Friday, July 22, 2011

Antler Drift - Indirect Percussion 300+ Quotes - New World Flintknapping


1500's -


1578 -

Here is how I would liberally translate the quote:

"** Most of these lived in Cantumarca, where they had no great trade, but on occasion they worked flints which were put in the ends of wooden shafts and were used as hoes to work the soil, for cutting trees, and for making pointed tools, to work the quarries, due to the lack of iron *

Likewise, they worked the flint for arrowheads (weapons that the indians always used) and so came the warriors of the kingdom to buy, as well as to "bleed in the place of lancets"(?). They worked the flint with sharp points that were made of stone, and CHISELS of various animal teeth, that were for this purpose." (Real Estandarte de Potosi, Bartolomé Martínez y Vela, obra citada)


1855 -  "Among the Eskimo "all the large surface flaking is produced either by blows direct from the hammer, or through an INTERMEDIATE SET or PUNCH formed of reindeer horn. The arrow- or harpoon head thus roughly chipped out is afterwards finished by means of the arrow-flaker" (From Sir Edward Belcher)

1860 - "The Shasta Indian seated himself on the floor, and placing the stone anvil, which was of compact talcose slate, upon his thigh, with one blow of his agate chisel he separated the obsidian pebble into two parts; then giving another blow to the fractured side, he split off a slab a fourth of an inch in thickness. Holding the piece against the anvil with the thumb and forefinger of his left hand, he commenced a series of continuous blows, every one of which chipped off fragments of the brittle substance. It gradually acquired shape. After finishing the base of the arrow-head, the whole being only a little over a inch in length, he began striking gentler blows, every one of which, I expected, would break into pieces. Yet such was his adroit application, his skill and dexterity, that in little over an hour he produced a perfect obsidian arrow-head. I then requested him to carve me one from the remains of a broken bottle, which, after two failures, he succeeded in doing. He gave me, as a reason for his ill success, he did not understand the grain of the glass. No sculptor ever handled a chisel with greater precision, or more carefully measured the weight and effect of every blow, than this ingenious Indian; for even among them arrow making is a distinct trade or profession, which many attempt, but in which few attain excellence.  He understood the capacity of the mate-rial he wrought, and before striking the first blow, by surveying the pebble, he could judge of its availability as well as the sculptor judges of the perfectness of a block of Parian. In a moment, all that I had read upon this subject, Written by learned and speculative antiquarians, of the hardening of copper for the working of flint axes, spears, chisels, and arrow-heads, vanished before the simplest mechanical process. I felt that the world had been better served, had they driven the pen less and the plow more !" (American Ethnological Society,

                                           EXAMPLES OF SHASTA LITHICS

1861 - "I have heard on good authority, that somewhere in Peru, the Indians still have a way of working obsidian by laying a bone wedge on the surface of a piece, and tapping it till the stone cracks." (ANAHUAC: MEXICO AND MEXICANS ANCIENT AND MODERN, Edward B. Tylor, D.C.L., E.R.S.)

1861 - "The next objects alluded to are the chert or flinty weapons in general use amongst the Esquimaux from the parallel of the Aleutian chain, or about 60° north to 72° north, and along the whole coast easterly towards the Great Fish River. It is therefore probable that there are many positions on the coast  from whence they are able to obtain this important article.  From my own observation, however, I am only able to speak to one locality — that is at the base of Cape Lisburne, forming the south-west angle of the bay, where much coal was noticed, in situ, and which has Icy Cape for its northern horn. It would be more properly designated "Icy Point," being a long low spit, but Cook noticing the loom of a hummock behind it, and probably unaware of the intervening marsh, gave the name which has been retained to the present day.  (No. 62.) The series of objects presented to notice includes those especially collected at Cape Lisbume and the vicinity, because I THERE SAW THE CHERT TAKEN FROM THE VEIN AND MANUFACTURED UNDER MY INSPECTION.

Cape Lisburne is about sixty feet in height, composed of a greyish dolomite, in which many fossil encrinites, corals, and Crustacea are found. Near the base, about four feet above the sea level, a vein of chert is found, on which this friable stone lies. It varies from about nine inches inland (as exposed) to about three or four inches, as it is lost in the gravelly beach. It is broken in vertical shivers, or conchoidal plates, by a slight tap with the hammer formed of a very stubborn jade, or nephrite (No. 61), the splinters affording a ringing sound like glass or pottery. The fragments, indeed, in many instances, were already sufficiently formed without human aid for the ordinary purposes of flaying, or skinning off the superfluous fat from hides, etc. ; indeed it then occurred to me that many fragments, where nature seemed either to have pressed heavily, or acted by frost, were so splintered and almost formed by nature to be used as arrow or spear heads without further attention to chipping. But to the process which they pursue in effecting the fine regular serrated edges which you will notice in those specimens now before you.

Possibly, had I not witnessed the operation, and been at the time one of the first Europeans with whom they ever held communion, the idea would have remained undisputed that "they owed their formation to the stroke of the hammer." Being a working amateur mechanic myself, and having practiced in a very similar manner on glass with a penny piece in 1815, I was not at all surprised at witnessing their modus operandi.
-Selecting a log of wood, in which a spoon-shaped cavity was cut, they placed the splinter to be worked over it, and by pressing gently along the margin vertically, first on one side, then the other, as one would set a saw, they splintered off alternate fragments until the object, thus properly outlined, presented the spear or arrow-head form, with two cutting serrated sides.

(No. 44.) But let us revert to this instrument for the use of which the untaught would never imagine a purpose and I suspect was not witnessed or deemed worthy of notice by any other individual of the expedition.

First, this instrument (again ornamented) has a graceful outline. The handle is of fine fossil ivory. That would be too soft to deal with flint or chert in the manner required. But they discovered that the point of the deer horn is harder, and also more stubborn ; therefore, in a slit, like lead in our pencils, they introduced a slip of this substance and secured it by a strong thong, put on wet, but which on drying becomes very rigid.  Here we cannot fail to trace ingenuity, ability, and a view to
ornament. It is the point of deer horn, which refusing to yield, drives off the fine conchoidal splinters from the chert.

I cannot here omit remarking that the very same process is pursued by the Indians of Mexican origin in California with the obsidian points for their arrows. And also in the North and south Pacific, at Sandwich Islands, 2V north, and Tahiti, 18° south — 30 degrees =2340 miles asunder — similar indentations or chippings are carried out in forming their axes from basaltic lava, but probably performed in the latter instances with stone hammers. I myself witnessed at the Convent of Monterey the captured Indians forming their arrowheads out of obsidian exactly similar to the mode practised by the Esquimaux.

It is as well to observe that the Esquimaux use several kinds of arrowheads. First, one entirely of chert about four inches in length (No. 6J8) ; second, one of deer horn pointed with chert; thirdly, variously shaped, barbed — bifurcate, trifurcate, and quadrifurcate — entirely of horn, or ivory; but the two first are those in principal use."  (Ethnological Society of London, compare to information given to Evans)

1862 - "Out of six buckhorn hammers, pierced transversely with a square or oval aperture, five have still attached to them the remains of their fir wood handles. Two of those hammers have at one of their extremities a cavity, in which we suppose a stone was sometimes fastened; and it is very possible that in some cases this was even sharpened into an axe. Eight arrow points in bone, very like Eight arrow points in bone, very like punches, bear traces of a blackish mastic and of fine ligatures."  (Smithsonian Institution. Board of Regents, United States National Museum),

1866 - Edmonia Lewis - Ojibway/Haitian sculptor - Marble bust titled "Old Arrowmaker"

1868 -  "A mode of flaking by using a punch is mentioned by some travellers. Catlin thus describes the mode adopted by the Apachees in making flint arrow-heads :

"Like most of the tribes west of and in the Rocky Mountains, they manufacture the blades of their spears and points for their arrows of flints, and also of obsidian, which is scattered over those volcanic regions west of the mountains; and, like the other tribes, they guard as a profound secret the mode by which the flints and obsidian are broken into the shapes they require.
"Every tribe has its factory, in which these arrow-heads are made, and in those, only certain adepts are able or allowed to make them, for the use of the tribe. Erratic boulders of flint are collected (and sometimes brought an immense distance), and broken with a sort of sledge-hammer, made of a rounded pebble of horn-stone, set in a twisted withe, holding the stone, and forming a handle."

"The flint, at the indiscriminate blows of the sledge, is broken into a hundred pieces, and such flakes selected as, from the angles of their fracture and thickness, will answer as the basis of an arrow-head."
"The master workman, seated on the ground, lays one of these flakes on the palm of his left hand, holding it firmly down with two or more fingers of the same hand, and with his right hand, between the thumb and two fore-fingers, places his chisel (or punch) on the point that is to be broken off; and a cooperator (a striker) sitting in front of him, with a mallet of very hard wood, strikes the chisel (or punch) on the upper end, flaking the flint off on the under side, below each projecting point that is struck. The flint is then turned and chipped in the same manner from the opposite side, and so turned and chipped until the required shape and dimensions are obtained, all the fractures being made on the palm of the hand."
"In selecting a flake for the arrowhead, a nice judgment must be used, or the attempt will fail: a flake with two opposite parallel, or nearly parallel, planes is found, and of the thickness required for the centre of the arrow-point. The first chipping reaches near to the centre of these planes, but without quite breaking it away, and each chipping is shorter and shorter, until the shape and the edge of the arrow-head are formed."
"The yielding elasticity of the palm of the hand enables the chip to come off without breaking the body of the flint, which would be the case if they were broken on a hard substance.  These people have no metallic instruments to work with, and the instrument (punch) which they use, I was told, was a piece of bone ; but on examining it, I found it to be a substance much harder, made of the tooth (incisor) of the sperm-whale, which cetaceans are often stranded on the coast of the Pacific.  This punch is about six or seven inches in length, and one inch in diameter, with one rounded side and two plane sides ; therefore presenting one acute and two obtuse angles, to suit the points to be broken.
This operation is very curious, both the holder and the striker singing, and the strokes of the mallet given exactly in time with the music, and with a sharp and rebounding blow, in which, the Indians tell us, is the great medicine (or mystery) of the operation."  (Last Rambles among the Indians, Catlin).

1869 -  "Consolulu brought a piece of obsidian, and a fragment of a deer horn split from a prong lengthwise, about four inches in length and half an inch in diameter, and ground off squarely at the ends this left each end a semi-circle, besides two deer prongs with the points ground down into the shape of a square sharp-pointed file, one of these being much smaller than the other. Holding the piece of obsidian in the hollow of the left hand, he placed between the first and second fingers of the same hand, the split piece of deer horn first described, the straight edge of the split deer horn resting against about one-fourth of an inch of the edge of the obsidian this being about the thickness of the flake he desired to split off ; then with a small stone he with his right hand struck the other end of the split deer horn a sharp blow. A perfect flake was obtained, showing the conchoidal fracture peculiar to obsidian. The thickness of the flake to be split off depends upon the nearness or distance from the edge of the obsidian on which the straight edge of the split deer horn is held at the time the blow is struck."  (American Naturalist, B.B. Redding).

1870 - "The finger-flint, I imagine, corresponds with the "punch" of the American Indians. Finger-flints — so named from their shape — are long, slightly curving flints, mostly well and carefully chipped, and having rarely one end cutting, or chisel-like, and the other more frequently rounded or smoothed, sometimes indeed highly polished  It has been objected that if finger-flints are punches, then the end found polished ought rather to have been bruised. Again, however, it is urged that there is no evidence the early people used bone "punches," or we might reasonably expect that some instrument must have been found."   (The Yorkshire archæological and topographical journal)

1872 -
(The Arrow Maker and his daughter, Kaivavit Paiutes, in front of their home, northern Arizona - Paiute Flintknapper. Paiute Indian chipping a knife blade with a bone tool (Photo by John K. Hillers near Kanab, Utah 1872, Courtesy of the Smithsonian National Anthropological Archives: 1609)

1872 - "Sir Edward Belcher has kindly explained the process to me, and showed me both the implements used, and the objects he saw manufactured. It appears that the flake from which the arrow-head is to be made is sometimes fixed by means of a cord in a split piece of wood so as to hold it firmly, and that all the large surface flaking is produced either by blows direct from the hammer, or through an intermediate punch or set formed of reindeer horn. The arrow- or harpoon -head thus roughly chipped out is afterwards finished by means of the " arrow-flaker."  (MANUFACTURE STONE IMPLEMENTS, Sir John Edwards)

1872 -  "The Cheyennes in ancient times used to a considerable extent arrowheads and knives of stone. Black Moccasin, who died about 1884, remembered when such implements were still often employed. Persons recently living were told by their grandfathers that in their time, say early in the nineteenth century, such implements were in use. Some knives were made of the ribs of elk or moose. For their cutting and piercing implements they employed the hardest stones they could secure, usually flint. When a suitable stone had been found for making a celt, it was broken off to the right length by a sharp blow of a small stone hammer it was then held in the left hand and rested on a block of wood, and repeated blows were given it with the hammer, it being turned and chipped by these blows until the desired edge and point were produced. When a knife—or an arrowpoint—had been worked down quite thin, but had not yet received a satisfactory cutting edge, the piece was held in the left hand, between the thumb and forefinger, while a small stone punch was held between the fore and middle fingers. The punch was pressed against the edge of the blade, and was struck sharp downward blows with a hammer, each blow taking off a small flake, and this process was continued until the edge was finished. A better cutting edge was finally given by the flaking off of small chips from near the margin. The flint was held in the palm protected by a wad of hair or piece of tanned hide and a small point of antler or bone suddenly applied with force against the stone at the required point. This pressure cracked off a small chip and the operation was repeated as needed. The back of a completed knife was sometimes inserted in a split stick which served as a handle. The stick was tightly lashed with wet sinew or fine rawhide strings, and when these dried, the stone edge and its handle were firmly bound together. Such knives served efficiently for slitting killed game up the belly and legs."

("The Cheyenne Indians: their history and lifeways : edited and illustrated" - George Bird Grinnell)

1878 -

"Stone tools were formed by chipping flint, jasper, or other forms of quartz, such as chalcedony, into flakes with sharp edges. This was done by striking the nodule of stone a sharp blow with another stone held in the hand or mounted in a handle of hide or wood to form a stone hammer. The flakes were then shaped by pressing the edges with a horn point say, part of a deer antler—to force a chip from the flake. The chipping tool was sometimes fitted with a hide or wood handle set at right angles to the tool, so that its head could be hit with a stone or horn hammer. The flake being worked upon, if small, was often held in the hand, which was protected from the slipping of a chipping tool by a pad of rawhide.  Heat was not used in chipping, and some Indians took care to keep the flake damp while working it, occasionally burying the flake for a while in moist soil. The cutting edge of a stone tool could be ground by abrasion on a hard piece of granite or on sandstone, but the final degree of sharpness depended upon the qualities of the stone being used as a tool. Slate could be used in tools in spite of its brittlcness. In general, stone tools were unsuitable for chopping or whittling wood."  (The Bark Canoes and Skin Boats of North America, Edwin Tappan Adney)
1879 -   "It is the popular impression that flint arrow-heads were all chipped into shape by striking off fragments with a rude stone hammer, and this was the method first tried by Mr. Cushing. He found, however, that it was impossible to imitate in this way any of the finer and more delicate specimens of Indian arrows, and that three out of four even of the coarser forms were broken in the process of manufacture. It was evident therefore, that the Indians had other and more delicate processes.

After many unsuccessful experiments, he accidentally discovered that small fragments could be broken off from a piece of flint with much greater certainty and precision, by pressure with a pointed rod of bone or horn, than by blows with a hammer-stone. The sharp edge of the flint would cut slightly into the bone, and when the latter was twisted suddenly upward a flake would fly off from the point where the pressure was applied in a direction which could be foreseen and controlled. To this Mr. Cushing gives the name of flaking, to distinguish it from chipping produced by percussion. And its discovery, he considers, removes most of the difficulties which previous experimenters had met with in trying to work flint without the use of iron. Spear- and arrow-heads could in this way be flaked even into the most delicate and apparently fragile shapes with a certainty attainable in no other way, and with a greatly- lessened probability of breakage.

Mr. Cushing then described, with the aid of blackboard illustrations, all the steps in the manufacture of an arrow, beginning with the striking off of a suitable flake from the mass of material selected, trimming it roughly with a pebble into a leaf-shape with a beveled edge, Fig. 2, scaling off surface flakes by repeated blows with a hammer-stone upon this edge at right angles to its plane, and finally finishing, pointing, and notching the arrow-head with the bone flaking-instrument previously referred to.

Surface-flaking, which is the thinning of the unfinished arrow by the detachment of flakes running from the edge to the center, is the most difficult part of the whole process. Arrows upon which no signs of it appear were always the work of beginners. It may be produced either by direct blows with a hammer-stone, by pressure with a flaker, OR BY A COMBINATION OF THE TWO METHODS, THE HAMMER BEING USED WITH THE FLAKER AS IF THE LATTER WERE A STONE CHISEL. EACH OF THESE METHODS LEAVES ITS UNMISTAKABLE MARK UPON THE FINISHED IMPLEMENT, SO THAT IT IS EASY TO DETERMINE BY SIMPLE INSPECTION OF THE CHIPPED ARTICLE TO WHAT DEGREE OF PERFECTION THE ART HAD COME AT THE TIME WHEN IT WAS MADE.

Thus it can be proven that the marvelously-chipped axes of the Danish shell-heaps were produced by using a horn-fiaker as if it were a stone chisel, while the beautifully finished daggers, arrows, and spear-heads from the same region had been flaked by a combination of the latter process and pressure; and that when the paleolithic flint implements found in the drift were made, the art of using the flaker in either of these methods had not yet been discovered. Hammer-stones, however, which bear marks of having been used for chipping, are found everywhere where arrow or spear heads occur, showing that savages universally pursued the method followed by Mr. Cushing, of first blocking out the implement with a hammer-stone, whether they afterward used a flaker to finish it more perfectly or not.

Since, therefore, all the specimens found in the great "deposits," or caches, throughout this country bear marks of the hammer-stone, but not of any other instrument, they may be definitely regarded as unfinished articles laid by for future completion. The various processes and implements used in chipping and flaking had grown out of the difference of material to be worked. Where the latter was tough, as was the case with the hornstone of VVestern Arctic America, it could not be flaked by pressure in the hand, but must be rested against some solid substance, and flaked by means of an instrument, the handle of which fitted the palm like that of an umbrella, enabling the operator to exert a pressure against the substance to be chipped nearly equal to the weight of the body. Thus the T-shaped wooden-knife fiaker of the Aztecs was the outgrowth of the easily-worked obsidian ; and the slender horn-flakers of California and the Southwest, of the fragile chalcedony and jasper of that region. Material often contained small masses of harder or tougher substance. Where these occurred, the ordinary flaking was not likely to remove them, in which case they formed objectionable protuberances on the unfinished arrow point. When nearer one edge than the other, their removal was attempted by chipping into that edge, thus making the arrow head onesided. The almost invariable occurrence of traces of such protuberances on the edge most chipped of these unequal specimens was evidence, that this, the so-called "knife type," was of accidental origin. Most, if not all, of the so-called " turtle-back" implements which had been regarded by archaeologists as designed for special purposes were really articles never finished because of the presence of such prominences on the center of one side or the other. Where these irregularities appeared on the middle of the side of a specimen of choice material, or on which much labor had been expended, its removal was undertaken by the chipping down of both edges, thus resulting in the bell-shaped outline of spear-head, Fig. 6, so much admired by archaeologists, which, being recognized by savage manufacturers as ornamental, was afterward purposely produced, and even survived in the weapons of the bronze age, Fig. 8, or that period immediately following the or that period immediately following the age of stone.

