that it appeared sometime after 1,100 A.D. and continued into the
Historic era. An archaeologist named Lyton found a Desert Side Notch
point in association with the charred bones of a domestic cow at
Hanging Rock Shelter, Northwest Nevada, therefore indicating use by
historic Northern Paute.

Smaller then the more stylized Ishi point, the Desert Side Notch
resembles the side notch Cahokia points from the Midwest and the
Ishi point resembles attributes of certain Basket Maker III points
of Colorado.

Not every man in the Yahi culture made and used arrowheads. Pope
(1913) stated that the flintknapping art was the special function of
the older and more skillful men. "Ishi seems to have been associated
with the medicine man of his tribe. Besides the usual customs, he
preserved many of the more highly developed arts and crafts of his

Kroeber's accounts (1961) of Ishi's practices collecting knapping
glass are quite vivid, and this particular passage captures the
event in detail: " Plate glass, brown glass from beer bottles and
the blue glass of "Milk of Magnesia bottles" were among Ishi's
favorite lithic materials. " As a final irony of the time of Ishi's
concealment, Ishi was cut off from trade to the north and south and
Yana country had no obsidian or flint. Painstakingly and silently,
Ishi had visited the length of Lassen Trail, every campsite of
emigrant, hunter or camper, up and down Deer Creek, and the cabin
middens and ranch dumps of whatever dwelling he could reach by light
and return from by night, combing them for the discarded bottles
they were likely to contain. Once back home, he shaped at his
leisure, the pieces of glass into his ammunition."

Glass knapping is more complex than it seems on first observance.
There are several techniques, some cultural and some based strictly
on the shape of the mass of glass to be reduced and subsequent
unique strategies that lend themselves strictly to shape of core
materiel (i.e.. Bottles, plate glass). The glass object, when
collected, is the basic core material.

The bottle is the first glass Ishi preform (Core ? )type. I shall
discuss (see Nami, 1984 Harwood 1986, 2001) the choosing of a suitable
bottle; there are two attributes you should consider: first, the
bottom of the bottle glass should be as close to flat at possible,
no deep concavity. Secondly, the thickness of the glass should be
enough to allow a good amount of flake reduction, about 3/16 of an
inch or better, in the bottom's center. I have knapped a substantial
number of glass arrowheads, and I have found that the best bottles
for the reduction have only a slight basal concavity, the upper face
of the bottle bottom as a slight convexity and in the center it is
nearly 1/4 inch thick. According to Mark Moore (2000) "The methods
used to manufacture glass bottles at the turn of the last century
were not equal to the mechanized bottle-making innovations seen in
the US today, bottles in the older bottles were relatively thick
(better for knapping), compared to modern bottles".

The first step in the beer bottle knapping process is to detach the
only usable portion of the bottle, the bottom. The bottom is
detached with several diverse methods. The Ishi method is carried
out with a sandstone hammer stone, using one quick percussion impact
downward at a 45 degree angle just above the base.

Next, remove the vertical, jagged glass residue (Ishi method, see
also see Harwood 1986, 2001) with light taps with a small hammer
stone. Then abraid the margin with an abrasive stone. The next phase
involves the decortication, or cortex removal. The decortication
process renders the preform into a semi lenticulation in cross-
section. This process involves the setting up of striking or
pressure platforms with pressure and shearing. Platforms are
important to prevent premature flake termination, hinge fractures,
and margin collapse by crushing. Edge preparation and center plane
alignment remains of the utmost importance during the entire
procedure, after every sequence of flake removals this must be
checked and corrected . Both edge preparation and center plane
manipulation can be easily and quickly managed by the act of
shearing (see Crabtree 1972, Callahan 1979, Harwood 1986, 2001
Whitaker 1994, Patten 1999) .Discussing platforms in pressure
flaking terms is a precarious undertaking at best, as there are so
many variables. It can be basically summed up as an angles, rt.
angle ( 90 degrees) down to the most acute angle (less than 90
degrees) 45 degrees usually being ideal that is used to apply the
down and inward force necessary to detach a predetermined and
predictable flake. . Platforms are often isolated, an isolated
platform is an apex or faceted surface raised up by reduction of
adjacent material. Patten (1999) concludes that isolation of a
platform ensures that force is applied exactly in the right place
and is also concentrated to cause fracture to start easily. The
isolated platform may also be referred to as a nipple or spur,
depending on the relative sharpness (again see Crabtree 1972,
Callahan 1979, Harwood 1986, 2001 Whitaker 1994, Patten 1999) .

