|Figure one - Side B of the Colorado Folsom. |
Note that the flute originating at the tip of the point. John Branney Collection.
Figure one above is a photograph of a Folsom projectile point discovered in Colorado and in my personal collection. The photograph is of Side B of this 1.3 inch-long Folsom dart point found in the San Luis Valley of Colorado and made from what appears to be Black Forest silicified wood from the Colorado Front Range. When the Folsom person made this particular projectile point, he or she did not use the normal process. Since I was not there when the Folsom person made this point (I am old, but not that old!), I am speculating on how it was made.
I believe this Folsom dart point started out as a thin, rectangular-shaped flake, not much longer than its current length. The following paragraph hopefully explains my logic. For those of you insightful
|Figure two - Read Shadows on the Trail |
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enough to notice, the Folsom person fluted Side B from the tip down and not from the base up, as normally should have happened. The fluting scar starts at the tip of the projectile point and terminates before it reaches the base. Another indicator that it was fluted from tip down are the percussion ripple scars, which expand downward, like a wave, towards the base of the projectile point, indicating the flaking platform was from the direction of the tip.
I believe that the Folsom preform was a rectangular flake when the fluting process started. There was no base or tip defined at the time. The Folsom knapper placed the fluting nipple on one end and fluted Side B. Then, he or she made the decision which of the ends would be the tip and which of the ends would be the base.
Next, the Folsom knapper created the tip through pressure flaking, then the indented base, and finished pressure flaking the marginal edges. Finally, the knapper thinned the base of Side B with vertical pressure flakes running from base to tip.
Side A is the face of the artifact with my catalog number on it (Figure three). This side has the smooth surface of the original flake still intact. The Folsom knapper never fluted this side because he did not need to flute this side. Even without fluting Side A, the projectile point still meets the Folsom criteria for thinness. Next, the Folsom knapper used fine pressure flaking around the perimeter of the flake and called it good. This Folsom projectile point is < 2 millimeters at the flute. Folsom projectile points do not get much thinner than that.
|Figure three - Side A of the Colorado |
Folsom projectile point. John Branney Collection.
This Folsom projectile point possesses a notarized affidavit from Barbara D. Johnson explaining who she is and exactly where she found the Folsom. The point also possesses two Certificates of Authenticity (COA). On one COA, Jeb Taylor’s comments were that the Folsom point was “Made on a flake where the original dorsal and ventral surfaces were utilized as flutes. This point was probably not much large than it is now.” On the other COA, Bob Knowlton stated, “An interesting Folsom as it was made on a flake and must have been too thin to flute from the bottom, so it was fluted from the tip on Side B – then cleaned and basally thinned from the bottom. It has had one resharpening."
|Figure four - Authentic Folsoms are thin and |
most can be placed on a flat table and not wobble.
Great craftsmanship was necessary.
For a thrilling adventure with the Folsom People, please read the Shadows on the Trail Trilogy! Click below any of the thumbnails of books and you have taken the first step to a wonderful adventure! Enjoy!!
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second book in the Trilogy. Click to Order
|Figure six - Read Winds of Eden, |
the finale. Click to Order