The difficulty of making long narrow surface flakes made it much easier to form narrow, and delicate, points than the larger, though, even ruder forms on which much surface flaking was necessary; and the slender fragile perforators which had been regarded as inimitable by any existing race were really the most readily and rapidly made of all.

In flaking a large arrow or spear-head in the hand, it was necessary to hold it alternately by the point and by the base. As the grasp by "the base was much firmer, the pressure was greater, and hence the flakes scaled off further toward or over the center, and, as this unavoidably happened on opposite edges of the specimen, a twisted and even at times distinctly beveled point was the result when hard material was flaked. This not only accounted for the beveled type of spear-head so common in Tennessee, but also indicated that, wherever this type occurred, the method of flaking was by pressure in the hand, and not, and not as among the Esquimau and Kjockkenmoeuding people. Mr. Cushing added that, since all specimens of this kind were found to be twisted one way — from right to left — the inference was unavoidable that the aborigines who made them were, like ourselves, right-handed people; and that wherever this form occurred, the method of flaking by pressure in the hand must have prevailed. Prof. Mason here mentioned that he had seen two examples beveled from left' to right indicating, of course, an occasional left-handed individual. Mr. Cushing then explained how it could be known on examination whether an imperfect arrow had been broken during the process of manufacture or by use.

He then referred to an archaeological publication recently (1868) printed in Spain, on the covers and title-page of which appeared the figure of three bi-pointed arrow. This had been regarded as one of the most important archaeological discoveries of that year, and its figures adopted as the seal of the book. But, had the members of that Spanish society and the author been practically familiar with flint they probably would not have regarded as so rare the inverted base of a common barbed and stemmed arrow-head, from which the point had been removed by accidental chipping (Fig. 10).

Arrow-flaking was accompanied by great fatigue and profuse perspiration. It had a prostrating effect upon the nervous system, which showed itself again in the directions of fracture, and it was noteworthy that, on an unimpressible substance like flint, even the moods and passions of centuries ago might be found thus traced and recorded. Mr. Cushing then closed his to the use of the study and practice of the art of arrow-making in establishing the groundlessness of all archaeological classifications of chipped articles, based on diversity of form alone.
Engineering and Mining Journal: Volumen 28) 

1881 -  "Spear and arrow-heads could be flaked with the most delicate precision, with no such liability to fracture as leads to constant failure in any attempt to chip even the larger and ruder spear or axe-heads into shape. The hammer-stone only suffices for breaking off a flake from the rough flint nodule, and trimming it roughly into the required form, preparatory to the delicate manipulation of edging, pointing, and notching the arrow-head.

The thinning of the flint-blade is effected by detaching long thin scales or flakes from the surface by using the FLAKER LIKE A CHISEL and striking it a succession of blows with a hammerstone. The marks of this surface-flaking are abundantly manifest on the highly- finished Danish knives, daggers, and large spear-heads, as well as upon most other flint implements of Europe's Neolithic Age. The large spear and tongue-shaped"  ( Proceedings of the Canadian Institute, Toronto, being a continuation of "The Canadian journal of science, literature and history.", Volúmenes 1-3)

1883 - "Short, cylindrical pieces of antler, carefully cut and polished (similar objects have been found in the grave-mounds in Arkansas) are often found."  (Boston Society of Natural History)

1885 - "The methods of the northern Californian bowyer and fletcher are now pretty clearly understood. For ordinary flaking of jasper or obsidian he uses a common pebble hammerstone, but for detaching flakes of the best quality he uses between his hammer and his core a "PITCHING TOOL" or sort of "COLD-CHISEL" of the hardest antler."  ("Ray Collection From Hupa Reservation", P.H. Ray)

Fig. 5 - The Pitching Tool -  A COLUMN OF ANTLER used like a COLD CHISEL in knocking off SPALLS or FLAKES or BLADES by means of some kind of hammer.

Close up of chisel-like "PITCHING TOOL" - A COLUMN OF ANTLER used like a COLD CHISEL in knocking off SPALLS or FLAKES or BLADES by means of some kind of hammer.:

1887 - "The Eskimos have been observed to perform the same task in still another fashion. The flint was supported in a hollow wooden block like a vise and was struck with a specially constructed instrument consisting of an ivory hilt in which the sharp prong of an antler was inserted and fastened." (THE EVOLUTION OF CULTURE, Julius Lippert) 

1890 - "Quartzite is extremely refractory, and the skill of the workman must have been tried to the utmost to carry the manufacture by the freehand process to a stage of elaboration where the other methods would be operative. It is probable that some method employing indirect percussion may have followed that of direct percussion. By INDIRECT PERCUSSION I mean the use of two tools, one the hammer and the other the PUNCH, the latter being set upon the exact spot to be fractured, thus eliminating the element of uncertainty characteristic of the free-hand blow..."  (American anthropologist: Volumen 3 )

1890 - "but in any case ordinary percussion was concerned in only the rougher work, and indirect percussion or pressure was employed in the final stages." 
(American anthropologist: Volumen 3;Volumen 3)

1891 - "A Mr. C. A. Willoughby placed an article with the publishers of a very popular magazine"..."in which he asks the reader to visit - in imagination - an ancient "arrow makers" shop.

Seated upon a mat, beautifully dyed in divers colors, in front of his round, bark covered lodge, and surrounded by a circle of stone chips, we find him employed. He is naked to the waist, and encircling his neck is a necklace of many strings of finely wrought beads, made from shells, intermingled with those of copper, hammered from native ore. By the arrow-maker's side is a leathern pouch, filled with flakes of precious stones, and in his hand he holds an implement of bone, or horn, and which he "values above all price and will not part with". Let us watch him as he works. Taking a flake from the pouch at his side, he places it in his left hand, which is protected by a piece of leather. He holds it down with two or more fingers of the same hand, and, placing the bone punch against a point on the convex side, with a sudden pressure he flakes off a chip below each projecting point that is pressed. The flake is then turned, and chipped in the same manner from the opposite side. This process he repeats till a perfect arrow-head is obtained. Sometimes a "striker" was employed by these artisans. Sitting in front, with a mallet of hard wood, this man struck a chisel on the upper end, flaking off a chip as already described. (Sessional papers - Legislature of the Province of Ontario: Volumen 6)

1892 - "In all cases the operations of shaping were, in the quarries, confined to free-hand percussion, further and more refined shaping being conducted elsewhere and employing the more delicate methods of indirect percussion and pressure."  (SCIENCE, American Association for the Advancement of Science, John Michels)

1893 - "The Eskimo sometimes set the flake in a piece of split wood ; the arrow is roughly chipped by blows with a hammer, either direct or with a punch interposed ; it is then finished by pressing off fine chips with a point of antler set in an ivory handle

1894 -  "PITCHING TOOL, or knapping tool, a column of antler or other hard substance, used between the hammer and the core in knocking off flakes of stone.”

“Sometimes he would introduce between his stone hammer and the block of material a "pitching tool" of antler or hard bone.  As soon as the flake of proper dimensions was removed, the next thing with the artist was to bring this into form by means of the flaking tool or flaker . The method of dressing the chip of flint into shape varied from tribe to tribe.”

“The flakes for the stone heads are knocked off by means of a "pitching tool" of deer antler.
"Lieut. Kay was the first to actually send to the National Museum a bit of antler, 6 inches long and about three quarters of an inch in diameter, to be used like a stonecutter's punch or "pitching tool" or a smith's punch in knocking off chips in the process of arrow-making.  But there are constant references to this intermediary tool. The writer, who has experimented in most aborginal stone-working methods, has not attempted to use this apparatus in order to know its limits."  ("North American Bows, Arrows, and Quivers, Otis Tuft Mason)

(Mason offers the reader illustrations of two types of "pitching tools".  One type looks like a small peg.  And, the other type looks like a chisel.  The illustration for the chisel type of "pitching tool" is borrowed from P.H. Ray's work):
Figs. 1 and 2 - "Peg-like Pitching Tool"

Figs 5:  Chisel-like "Pitching Tool" made from antler (borrowed from Ray's work):

1895 -  In finally forming arrow-points from these trimmed blanks, the smallest of them only were chosen. The first care in fashioning one of these was to remove protuberant points from its edge and sides and to thin it down by means of a "pitching tool" of buck-horn. This was effected in several ways, usually by clamping it in a folded pad of buckskin under the knee against a hammerstone or notched wooden block, so that the projecting edge rested over the margin or else over the pit of the stone, or notch if a block or log were used, and with one hand holding the point of the pitching-tool very lightly and slantingly and at a wide angle, against or just over the points to be chipped, sharply tapping the tool with a maul or with a knapping hammer. Thus the blade was quickly thinned down and made almost even edged."  (“The Arrow, The American Anthropologist”, Frank Cushing)

1895 - "So much for the accounts, which I believe comprise all of importance thus far published in America, by eyewitnesses. We learn from them, and the arrowhead narratives above mentioned, of flaking (a) by- direct percussion, (b) by indirect or hammering on punches, (e) by direct pressure, (d) by impulsive pressure, or pressure aided by a blow"  (United States Congressional serial set: Número 3322)

Rafael Solares, a Samala chief. Captain of Soxtonoxmu capital village in the Santa Ynez Valley.
Photograph taken by Leon de Cessac in the late 19th century.


1895 - "The chisel of hard antler struck by a cooperator as in Catlin's description" (Columbian HIstorical Exposition at Madrid)

1895 - "Stone-chippers and flakers ; makers of chipped products. Their tools were small hammers of stone, but more especially pointed pieces of bone or antler, which were used as pitching tools, or for pressure" 

'In the country of obsidian and of the finest calcareous flint the object of the knapper in earliest times was not only to secure leaf-shaped or almond-shaped implements. Long razor-like blades were in great demand for scarifying, shaving, .sacrificing, and for domestic purposes. The California Indians used a " coid-chisei " or pitching-tool of antler struck with a hammer of wood or stone for such results."  (THE ORIGINS OF INVENTION: A STUDY OF INDUSTRY AMONG PRIMITIVE PEOPLES, Otis T. Mason)

1895 - "Near a lodge, small and weather-beaten, two men seated under a shade are hard at work. Each holds between his knees a block of stone, from which, by light sharp blows of a small stone hammer, he is chipping off triangular flakes of
flint for making arrowheads. The material used by one of the men is a black obsidian obtained by trade from the Crows to the south, while the other has a piece of milky chalcedony picked up in the mountains to the west. Each of these blocks has been
sweated by being buried in wet earth, over which a fire has been built, the object of this treatment being to bring to light all the cracks and checks in the stone, so that no unnecessary labour need be performed on a piece too badly cracked to be profitably worked. As the workmen knock off the chips, they turn the blocks, so that after a little they become roughly cylindrical, always growing smaller and smaller, until at length
each is too small to furnish more flakes. They are then put aside.

Each man now collects all the flakes he had knocked off, and, piling them together on one corner of his robe, carefully examines each one. Some are rejected at a glance, some put in a pile together as satisfactory, while over others the arrow-maker ponders for a while, as if in doubt. Presently he seems to have satisfied himself, and prepares for his second operation. For this he takes in his left palm a pad of buckskin large enough to cover and protect it while holding the sharp flake, while over his right hand he slips another piece of tanned hide something like a sailmaker 's "palm," and used for the same purpose.  Against his "palm," the arrow-maker places the head of a small tool a straight piece of deer or antelope horn or of bone about four inches long, and pressing its point against the side of the piece of flint held in the other hand, he flakes off one little chip of the stone and then another close to it, thus passing along the edge of the unformed flint until one side of it is straight, and then along the other. He works quickly and apparently without much care, except when he is near the point, for this is a delicate place, and carelessness or haste here may endanger the arrowhead for, if its point should be broken, it is good for nothing. Sometimes an unseen check will cause the head to break across without warning, and the labour expended on this particular piece is thus wasted. But usually the arrow-maker works rapidly and spoils but few points. After the head is shaped, there are often left some thin projecting edges which mar its symmetry and add nothing to its effectiveness. These are broken off either by pressure or by a sharp blow with some light instrument, such as a bit of bone or of hard wood.

The making of these stone points has now been almost entirely forgotten, but I have seen a beautiful and perfect dagger, six or eight inches long, made from a piece of glass bottle.  There is a wide variation in the shape and size of these stone points. Some are very small, others large, some are fine and delicate, and others coarse and
clumsy. The edges are usually regular and fairly smooth, but sometimes serrated.  A wound inflicted by one of them is said to have been much more serious than that inflicted by a hoop-iron point, and the Indian of to-day believes that the stone points had some what the effect of a poisoned arrowhead. There is a grain of foundation for this, since the stone point would make a ragged wound, and the point if deeply buried in the flesh could not easily be extracted or pushed on through, but would readily become detached from the arrow shaft. On the other hand, it would make a clean wound, which would heal much more easily than a bullet wound.
These arrowheads were roughly triangular in shape, but often had a short shank for attachment to the shaft. This shank, or the middle part of the short side of the triangle, was set into a notch in the shaft, fastened by a glue made from the hoofs of the buffalo, and made additionally secure by being whipped in place by fine sinew strings, put on wet.  (From the Indian Trail to the Railroad, George Bird Grinnell) 
1896 - "The stone is held in the hand, as it cannot be chipped on a hard substance.  A punch observed by Catlin in use by these Indians was a whale tooth 6 or 7 inches long, with one round and two flat sides. The Fuegians, according to the same authority, use a similar process and make as fine implements." (THIRTEENTH ANNUAL REPORT OF THE BUREAU OF ETHNOLOGY TO THE SECRETARY OF THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION 1891-'92, J.W. Powell)

1896 - "As opposed to Mr. Smith's view of flaking by means of stone punches and " fabricators," we know that the North American Indians, when working under similar circumstances, used bone, though a relic forger showed the explorer how the Caddington specimens could be accurately reproduced with an iron hammer and a broken gimlet or awl used as a punch."  (THE AMERICAN NATURALIST) 

1897 - "It is possible that some method employing indirect percussion may have followed that of direct percussion. By indirect percussion I mean the use of two tools, one the hammer and the other the punch, the latter being set on the exact spot to receive the impact or blow, thus eliminating the element of uncertainty characteristic of free-hand blow" (American anthropologist: Volumen 3;Volumen 3)

1897 - "In an excellent article on the stone art of the Mississippi valley,(13th Annual report of the bureau of ethnology, p. 139-42) Mr Gerard Fowke gives an extended account of arrow making, as practised in different places. Without going into full detail, it may be well to say here that chipping was usually done by pressure or percussion.  In almost all cases, a piece of horn or bone, slightly notched, was used as a flaker. The process has been observed by many, for it is not an extinct art, although steel is now often substituted for horn or bone, and glass for stone. Any stone which will admit of a conchoidal fracture, and some which will not, may be used; for large implements, and even for small, a siliceous limestone or even sandstone was often employed. Quartz was used, but some varieties were not adapted for delicate work, while for large implements it was a showy material. 


Usually the stone is held in one hand, or placed on wood, buckskin a

blanket, or other yielding substance. More rarely it is held against a stone anvil, and chipped with a stone hammer.  Simple pressure suffices in most cases, the bone flaker being

set against the proper points, and small pieces being chipped off by pressing it in different directions.




1889 - "Stone chipping is now believed to be a lost art. The ethnologists of the Smithsonian Institute have never found an artisan who, even when supplied with all the tools of modern art, was able to imitate some of the leaf-shaped implements of prehistoric man. And the most skillful of the flint knappers of Brandon, England, men whose occupation is making gun flints also failed after months of effort to produce the forms made by a savage whose only tools were stones and bones. It is not certainly how the Indian made these arrow points, working such a brittle material as white quartz into the exquisite forms here portrayed. It is the general belief that chert jasper slate and quartz cobbles were first split into narrow flakes with stone hammers.  Possibly they were heated in pits and split by cooling suddenly with water.  Partly made implements were often buried in considerable quantities. It is supposed that these stones were thus softened and rendered more tractable. Such a cache was found some years ago near Hadley, Mass., containing sixty arrow and spear blocks.  These blocks are so old that they were turned to an ashy white; they resemble the St. Acheul blocks in shape and coarse chipping.  The flakes were gradually chipped down into shape with the little knockers. When the stone had thus been partly outlined, it was finished by another process. Either some hard object as stone, bone or horn was used as a chisel driven by a hammer to force off little flakes from either side alternately, or the so-called flakers were used to push suddenly against the arrow, being worked from alternate sides, each impulsion of the tool taking off a little splinter opposite the point of impact.  Various arrow flakers have been found among the surviving savages.  The only tool resembling these from this section that we have seen is shown in fig. 50, which resembles the alleged bone flakers from the prehistoric cemetery of Madisonville, Ohio.  We are unable to concieve no other use for the above implement.  (The American Archaeologist:  Prehistoric Remains of the Tunxis Valley, Frederick H. Williams, M.D.)  



1900 - "During an acquaintance with Mr Cushing extending over a period closely approximating a quarter of a century, I never heard him say an unkind word of any one, but had a pleasant word for all, especially for those who were in any manner studying primitive conditions of the American Indians.

He was about the first who laid bare an aboriginal soapstone quarry where the natives made their cooking utensils. His descriptions of the methods of the manufacture of pottery and of
metal-working would entitle him to rank among the greatest of the ethnologists of his period had he done nothing else. He was an expert stone-chipper, and he familiarized the world with certain methods of primitive peoples in stone-fracturing. Had longer life been spared him, doubtless much more would have been heard from him concerning it. Of his work in other fields of ethnology, others are more competent to speak than I.

The Washington school of Anthropology has certainly lost one of its brightest lights. In the going out of his life we have lost a man who was in many respects one of the most original
minds among anthropologists; but it must be a comfort to his relations, as it certainly is to his friends, that before he was taken"  (AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST)

1900 - "The Eskimo sometimes set the flake in a piece of split wood; the arrow is roughly chipped by blows with a hammer, either direct or with a PUNCH interposed; it is then finished by pressing off fine chips with a point of antler set in an ivory handle." (Ohio history, Volumen 2) 

1903 - "Some of the methods of flaking observed among the American tribes using a punch of deer's horn, which would be struck by a stone, or wooden mallet." (Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, Volumen 33)

1905 - "Arrowpoints were of...flint, which was shaped by holding between the fingers, and chipping under the edge with the tip of a piece of elk-horn; the other end of the horn was struck sharply with a heavy stick, and a flake was thus chipped off." (The North American Indian. Volume 6 - The Piegan. The Cheyenne. The Arapaho.)