Next, in the glass-lithic reduction continuum is decordication-
removing of the shinny service, and lenticualation- creating a
lenticular cross-section . This is done by make use of and creating
new abraded platforms (isolated and or continuous) and pressing off
flakes . This method involves the abrading of the preform
(unfinished, unused form of the proposed artifact) margin, platform
preparation and basic shaping. The basic platform is crated with
short flake pressed of the margin through a process known as
shearing, which is facilitated by running the edge of and antler or
bone, in a shearing motion, along the margin of the lithic preform.
The margin is then abraded with an abrasive stone or carborundum
like material. The abaiding of the platform edge remedies the fact
that untreated edges are to sharp to obtain proper bite. The actual
pressure method (see Crabtree 1972, Callahan 1979, Harwood 1986,
2001 Whitaker 1994, Patten 1999))involves pressing off flakes, from
the prepared platform, using a deer antler tine. The pressure is
forced in at a 45% angle into the prepared platform on the margin of
the preform. In the case of Ishi the preform was held in the left
hand, protected by a thick leather pad, the antler pressure applied
by the right hand.

Staging the preforms:

I took Ishi's reduction stages and applied Dr. Errett Callahan's (
1979) biface staging methodologies for my experimental reduction and
manufacturing sequencing. Lithic reduction staging for bottle glass
projectile points. Aside from the classic staging documentation of
Callahan some most intriguing ethnohistoric and experimental data
comes from several sources discussed below.

Paul Schumacher (1877) documented actual calculated biface staging
observed among the stone workers of the Klamath River Yurok.
Newcomer (1971) identified reduction staging as it applied to
aboriginal hand ax manufacture. Muto (1971), though denying an
actual distinct set of rigid stages, did apply a sequence to the
early stages of Clovis-like bifaced artifacts. Sharock (1966) gave a
five stages reduction sequence to biface reduction sequencing. A
stages sequence was applied to bottle glass reduction by the author
in 1983 and again in 1988. Nami adapted a variation of Callahan's
staging to Argentine lithic reduction in 1991. While the knapping
sequence of the traditional of lithic materials has been widely
documented ( those mentioned above to a lesser degree: Crabtree
1972 ,Callahan 1979., Whitaker, 1994 and Patten 1999 and others) ,
the study of glass knapping technology has been, for the most part,
restricted to a very few (Harwood, 1983, 1988, 2001, Wellman and
Ibarra 1978, 1988). Here again I am further adapting the stage -
sequencing theory to both plate and bottle knapping strategies .
According to Callahan biface reduction is not a random and continual
banging away at the edges, but a structured reduction strategy,
mindful of changing of width thickness relationships and edge
angles, this necessary to create a predetermined form having proper
features and attributes. This structured thought process involves
attaining stages within the reduction continuum, I submit a similar
scenario hold true for glass knapping.

Bottle Glass Reduction Stages {Figure 10}

Stage 1 - Blank: Glass bottle of suitable form for the end product.
Unmodified, beyond vertical edge removal. Plano-convex with at least
3/16 inch thickness. Detachment achieved with percussion
methodology. Stage 2 - Rough out: Through percussion methodologies a
rough outline in created through the removal of excess raw material.
Large decordication flakes create a semi-lenticular cross-section.
Flakes are exacuted form both faces of the material , but focus on
the outer zone. The roughly centered, bi-convex edge should be
neither too sharp nor too blunt (ideally between 55-75 degrees).
Plano-convexity deminished, with flakes removed from the ventral
side first.

