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adze
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: adz, adze-blade
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A cutting tool, similar to an ax, in which the blade is set at right angles to the handle or haft. One of the earliest tools, it was widely distributed in Stone Age cultures in the form of a handheld stone chipped to form a blade. By Egyptian times, it was made of stone, metal, or shell and had acquired the handle. It is distinguished from the ax (working edge parallel with haft) by its asymmetrical cross-section. This carpenter's tool was used for rough dressing of timber and possibly for tree felling and for hollowing out a dugout canoe. The adz also was used in the ritual ceremony Opening of the Mouth in Egypt; touching it to the mouth of the mummy or statue of the deceased was thought to restore the senses.
backed blade
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: In stone toolmaking, a small blade with one edge blunted by further chipping along one edge. This retouching technique was used so that it could be fitted snugly into a haft, to provide a finger-rest, or so that it could be held in the hand without cutting the fingers.
backed bladelet
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A small stone blade with one edge blunted.
blade
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: blade tool; blade-~ (used attributively)
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A long, narrow, sharp-edged, thin flake of stone, used especially as a tool in prehistoric times. This flake is detached by striking from a prepared core, often with a hammer. Its length is usually at least twice the width. The blade may be a tool in itself, or may be the blank from which a two-edged knife, burin, or spokeshave is manufactured. This term, then, is used by archaeologists in several ways: (1) It can refer to a fragment of stone removed from a parent core. The blade is used to manufacture artifacts in what is known as the blade and core industry". (2) That portion of an artifact usually a projectile point or a knife beyond the base or tang. (3) In certain cultures small artifacts are called microblades. It was a great technological advance when it was discovered that a knapper could make more than one tool from a chunk of stone. The Châtelperronian and Aurignacian were the earliest of the known blade cultures -- associated with the arrival of modern humans. Industries in which many of the tools are made from blades became prominent at the start of the Upper Palaeolithic period. A typical blade has parallel sides and regular scars running down its back parallel with the sides. A 'backed blade' is a blade with one edge blunted by the removal of tiny flakes. Blades led to another invention -- the handle. A handle made it easier and much safer to manipulate a sharp two-edged blade."
blade core
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A flint or stone core from which blades have been struck. Such cores are typically conical or pyramidal in shape; to produce regular even blades a certain degree of preparation is needed as well as periodic rejuvenation. Both these activities produce their own distinctive debitage.
blade tool
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A tool made from a single thin narrow flake detached from a core. The controlled flaking technique is characteristic of the Upper Palaeolithic but it is also known from earlier cultures.
bladelet
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A shorter narrower blade
cache blade
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Quantities of points or blades found together in an underground depository or in a mound
Canaanean blade
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of extremely regular and large (1-2 inches wide and up to 10-12 inches long) flint blade produced by a specialized technique. The technology seems to have first appeared at the beginning of the 4th millennium BC in eastern Anatolia and adjoining areas, and was then introduced to the southern Levant (Canaan) by 3500 BC; these blades were produced until 2000 BC.
crested blade
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A flint blade with negative impressions of removals on one side of the dorsal surface, creating a crest. These constitute part of a previously worked striking platform or result from preparing the flaked surface on a core before detaching flakes or blades.
cutting blade
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: end blade
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The piercing element of a composite projectile point or harpoon head. (See also projectile point.)
endblade
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A small blade tool, often bipointed and used to tip bone and antler arrowheads. Triangular endblades were probably used to tip harpoon heads.
flake blade
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: flake-blade
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An imprecisely defined elongated flaked stone artifact with dorsal ridges associated with sub-Saharan African Middle Stone Age collections. Unlike true blades, flake-blades do not necessarily have parallel sides, nor are they necessarily at least twice as long as they are wide. They were usually end-struck off cores, frequently taper to a point to form artifacts termed convergent or pointed flake-blades, and often have faceted platforms. Some examples were retouched to form knives or denticulate or notched tools.
laurel-leaf point
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: laurel-leaf blade
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A distinctive long, thin leaf-shaped Solutrean flake tool made with delicate workmanship. The largest was found from Volgu, France. It was made during the Upper Palaeolithic in Europe.
macroblade
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A large blade, greater than 5 cm in length
microblade
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A small, narrow stone blade, ranging from less than 5-11 millimeters wide and about 15-45 mm long. They were often made from a conical or wedge-shaped microcore, often punch-struck or pressure-flaked. Microblades were often retouched into various forms of microliths. Microblades are found in the Upper Palaeolithic industries of Eurasia and in the Upper Palaeolithic of Siberia, but are also characteristic of the Mesolithic and later industries of the circumpolar regions. Examples are the Eastern Gravettian, Dyuktai culture, and the Arctic Small Tool Tradition.
microblade core
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The nucleus from which micro-blades were manufactured. Usually a small barrel or conical shaped stone artifact with a flat top and one or more fluted surfaces left as scars from the removal of the microblades.
Northwest microblade tradition
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An interior sub-Arctic cultural sequence of Alaska, Yukon, and Northwest Territories of Canada, dating from c 6500-3500 BC, though in western Canada it survived until c 1000 BC. It is characterized by small stone blades, burins, bifacial knives, and lanceolate projectile points. It is possible that the Athabascan population of interior western sub-Arctic may have started arriving in North America considerably earlier than the Eskimos. The Athabascans, the historical tribes of the Denetasiro tradition, were specialized fishers, hunters, and trappers in the forests of the Northwest. It is the first construct assimilating all the northwestern interior microblade industries into one culture unit.
prismatic blade
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A flake struck from a polyhedral core, at least twice as long as it is wide, with steep, parallel sides, and trapezoidal (prismatic) in cross-section.
side blade
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A flaked stone, bone, shell, or metal artifact inserted in the side of a shaft or projectile point to provide an extended cutting edge.
sideblade
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A narrow flake with a sharp edge on one side, often inserted into bone arrowheads and spearheads.
strangulated blade scraper
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Long blade tool with a retouched notch on one or both sides. Possibly used as a wood-working tool like a modern spokeshave. Characteristic of the AURIGNACIAN.

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