1905 - "You must remember that the Indian had no iron or steel tools, only bone, stone and wood to work with.  The flint arrows were made from a stone of uniform density. Large chips were flaked or broken from the rock.   These chips were again deftly chipped with BONE CHISELS into arrows, and made straight by pressure. A lever was used on the rock to separate chips, — a bone tied to a heavy stick."  ( A pioneer outline history of northwestern Pennsylvania, William James McKnight)

1905 - "Los que han sido tallados por PERCUSION INDIRECTA ó por presión, ofrecen, casi siempre, un hermoso aspecto con ejemplares que en muchos casos son verdaderas obras de arte, especialmente entre los cuchillos y puntas de flecha."

Translation:  "Those that have been fashioned by INDIRECT PERCUSSION or pressure, offer almost always a beautiful look with specimens in many cases are true works of art, especially knives and arrowheads." - (ARGENTINA - La faceta articular inferior única del astrágalo de algunos..., Florentino Ameghino, Félix F. Outes)

1905 -

"The hunter or trapper described to me the mode still in prac-  tice among the remote Indians, of making flakes by lever pressure  combined with percussion, that is more philosophical and a better  mechanical arrangement than by the use of the flaking staff, as de-  scribed by Catlin. They might utilize a standing tree with spreading  roots for this purpose ; a flattened root makes a firm seat for the  stone, a notch cut into the body of a tree the fulcrum for the lever,  either a pointed stick is placed on the point of the stone where the  flake is to be split from it, its upper end resting against the under  side of the lever, or a bone or horn point let into and secured to the  lever takes the place of this stick. When the pressure is brought to  bear, by the weight of the operation, on the long end of the lever, a  second man with a stone mall, or heavy club strikes a BLOW on the  upper side of the lever, directly over the pointed stick or horn-point,  and the fiake is thrown off."  (Prehistoric relics; an illustrated catalogue describing some eight hundred and fifty different specimens, Warren K. Moorehead)

1906 - "La mayoría de los objetos representan una industria avanzada: casi todos están tallados por PERCUSION INDIRECTA ó por presión, pero algunas puntas de flecha amigdaloides ofrecen detalles más groseros, y es evidente que fueron trabajados por percusión directa." 

Translation:  "The majority of the objects represent an advanced industry:  almost all are fashioned with INDIRECT PERCUSSION or with pressure, but some "amygdaloid" arrowpoints offer more crude details, and is evident that they were made via direct percussion." - (ANALES DEL MUSEO NACIONAL DE BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA

1907 - "For heavier work various contrivances enabling the operator to apply greater force were employed, but these are not well understood. It appears that a punch-like tool of bone or antler was sometimes used, the point being set, at the proper point, on the stone to be fractured, while the other end was struck with a hammer or mallet to remove the flake. For writings on the subject, see Stonework. (W. H. H.)  (Smithsonian Institution. Bureau of American Ethnology)

1907 - "Several tips of prongs of antlers hacked and then broken off were found. One has been pounded on the broken end, and its top was worn. It may have been  used as a PUNCH. One fragment shows four facets at the tip, and is cut off smoothly and obliquely, forming a concave surface at the end. No other such cut in antler has come to my notice."  (Archaeology of the Gulf of Georgia and Puget Sound, Harlan Ingersoll Smith)

1908 -   “One SOLID CYLINDER, similar in shape to certain articles of antler has been found. This may have been a "pitching tool" used in chipping chert.”
“From all the sites come SLENDER CYLINDERS, of various lengths, from an inch and a half to three inches. These are figured on Plate II, Fig. 87. The use of these is unknown. In Canada they are called PINS. Mr. Parker calls them "PITCHING TOOLS" for use in chipping chert. They resemble certain wooden CYLINDERS used by Indians in the Northwest in gambling, and so have been called "gambling sticks."  (Bulletin of the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences: Volumen 9 )

                                    **PHOTOS COURTESY OF STEVE VALENTINE**

1908 - "The exact use of the CYLINDERS OF ANTLER so often found, is not definitely known , but it is thought they may have been used as flaking tools, held between the stone blade and the hammerstone to be worked."  - American Museum of Natural History, Clark Wissler


1909 - "Plate x, is an ANTLER CYLINDER from the same place which was probably used as a "pitching tool" or fabricator in the finishing of chipped stone objects..."

1909Implements of bone and antler were comparatively abundant, though lacking in variety.  They comprised bone awls, ANTLER CYLINDERS, and turtle shell cups."  (The Indians Of Greater New York And The Lower Hudson,) 

1909 - "CYLINDERS, neatly cut and worked all over, or cylindrical tines made of deer antler only cut and rounded at the ends, are not infrequent, and were probably used as flaking tools.."  ( The American Museum journal: Volumes 9-10 )



1910  - SHORT CYLINDERS OF ANTLER, flat, battered, and splintered on one end, but convex on the other, perhaps flakers, and if so probably used with percussion on the end instead of with lateral pressure as the long cylinders were probably used, were found by Mills1 in the Baum site.” - Prehistoric Kentucky, Smith

                   GOLDCAMP SITE:  950 A.D. - 1600 A.D.

1910 - "YANA TEXTS", an extensive collection of ethnographically recorded myths, taken from among the Yana, in California:

"The South people entered, they were chuck full in the sweathouse. "Let us go outside," said the chief, talking (to his own people). "Let us make a fire outside in the night time." The sweat-house was crowded, the people filled it entirely. Those who belonged to that house all moved outside. There were the Geese people inside, all by themselves, sitting inside the sweat-house. Flint Rock Chief shut the door of the sweat-house, so the sweathouse was totally dark; there was no daylight whatever. The people outside, the owners of the sweat-house, were making much noise, having a good time. Three times it was day and three times it was night, and there was no daylight inside; it was always night. The people outside were having a good time pounding acorns and hunting deer.

"This looks bad. Daylight must have appeared long ago." The people inside felt around with their hands. There was no fire there and they were hungry and thirsty. "He has shut the door on us, he is angry at us," said they inside. "Four days and four nights have passed and there is no daylight yet. What shall we do? We are all going to be killed. Hehe'?! Would that I could get outside again! Have not any of you perchance a FLINT FLAKER? Have not any of you perchance a FLAKING MAUL?" "Yes," said Ma'ldama.  "I have a PITCHING TOOL." "I also have a PITCHING TOOL," said Bop?didjū's*i.  "Yes," said the chief, "it is you that always say that you have supernatural power." The PITCHING TOOL was like this here,  the FLAKING MAUL was like this here.  Those two men, little Bop?didjū's*i and Ma'ldama, had PITCHING TOOLS. They arose in the sweat-house in the night that surrounded them all. The sweat-house was made entirely of flint rock, thick was the flint rock. They put out their hands inside and felt around all over. They were all like blind men. "Now! pound away!" This is how they did, pounding away at the flint rock to test for a thin spot. Now he pushed his pitching tool against the flint rock and pounded on it with his maul. This is how Ma'ldama did it.  (Accompanied by tapping ruler on knife against window.)  

"S* s*" said the chips of flint as the), fell to the ground. The flakes made a noise as they were thrown to the ground. Thus he kept it up all day, and little Bop?didjū's*i worked too. Every little while they pounded around with their hands to see flow thick it was. Now it became thin and they pounded away at that spot. "S*!" said the flint chips as they fell splintered off to the ground. They pounded with their hands to see how thick it was. "S*!" said the flakes falling down on the ground. Again they pounded with their PITCHING TOOLS. Thus they did and burst right through the wall. Now they had made a hole right through. The light of day streamed in, it became daylight as soon as the hole had been burst through. The sweat-house was lit up. Now the people returned. They all came out again, returned out of the sweat-house.

1910 - "On Mr. Catlin's return from his long sojourn among the Indians, believing that, as an observing practical mechanic, nothing in the way of art among them would escape him, I took the first opportunity to see him. On my inquiry as to the mode in practice of splitting the stone into flakes for arrow- and spear-points, his reply was by a question characteristic of the man. He asked if I had forgotten Dr. Jones's axiom, 'The least possible momentum is greater than the greatest possible pressure.' This was in allusion to a lecture on mechanics we had together heard delivered by Dr. Thomas P. Jones (afterwards Commissioner of Patents). He then added, "'That is well understood by the flake-makers among the Indians, but it will soon be among the lost arts, just as the nests of Birmingham brass battered-ware kettles, the Yankee tinware, and glass whiskey bottles have already almost totally destroyed their crude art of pottery-making. The rifle is taking the place of the bow and arrow. For boys' practice and for small game the iron points got from the fur traders are preferred to stone. A common jack-knife is worth to them more than all the flint knives and saws ever made.'

"After expressing himself in this manner he went on to explain what he had seen. He considered making flakes much more of an art than the shaping them into arrow- or spear-points, for a thorough knowledge of the nature of the stone to be flaked was essential, as a slight difference in its quality necessitated a totally different mode of treatment. The principal source of supply for what he termed home-made flakes was the coarse gravel bars of the rivers, where large pebbles are found; those most easily worked into flakes for small arrow points were chalcedony, jasper, and agate.

Most of the tribes had men who were expert at flaking, and who could decide at sight the best mode of working. Some of these pebbles would split into tolerably good flakes by quick and sharp blows striking on the same point; others would break by a cross-fracture into two or more pieces; these were preferred, as good flakes could be split from their clean fractured surface by what Mr. Catlin called impulsive pressure, the tool used being a shaft or stick of between two and three inches diameter, varying in length from thirty inches to four feet, according to the manner of using them. These shafts were pointed with bone or buck-horn, inserted in the working end bound with sinews, or rawhide thongs, to prevent splitting. (See Fig. 15.)

For some kinds of work the bone or horn tips were scraped to a rather blunt point, others with a slightly rounded end of about one half inch in diameter. He described various ways of holding the stone while the pressure was being applied. A water-worn pebble broken transversely was commonly held by being sufficiently embedded in hard earth to prevent its slipping when held by the foot as the pressure was applied. Large blocks of obsidian or any easily flaked stones were held between the feet of the operator while sitting on the ground, the impulsive pressure being given to the tool grasped in both hands, a cross-piece on the upper end resting against his chest, the bone end against the stone in a slight indentation, previously prepared, to give the proper angle and to prevent slipping.
"In some cases the stone operated on was secured between two pieces or strips of wood like the jaws of a vise, bound together by cords or thongs of rawhide ; on these strips the operator would stand as he applied the pressure of his weight by impulse. The best flakes, outside of the home-made, were a subject of commerce, and came from certain localities where the chert of the best quality was quarried in sheets or blocks, as it occurs in almost continuous seams in the intercalated limestones of the Coal Measures.  These seams are mostly cracked or broken into blocks, that show the nature of the cross-fracture, which is taken advantage of by the operators, who seem to have reduced the art of flaking to almost an absolute science, with division of labor; one set of men being expert in quarrying and selecting the stone, others in preparing the blocks for the flaker.  This was done when the blocks were nearly right-angled at the corners, by striking off the corner where the flaking was to commence, and, with a properly directed blow with a hard pebble stone, knock off of the upper edge a small flake, making a seat for the point of the flaking- tool. Sometimes these blows were carried entirely across the front upper edge of the block, making a groove entirely across the edge, when the first row of flakes have been thrown off. It is the work of this operator to prepare seats for a second row, and so on.  What was meant by almost absolute science was a knowledge and skill that would give the proper direction to the pressure to throw off the kind of flake required.  The staffs of these flaking-tools were selected from young hard-wood saplings of vigorous growth.  A lower branch was utilized to form the crotch in which the blow was struck. (See Fig. 16.) Another branch on the opposite side was used to secure a heavy stone to give weight and increase the pressure.  When the stone to be flaked was firmly held, the point adjusted to give the pressure in the required direction, the staff firmly grasped, the upper end against the chest of the operator, he would throw his weight on it in successive thrusts, and if the flake did not fly off, a man standing opposite would simultaneously with the thrust give a sharp blow with a heavy club, it being so shaped that its force is downward close in the crotch. It has been represented to me that a single blow rarely failed to throw off the flake, frequently the entire depth of the block of stone, sometimes as much as ten or twelve inches. The tooth or tusk of the walrus was highly prized for tips of the flakers."

1910 - "In some cases the flakes were removed by setting a PUNCH-LIKE INSTRUMENT upon the proper point, and striking it with a mallet..."  (Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico, Volumes 3-4, Frederick Webb Hodge)
1911 - "El punzón lo constituye una de las pequeñas ramas nacientes dela cornamenta."

TRANSLATION:  "The PUNCH consists of a small main branch of the antlers"  (Los primitivos habitantes del Delta del Paraná., L.M. Torres)

1911 -  Artist's rendition of chipping flint with a buckhorn punch, and a stick:

(The Indian, or mound builder; the Indians, mode of living, manners, customs, dress, ornaments, etc., before the white man came to the country, together with a list of relics gathered by the author. Geology, ethnology and archæology of this country and the Pacific tribes treated to a limited extent, Thomas Beckwith)

1911 - "The detachment sent down the trail reported the discovery of a small rancheria, a short distance above the “Cathedral Rocks,” but the huts were unoccupied. They also reported the continuance of the trail down the left bank. The other detachments found huts in groups, but no Indians. At all of these localities the stores of food were abundant...There were many things found that only an Indian couldpossibly use, and which it would be useless for me to attempt to describe; such, for instance, as stag-horn hammers, deer prong punches (for making arrow-heads), obsidian, pumice-stone and salt brought from the eastern slope of the Sierras and from the desert lakes. In the hurry of their departure they had left everything. The numerous bones of animals scattered about the camps, indicated their love of horse-flesh as a diet."  (Discovery of the Yosemite, and the Indian war of 1851, which led to that event, Lafayette Houghton Bunnell)

1912 - "Factories" have been discovered in the Sierras Coloradas, a range of hills near and parallel to the coast between the Rio Seco and the Rio Deseado, and it would seem, from a study of the remains here, that the implements were rough-hewn on the spot and taken away to be finished at leisure. The ruder, and probably earlier, specimens were shaped by direct percussion, the finer by indirect percussion or pressure with someprimitivetool, just as the Fuegians at the present time fashion delicate arrow-heads of glass by pressure with a bone.- (South American archaeology: an introduction to the archaeology of ..., Thomas Athol Joyce)
1912 - "II convient de noter aussi que, lors de la découverte de I'Amérique,  la civilisation de la pierre etait encore celle de beaucoup de tribus indiennes.   Cette langue survivance a. permis d'en étudier la technique sur le vif.  Le travail de la pierre, après qu'elle avait été extraite de la carrière, comprenait plusieurs phases :
bord le dégrossissement fait avec un marteau de la pierre,   ensuite la percussion indirecte sur un ciseau d'os ou de pierre, enfin l'achèvement du travail avec un outil d'os dur ou une pince. Chaque détail était exécuté par un autre ouvrier.   C'était donc la véritable division du travail nettement affirmée.  (J.P. Lafitte, Nature)

It should be noted also that in the discovery of I'Amérique, the civilization of the stone was still that of many Indian tribes. This language survival a. allowed to study the technique on the fly. The work of the stone after it had been quarried, included several phases:

"...edge is roughing it with a hammer stone, then the INDIRECT IMPACT of a CHISEL of BONE or STONE, and the completion of work with a hard bone tool or pincers. Every detail was done by another worker. So that was the real division of labor clearly stated. (J. P. Lafitte, Nature),  (La Revue mondiale, Volumen 94)

Diagram from the article taken from Google Books - (missing upper portion of drawing) - diagram illustrates "freehand indirect percussion" :

1913 -


1914 - "slag obtained from over the high mountains to the east, and wonderfully chipped into shape with a punch made of deer horn. In form these points were much like those in use at an earlier date by nearly every tribe in North America
."  (Overland Monthly and out west magazine)

1915 - "CYLINDERS cut from ANTLER, or antler tines rounded at the ends, are not infrequent, and were probably used in flaking arrow points. One broken CYLINDER or PIN, with a neatly carved head, was found on the Bowman's Brook site at Mariner's"  (The Indians of Greater New York)

1915 - "Cylinders described above were used to chip arrowpoints..."  (The Indians of Newark before the white men came, Alanson Skinner, Newark Museum Association)

1916 - "Equally interesting are the objects of antler which embrace arrow points, PITCHING TOOLS, PUNCHES, knife handles, spades and combs."  (New York State Museum, REPORT, VOL. 68)

1916 - "A fragment of a cylinder made from a deer's horn was found. This is no doubt a piece of one of the common tools used by all the Eastern tribes for flaking arrowheads from suitable stone..." (Contributions from the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation: Volúmenes 4-6)

1917 - "The second person then would strike the flaker with a stone hammer. The angle at which the flaker is held against the flint determines the length of the chip. The second kind of flaking tool, shown in Fig. 80 was perhaps used in the manufacture Ohio archaeological and historical quarterly - Volume 26 - Page 429

1917 - "Such hammerstones were applied directly to the material in removing large; flakes, but punch like cylinders of antler (Fig. 23c) were probably sometimes interposed between the hammerstone and the edge of the blade to be flaked..." - American Museum of Natural History



            HARDIN VILLAGE SITE:  950 A.D. - 1750 A.D.

                          **PHOTOS COURTESY OF STEVE VALENTINE**

1918 - "The only object of antler found with the burials is a flaking tool which accompanied skeleton 44.  It is a SHORT, COMPACT, CYLINDRICAL piece of ANTLER (2-3/8 in. long, 1/2 inch in diameter), and shows the effect of considerable use.  It is of the type of implements used in connection with a hammer for removing the large flakes during the initial stage of chipping which followed the general roughing out of a prospective stone tool."  (Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation, Contributions, Vol 2-3)

1918 - Apache makes arrowheads, via indirect percussion, for tourists in Arizona. 

1919 - "Bone and antler implements. Algonkian bone implements in New York may be considered relatively numerous and some sites, especially on the coast, along the St Lawrence and about Oneida lake, have yielded several thousand good specimens and many more fragments. These articles include awls, beads, blades, harpoon heads, tubes, perforated teeth, arrowheads, ANTLER PUNCHES, needles, shuttles, turtle shell cups, etc.""The implements found at Dosoris....Articles of bone include awls, some finely finished, broken needles, antler tips, TWO ANTLER PUNCHES, perhaps PITCHING TOOLS, an antler arrow point, a worked beaver tooth scraper, an antler pottery marker, parts of a turtle shell cup and a flat tablet of bone.""Antler, uses of - The antlers of deer, moose and elk afforded a highly valued material for the aboriginal craftsman. From this material were made many tools and even ornaments. Among such objects may be named knife handles, digging blades, awls, PUNCHES, PITCHING TOOLS, PINS or PLUGS, war club points, arrowheads, spearpoints, combs, gambling buttons, wedges and spoons.