Stage 3 - Primary Preform; Symmetrical handaxe-like outline,
lenticular cross-section and straight/centered, bi-convex edge with
edge-angles falling between 40 - 60 degrees. Percussion methods are
set aside and " power stroke" pressure is used. An antler tine,
thick bone or wooden pressure flaked or dulled wire or untempered
nail was used, according to Callahan (1999) Ishi's flaker (Ishi
Stick) was a piece of deer horn bound to a stick about a foot long A
narrative of Ishi's tools follows from Pope (1918) follows: "he used
deer horn for the heavier work, but while with us he chiefly
employed a soft iron rod three-sixteenths of an inch in diameter and
eight inches long, having a handle of padded cloth bound to it for a
distance of sic Inches. The tool must be a substance that will dent
slightly and thus engage the sharp edge of obsidian." Callahan
reflects (1999), pressure flakers, Ishi sticks to be precise, must
have a flexible main shaft or handle , a rigid handle made for
increased trauma and shorter flakes. " It has been found that a
somewhat flexible shaft of the long composite tool provides an extra
kick that will send those flakes flying". A leather or hide pad
covers the left palm.

Stage 4 -Secondary Preform; Asymmetrical outline with, lenticular
cross-sections and a straight and centered, bi-convex edge. Edge
angles should fall between 25 - 45 degrees. For Ishi, an Isosceles
triangle. A sharper pressure tool tip is needed here and both Ishi
switched to a mounted wire pressure tool for glass work. Variant
angles were selected for desired flake patterns, (i.e. parallel-
oblique flakes directed diagonally across the surface of the biface

Stage 5 - is the finished preform , final retouch, notching ,
serration or pattern flaking is employed at this stage depending on
the anticipated final product. This process was carried out with
either a wire, nail mounted tool.

According to Nelson (1916) Ishi preferred to use untempered or
detempered iron flakers and notching tools with shape round or
chisel shaped points. Ishi's tools are still in the museum of
Anthropology, University of California,

The plate glass {Figure 11}

glass plates , or glass plank is the second to be discussed. Plate
glass is a prized lithic raw material both for its shape and its
knapping quality. While bottle bottoms must be knapped with the
plano-convex attribute in the forefront of one's mind, the plate
glass is symmetrical is cross-section from Stage 1 - Blank) , the
selection of the raw material. obtaining the glass blank. For fully
functional projectile points and knives the material must have a
thickness of at least 3/16 of an inch, and 1/4 inch is the
preferred. After the plank of plate glass has been trimmed or cut to
a optimum shape and size, through etching snapping , or bipolar
splitting and shearing, the edges are ground, but not rounded,
(abraded) with an abrasive stone. When the margin is white with
abrasive scratches one can be sure no slippage will occur while
working the glass material. Again it must be stressed, edge
preparation and center plane alignment remains of the utmost
importance during the entire procedure, after every sequence of
flake removals this must be checked and corrected . Both edge
preparation and center plane manipulation can be easily and quickly
managed by the act of shearing .(see Crabtree 1972, Callahan 1979,
Harwood 1986, 2001 Whitaker 1994, Patten 1999) .

At this time an alternate bevel around the circumference of the
plank is achieved, known as stage 2 (Rough out):in the process.
Alternate bevels are achieved by using pressure to remove short,
stubby flakes, alternately from the face of one edge and then
flipping the plank over and repeating the process, also known as
turning the edge or initial edging. The second bevel flake uses the
declining edge of the opposed flake as a platform for applied
pressure and so on down the margin. In this fashion the knapper is
continually flipping the piece from side to side as the bevel flakes
are detached. (see alternate flaking: Crabtree 1972, Callahan 1979,
Harwood 1986, 2001 Whitaker 1994, Patten 1999) .

After the plank is fully alternately beveled, or turned, an
additional abrading is carried out to remove sharp brittle edges and
will cause crushing or splitting when heavy pressure is applied.
Also the abraded areas will need to hold the tip of the of the
pressure flaking tool long enough to detach a proper conchoidal
thinning flake.

