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Biface
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Title: Biface
Identifier: 2008.12.91
Donor: Mario Druso
Item Date: 2500 BC - 1000 AD
Creation Date: 2012
Location: Bradley Museum

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Description: A stone biface (blank for making projectile points or knives). It has a triangular shape. The sides are flaked to form a sharp edge and a point. The stone is light beige in colour.

This item was identified by Dr. Robert J. Pearce, Executive Director, Museum of Ontario Archaeology in London, Ontario. He has identified it as a "biface". It was found by Hugh O’Neil who kept a box of First Nations artifacts and fossils that he found on his farm, on his kitchen window sill. According to the Southwestern Ontario: The First 12,000 Years Glossar (http://diggingontario.uwo.ca/Glossary.htm) a biface perform is "an unfinished biface that can be readily modified into a number of different types of tools." It was basically a blank that could be shaped into a projectile point or knife at a later time. Also defined as a "two-sided stone tool used as a multi purpose knife, manufactured through a process of lithic reduction, that displays flake scars on both sides" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biface).

Early hominids made stone artifacts either by smashing rocks between a hammer and anvil to produce usable pieces or by a more controlled process termed flaking, in which stone chips were fractured away from a larger rock by striking it with a hammer of stone or other hard material. Later, especially during the last 10,000 years, other techniques of producing stone artifacts - including pecking, grinding, sawing, and boring - became more common. The best rocks for flaking tended to be hard, fine-grained, or amorphous (having no crystal structure) rocks, including lava, obsidian, ignimbrite, flint, chert, quartz, silicified limestone, quartzite, and indurated shale. Ground stone tools could be made on a wider range of raw materials types, including coarser grained rock such as granite. Flaking produces several different types of stone artifacts, which archaeologists look for at prehistoric sites. The parent pieces of rock from which chips have been detached are called cores, and the chips that have been removed from cores are called flakes. A flake that has had yet smaller flakes removed from one or more edges in order to sharpen or shape it is known as a retouched piece. The stone used to knock flakes from cores is called a hammerstone or a percussor. Other flaking artifacts include fragments and chunks, most of which are broken cores and flakes.

REF: Microsoft Encarta 2006: Stone Age; Native Americans of North America.
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