1919 - "Occasionally a needle with a central perforation is encountered, but CYLINDERS OF ANTLER, used for chipping stone points, are common." - (The pre-Iroquoian Algonkian Indians of central and western New York:, Alanson Skinner)

1919 - ""But if a large spearpoint or knife-blade is ultimately desired, an intermediate tool is needed. This is apparently (Ishi never made one for me to see) a short, stout, blunt-pointed piece of bone or wood serving as a sort of punch and sometimes as a lever. As a matter of fact, what is wanted in the case of producing a large implement is not the division of the obsidian mass but the trimming down of this mass by the detachment from it of all unnecessary portions."  (Handbook of aboriginal American antiquities, W.H. Holmes



1920 - "In a number of specimens, one end is battered or split from repeated blows of the hammer. Unlike the ordinary antler flakers used in finishing blades by pressure, the ends of these punches are nearly always symmetrically rounded"  (Indian village site and cemetery near Madisonville, Ohio, Earnest Albert Hooton)


"On plate 6, ag, are shown several flint- working punches of antler. A considerable number of these were obtained, the majority being about one and a half inches long and three-eighths of an inch in diameter. A few, however, were larger.   These were used undoubtedly with a hammer of stone or hard wood, in flaking suitable pieces of flint from large masses, and for the roughing out of blades and projectile points.  In a number of specimens, one end is battered or split from repeated blows of the hammer. Unlike the ordinary antler flakers used in finishing blades by pressure, the ends of these punches are nearly always symmetrically rounded."  (Papers of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, Volúmenes 8-9)

1920But one other variety of antler implement was obtained, a sort of ELONGATED CYLINDER, probably a flint flaker, unearthed from pit 67. In this pit at a depth of 22 inches lay a folded skeleton heading west and facing south. The spine showed distinct indications of disease, and certain other bones seemed abnormal. Between the head and knees lay a deposit of objects among which figured the ANTLER CYLINDER, stained green and well preserved by copper salts from a sheet of that metal just above it. Here were also an oval flat stone showing wear, an iron trade knife, and a small flint point, while near the neck of the skeleton a few trade beads came to light.  A few other similar bone or ANTLER CYLINDERS in poor condition were discovered with the skeleton in pit 68, before described. It will be noticed that the skeletons of both pits 67 and 68 had what might be called arrow-making outfits,"   

"The aborigines understood a method of softening antler in order to reduce it more easily to a desired form, subsequently allowing it by some process to harden again. Partly worked antler objects, especially on Iroquoian sites, some of them relatively old, show that long shavings were cut from them. The marks of the sharp flint knife or scraper are plainly seen on others.""Other antler objects in the collection are a scraper handle, CHISELS and PINS or PITCHING and FLAKING TOOLS, arrow points, digging tools and a remarkable..."
"...One harpoon tip and TWO ANTLER PITCHING TOOLS were discovered. The stone material consists of metates, anvils, hammerstones, notched sinkers and small scrapers. A large block of chert was found in one section of the site and among the numerous fragments scattered about it were several partially completed implements. The block w'as probably the source of an arrow-maker's material..."  (UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK)New York State Museum of Natural History, Bulletin: Números 235-240

1920 - "Unlike the ordinary antler flakers used in finishing blades by pressure, the ends of these punches are nearly always symmetrically rounded. A piece of antler from which punches have been cut is shown in h. The antler was worked into a rod several inches long, with an un- worked portion at one end for a handle. The rod was then cut into sections. Many of these refuse pieces were found in the debris. In the accounts of the process of flint chipping by the Indians there are few references to the punch and hammer. It is apparent, however, that their use was wide-spread as a preliminary process to the final pressure flaking by the ordinary antler tools with special working ends. In the collections of the Museum there are examples of these punches from the village sites in other sections of Ohio, from the Iroquoian sites in New York, one good specimen from a Maine shell-heap, and a number from various places in..."

1920 - "contained a number of skeletons, and with them were found notched points and knives, antler punches for making flint weapons, and a bone harpoon. These objects were stained with red ochre, and the burials lay upon a bed of charcoal."  (Hobbies: Volumes 1-3,  Buffalo Museum of Science, Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences)

1921 - "

Consider for a moment the actual technique of flint-chipping, as it can be studied among people who still use flint tools, such as certain tribes of North American Indians1. The simplest way is to hold the flint nodule in the left hand and to strike it with a stone which does duty as a hammer, held in the right. A large flake is thus dislodged. If a smaller flake is to be removed, pressure, rather than a blow, is applied, the fabricating tool being applied pressed laterally against the edge of the flint. A yet more delicate chipping is produced with indirect percussion, in which the mallet strikes, not on the flint, but on a punch — a bar of stone, or when such can be procured, a nail — held against the flint operated upon. Sometimes this work will require two operators, one holding the flint and the punch, the other the mallet; but sometimes an expert man can work alone, holding the flint in his palm and grasping the punch between his first two fingers."  ( A text-book of European archaeology: Volumen 1 ,Robert Alexander Stewart Macalister)

1921 -  Boy's Life Publication:

1921 - "The relatively large number of the short antler punches found in comparison with the long pressure flakers (the ratio being roughly about one hundred to one) would seem to indicate that the smaller punches may have been used in the final flaking of at least a considerable portion of the coarser chipped implements."  ( Papers of the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and ...: Volumen 8)

1921Antler Objects Chipping Tools. — An antler prong worked into a RUDE CYLINDER, the end of which shows wear, ... These CYLINDRICAL ANTLER TOOLS are apparently commoner west of the Cayuga country, on Seneca and Neutral sites.” - Notes on Iroquois archeology, Alason Skinner
1921 - "Besides these there are many CYLINDRICAL ANTLER PUNCHES used in flaking arrow points."  (The founders of the New York Iroquois league and its probable date, William Martin Beauchamp)

1921 - "Consider for a moment the actual technique of flint-chipping, as it can be studied among people who still use flint tools, such as certain tribes of North American Indians 1 . The simplest way is to hold the flint nodule in the left hand and to strike it with a stone which does duty as a hammer, held in the right. A large flake is thus dislodged. If a smaller flake is to be removed, pressure, rather than a blow, is applied, the fabricating tool being pressed laterally against the edge of the flint. A yet more delicate chipping is produced with indirect percussion, in which the mallet strikes, not on the flint, but on a punch a bar of stone, or when such can be procured, a nail held against the flint operated upon. Some- times this work will require two operators, one holding the flint and the punch, the other the mallet; but sometimes an expert man can work alone, holding the flint in his palm and grasping the punch between his first two fingers."  (A TEXT- BOOK OF EUROPEAN ARCHAEOLOGY,  CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS, C. F. CLAY)

1922 -

(Cherokee and earlier remains on Upper Tennessee River, M.R. Harrington)

1922 -  "Antler was extensively fabricated for various purposes...NUMEROUS ARROWMAKERS PUNCHES recall the abundant chert points. One arrow point made of antler in the usual triangular shape was found."

"Somewhat unique are the arrow points made from antler tips. Of these several were found in various stages of manufacture. This type of point is infrequent on Seneca sites.  Besides these there are MANY CYLINDRICAL ANTLER PUNCHES used in  flaking arrow points. Plate V1IA shows some of these."

 "The articles found in the graves are identical with those from the villages of Ganounata and Totiakton already described, but a few burials showed distinctive features. Prom one grave the writer took a COMPLETE CHERT CHIPPING OUTFIT, comprising RAW CHERT, partly worked points, a finished point, a small, flat, stone anvil, and TWO ANTLER PUNCHES."

1922 - "But one other variety of ANTLER IMPLEMENT was obtained, a sort of ELONGATED CYLINDER, probably a flint flaker, unearthed from pit 67. In this pit ' at a depth of 22-l/2 inches lay a folded skeleton heading west and facing south."  (The archeological history of New York, Arthur Casswell Parker)

1922 - "The tools used in shaping arrow'heads were few and simple, consisting merely of a stone hammer and a flaker. For larger implements a stone anvil, a pad of skins, and a pitching tool were used in addition. The flaker was one of the most important tools in the process and with it the most delicate work was done."  (The archeological history of New York, Arthur Caswell Parker) 
1924 - Antler Punches - Archaeologist Gerard Fowke - Town Creek Near, Colbert County, Alabama,

1924 - "The Ancient Village Site of the Shinnecock Indians"

1926 -  "The stone objects included a few adzes and celts, hammerstones (both pitted    and battering hammers), and ANTLER FLAKING PUNCHES."  ("The National Museum of Canada, by W.H. Collins")

"EM  115-116.  Objects under skulls - in part.  2 long deer metacarpal draw-knives, a deer astragalus,1 stone celt, 1 STONE TABLET with 4 BONE CYLINDERS, 1 antler point, 1 beaver incisor tooth, 3 chert arrowpoints, small mammal jaw and metatarsal bone of wild turkey."

"f.  EM 83.  Stone tablet with 7 antler cylinders adhering (2 broken off)."

"The smooth stone tablet and bone cylinders in lower right corner were with meso EM 83 female Adult in Zone 1 of Middle Level."

a.  EM  83. Stone tablet with 7 antler points adhering.

"A dark green polished stone tablet and four antler cylinders completed the list of bone objects with this burial, plate XVII, b.  The tablet is Celt-shaped, although thin and with well rounded edges. The cylinders are rather flat on one surface, round on the other.  The largest is 82.5 mm long and 12.7 mm greatest diameter, the smallest 55.7 mmX7 mm. They adhered to the tablet when I found them."

"There was one flattened piece pointed at each end, and several other larger broken points.  Adhering to a rudely shaped flat stone tablet were 6 cylinders of antler flattened on one side and the ends rounded like those found with WM 49. A third example occurred with a young female adult EM 83.  The tablet 105 mm  long and 48 mm wide is celt-shaped in outline although only 16 mm thick without used edges and unpolished. Six of the antler cylinders adhered to one edge of the tablet, four to one surface,  lying close and parallel to one another, large and small ones alternating,  plate XVII, f, plate XXI,  a.  The large cylinders are about 40 mm long and 11 mm wide, the small ones 35 mm by 8 mm."

"EM 83, a young female adult with new-born infant, had a small triangular chert arrowpoint under the left clavicle and a bored round bone point between the left radius and ulna.  Close to the head was a crude celt-like stone tablet with 10 bone cylinders adhering to it, cemented there by a tenacious gritty substance."

"My article referred to the locality as one unique in this region, mainly because of the great abundance of small triangular and, slender chert arrowpoints together with the rejects and refuse of their manufacture.  It also contains shell spoons, POLISHED BONE CYLINDERS, edged hammerstones, grooved sandstones,  polished antler points, cut or bored, hollowed-out deer and elk phalanges, and bone pins.  These and the potsherds, also the animal bones, agree with those from the Fisher site."  (The Fisher Mound Group, Successive Aboriginal Occupations near the Mouth of the Illinois River, George Langford)

1927 - "b. WM 49 male round-head.  Stone tablet and 3 bone cylinders and fish hook."

1927 - "Quantities of potsherds were collected as well as stone adzes and celts, antler flaking punches, bone awls (one made from a human ulna), bone netting-needles, stone and pottery pipes, and beads of stone,"  (American anthropologist: Volumen 29;Volumen 29)

1928CHIPPING TOOLS - Six, short, BLUNT SECTIONS OF ANTLER, with rounded or conoid ends , found here, were possibly used as CHIPPING PUNCHES for arrows and other artifacts. Plate XIX, figures 1 to 4, shows the different kinds and sizes.” - (Uren prehistoric village site, Oxford county, Ontario,)

1928 - "However, as he began to specialize the use of the hammer for various purposes, it became necessary for him actually to manufacture, by rough pecking, hammerstones of convenient form. In general they appear in two types.  Those used in direct percussion, and those used in indirect percussion, by hammering a chisel, or bone flaker. Those used in direct percussion are battered by use and generally are worn down to a disk form, the edge being the battered portion. When indirect percussion was used the chisel or flaker by use wore down the central area of the hammer faster than the edge and thus the hammer became pitted."  (Ancient life in Kentucky: a brief presentation of the, William Delbert Funkhouser, William Snyder Webb)

                                              From Ancient life in Kentucky:

1928 - "Some of the pots were of unusual shape and others bear unusual designs. A few possessed handles. The stone objects included a few adzes and celts, hammerstones (both pitted and battering hammers), and antler flaking punches."  (National Museum of Canada)

1928 - "Relics Fashioned By Bone Chisel Making arrowheads from stone has long been a matter of surmise and conjecture. Archaeologists at one time contended that stones were first heated then chipped by allowing cold water to drop upon them."  (The American Indian: Volume 3 )

1928 - "Brains and marrow from the spinal canal are collected for tanning, antlers to furnish picks for digging clay and flaking punches for arrowheads, dewclaws for rattles, and sinews for bowstrings, sewing, etc."  (American Museum of Natural History,)

1929 - "Pins of Antler... The pin shaped peice of antler found in heap A (Plate XVI, figure 6) was brought to nearly a CYLINDRICAL FORM, with one end nearly flat and the CELLS THERE COMPRESSED from being POUNDED.  Slivers were broken off at the edge.  The other end is slightly smaller and so bluntly pointed as to be nearly dome shaped.  It to shows LONGITUDINAL COMPRESSION OF THE CELLS, as if from being held against something while the other end was POUNDED.."  (Some shell-heaps in Nova Scotia, Harlan Ingersoll Smith)

1928 - ""Relics Fashioned By Bone Chisel Making arrowheads from stone has long been a matter of surmise and conjecture....Another common theory was that flakes of flint, chert or obsidian were "chisled" into shape."  (The American Indian: Volume 3,  Society of Oklahoma Indians)



1930 - "From deer antler they fashion small cylindrical implements for chipping flint, and from the hollow wing bones of the eagle, the owl, and other birds they cut tubular sections to be worn as beads."  (The Moundbuilders, H. C. Shetrone)

1931 - "The Eskimos have been observed to perform the same task in still another fashion. The flint was supported in a hollow wooden block like a vise and was struck with a specially constructed instrument consisting of an ivory hilt in which the sharp prong of an antler was inserted and fastened."  (THE EVOLUTION OF CULTURE, Julius Lippert) 

1931 - "ANTLER CYLINDERS for chipping flints were common..." - The Western Pennsylvania historical magazine: Volumen 14

1931 - "None of Skinner's ANTLER CYLINDERS for chipping flints were found."  (The Western Pennsylvania historical magazine, Volume 14).

1931 - "one buckskin wallet, one lump of red paint, two flaking punches of horn, one stone pipe, one broken clay pipe, one bundle of feathers tied at the butts, one fragment of netting, one feather ornament with beads, several loose beads."  (Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology)

1932 - "
"antler punch, (plate 11k)"  (The Algonquin sequence in New York, American Anthropology, W.A. Ritchie)

1935 - "It is quite possible that one held the point with the punch firmly seated at the proper spot on the nubbin while another gave a quick, sharp tap on the flaking implement with a hammerstone."  ( A Folsom complex: preliminary report on investigations at the ...: Volumen 94,Número 4 )

1935 - "In the various accounts of flint chipping by the Indians there are few references to the punch and hammer. It is apparent, however, that their use was wide-spread as a preliminary process to the final pressure flaking of the more delicately finished blades."  Antiquities of the New England Indians: with notes on the ancient cultures of the adjacent territory, Charles Clark Willoughby)
1935 - "excellent bone and antler work, including incised bone and antler bracelets, awls, picks, scapula digging tools, small bone fishhooks, bone beads, CYLINDRICAL ANTLER TAPPING TOOLS or PUNCHES, perforated antler shaft"  (An introduction to Nebraska archeology: (with 25 plates)

1936 - "The technique of removing the long flake is not definitely known, but the scrap material from the midden gives some good clues. Both the fragments of the points and the pieces of channel flakes indicate that a hump was left in the center of the concavity when the base was chipped (fig. 3, a). This formed the " seat " for the implement used to eject the flake. That percussion, not mere pressure, was resorted to is evidenced by the definite bulbs of percussion on the flakes and by the reverse impressions in the bases of the points which had not been secondarily chipped. It would be extremely difficult to strike a nubbin as small as the " seat " with a hammerstone ; hence it seems logical to suppose that the blow must have been an indirect one. A tool of bone or antler probably served as a punch to^ transmit the impact required to flip out the flake. Indirect percussion was employed by certain recent Indian stone chippers in making some of their implements, and it may well have been part of the ancient technique. When the groove had been obtained on one side, the nubbin was retouched, if necessary, and the process repeated on the other side. The rechipping of the " seat " was no doubt partially responsible for the depth of the concavity and the length of the " cars." There is nothing to show whether the work was entirely that of a single individual or whether two were needed. It is quite possible that one held the point with the punch firmly seated at the proper spot on the nubbin while another gave a quick, sharp tap on the flaking implement with a hammerstone.  This unquestionably would require skill on the part of both but probably would not be as difficult a task as though one person tried to do it alone.

Present day experts in stone chipping may be able, through experimentation, to solve the problem of which would be the more efficient method. In a majority of cases a single, long flake was removed at a single blow. Occasionally the first attempt was not satisfactory and a second try was made. Major Coffin has two flakes in his collection which show this clearly. The first one was rather short and very thin, the second thicker and much longer. The first fits perfectly into the groove in the second." 

(A Folsom Complex:  Preliminary Report on Investigations at the Lindenmeier Site:  Smithsonian miscellaneous collections.)


1936 - "Two pieces of deer antler found might also be classed as punches, as their points have a polish resulting from much use."  (Bulletin of the Texas Archaeological and Paleontological Society, Volumen 8)

1936 - "Flakers A few blunt punches of antler tines and of thick mammal leg bones very likely should be classified as flakers."  (Bulletin of the Texas Archaeological and Paleontological Society: Volumen 8)

1936 - "These conclusions were that the points were first shaped, then the channel flake was removed by indirect percussion applied to a nubbin or small " seat " left in the center of the concavity when the base was chipped."  (Observing the sun at 19,300 feet altitude, Mount Aunconquilcha, Chile: Volumen 95, C.P. BUTLER) .
1936 - "ANTLER CYLINDERS Three cut segments of the basal portions of deer antlers from the Wiseman and Schulte sites are well rounded on all surfaces. Their use is problematical" - (Chapters in Nebraska archaeology: Volumen 1)

1936No CYLINDRICAL ANTLER CHIPPING TOOLS used in flaking or chipping stone arrow-points or scrapers were found, although they are common in Iroquoian sites elsewhere in Ontario and in New York.  If such tools were used as CHIPPING TOOLS, as is generally believed, their absence here would correspond with the scarcity of chipped objects.” - Roebuck prehistoric village site, Grenville county, Ontario, William John Wintemberg
Ontario - "Large and diverse assemblages of artifacts characterize Late Woodland sites of both the Ontario Iroquoian and Western Basin Traditions: ceramic vessels, ceramic and stone pipes (some of which were animal and human effigies), chipped lithic tools (points, bifaces, knives, drills, scrapers), ground and rough stone tools (celts, axes, hammerstones, abraders, netsinkers), bone and antler tools (awls, needles, punches, flaking tools)."


