Experimental assessment of proximal-lateral edge grinding on haft damage using replicated Late Pleistocene (Clovis) stone projectile points

Angelia Werner, Andrew Kramer, Crystal Reedy, Michelle R. Bebber, Justin Pargeter, Metin I. Eren

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Archaeologists recognize countless styles of flaked stone projectile points in the archaeological record, but few are as well recognized as the Clovis fluted projectile point. This specimen has a number of interesting morphological and technological features, but one prominent question of its functional morphology involves the lateral edges of the proximal (basal) portion of the point, where it was attached (hafted) to a handle or shaft. These edges are usually ground (or abraded) dull, presumably to prevent cutting of the lashings binding the point in place. However, while logical, this presumption has never been experimentally tested. Do ground proximal-lateral edges prevent damage to haft lashing at a level significantly greater than that of sharp edges? We tested this question via experimental ballistics using standardized specimens possessing ground or sharp proximal-lateral edges. Our results showed that there was virtually no damage to lashings or presence of point wiggle within the haft, regardless of whether points possessed ground or sharp edges. Moreover, when negligible damage (fraying) did occur, it was restricted to the lashings on the point face, not the lashings on the proximal-lateral edges. While it is plausible, and remains to be tested, that the motions involved in cutting, sawing, and butchery cause more interaction between a point’s lateral edges and lashings, our results suggest that with respect to the actions experienced during projectile impact, ground proximal-lateral edges do not function to protect the haft lashings.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)5833-5849
    Number of pages17
    JournalArchaeological and Anthropological Sciences
    Issue number11
    StatePublished - Nov 1 2019


    • Edge grinding
    • Experimental archaeology
    • Haft damage
    • Late Pleistocene (Clovis)
    • Lithic technology
    • North America
    • Paleoindians

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Archaeology
    • Anthropology
    • Archaeology


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