Welman and Ibarra (1988) gives a proper account of stage 3 (Primary
Preform) of plank knapping to achieve the initial bifacing
attribute; "Remove flakes, starting at the potential tip ( or distal
end). Remove the flakes from each apex in sequence (In this, the
apex is the isolated platform). . Try to have the flakes meet half
way across the preform (important to create the medial ridge). Flip
the preform over and repeat the flaking process." Between flake
detachments the intermittent or delta flake must be lightly removed.
Following the face decordication process, the margins must be
sheared into proper contour and the edges, primary thinning. The
Ishi power stroke involves the following technique. The glass or
lithic piece rests is held in the left hand supported on the left
inner thigh. The pressure is applied inward steadily until maximum
force, supplied by the thigh, then a bust of force from the right
shoulder into a outward energy with a twist of the body, the power
stroke often works well as a substitute from percussion flaking on
glass, where some forms of percussion cause to much trauma to the
delicate material. This method often causes injury to the knappers
back, shoulder and wrist muscles. The flake scar on the face of the
preform resembles percussion scares, especially when delivered to an
isolated platform.

Stage 4 (Secondary Preform) involves the shaping and sharpening of
the point, what flintknapper, Joe Dabil describes as oyster shelling
as the deep contouring conchoidal flakes that give the contour and
sharp edge resemble sea shells, this is a secondary thinning
strategy that gives the reproduction an authentic "Ishi look".
Variant angles were selected for desired flake patterns, (i.e.
parallel-oblique flakes directed diagonally across the surface of
the biface preform. This also removes delta flakes. This stage also
necks in the tip and gives the preform the pointed attribute.

Stage 5 (finished preform) gives the work subtle refinements such as
edge trimming, notching serration, notching and so on. {Figure 12}

Phases of The Notch (a secondary staging, within the primary final

Stage 1: (prepetory) Carefully supporting the biface in a padded
left palm, Ishi was right handed" "Using point of tool methodology"
and a "less sharp tool" , a retouch tool, take a prepetory (guiding/
thinning) flake at the location of the proposed notch. Flip over,
carefully calculate position of first notch location and repeat.
Then lightly shear or abraded margin and leading edge (above and
below where the notch will begin) of prepatoy flake scar for
strength, so the notch won't blow out later in the process.
According to Nelson (1916) and Pope (1918), Ishi preferred to use
untempered or detempered iron flakers and notching tools with sharp
round or chisel shaped points. Ishi's tools are still in the museum
of Anthropology, University of California. It is important to note
(Harwood 2000, Paten )1999 for an ideal notching environment a thin
preform is best. At the end of this stage results obtained are notch
locations have been selected thinned and prepped for stage 2,

Stage 2: (Entering) Carefully supporting the biface, especially
around the notch, reducing bending fractures in a padded left palm,
or in some cases on a leather pad on a flat surface (Titmus, 1985)
Using the "side of tool" methodology, with the flat ended tool, the
first of a series of alternate crescent flakes are "snapped"
Important to calculate centerline on each of the proceeding
detachments, the centerline platform must be below 50% . The tool
must be very sharp and thin. It is imperative that the centerline
platform of the notch not exceed 1/4 of the margin centerline. The
centerline is your platform. The meat under the notch must stay
thin, if the platform rises the platform will crush and a slick wall
will present problematic scenarios. The inward and slightly downward
pressure and platform surface contact areas must not be extensive or
abrupt or end shock with snap off the base of the point or the notch
opening tang will blow off and open the closed end notch opening.
Blown open closed end notch openings and severed basal regions, from
end shock, are observed on several of the Ishi specimens. Notching
requires a steady hand and a steady build up of pressure with a
slight rocking motion, but a sliding in and down at release. Follow
this pattern and reach around under the center line at 75% when
obstacle mass impedes or binds the process, "slide away" methods to
abrade and prepare is sometime applied. Many knappers suggest the
notch should be made with two small flakes rather than one (see
Crabtree 1972, Callahan 1979, Harwood 2001, Whitaker 1994, Patten
1999) . This gives you a second chance should you crush a platform ,
At the end of this stage results obtained are notch locations have
been selected thinned and prepped, a deep and very thin notch has
been symmetrically achieved via the notch entering process, "closed
notch opening" intact.