1937 - "The cylindrical flint-chipping tools have the following dimensions : at South Park, 2.5cm. to 6.2cm. in length, with an average diameter of icm. ; at Turtle Hill, 3.1cm. to 4.9cm. in length, with the same average diameter."  (Ohio History: Vol. 46-47)

 1937 - "From our observation on village sites we are ready to agree that there were certain shops or places where arrowheads were made in great quantities. Tradition also has it that two men worked at the heavier shaping of the flint implements.  One held a flint flake on the palm of his hand, grasped with a finger or two folded back. He shifted the bone punch with his right hand to the point desired.  When the punch was at the proper place and angle the helper, on command, would hit it with a stone hammer. To avoid a long and tiresome series of commands the twain would sing a song in unison and at certain cadences the helper would hit the punch. It was the business of the holder to have the punch at the right place and angle when the proper cadence was reached else the implement might be ruined. As Indians became more effete a skin pad on one knee was substituted for the calloused palm.  Modern man, if asked to estimate the time required to fashion an exquisitely wrought arrowhead, would guess two or three hours, perhaps longer.
In fact only five or ten minutes were required, so quick and so skilled were the operators.  In war, arrow makers were stationed back of battle lines, making arrows, possibly arrowheads on occasion, to take the place of the hundreds shot away and not retrievable unless the battle were won. The fine finishing of an arrowhead was done by a single operator with a gentle, sliding pressure of the bone punch. The author has not yet mastered the broader, lateral flaking of flint but he can take a piece of hard bone and a thin flake of flint picked up on a village site, place the flake against the slightly resisting heel counter of his shoe and in ten minutes produce a sharp, notched arrowhead, acceptable to any but the most fastidious archer."  (Coronado and Quivira, Paul A. Jones)

1938 - "Conspicuously absent from the Renner site was the otherwise highly typical Plains digging tool or hoe made from the scapula of the bison, though the type occurs commonly in nearby sites of different cultural affinities and probably of later date. Socketed conical projectile points with characteristic single basal tangs (pi. 4, Z>), curved "cylinders" or tapping tools (pi. 4, F), flakers (pi. 4, O), and strainers (?) (pi. 4, E) were made of deer horn, while from various caches were taken several more or less complete sets of antlers."  (HOPEWELLIAN REMAINS NEAR KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, By Waldo R. Wedel)
1938 - "Early type chipping tools - fig. 12"

(Antiquity and Migrations of the Early Inhabitants of Patagonia, Junius Bird)

1938 - "En los sepulcros se encontraron cajetes, ollas, cabecitas de barro, metates de forma hoy desusadas, navajas de obsidiana, punzones de cuerno de venado, orejeras y cuentas de piedra.”

“En the sepulchres were found bowls, pots, small heads of clay, grinding stones of unusual form, obsidian knives, PUNCHES of DEER ANTLER, ear ornmanents, and stone beads.” (Investigaciones históricas: revista trimestral mexicana: Volumen1,Temas1-4)

1938 - "Antler played a minor role in the choice of raw material, serving in only two " pitching tools" or punches, figs. 10, 11."  (Certain recently explored New York mounds and their probable, William Augustus Ritchie) 

1939 - Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections - "Deerhorn Cylinders or Tapping Tools":

1939 - "With this burial there were also an ANTLER DRIFT ground flat at both ends, two flint drills 112 mm. long, used as reamers, and a polished stone, 114 x 44 x 25 mm." - (The Chiggerville site: Site 1, Ohio county, Kentucky - William Snyder Webb, William George Haag)

 1939 - "The artisan fabricating stone arrowheads or larger blades had at least four pieces of equipment: a bone rod (bo'pdiyauna), 1 1/2 inches long, used as a f laker; a slim flat stone (b8'badjayau- Iiaina) with which to strike the flaker against the flint; a deerhorn or bone chipper or notcher (d6's'i^yauna), about 2 inches long; and, to protect the palm, a small piece of buckskin (6''ni- yauna; buckskin, p'ada^a'igi)"  (Notes on the Culture of the Yana - Page 268

1939 - "(8) Part of bracelet made from a section of antler. (9) A WORKED SECTION OF ANTLER. The use of such objects is unknown, although they have been variously called handles, TAPPING TOOLS, and fleshers."  (Nebraska history - Volumes 20-21,  Addison Erwin Sheldon, James Lee Sellers, James C. Olson)

1939 - "A number of convenient river pebbles used as hammerstones were found encrusted with travertine. Associated with these were many elk-horn drifts. These are shown in the upper row of plate 13, b, and were made from a section of elk horn"  (An archaeological survey of Wheeler basin on the Tennessee river in northern Alabama, William Snyder Webb)

1939 - The artisan fabricating stone arrowheads or larger blades had at least four pieces of equipment: a bone rod (bo'pdiyauna) , 1 1/2 inches long, used as a flaker; a slim flat stone (b6'badjayau- kaina) with which to strike the flaker against the flint;  a deerhorn or bone chipper or notcher (d6's'i^yauna), about 2 inches long; and, to protect the palm, a small piece of buckskin (6''ni- yauna; buckskin, p'ada^a'igi)



1940 - "There were found two bone combs, an arrow point, three bone awls, a she'] spoon, three terrapin shell spoons, a bone drift, and a copper finger ring. Burial Xos. 18, 19 and 20 were placed in the same grave, an shown in Figure 8."  (Ricketts site revisited: Site 3, Montgomery County, Kentucky, William Snyder Webb)

1940 - "Miscellaneous artifacts not mentioned above include elongate sandstone shaft- polishers, hammer- stones, chipped and, very rarely, polished celts, ANTLER TAPPING TOOL or "CYLINDERS", and shaft-straighteners of bison rib."  (Smithsonian miscellaneous collections: Volumen100 )

1940 - "Socketed conical projectile points with characteristic single basal tangs (pl. 4, D), CURVED "CYLINDERS" or TAPPING TOOLS (pl. 4, F), flakers (pl. 4, O), and strainers (?) (pi. 4, E) were made of DEER HORN, while from various caches were taken several more or less complete sets of antlers."

1941 - "Every Indian I have seen making arrowheads—and there are still some who know the art—employ the same methods...So the Indian had to rough it into shape by percussion with his hammerstone or with a deer antler mallet, knocking off large chips. Or, he tied his bone flaker to a stout long handle that would give him more leverage and power to press off longer and larger flakes. Another method was a combination of percussion and pressure, for which the services of a helper were needed. He held the flint against a block of wood while the workman set an antler cylinder or "pitching-tool" against the edge at the point where he wished to remove the flake, and struck the tool sharply with his hammerstone. Of course, as in all flint-work, the tool must touch the flint at just the proper angle, which can only be determined by experience. " - (Desert Magazine, There's No Mystery About Arrowheads, Archaeologist M. R. Harrington)





1941 - "Widespread common artifacts are socketed projectile points of either bone or antler; several varieties of ... mussel shell spoons; ANTLER DRIFTS WHICH MAY BE TAPPING TOOLS; small flat grinding stones; numerous fire-cracked stones"  -  ( American Anthropological Association, Anthropological Society of Washington (Washington, D.C.), American Ethnological Society)


1942 - "The HORN DRIFTS shown in the upper left-hand corner of plate 10, figure 2, are also found in the lower levels of the mound 6 to 8 feet deep in the midden under the mound."

"Burial No. 92.—This type-2a burial was only 1.4 feet below the surface in square 85L15. With this burial, shown in plate 83, figure 2, were 43 objects listed as field specimens. Among them were six flint points, six flint knives, three bone awls, a slate whetstone, an antler spear point, and a SERIES OF ANTLER DRIFTS IN VARIOUS SIZES. Two of these were drilled horizontally in such a way as to suggest they were used as shaft straighteners. This collection of tools might at once suggest that this man in life had been specially skilled in the working of flint. Some of these flint points with this burial were especially well made, and are shown in plate 92, figure 2. These associations, made of bone and antler, are shown in plate 97."

"Plate 97 presents 30 specimens of worked bone and antler. The bone awls and antler spear points are of the usual form, but the number of HORN DRIFTS excites interest.  They vary greatly in size, many showing battering as if they had been much used. Two cut antlers are so fashioned that they could have been used as very effective hammers in percussion fracture of flint.In plate 97, figure 1, a section of horn has a round hole a half inch in diameter drilled through it. This was probably an arrow shaft straightener, serving as a wrench in holding and bending the shaft in the process of manufacture. In plate 97, figure 2, are shown two larger antler sections which have been drilled. These holes are elliptical and show that the interior surface and edges of these holes have been smoothened by wear."

"Burial No. 89.—This burial was of type la at a depth of 1.9 feet below stake 40R4. With it were TWO ANTLER DRIFTS and a netting needle made from a bird bone."

"Burial No. 7-5.—This burial of type 5a was 6 feet below stake 90113. It is shown in plate 138. It was unusual because of the large number of burial inclusions. Some 33 field specimens were listed.  These included 4 HORN DRIFTS, 8 bone awls, 16 animal jaws, 3 flint projectile points, 1 shell gorget, and a cache of seed pods fairly well preserved. A number of these specimens are shown in plate 147."

"Antler was cut into sections from 2 to 5 inches long and ground to blunt ends. These are classed as antler "drifts"; typical forms are shown in plate 147.

"Burial No. 126.—This was a type-lb burial at a depth of 4.3 feet in square 80L9. It is shown in plate 88, figure 2. With it were ANTLER DRIFTS, a flint point, and shell beads."

"In plate 221, figure 2, is shown a series of antler tools—BLUNT DRIFTS, which might have been used in the INDIRECT PERCUSSION fracture of flint; also ANTLER CHISELS, and sections of antler, which were drilled"

"Bone specimens from the general digging are shown in plate 256, figure 1. The awls were from the leg bones of turkey and the loon. The four bone pins and nine bone needles were quite typical of this site. The longest is 6 inches in length and the smallest is 3.5 inches in length. The HORN DRIFTS vary in length from 1,8 inches to 3 inches long. There are presented in the figure four true bone projectile points."


"Burial 88.—This was a partially flexed bmial at a depth of 11.2 feet below stake 70L16. With it were 10 projectile points—1 flint spear, a bone flaker, an ANTLER CHISEL, a BONE DRIFT, and an incisor of a large rodent, all shown in plate 291, figm-e 2. The positions of the artifacts in situ are shown in plate 302, figure 1. Two dog burials were at the same level nearby, as shown in plate 300, figure 1."

"In table 34 is shown the distribution of antler spear points, antler drifts, and other worked-antler objects, as well as the occurrence of other traits in the upper levels of this mound. It is interesting to note that the use of worked-antler spear points drifts—and other antler objects began just after the 9-foot level was laid down. It is to be remembered that one of the important products produced by the flint workshop at the 9-foot level was a flint blade well adapted to the cutting of horn. Before these knives were produced there seems to have been no cut antler at this site. Antler objects continued upward from the 9-foot level, through the pottery zone, to the mound surface. In this region worked-shell specimens near fire-burned clay hearths. The occurrence of such burials and hearths is shown in table 34 to be in the same general region as the antler artifacts, definitely concentrated in the levels above the shop-site level, in a region of abundant flint. Types of antler drifts are shown in plate 286, figure 2. It is not surprising they should be associated in levels containing much flint. Flint knives may have been used in cutting them, but it is also probable that they served as tools in flaking flint by INDIRECT PERCUSSION fracture."

1942 - "Antler Object. A small cylindrical piece of cut antler with the ends rounded, probably used in chipping flint ; length 3.2 cm, diameter .9 cm." - (Transactions, American Philosophical Society - Abercrombie Site) 

1942 - "In the better specimens the shaping of blades was accomplished by a process which took off wide, flat flakes; we should suspect indirect percussion with punches."  (Southwestern lore: Volumes 8-10 , Clarence Thomas Hearst)

1943 - "a punch or chisel into the flint." Evidently indirect rest percussion was employed. The piece of flint was no doubt held upright between the feet of the worker; and the implement was probably finished by a pressure process, such as the Lacandons still use"

1943Many CYLINDRICAL or FLATTENED-CYLINDRICAL CHIPPING TOOLS, both long and short, were found (PI. XLIV, Fig. 8),” - The Fort Ancient aspect: its cultural and chronological position , James Bennett Griffin

Ohio, Scioto County

1943 A second important group comprised the CHIPPERS or DRIFTS, TWO-INCH LONG, CYLINDRICAL PIECES of HARD ANTLER, sometimes rubbed to a fine polish, but with occasional rougher examples represented (PI. IV, Fig. 2)." - PRO PATRIA OFFICERS FOR Michigan

1943 - "FLINT-CHIPPING TOOLS : Sixty-eight flint-chipping tools of the CYLINDRICAL TYPE (Fig. 11, Nos. 2-5) were found, of which thirty-three are complete specimens. They were cut from sections of deer antler and are rounded bluntly at each end. Their average length is 39 mm. and average diameter 10 mm."  (Ohio history, Volume 52)

1944 - "The predominating types of this industry are : an elongated, semi-lunar knife, or graltoir, flaked by indirect percussion and retouched along the straight cutting edge, the curved back being somewhat blunt and "beaked"  (American anthropologist: Volumen46)

1945 - "In the better specimens the shaping of blades was accomplished by a process which took off wide, flat flakes; we should suspect INDIRECT PERCUSSION WITH PUNCHES."  (Southwestern lore: Volúmenes 6-10 )

1945“CUT ANTLER SECTIONS. This trait is fairly frequent in Adena villages. SECTIONS OF ANTLER some three inches long seem to have been used as drifts.  The rounded ends show battering as if they were interposed in percussion between the hammer and the object struck.

1945Bone and Antler Implements 6 small, CYLINDRICAL, ANTLER CHIPPING TOOLS, all in some degree defective (Fig. 4, d, e).” (An archaeological survey of the Trent Waterway in Ontario, Canada Alfred Kidder Guthe, Joseph Ralph Mayer, William Augustus Ritchie)

1946 -  "Many questions have been asked as to how such beautiful and delicately fashioned points as those of the Folsom culture could have been made. Evidence has been accumulated to indicate that the point was shaped up roughly at first with a flat "platform" left at the base to receive the blows that would strike out the two channel flakes. Due to the narrowness of the platform, the blows probably were delivered indirectly by means of a bone or antler punch. After the channel flakes were removed refinements of shaping were carried out by secondary chipping."  (Colorado's old-timers: the Indians back to 25,000 years ago - Page 27, Clarence Thomas Hurst)

1946 - "The tips of these tines were often quite blunt, suggesting their possible use as flaking tools, or possible PUNCHES. ... Cut distal portions of tines may be, in some instances, at least, a by-product of the making of ANTLER DRIFTS" - Alabama Museum of Natural History

1946 - "Dorset tools for working chert include the bone pressure flaker and the bone or ANTLER CYLINDRICAL PIECE used for INDIRECT PERCUSSION." (Man in northeastern North America, Frederick Johnson)

1946 – “Antler drifts, made from sections of antler, are ground or worn on the ends and may show evidence of considerable grinding or abrasion through use over their entire surface. Seventy-six of the DRIFTS were complete enough to permit measurements of length.  Lengths range from 1-1/4 to 4-3/4 inches…”

1946SECTIONS OF ANTLER with squared ends; considerable battering and smoothing at ends indicates use as DRIFTS, TAPPING TOOLS, or similar uses.” The University of Texas publication: Issue 4640

1946 - "The channel flakes were then knocked out, probably by INDIRECT PERCUSSION, and the point was given its final form by secondary pressure flaking around the base , sides, and the tip." - (Colorado magazine: Volúmenes 22-24)

1946 - "which may be analogous to the Plains "TAPPING TOOLS" or "CYLINDRICAL ANTLER TOOLS," for he found only 17 specimens scattered through all periods of Pecos rubbish. The three shaft wrenches of bison rib at Pecos also seem to have been"

1946 -  "Because antler could be easily worked, but was strong and tough, sections of it were used as "DRIFTS" in indirect percussion fracture. It was well adapted to such use."  (Indian Knoll, site Oh 2, Ohio County, Kentucky, William Snyder Webb)

1946 - "Why have the Eskimo given so much to the Indians and received so little? The only types which I am sure that they took from the Indians were the snowshoe needle (if my interpretation of Dorset and New York Archaic specimens is correct) 117 the CYLINDRICAL TOOL for INDIRECT PERCUSSION, one axe grooved across the top, and a few plummets" (Man in northeastern North America, Frederick Johnson)

1946 - Plate 18 - Querandi bone artifacts - Arroyo Sarandi, Buenos Aires Province...(e). "ANTLER PUNCH" or "TAPPING TOOL"


1947 - "three long, narrow objects cut from the thicker edge of bison ribs and having blunt, rounded tips; and TWO CYLINDRICAL ANTLER "TAPPING TOOLS" (pl. 7 b) . Weapons; (A) Arrow (?) Points. Because of their thinness, lightness,"  (Culture complexes and chronology in northern Texas: with extension)
1947 - "Chipping Implements:  flaking tools of bone and antler, WITH BLUNT ROUNDED ENDS ("ANTLER SECTIONS TAPPING TOOLS", "DRIFTS", possibly used in flaking."  (Culture complexes and chronology in northern Texas, Alex Dony Krieger)
1948 - "Other traits of Archaic 3 include ANTLER DRIFTS, spear points, atlatl hooks, and head dress; stone gorgets, atlatl weights, and beads; shell pendants and disc beads." - Florida Anthropological Society
1948- Flint-chipping tools : Sixty-eight flint-chipping tools of the CYLINDRICAL TYPE (Fig. 11, Nos. 2-5) were found, of which thirty- three are complete specimens. They were cut from SECTIONS OF DEER ANTLER and are ROUNDED BLUNTLY AT EACH END.” - Ohio Historical Society

1948 - "The point was first roughly shaped by percussion flaking, the tip being left blunt and rounding. The channel flakes were then knocked out, probably by indirect percussion, and the point was given its final form by secondary pressure flaking around the base sides, and tip.  (Colorado and its people:a narrative and topical history of the Centennial State, Volume 2, LeRoy Reuben Hafen)
1948 - "hammers and ANTLER DRIFTS or flakers seem to have been used in the production of chipped stone artifacts." - Bennie C. Keel

1948 - "Stone-lined graves, Tubular clay pipe, Beamers, Bird bone beads, Mussel shells with serrated edges, Awls of metapodial — head unworked, Eyed bone needles, ANTLER TAPPING TOOLS with squared end, Cylindrical conch columnela beads."  (Bulletin of the Texas Archaeological and Paleontological Society: Volúmenes19-21)

1948 - "...antler drifts cylindrical 23 x 60mm, 2 antler tine flakers, cut antler sections, deer ulna, unworked, 2 antler drifts truncated conical 38mm. Shale abrader flat grooved, split bone awl," - Museum papers, 

1948 - "The long channel flakes were then detached from each side, apparently by indirect percussion on the striking platform"  (Rivista di scienze preistoriche, Volumes 3-5)

1949 – c, expanded base drill; d, e, SMALL, CYLINDRICAL, ANTLER CHIPPING TOOLS; f, thick broad-bladed, stemmed projectile point;” An early historic Niagara frontier Iroquois cemetery in Erie, Alfred Kidder Guthe, Donald Lenig, Marian Emily White

1949 -  "ANTLER TOOLS presumably utilized in indirect percussion flint chipping, apparently the prevailing method among the western Iroquoian tribes, who also employed more stone projectile points than the Onondaga, Oneida and Mohawk..."  (New York State Archeological Association, Researches and transactions, Volumes 12-15")

1949 - "A number of ANTLER DRIFT were also located.  Because antler is strong,  tough,  and easily worked, it is easily adapted for many uses, e.g., in the manufacture of chipped stone artifacts.  These drifts have blunt points and were either cut or rubbed into this shape. "  (The Lake Spring Site, Columbia County, Georgia, Carl F. Miller)

1949 - "side-notched projectile point; c, expanded base drill; d, e, SMALL, CYLINDRICAL, ANTLER CHIPPING TOOLS; f, thick broad-bladed, stemmed projectile point;" (An early historic Niagara frontier Iroquois cemetery in Erie , Alfred Kidder Guthe)


1950(?) - "...A deerhorn and a hammerstone act as a pitching tool, and a mallet..."


