The Basics
There are 3 major classes of stone artefacts: Flakes, Cores and Groundstones
 
 Example of a flake.  Example of a core.  Example of a groundstone.


Flakes
  • The most basic form of stone artefact
  • These are the fragments removed from a stone when struck or 'knapped'
  • These most typically take the shape of flat, smooth fragments with sharp edges on three sides and a flat top
  • In antiquity, flakes could be used by hand to cut or scrape, hafted to created more complex tools or knapped themselves to reshape them  



 Click on the 'play' button to view in 3 dimensions. Click and drag to rotate. Scroll mouse-wheel to zoom.
 

Features to look out for


 A basic flake.













 


 

 

 

 
 1  Cortex 
Remnants of the weathered surface which once made up the outside of the original stone.
- Generally rough and uneven.
- Often a different colour to the exposed interior of the stone.

 2  Platform  
- The flat surface originally struck to create the flake.
  - Generally forms in a rounded diamond shape when intact.

 3  Point of Percussion 
- The exact point where the force from the blow entered the stone.
- Around this point can be pits, fracture scars or radiating lines of fissures created by the impact.
 4  Bulb of Percussion
- The swollen area beneath the platform where force from the strike spread outwards through the stone, shaping the fracture.
- Can range from pronounced bulges taking up a significant portion of the flake to subtle curves only perceptible to touch.

 Termination
- Where the force from the strike exited the stone, often creating sharp edges.


Cores

  • The primary stone from which a flake/s have been struck
  • These most typically take the shape of thick, angular chunks of stone with lines of ridges running back and forth over the surface 
  • In antiquity, cores could be used simply as a material from which to remove flakes or could be shaped for use as tools themselves  


 Click on the 'play' button to view in 3 dimensions. Click and drag to rotate. Scroll mouse-wheel to zoom. 
 

Features to look out for


 A basic core.
     1   Cortex 
Remnants of the weathered surface which once made up the outside of the original stone.
- Generally rough and uneven.
- Often a different colour to the exposed interior of the stone.

     2  Flake Scar 
- The scar left where a flake has been struck away.
- Can display a flake's features in negative, most often a dip or curve where the bulb of a flake has been split away.
- Sharp edges can be created where flake scars meet.
     5 Working edge 
 - An edge possibly used to cut or pound.
- Generally a long, relatively straight edge with numerous small flake scars or signs of damage.


For our full gallery of 3D artefacts, click here.

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