Stage 3" (Tear dropping) Carefully supporting the biface, especially
around the notch, reducing bending fractures in a padded left palm,
Ishi was right handed, or in some cases on a leather pad on a flat
surface (Titmus, 1985) "Using point of tool methodology," the sharp
tool is utilized. The tip is very carefully inserted of the inner
end of the thin elongated notch. The tool must be very sharp and
thin. The downward pressure and platform surface contact areas must
not be extensive or the very crescent flake that you desire
will "fallow the lip,"("toilet bowl effect", follows the rim)
encompass the notch opening tang and blow open the closed end notch
opening. Blown open closed end notch openings and severed basal
regions, from "the toilet bowl effect", are observed on several of
the Ishi specimens. To give extra control and minimize the excess
endshock trauma, and the toilet bowl effect, Ishi would wrap the
left thumb in soft leather and punch the notch in perpendicular to
the margin of the biface or from the corner while holding the object
between the left thumb and index finger (Nelson 1916, Titmus, 1985,
Shackley 2001). Once the notch has been entered, the knapper must
keep the tool tip away from the notch opening tangs a slight touch
from the metallic tip will cause a micro end shock and blow open the
closed end notch opening. The preform is horizontal and the tool is
vertical, but this is often modified to various degrees given the
many variables encountered. The wrist is cocked downward and inward
on the inner left thigh in an uncomfortable posture. Obtaining
contact at, or below, the center line slidaway toward the tip
(proximal end) of the preform, utilize alternate flake sequence to
insure correct centerline platform placement and utilization..
Repeat this procedure on the other side for a symmetrical notched
point. At the end of this stage results obtained are notch locations
have been selected thinned and prepped, a deep and very thin notch
has been symmetrically achieved via the notch entering process, and
an interior teardrop or "keyhole" notch has been achieved "closed
notch opening" intact.

Stage 4 (Final retouch) Final retouch is conducted after the notches
are intact, as this is time and labor intensive and often fails as
the result of base snap. After the notches are complete , using the
sharp tool, point of tool methodology is used to clean, clarify and
obtain final sharpening. The base is shallowed and shape clarified
at this time. The outside of the notch opening of is in need of
clarification of symmetry at the end of this stage results obtained
are notch locations have been selected thinned and prepped, a deep
and very thin notch has been symmetrically achieved via the notch
entering process, and an interior teardrop or "keyhole" notch has
been achieved "closed notch opening" intact and the point is

Other Points of glass: Most lithic artifacts in America came from
weapons used prior to the arrival of the bow and arrow. In Australia
there was no arrival of the bow and arrow. On each continent the
vast majority of lithic projectile points were that of atlatl dart
or spear points. This is not true however with the glass projectile
points. In most of America the bow had fully replaced the altatl
technology . A projectile point is principally a devise used to kill
by introducing the tip, carried by a shaft into the flesh of the
prey. However, in Australia, and with Ishi at the Museum, the glass
points were quite often a trade item or collectable anomaly rather
than an actual field projectile point. There are other, less
documented, studies such as Dr. Hugo Nami's (1984) report on the
proto-historic use of glass in projectile point manufacture by the
Ona Indians of Tierra Del Fuego at least as late as 1910, the
Bushmen of Africa have been knapping manufactured glass for 250
years, and the excavations of late show glass knapping technology
among warriors of the Great Planes and the African slaves of the
deep south.

Ishi's friend Dr. Saxton Pope wrote this of Ishi when he died; "He
closes a chapter in history. He looked upon us as sophisticated
children, smart, but not wise....He knew nature which is always
true. His were the qualities of character that last forever. He was
kind; he had courage and self-restraint, and though all had been
taken from him, there was not bitterness in his heart. His soul was
that of a child, his mind that of a philosopher."

It seemed strange to me that Ishi's methods and way of posture and
so similar to most western modern knappers, not the southern table
top pressure, until I thought again of Crabtree, he worker with the
points - his fingerprints grace the cortex along with Kroeber's, -
Pope's, Nelson's and Shakley's.


Burrill, Richard

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