1950 - ""Stone working tools from a kit found in the tomb of Wh,  flint flake, b. ANTLER DRIFTERS or PUNCHES for INDIRECT FLAKING of flint (percussion), c. antler tines for pressure flaking,"  (Journal of the Illinois State Archaeological Society)

1950 - "ANTLER DRIFTS": Four fragments of ANTLER approximately CYLINDRICAL and about 3/4 inch in diameter were found. Blunt, somewhat rounded ends are indicated." - Bulletin of the Texas Archeological Society, Volúmenes 21-24

1950 - "Antler flaking tools - groups "C" and "E"

(Five Sites of the Intermediate Period)

1950 - Cylindrical Antler Flaker - Charles Sackett Farm - Ontario County, New York

1951 - "Five short cut SECTIONS OF ANTLER were found (Fig. 49f) . These are sometimes called "TAPPING TOOLS"..." (Greenhouse: a Troyville-Coles Creek period site in Avoyelles )

1951 - "Numerous examples of flat stone tablets associated with a number of SHORT SOLID ANTLER CYLINDERS..." - Illinois State Museum,

1951 -                                      "ANTLER FLAKER"


(The Rose Site, A Stratified Shell Heap on Cape Cod, Massachusets, Ross Moffett)

1951 - "Existen otros en los que entre el percutor y el nodulo actúa de intermediario una pieza apuntada de hueso o madera. Esta talla por percusión indirecta ha podido ser comprobada entre los indios de América del Norte."

TRANSLATION:  "There are others that between the striker and the nodule acts as an intermediary node pointed piece of bone or wood. This indirect percussion flaking has been observed among the North American Indians."  (Caesaraugusta: Volúmenes 1-4, Institución Fernando el Católico (Zaragoza, España)

1951 - "ANTLER DRIFTS— mmVaries in length from 36 to 78 mm." - An archaeological survey of Guntersville Basin on the Tennessee,

1951 - "DRIFT (rarely drifter) : A blunt tool of antler or bone presumably held in the hand and pressed against a flint to flake it, or one held against the flint piece and struck with a hammer for a like purpose."  (Story of Illinois series: Números 7-13)

1951 - "Flint nodules were broken into workable smaller pieces by means of slow, even heating, and chips were separated with a chisel of bone or horn hammered on the butt end." (Nomlaki ethnography, Walter Rochs Goldschmidt)

"Obsidian was broken out of massive flows in the manner shown in 4e":

"The large chunks of obsidian, or boulders of chert, or flint, were then struck in the way shown 17a to secure thin flakes of convenient size.  Finally, the arrowpoint was formed by several methods of chipping.  Two are shown in figure 17b-e.

1952 - "ANTLER tips and SECTIONS with squared ends show use as flaking tools, DRIFTS, or TAPPING TOOLS. Other bone objects are notched or perforated bison and deer ribs."  (The Handbook of Texas: Volumen2)

1952 - "Other bone tools from the Levsen shelter similar to finds at Clear Lake were ANTLER DRIFTS, hollow deer phalanges, and flat bone needles. The ANTLER DRIFT is common in Archaic sites (Webb, 1946, pp. 308-309; Logan, 1952a, pp. 55-58)."  Woodland complexes in Northeast Iowa,

1952 - "It seems probable, on the basis of analogy, experiment, and the marks of use, that the bone flaker and the PUNCHES and the hammerstones found in the cave were the tools used to form these chipped artifacts.:"  (MOGOLLON CULTURAL CONTINUITY AND CHANGE)

1952 - "With the exception of three ANTLER DRIFTERS and a bone object that may have been a knife, these objects are ... The list of tools is as follows : a flint flake knife, six ANTLER DRIFTERS or PUNCHES, two antler tines or pressure flaking..."  (Hopewellian communities in Illinois, Thorne Deuel)

1953 - "INDIRECT FLAKING Indirect flaking is not discernible from the tool itself, but it seems to have been common among the American Indians, according to Pond, Holmes and others, and it is highly probable that it was a prehistoric technique in general use. The method consists in using a 'cold-chisel' of bone or stone between hammer and artefact. The implement is rested on the heel of the left and the chisel is held between the first and second fingers of the same hand.  It is adjusted to a nicety and then struck with a hammer.  At some South African sites (e.g. Aliwal North) finger-like stones have been found
, showing signs of usage at the ends that could only have been produced by use in pressure-flaking or by indirect flaking of this type.  Bone or stone chisels used  in this way can be expected to show distinct signs of usage. THE CORE AND THE FLAKE Prehistoric man made use of the laws outlined above in making his implements. He understood them, not in scientific terms, but as naturally as we understand the rules that govern the splitting of wood."

"Breuil has come to the conclusion that the blade was rested on a wooden block, and chipped with a hammer or chisel.  A similar use of a wooden block among recent
American indians is illustrated by Alanzo Pond, and also by Holmes (Bibliography).  Work was done from the edges inwards, and flaking continued until the whole of both faces of the tool was covered by fluting, the origin of the blank being completely concealed.  (Method in prehistory: an introduction to the discipline of prehistoric archaeology with special reference to South African conditions, 
Astley John Hilary Goodwin)
1953 - "These implements are somewhat suggestive of the ANTLER TAPPING TOOLS or "CYLINDERS" of the Upper Republican and other Central Plains aspects (Cooper, 1936, pl. 20, 1-3) . In general, however, the length of the specimens from 14PH4 is..."  (River Basin Surveys papers, Issue 158)

1953 -  "...PC spoke of arrow-points of bone, ground stone, and chipped stone. The first two types were used for hunting, the latter for war. To make a chipped "flint" point, the blank was set on its edge in a groove in a piece of wood and shaped by INDIRECT PERCUSSION with a pencil of nephrite and a hammer. One side shaped, it was turned over and the other side completed.  Sometimes these " rough " war-points were poisoned by dipping them in human brain."  ( The Upper Stalo Indians of the Fraser Valley, British Columbia, Wilson Duff)

1953 -  "They were able to, however, to give vague descriptions of ground-slate blades used  prior to the advent of steel.  These were said to have been about 3 inches long and 1 inch wide, and to have protruded almost 2 inches beyond the valves. Their exact shape was not made clear, but they were shaped by INDIRECT PERCUSSION, using a 6-inch stone pencil and hammer, then ground on a whetstone."  (The Upper Stalo Indians of the Fraser Valley, British Columbia, Wilson Duff)

1953 -  "Coarser chipping was often done by INDIRECT PERCUSSION flaking. In this case a ROD or CYLINDER OF ANTLER was used as the transmitting agent for a blow from a hammerstone. The chips produced by this method were generally larger than those of pressure flaking and possessed certain peculiar characteristics such as a "bulb of percussion"..."  ("Bulletin of the Archaeological Society of New Jersey: Números 33-34")

1953 - "Pressure flaking was employed although the removal of the longitudinal flakes from each face, to form grooves or channels, was probably accomplished by means of indirect percussion."  -  (Origins, indigenous period: Número 153 , Hannah Marie Wormington)

1954 - "In addition, the Phillips Ranch site yielded a section, 8.0 cm. in length, cut from the BASE OF A DEER ANTLER which in shape resembles the ANTLER CYLINDERS or KNAPPING TOOLS of earlier Plains horizons." - (Society for American Archaeology)

1954 - "The long, narrow flakes are then detaclted by indirect percussion. These flake knives are very rare in the Tennessee Valley area and occur mainly on Paleo-
Indian sites, but occasionally on others (Figure la) - (Tennessee Archaeological Society)

1954 -

(CAVES OF THE RESERVE AREA, Fieldiana Anthropology Volume 42, Paul S. Martin,
John B. Rinaldo, Elaine Bluhm)

1955 - "Pressure flaking was employed although the removal of the longitudinal flakes from each face, to form grooves or channels, was probably accomplished by means of indirect percussion."

1955 - "The American Indians used various methods of indirect percussion. To produce blades, for instance, a wooden or bone punch was interposed between the hammerstone and the core." (Readings in anthropology  Edward Adamson Hoebel, Jesse David Jennings)

1955 - "The typical CYLINDRICAL ANTLER DRIFTS which are commonly believed to be flaking tools were also present." - Pennsylvania archaeologist: Volumen 25

1955 - "Antler and bone artifacts from the excavation, a Antler tine flakers, b ANTLER DRIFT. ... A and B illustrates the chipping tools made of antler, both the tine flakers for pressure work and the DRIFT for INDIRECT PERCUSSION techniques." - Globe Hill site – Ohio

1956 - "...pins and a needle ; ANTLER CYLINDRICAL FLAKERS, PUNCHES, points and a CHISEL ; bundle, extended, partial and group burials; grave goods. All three pottery types are minor. The Pseudo-rocker-stamped vaguely resembles New York Hopewell..." 

1956 - "and the ANTLER DRIFTS indicate that this mound is a fine example of Hopewell burial..." - The culture and acculturation of the Delaware Indians, William Wilmon Newcomb

1956 - "Hill  and Metcalf  (1941:  188, 197)  pointed  out  that  tubular steatite  pipes  and  blunt  bone  "punches"  or "flakers"  occurred in both Promontory and Dismal  River." - (PLAINS-PROMONTORY RELATIONSHIPS, JAMES H. GUNNERSON)

1956 - "en el sur, comprobamos una limitada proporción de piezas óseas acompañando a la fina y arcaica industria lítica de los niveles inferiores de aquel Cementerio.  En el nivel 5P (que, recordémoslo, se halla a una profundidad de entre 4,20 y 5,50 m) figuran dos punzones, uno que debió tener unos 13 cm. de largo (se halla partido), y otro más pequeño, de 4,5 cm. de longitud;"

TRANSLATION:  "in the south, we see a limited proportion of bone pieces to accompany the fine archaic lithic industry of the lower levels of that cemetery. In the 5P level (which, remember, is at a depth of between 4.20 and 5, 50 m) are TWO PUNCHES, one that must have been about 13 cm. long (in two pieces), and a smaller, 4.5 cm. length;"  (Anales de arqueología y etnología: Volumes 12-15, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo. Instituto de Arqueología y Etnología,)

1956 - "Unlike the small punches and flakers that were numerous, these cylinders average one inch in diameter and three inches in length."  (The saga of Glover's Cave, Raymond Charles Vietzen, Ruth G. Vietzen)

1956 - "The finishing work was probably done with a bone splinter, tooth, or sharpened end of a deer horn held in the right hand, and pressed firmly against the edge of the rock, thus breaking off a much smaller spall than could be done with a rock hammer stone. The hand acted as a cushion, so that the rock would not be broken by the hammer blows.  Two artisans might work together, one holding the rock and a bone punch, and the other hitting the punch with a rock hammer."  (Annals of Wyoming, Volumes 28-31)   
1957 - "ANTLER CYLINDERS: Similar to those from Pictograph Cave III. Some show evidence of having been used for POUNDING, embedded in their ends being tiny fragments of agate, flint, and other conchoidally fracturable stones."  (University of Wyoming publications: Volúmenes 21-25 )

1957 - "Two examples of curved sub-cylindrical sections of dressed antler were recovered (Figure 19, 25, 26). Wedel's party also recovered objects of this type, and Wedel suggests that they may have functioned as "rubbing tools" (Wedel, 1943, p.44).  Neumann and Fowler, however, who recovered objects of this type in an Illinois mound, identify them as PUNCHES or DRIFTS used in flint working (Neumann and Fowler, 1952, p. 202)."  -  (The Missouri archaeologist: Volumes 19-21)

1958 - "In cases where other types of chipping hammers and punches are known as part of an archaeological complex, we must attempt to discover, how they supplemented or replaced the stone hammer, and what mechanical principles they involved."  (Ohio Archaeologist: Volumes 5-7)
1958 - "The war arrows of the Hupa were said by a contemporary observer to be 'the perfection of grace'. They were made not from a single shaft but presented rather a primitive form of footed arrow the head being attached to a hollow foreshaft into which the stele or shaft proper was inserted. The manufacture of arrowheads among such Indians was a skilled task confined to the few.

Curiously, Lieutenant Ray found no man among the Hupa under forty years of age who could make a good bow or arrow. A traveller among the Apache recorded that 'Every tribe has its factory in which these arrowheads are made and in these only certain adepts are able or allowed to make them' for the use of the tribe. Something of the prodigious output of such tribes was instanced by finds along the bank of the Savannah river in Georgia during the late nineteenth century of over eight thousand arrowheads, many of them fashioned with exquisite art and precision.

In the flaking of arrowheads of jasper or obsidian, the Hupa used a PEBBLE HAMMER-STONE and a species of COLD CHISEL of hard, HEAVY ANTLER. For the shaping of points the antler was lashed to a handle of wood in a manner almost identical to that of the Eskimo of Northern Alaska. In chipping arrowheads the flint was held in the palm which was protected by a pad of buckskin. The flakes were chipped off by pressing on the edge of the flint with the tool held in the right hand, the ball of the handle resting in the palm. The Apache worked in a similar manner save that two men were employed on the task, one striking the flint with a mallet and a bone punch while the other cradled the flint in his palm. The natural elasticity of the hand enabled the chips to flake off where on a solid support the flint would have broken. Such work, exacting, skilful and requiring like genius, infinite pains, is all but lost today. One North American anthropologist noted twenty three varieties of arrowheads made in this way."  (The book of the bow, Gordon Grimley)
1959 -
"Q - Antler Drift or Blunt Tool"

(The Belcher Mound: A Stratified Caddoan Site in Caddo Parish, Louisiana: Clarence H. Webb)

1959 - "Most common of the bone tools were antler tip points, ANTLER DRIFTS or flakers, splinter bone awls, and beads. ... The ANTLER DRIFTS showed more careful attention." - (Archaic hunters of the Upper Ohio Valley,)

1959 -  "The occurrence at Stony Brook and Jamesport of what may be bone or ANTLER PUNCHES(see plate 22, figure 3, and plate 30, figure 5) suggests that INDIRECT PERCUSSION may have been employed in the manufacture of some of the specimens, especially those of flint." 


1960 – Five sections of deer antler have been designated as flint working tools. The most common variation (4 examples) is a SMALL CUT and GROUND CYLINDRICAL SECTION that ranges from 34 to 47 mm. in length.” – (Fort Loudon, Tennessee)

1960 - "Nine ANTLER DRIFTS were recovered, in addition to one sawed-off antler section that may have been intended as a knife handle," - (ARCHAEOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION OF FORT LIGONIER)

1960 - "MacNeish told me that the Eskimos told him that the bevels were for smoothing hides and the cylinders for flaking tools."  (The Paleocene Pantodonta, Elwyn L Simons), (Cultural sequences at The Dalles, Oregon: a contribution to Pacific Northwest prehistory, Luther Sheeleigh Cressman)

1961 - "Remarks: In the Orient complex of Long Island, a majority of these points were made, apparently by INDIRECT PERCUSSION, from the local quartz or quartzite pebbles." - (A typology and nomenclature for New York projectile points, William Augustus Ritchie)

1961 - "A single DRIFT OF DEER ANTLER(Odocoileus virginianus) was found with Burial M5-8 (Figs. 42h, 43b). It is 8.7 cm. in length, with one end l.6 cm. in diameter and the other l. 25 cm." - Chicago area archaeology - Illinois Archaeological Survey

1961 - "Three deer antler-shaft specimens, IK, Fig. 32, are generally referred to as ANTLER CYLINDERS. The proximal butt-end with the "burr" present is modified smooth and the opposite distal ... ANTLER CYLINDERS with cut and polished heads are commonplace in the Central Plains Phase." - Journal of the Iowa Archeological Society: Volúmenes 11-12

1961 -  "The tips of the majority of the specimens are slightly rounded. Many of the specimens, especially those sawed with flat battered butts, were probably used as PUNCHES, the only distinction being that a punch is struck with a hammerstone, in the process of indirect percussion flaking."  (Journal of the Iowa Archeological Society: Volúmene)

1961 - "One curved, dressed, CYLINDRICAL ANTLER RUBBING TOOL with the base worn smooth was found at the Steed-Klsker site. CYLINDRICAL ANTLER RUBBING TOOLS are similar to the so-called "TAPPING TOOLS" ascribed by Ford and Willey to the Archaic"  (Journal of the Iowa Archeological Society: Volúmenes11-12)

1961 -  "are generally referred to as ANTLER CYLINDERS. The proximal butt-end with the "burr" present is modified smooth and the ... Similar tools, each with a battered end are commonly referred to as PUNCHES, DRIFTERS and TAPPING TOOLS. Punches of similar appearance were found in each of two separate Hint knapper kits in two separate burials from the Wilson site,"  (Journal of the Iowa Archeological Society: Volumes 11-12)

1962 -  "STANFIELD-WORLEY ANTLER AND BONE TOOLS Drift, Antler: Cut antler section, usually showing wear on both ends, presumably used as a punch for indirect percussion flaking."  (Stanfield-Worley Bluff Shelter excavations)

1962 - "In return, Indian to Eskimo donations were regarded as limited to the bone snowshoe needle, CYLINDRICAL BONE TOOL FOR INDIRECT PERCUSSION FLAKING," (Arctic Institute of North America.)

1962 - "Among 3376 bone fragments found at Globe Hill there are a few worked pieces including such items as CYLINDRICAL DRIFT..."  (Annals of the Carnegie Museum, Volume 35)

1963 -


1963“Solid ANTLER TINE CYLINDERS are present,with blunt ends, and shaped to a uniform diameter.  They are 4 to 8 centimeters long, and 1.4 to 1.7 centimeters in diameter.” -  University of Michigan. Museum of Anthropology

1963 -  "ANTLER DRIFTS" appear to be the most likely CHIPPING TOOLS of the Shell-Mound Archaic, apparently used as PUNCHES with indirect percussion." ("Anthropological Association of Canada, Guild of American Prehistorians")

1963 - ""In addition, an antler drifter was found which is four and one-fourth inches long and one and one-half inches in diameter (Pl. XII, Figs. 1 and 2)."  (The Steuben village and mounds: a multicomponent late Hopewell 

1963 - "The blade was apparently removed from the core by the punch technique. The bulbar scar on the lower face is very similar to the channels on fluted points."  (New world antiquity: Volume 11)

1964 - "The specimens from both sites are described as flint flakers, although Rowley sets his up as a new type: "Straight pieces of bone with roughened edges . . ."( 151). De Laguna, however, believes that Rowley's type was an implement used for INDIRECT PERCUSSION and thinks that that trait, being unknown in other Eskimo cultures, must have passed from the northeastern Indians to the Dorset"

1964 - "Plate XXV: 7 A squared piece of prepared bone which suggests an unfinished haft. Length 9.7 cm; width of side at the top 2.2 cm; width of side at bottom 1.1 cm. Evenly tapered on all sides and carefully smoothed.  The small, bottom end is smooth and unmarred, but the larger end is furrowed.  This might be an INDIRECT PERCUSSION  CYLINDER."  (National Museum of Canada:  Bulletin: Anthropological series, Issue 67) 

1964A CYLINDRICAL ANTLER TOOL(collection of Shapiro) revealed the method of flint flaking.” New York State Archeological Association

1964 - "Flutes appear to have been struck by indirect percussion after preparation of a "striking platform" at the base."   (Handbook of Alabama Archaeology: Point types, James W. Cambron, David C. Hulse, David Lloyd DeJarnette)

1964 - "ANTLER ARTIFACTS CYLINDERS(11 specimens) : These objects, sometimes called "TAPPING TOOLS," were made from the proximal ends of MULE DEER ANTLERS by cutting around the antler to a depth of 4 to 6 mm. and snapping the section off"  (River basin surveys papers, 33-38)

1964 - "The specimens from both sites are described as flint flakers, although Rowley sets his up as a new type: "Straight pieces of bone with roughened edges . . ."( 151). De Laguna, however, believes that Rowley's type was an implement used for indirect percussion and thinks that that trait, being unknown in other Eskimo cultures, must have passed from the northeastern Indians to the Dorset."  (The cultural affinities of the Newfoundland Dorset Eskimo, Elmer Harper)

1964 - "These distinctions are not clear-cut, for careful percussion with a hammerstone can produce a large number of flakes that resemble those produced by a billet, and vice versa. Also, flakes produced by indirect percussion closely resemble billet flakes." - (ACTAS Y MEMORIAS)


1965 - "This technique appears to be an adaptation of the punch technique for producing true blades. Many other point types to be discussed in this chapter also have been fluted, but Folsom points can be identified if they exhibit the following attributes: (1 ) less than an inch to three inches long; (2) lanceolate in outline with the broadest part generally near or above the mid-section; (3) narrow downward- pointing "ear-like" projections setting off a concave base; (4) a small nipple, usually near the center of the base, believed to be a remnant of the prepared striking platform for removing flutes from one or both faces; (5) flutes extend nearly to the tip of the point."  (Paleo-American prehistory, Alan Lyle Bryan)


1965 - "Blades were most likely removed by bone punch technique. The edges formed by the intersection of the ventral surface and the blade scars are serrated and show crushing and abrasion which may indicate utilization as a core scraper."  (Rock art of Owens Valley, California, Jay Von Werlof)

1965 - "An ANTLER SHAFT 95 mm. long had been ground smooth at the end. Its use is unknown, though such artifacts are sometimes referred to as "TAPPING TOOLS". Some polish was present along the shaft (Fig. 30, H)."  ( The Missouri archaeologist: Volumen27 )

1965 -  "The INDIRECT FREEHAND PERCUSSION technique may be divided into two phases, in the first, the stone is held in the palm of one hand with a bone or wooden punch held between the fingers of the same hand and driven by a hammer held in the other hand.  In the second, the stone is held in the palm of one hand, the punch guided with the other hand, and the blow supplied by a hammer in the hands of a second person (Fig. X).  Both of these methods give the same result, but the latter is much faster, since the punch can be shifted almost as rapidly as the blows."  - 
( an experimental study, Howard Holmes Ellis) -

Flint-working techniques of the American Indians: 

1965"A considerable number of grave goods was found with this second burial which included a stone celt, gorget, ANTLER DRIFT, copper needles, bone points. Several corner notched points of exotic black flint also accompanied the burial." - (Michigan Archaeological Society) -

1965 -  "For chipping such flint points, SLENDER CYLINDRICAL, ANTLER TOOLS, some having an expanded top like those of the Iroquois, have been found on most Owasco sites ( Plate 92, Figure 17). They suggest INDIRECT PERCUSSION as an employed technique."  (The archaeology of New York State, William Augustus Ritchie)

1965 - "Among the bone tools are needles and awls which indicate sewing, and among those of antler are arrowpoints, scrapers, and cylindrical flakers and flaking tools used in chipping stone artifacts."  (New Jersey's Indians, Dorothy Cross)

1965 - "...antler drifts were recovered, in addition to one sawed-off antler section that may have been intended as a knife handle," - (ARCHAEOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION OF FORT LIGONIER)

1966 -  "One ANTLER PUNCH, found at a Pueblo Period site in the upper reservoir, was used in INDIRECT PERCUSSION. Once detached, some flakes were further modified by pressure chipping, using an antler or bone chipper."  ("Prehistory in the Navajo Reservoir District, northwestern New Mexico: Volumen2," Frank W Eddy, Thomas Harlen)
1966 -  "Among the latter are a series of long prismatic flint blades made by an INDIRECT PERCUSSION or PUNCH METHOD. These blades were apparently used as finished tools, with little or no retouching."  -  (An introduction to American archaeology: Volume 2 , Gordon Randolph Willey)

1966 - "Various tools found at the Bell site consisted of bone awls, imported iron awls, a small drill of chipped flint, ANTLER DRIFTS or PUNCHES, flaking implements of antler, hammerstones, a stone arrowhsaft smoother of the type used in pairs, arrowshaft wrenches" - (Bell Site/Great Lakes - George Irving Quimby)

1966 - "Existen también hojas obtenidas por percusión indirecta, de núcleos poliédricos, asociadas a las puntas. Este detalle es importante, pues este tipo de hojas, que evidencian una técnica compleja, se asocian en América del Norte con las puntas Clovis."  

Translation:  "There are also blades obtained by indirect percussion, polyhedral cores, associated with the points. This detail is important, as this type of blade, which shows a complex technique, are also associated with Clovis points, in North America."  -  (Proceedings of the International Congress of Americanists: Volumes 1-2)

1966 - "Ambas tradiciones reconocen en Sudamerica el uso de hojas obtenidas por PERCUSION INDIRECTA; detalle que tambien aparece en America del Norte y puede ser indicio seguro de difusion.  El hecho de que estas tradiciones tengan representantes desde Venezuela hasta Patagonia, nos lleva a denominarla Tradicion Paleoandina o Tradicion Andina de cazadores Especializados.  Actualmente, las fechas mas antiguas que poseemos nos llevaria a ubicar esta tradicion entre el 9000 y el 6000 a. C; pero debio entrar a Sudamerica algo antes, junto con la megafauna cuaternaria. Las condiciones de pasaje a traves del Istmo debieron ser muy favorables durante los avances glaciales del Wisconsin. El impacto del cambio faunistico postglacial no termino con esta tradicion cultural, que en parte se fusiono con el el grupo de recolectores, como lo revela la caverna de Intihuasi, o en parte siguio dedicada a la caza especializada de mamiferos, basada en los dos generos mas importantes de superstites (Hippocamelus / Lama).  -
(Actas y memorias, Alfredo Jimenez Nunez)

TRANSLATION:  "Both traditions recognized in South America make use of the blades obtained by INDIRECT PERCUSSION - a detail that also appears in North America and can be a sure sign of dissemination. The fact that these traditions have representatives from Venezuela to Patagonia, leads us to call it Paleo-Andes Indian Tradition or Traditional Specialized Hunters of the Andes. Currently, the oldest dates we have lead us to place this tradition between 9000 and 6000 BC C, but they had to enter South America somewhat earlier, with the Quaternary megafauna. The conditions of passage through the Isthmus had to be very favorable during the Wisconsin glacial advances. The impact of postglacial faunal change did not end with this cultural tradition, partly merged with the group of collectors, as revealed in the cave Intihuasi or in part continued to devote the specialized hunting of mammals, based on the two genres most important surviving (Hippocamelus / Lama). -

1966 - "More recent work has revealed still more Clovis points and other artifacts associated with the Clovis level of the site.  Among the latter are a series of long prismatic flint blades made by an indirect percussion or punch method.  These blades were apparently used as finished tools, with little or no retouching." - (An introduction to American archaeology: Volumen 2, Gordon Randolph Willey)

1966 - "At this level there was also found a Hopewell rim sherd, a Hopewell POLISHED ANTLER SECTION variously called a DRIFTER, a "handle", or a "hair roller", and an obsidian flake used as a small knife."  (The Arkansas amateur: Volúmenes 5-7)

1966 - "Arrow points were made from antler tips, and the same material was used for the small, cylindrical chipping tools."  (The Fort Ancient aspect, its cultural and chronological position, James Bennet Griffin)

1967 - "PUNCHES or flakers made from the distal ends of deer tines are frequent as are ANTLER CYLINDERS of unknown function cut from the proximal ends of deer or elk branches." - Molstad village, John Jacob Hoffman

1967"ANTLER DRIFT. A short, thick section of cut antler was found in the midden levels, and is classified as a DRIFT."

1968 - "The edges were carefully chipped, while longitudinal grooves were flaked from each face by indirect percussion. Considerable skill was used, quite the equivalent of that of late Paleolithic men in the Old World." - (North America: its countries and regions, James Wreford Watson)

1968 - "Burial 6 was associated with a small tool kit including four ANTLER DRIFTS, one hammerstone, and one limestone slab probably used as an abrader." - (The lithic industries of the Illinois Valley in the early and , Anta Montet-White)

1968 "Stone is chipped by three principal methods (1) percussion, where a hammerstone is used to rough out the artifact form; (2) INDIRECT PERCUSSION, where a hammerstone is used in conjunction with an antler "DRIFT", placed to remove a flake..." - (Introduction to West Virginia archeology, Edward V. McMichael)

1968 - "All the picks and some of the cruder flake-tools were made by the hammerstone technique, the rest by indirect percussion." - (Proceedings - Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society: Volúmenes 89-92,  Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society)

1968ANTLER CYLINDERS (4 specimens) Three CYLINDRICAL SECTIONS OF ANTLER have cut surfaces at both ends. Both ends have been worn to slightly convex surfaces on two specimens.” - Plains Anthropological Society

1968 - "The Indian first placed an antler punch or bone flaking tool on this striking platform near the edge, and then struck the other end of the flaking tool with a hammerstone. The force of the blow from this indirect percussion" - (Ohio's prehistoric peoples, Martha A. Potter)

1968 - "It is possible that these scrapers were made with a punch technique for dislodging the original blade. If so, any traces of the striking platform would have been erased in the process of retouch of the edges."  (Papers on Great Basin prehistory)

1968 - "Fluting the final face, and probably the first face as well, was accomplished by means of a punch technique, as indicated by the ground striking nipples. Control of the exact point where the force was applied was thus ensured."  (Anthropology papers: Issues 15-19, National Museum of Canada)

1968 - "The punch technique for fluting which has been likened to blade manufacture by Witthoft (1954: 272) provides the maximum control in flaking where the effort of nipple preparation is justified. Several flakes from the site, which were too large to have been channel flakes, have prepared..."  (Debert: a Palaeo-Indian site in central Nova Scotia, George F. MacDonald)

1969 - "In other words, on the basis of the study of waste flake morphology, it is impossible to determine whether direct percussion or indirect percussion methods produced the waste flakes (Mewhinney 1964: 203-204)."  ( Nevada State Museum, Nevada Archaeological Survey)
1969This cache of artifacts consisted of two projectile points, two bone awls, and an ANTLER DRIFT." -  Tennessee archaeologist: Volúmenes 25-27” -  Tennessee Archaeological Society
1969 - "There were two ANTLER "DRIFTS," one 12.5 cm. long and 2.7 cm. in diameter with both ends cut and ground and the surface polished, the other is a fragment 4.0 cm. long and 2.8 cm. in diameter with the preserved end cut and ground" - Memoirs of the Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan: Números 2-3
1969 CYLINDRICAL CHIPPING TOOLS OF ANTLER abound, some of small size, but the great majority large and characteristic of this culture.” The archaeology of New York State William Augustus Ritchie, American Museum of Natural History

1969ANTLER DRIFTS or "PUNCHES" (Plate 18 b,i,l) Robeson Hills: Four pieces of deer antler have flattened, slightly convex tips, and may have been utilized in chert working as DRIFTS." - - Riverton Culture - Late Archaic, Illinois

1969 - As a whole, the chipped stone industry is distinctive in that it is characterized by unifacial tools although some of the bifacial-like cores and pebble tools continue to occur. Perhaps as distinctive as the stone tools were those of bone of extinct tools were those of bone of extinct animals that include large triangular projectile points (3), an ANTLER PUNCH or FLAKER, a sloth rib flesher, a polished horse phalange tube or bead, and two groups that are really not artifact types that include cut or whittled polished sloth bone (9), and polished and scratched bone (9).   As of this present writing, no artifact congeries found in either North or South America can be shown to be directly related to our Ayacucho phase.  (Ayacucho Archaeological-Botanical Project, Richard S. MacNeish, Antoinette Nelken-Terner)



1970 - "Drifts are nearly cylindrical in shape, but the two specimens from the Drew Site are flattish on two opposite sides. The ends are rounded from usage."  (Pennsylvania archaeologist: Volúmenes 40-41)

1970 - "In considering the means by which the 26 blades were struck from the cores, one is naturally drawn to the many and varied observations on the  production of flint and obsidian blades recorded in the ethnographic  literature.  According to these observations, there are three basic methods by which the flaking  force is conducted into the block from which the blade is to be struck: direct percussion,  INDIRECT PERCUSSION, and pressure flaking. One can almost immediately eliminate direct percussion in the manufacture of these artifacts, not only because it would be extremely difficult by that method to establish proper control of the force..." 


1970 - "C°4-12 is an ANTLER DRIFT found six inches over the center of the south side of the burial pit. It is 13.0 cm. long, cut and ground on both ends and ground over the entire surface. C°4-13, -14, and -15 are flint points found scattered" - The burial complexes of the Knight and Norton mounds in Illinois
1970 - "ANTLER DRIFTS are generally manufactured from the lower portion of a deer antler and are ... Some specimens are polished overall; many are nicked and scratched at both ends as if utilized in stone tool manufacture." - (The Missouri archaeologist)

1970There were 19 ANTLER DRIFTS of various sizes and shapes. BLUNT DRIFTS such as these may have been used in the INDIRECT PERCUSSION fracturing of flint." - (Tennessee Archaeological Society)

1970 - "Estas gentes enterraban a sus muertos en agujeros excavados en la tierra, en posición extendida o flexionada, con acompañamiento de ofrendas para la otra vida: cerámica, navajas de obsidiana, punzones de asta y hueso de venado”

“These people were buried their dead in holes excavated in the dirt, in an extended, or fetal, position, accompanied with offerings for the other life:  ceramics, blades of obsidian, PUNCHES MADE of DEER ANTLER, and BONE…”(Campeche antes de la conquista – Roman Pena Chan)

1970 - "In the third mound were broken pots and antler drifters. The fourth produced bones in poor condition, an unfinished platform pipe with a plain bowl which had never been drilled, and some antler drifters."  (The Palimpsest: Volumen 51, Iowa)

1970 - "Basically mesoamerican...plaza arrangement, figurines of stone and clay, jade celts, beads and composite earspools, obsidian blades produced with the punch technique, unfired adobe bricks, the jaguar deity and the plumed serpent."  (Papers on California ethnography: Issues 9-11)

1971... turtle shell cups, tubular beads of bird bone, antler tine projectile points , and ANTLER TINE CYLINDERS or flakers.” – Caves of Maryland, Richard Franz, Dennis Slifer

1971 - "Artifacts in burial association were four copper bracelets, 26 copper beads, a copper ear ring, three bone combs, a large corner-notched blade, a corner-removed point, a flint hammerstone, A CHISEL, a broken bone handle, ANTLER DRIFT," - "Adena: the seeking of an identity" - B. K. Swartz, Ball State University

1971 - "ANTLER DRIFTS Objects manufactured from the lower portion of deer antler, generally cylindrical in cross section with ground ends, have been referred to as ANTLER DRIFTS. The five specimens from the Kingston site are nicked" -  The Kingston Oneota site, Dean Straffin

1971 - "I am not certain whether the "ANTLER DRIFTS" or "TAPPING TOOLS" ascribed by Ford and Willey to the archaic are identical or analogous forms under a different name. In previous papers (Wedel, 1938, 1940a) I have referred to the Renner..." - United States National Museum

1971 - "incised catlinite tablets ; bone whistles, tubes, beads, and arrowshaft-straighteners ; CYLINDRICAL TAPPING TOOLS, flakers, and miscellaneous objects of antler ;)  -  Plains anthropologist: Volúmenes16-17

1971 -  "Objects of Horn and Bone:  FLAKING PUNCHES.  In Plate 34, d, are two objects of mountain-sheep horn of the same shape. One measures 2.5 inches, the other 2.75 inches; both are rive-eighths inch in thickness. These may be flint-working tools.  Similar objects of antler from Madisonville Cemetery, Ohio, have been identified as FLINT WORKING PUNCHES,1 being used with mallets of wood or stone for flaking pieces of suitable size from large masses."  -  (Explorations in northeastern Arizona: report on the archaeological ..., Samuel James Guernsey)

1971 - "suggests the term core-blade for long prismatic flakes removed from the core by a punch technique.  Type 1 specimens range from unused to severely battered, but unused specimens can readily be assigned to the type because they are easily distinguished from unmodified flakes."  (Archaeological descriptions and typologies of Chumash artifacts, Robert L. Hoover)

1971 -

(SEAC NEWSLETTER, Bettye J. Broyles)
1972 - "Ten ANTLER CYLINDERS or "counters" were found at this site. These artifacts (broken) range from 31 to 54 mm. in length and from 6 to 19 mm. in diameter." - (The late prehistoric occupation of northwestern Indiana: a study, Volumen 5,Número 1, Charles Faulkner)

1972 - "Miscellaneous artifacts not mentioned above include elongate sandstone shaft- polishers, hammer- stones, chipped and, very rarely, polished celts, ANTLER TAPPING TOOLS or "CYLINDERS," and shaft-straighteners of bison rib."  (Plains anthropologist: Volumen17;Volumen17)

1972 - "I also shall not dwell on secondary or indirect percussive techniques which involve the use of a hammerstone struck on a punch of bone or antler which flakes off the chip. This can be done by holding the punch and and objective stone cleverly with one hand so that the other hand is free to use the hammerstone. This can also be done by two people: one to hold the stone, and the other to hold the punch and hammerstone."  (Crafts of the North American Indians: a craftsman's manual ,Richard C. Schneider)
1973 - "The Middle Woodland people used notched or unnotched spades and hoes, grooved stone axes, medium large simple stemmed projectile points, ANTLER DRIFTS and flakers, and bone awls." - The first ten years of the Journal of Alabama archaeology

1974 - "...bone shafts that may have tipped spears, and a few other tools have been discovered in Llano sites.  Among these are long, prismatic flint blades, produced by an indirect percussion or punch technique and used with no retouching. This particular tool, which is duplicated in Upper Paleolithic sites in the Old World,"

1974"ANTLER DRIFTS. Seven CYLINDRICAL DRIFTS of various sizes were found, of which two are illustrated in figure 41 j and k" - Russel cave


1975 - "Flakers: The punches or DRIFTS used in INDIRECT PERCUSSION and pressure flaking were usually of antler, though bone and wood were undoubtedly used on occasion."   (Artifacts of prehistoric America, Louis A. Brennan)

1975 - "In 1879 BB Redding (1879) related his ethnological observations on stone flaking from direct observation of a McCloud River Wintu named "Consolulu" . He discussed the earlier reports of Avery and Waite establishing the native use of PUNCH TECHNIQUE involving a SOFT PUNCH (bone) and a hammerstone. As far as it is known this was the first ethnological evidence reported of this technique in California." - (Bibliographical history of California anthropological research, Elizabeth Wuertele)

1976 - "Antler tips and sections with squared ends show use as flaking tools, drifts, or tapping tools."  (The Handbook of Texas: Volume 3, Walter Prescott Webb)

1976 - "anvilstones, a calcite pendant, a beaver-incisor knife, ANTLER TAPPING TOOLS, antler flaking tools, a bone flesher, bone punches, bone awls, modified raccoon jaws, a tubular- bone bead, and fragments of copper."  (Koster, an artifact analysis of two archaic phases in westcentral ...)

1976 - "Abundant data on Late Archaic tools have been recovered. A cursory examination of published sources on Late Archaic lithic, bone, and antler industries (for instance Claflin 1931; Lewis and Lewis 1961; Coe 1964; Morse 1967; Winters 1969; Webb 1974) will show that even single sites have yielded a remarkable variety of specialized tools. Chipped stone tools include the ubiquitous hafted bifaces known as "projectile points" (some of which seem to have actually functioned as projectile points), unhafted knives, adzes and gouges, "drills," and scrapers. In the southern Piedmont and Co;astal Plain, Savannah River points (Coe 1964: 44-45) and similar forms seem to be associated with almost every Late Archaic occupation.

Examination of wear and resharpening patterns on Savannah River points suggests that these broad-bladed stemmed bifaces probably functioned as knives. Coe (1964, Fig. 40) also notes that some Savannah River bifaces were probably knives. Ground stone tools common in the South Carolina Piedmont and elsewhere in the East include full and three-quarter grooved axes; atlatl weights ("bannerstones"); mortars, mulIers and pestles; and pitted cobbles. Frequently occurring classes of bone and antler tools include atlatl hooks, several varieties of projectile points (see especially Webb 1974: 293-296, 309-311; Claflin 1931: 26, Plate 41), fish hooks and gorges, scrapers, hair (?) pins, awls, and flakers and DRIFTS for knapping stone."  (An Archeological Survey of the Interstate 77 Route
in the South Carolina Piedmont
, John H. House, David L. Ballinger)

1977 -


1977 -  "It  is  an  interesting  sidelight  to  note  that  Teobart Maler  (1901)
encountered  Lacandon Maya who  were manufacturing  and  using  chert arrowheads  at  the  turn  of  the  century.  His  description  is  sufficiently detailed  to  reconstruct  the  manufacturing  sequence  (pp.  36-38):  The chert  nodule,  occasionally  heat-treated,  is  prepared  and  then  a  deer- antler  punch  and  mallet  are  used  to  detach  flakes  and  blades.  These blanks are retouched  at the proximal end  for hafting by using  a fragment of  an  old  iron knife.  Hafting  is  achieved  by  insertion  into  the  foreshaft  and  wrapping  with  cord  covered  with  a black gum. 

1977 - "Se desconoce si la tecnología de la lámina formaba parte del patrimonio cultural de los habitantes tempranos de la cuenca del Guayllabamba, o si se desarrolló independientemente en la sierra del Ecuador.  De todos modos, es interesante anotar que las láminas de Pucará I son, en general, más cortas que las de Chinchiloma. Por otro 'lado, las láminas de Chinchiloma se asemejan más a los especímenes de El Inga.  Finalmente, todos estos tres sitios parecen poseer una tecnología de la lámina menos desarrollada que la del sitio de Lozón (cuyo utillaje no ha sido analizado todavía). Mi impresión inicial de la colección de superficie de este sitio realizada por Bell en 1970 es que las láminas representan un estadio más avanzado de tecnología. En efecto, las láminas de Lozón son largas, angostas y de lados paralelos. Según esto, se puede decir que si existe la tecnología de la percusión indirecta en la región de El Inga, no sería en su sitio homónimo, como preconiza Morgan ( 1967), sino talvez en el sitio de Lozón. Ahora bien, si estas observaciones lograran concretarse con datos cuantitativos, seria necesario postular como hipótesis de trabajo que la tecnología de la lámina se desarrolló independientemente en la sierra norte del Ecuador" 

TRANSLATION:  "It is unknown whether the technology of the blade was part of the cultural heritage of the early inhabitants of the basin Guayllabamba, or developed independently in the mountains of Ecuador. Anyway, it is interesting to note that I Pucará blades are generally shorter than those of Chinchiloma. On the other 'hand, Chinchiloma blades are more like specimens from El Inga. Finally, all three sites appear to have a blade technology developed than the site Lozon (the tool has not been analyzed yet). My initial impression of the collection area of ​​this site by Bell in 1970 is that the blades represent a more advanced technology. Indeed, Lozon blades are long, narrow and parallel sides. Accordingly, we can say that if the technology of INDIRECT PERCUSSION in the region of El Inga, would not be the namesake site, as advocated by Morgan (1967), but perhaps at the site of Lozon. " - (Early man in the region of the Ecuadorian volcano,  Ernesto Salazar)

1977 -  "Muchas tienen un bulbo de percusión difuso y un labio prominente, sugiriendo una separación por percusión indirecta. Esta clase de hojas, al igual que las preformas mencionadas anteriormente, cuando se encuentran junto con determinadas herramientas, se consideran diagnósticas de una ocupación Clovis en algunos sitios de las Américas (Green 1963)."  (Museo Nacional de Costa Rica)

""Many have a diffuse bulb of percussion and a prominent lip, suggesting a separation by INDIRECT PERCUSSION. This kind of blade, like the aforementioned preforms when they are with certain tools, are considered diagnostic of a Clovis occupation in some sites in the Americas (Green 1963). "
  (National Museum of Costa Rica)

1977 - "De la misma manera, Morgan (1967) ha concluido que las láminas del sitio de El Inga fueron producidas por percusión indirecta ("punch" technique), que es Ja técnica utilizada en el paleolítico superior europeo."

Translation:  In the same manner, Morgan (1967) has concluded that the blades of the site, El Inga, were produced by the INDIRECT PERCUSSION TECHNIQUE, that is the technique used by the upper paleolithic in Europe."  (Early man in the region of the volcano, Ecuador, Ernesto Salazar)

1977 - "Antler cylinders were used for stone flaking."  (Prehistory of the Far West: homes of vanished peoples, Luther Sheeleigh Cressman)
1979 - "ANTLER DRIFTS N=5 (Figure 18 AE) Five antler shaft pieces displaying use scars on the proximal and/or distal ends were classified as ANTLER DRIFTS or PUNCHES. The distal ends on two of these artifacts (Specimens 1 and 5) appear to have girdled and then broken to size. Specimens 2, 3, and 4 have undergone sufficient shaping that they are CYLINDRICAL;" - Michigan Archaeological Society

1979 - “Then there comes the subject of “antler drift.”  What is an antler drift?  I have been knapping for 23 years now, and though I have seen dozens of antler drifts illustrated in archaeological reports, and have made up some myself, I have to this day to find anything that I would use them for.  Would the archaeologist who so cleverly informed us as to their use please stand up and verify?  Or is it the term rather than the tool which is archaic?”…”Yet, the site reports come pouring forth with poorly drawn projectile points illustrated upside down , with bifaces being called “blades,” having been flaked with “antler drifts” in holding positions that would only produce gravel, broken tools,  or a lot of blood on the hands of the maker.
Yet, isn’t it a little bit our fault that we have let writers get away with this recycling of old myths?  How many of us write in and complain to the publisher about the antiquated information relating to flintknapping found in their books?  Sure, it is the duty of the writer to research this, to go to the knappers, and get their OK or advice on this or that aspect.”  (Flintknappers Exchange, 1979)



1980 - "CYLINDRICAL CHIPPING TOOLS OF ANTLER abound, some of small size, but the great majority large and characteristic of this culture."  (The archaeology of New York State, William Agustus Ritchie) 

1980 - "ANTLER DRIFTS or "PUNCHES". A single piece of deer antler with a flattened, slightly convex tip may have been utilized in the working of flint or chert artifacts." - (Minisink Site) (late prehistoric)- Pennsylvania

1980 - "ANTLER DRIFTS(Fig. 5.12, B; 5.22, E) Dickson Camp. One ANTLER DRIFT was found in Feature 6. The DRIFT has a length of 6 cm; width of 2.3 cm; thickness of 2.5 cm. One end is filed while the wider, basal end shows signs of heavy..." - (Dickson Camp and Pond: two early Havana tradition sites in theNúmero 3)
1980 - "ANTLER DRIFT or "flaker" (1 specimen): This is a flattened subrectangular piece of antler polished on all surfaces and ends. Such artifacts are common on most late prehistoric sites." Raven Rocks site - Late Woodland rockshelter, West Virginia
1980“"...a well made corner-notched projectile point of white chert, a small copper bodkin or awl, approximately 2-3 inches in length, an ANTLER DRIFT...some 3 inches in length, and several shell beads which, based on their context..."  Wisconsin Natural History Society. Archeological Section, Wisconsin Archeological Society”

1980 - "Hammerstones of a round and cylindrical shape were found as well as what may well have been punches used in indirect percussion manufacturing techniques ."  (Man in the Northeast, Issues 19-22, Anthropological Research Center of Northern New England, Franklin Pierce College. Dept. of Anthropology, State University of New York at Albany. Institute for Northeast Anthropology)

1980 - "Other antler Objects Drifts or flakers used to chip flint are common at many locations. These objects are often indistinguishable from similar antler pieces found in both earlier and later contexts. Some are merely cylinder pieces of antler, blunted at the ends, and presumably used to remove small flakes of flint.  (The Glacial Kame Indians, Robert N. Converse)
1981 - "Bone tools commonly found in IMM Variant sites include...ANTLER PUNCHES.  Antler tools include elk antler fleshers, ANTLER CYLINDERS, and antler shaft wrenches."  (Missouri National Recreational River: Native American Cultural Resources, John Ludwickson)

1982 - "Our antler flakers or punches are believed to have functioned in the processing and maintenance of chipped stone tools.  Most tools in this category bear evidence of such function in the form of cuts, breaks and scratches, on the tip and the sides of the implement.  Some might have functioned as 'intermediate' tools in percussion manufacture of chipped stone tools; thus, the suggestion that some are 'punches.' Baerreis' description of antler flaking tools defines the category quite aptly:" 

(Subsurface testing program: proposed Perry Creek Dam and Reservoir area, Plymouth County, Iowa, Dale R. Henning, University of Nebraska--Lincoln. Division of Archeological Research)

1983 - "First are the cylindrically carved antler drifts used with centrally pitted anvil stones for indirect percussion" - (Ontario archaeology)

1983 - "Both ANTLER DRIFTS (Fig. 39:d) have damaged ends attesting to their probable function as secondary chert flaking tools."  (Pennsylvania archaeologist, Volumen 53)

1983 - "Antler and Shell Bone and antler tools recovered from Weiser were of a nondescript nature with the following catagories noted: bone splinter awls; ANTLER 'PUNCHES' or 'DRIFTS'; ANTLER tine flakers; bird bone beads..."  (Michigan archaeologist: Volumen 29)
1983 - "an ANTLER DRIFT, then identified as bone, a deer ulna, and a beaver incisor. All these artifacts were poorly preserved but their association with a number of PP/Ks, some in the process of being recycled or rejuvenated,"  -  Archaeological investigations in the Cedar Creek and Upper Bear Eugene M. Futato, Gloria May Caddel
1983 – "Of the 11 artifact styles fashioned from antler, 3 deserve comment. First are the cylindrically carved antler drifts used with centrally pitted anvil stones for indirect percussion flaking of chert. The Neutrals were the paramount The Neutrals were the paramount flint-knappers of the historic northeastern Iroquois (Harris 1896; Noble 1978:157; S. Jamieson, personal communication), and their indirect percussion technique with anvils and antler drifts can be traced back 1000 years to the Glen Myer ancestry of southwestern Ontario Iroquois culture (Noble 1975a; Reid 1975). " - Ontario archaeology

1984 - "Objects of ANTLER DRIFTS (3). Three DRIFTS are CYLINDRICAL or nearly so, with flat ends. Two are short and thick and the third is longer and much more slender . The lengths and diameters of the three specimens are 55 mm. by 15 mm..." - The Minnesota archaeologist: Volumen 43

1984 - "The eye-witness records do suggest that the flintknapping kit was fairly standardized, and included a hand cushion, a hammerstone, a bone or ANTLER PUNCH, an abrader, and a bone or antler pressure flaker  (Seeman 1984:16).

1984 - "Punching of tougher materials, such as bone tool blank splitting, is indicated, and the presence of hammered specimens suggests the use of indirect percussion.  Antler-tine flakers imply pressure flaking of siliceous stone, but the unprepared nature of core platforms in the lithic assemblage from the site and the mild degree of tip damage on the bone tools strongly argue against direct percussion of cores."   (Reports of the Chaco Center: Número 7)

1984 -  "At a very early time, this technology included the production of diminutive blades or conical cores via indirect percussion as well as the manufacture of distinctive flake unifaces (or knives) and bifaces. Though dominated by utilized flakes, the earliest lithic industries in the drainage are by no means crude or technologically "backward" (Adovasio et al., 1977, p. 87). Indeed, the reverse seems to be true.  (National Geographic:  Meadowcroft)" 

1985 - "ANTLER DRIFTS (2). Scale 1:1. The tips have been altered to a broadly rounded configuration. These, too, are common to the region." - (West Virginia Archeological Society)

1985 - "Also with the burial were six ANTLER CYLINDERS." - (Ohio archaeologist: Volúmenes 35-37 )

1985"Five altered chert flakes, 1 Woodland triangular projectile point, 1 antler projectile point, and an ANTLER DRIFT were recovered." - (The West Virginia archeologist: Números 37-40 West Virginia Archeological Society)

1986 -  "This platform serves as the seat for indirect percussion, which removes the channel flake and creates the flute scar (Roberts 1935; Tunnell 1977). The primary distinguishing attributes of these techniques are the striking platforms
, which are commonly lost in the process of point production."  (Bulletin of the Texas Archeological Society, Volúmenes 57-58)

1986 - "This knife and one of the end scrapers (Figure 10r) perhaps indicate knowledge and use of the blade stoneworking technique, involving a prepared striking platform and indirect percussion flaking."  (The Arkansas archeologist: bulletin of the Arkansas Archeological ...: Volumes 23-24)

1986 - "Typical antler tools found on Oneota villages include socketed projectile points, flakers (antler tips with blunted ends that may have been used to chip chert), and "counters", which are small cylinders with rounded ends."  (The Wisconsin archeologist: Volumen 67;Volumen 67) 1987 - "hammers and ANTLER DRIFTS or flakers seem to have been used in the production of chipped stone artifacts." - Bennie C. Keel

1987 - Lacandon Knappers Creating Small Blades With Cylindrical Punches:









Papers of the New World Archaeological Foundation, )

1988"Finished arrowheads, spalls of flint ANTLER DRIFTS or PUNCHES, abrading stones, and an arrow wrench made from an elk antler were found with each." - Archaeological Society of Ohio, Ohio Archaeological Society, Ohio Indian Relic Collectors Society
1988 - "The burial from the Benjamin site was accompanied by three Lone Tree points, three other points, a bone awl, two other bone artifacts, three ANTLER DRIFTS, and two antler handles." - Tennessee anthropologist: Volúmenes 13-14,

1988 - Entre el material arqueológico obtuvimos algunos núcleos de obsidiana, otros de sílex, varias plaquitas de concha nácar y enorme variedad de punzones de asta de venado…”

translation:  Between the material archaeologically obtained some obsidian cores, others of flint, various mother of pearl inserts, and an ENORMOUS VARIETY OF PUNCHES, made from DEER ANTLER.”
(Los recursos lacustres de la Cuenca de México durante el formativo)

1988 - "Antler drifts (used for percussion flaking) from the central cache of Burial A." - (Cherry Island, Wayne County Michigan)

Reconstructed arrangement of the Burial A central cache




1989 - "Several blade tools associated with the remains of four mammoths (Mammuthus) were excavated in 1962 and 1963 by the El Llano Archaeological Society (Hester 1972). These mammoth were located 72 m east of the new blades.  FE Green discovered a cache of 1 7 PUNCHED BLADES 260 m south of this area in 1962 (Green 1963). These five blades are very similar in technology, material, and size to the cache of 1 7 blades. Finding these five blades reinforces the fact that Llano complex lithic manufacture employed a characteristic blade technology. - (Current research in the Pleistocene: Volumes 6-9)

1989“"Two deer crania and several antler bases all show cut marks, as do some of the 21 ANTLER DRIFTS..." - (An archeological history of the Hocking Valley,)



1990 -
(Prehistoric Indians of the Southeast: Archaeology of Alabama and the Middle South  , John A. Walthall)
1991“"True blades and ovate scrapers, as well as ANTLER DRIFTS (possibly knapping tools), continued to be made and used."  (The Albertson site: a deeply and clearly stratified Ozark bluff)

1993 - "When complete, they display small striking platforms and bulbs of percussion typical of blades manufactured by an INDIRECT PERCUSSION TECHNIQUE. Some striking platforms were faceted to prepare the blade for removal from the core."  (Rench: a stratified site in the Central Illinois River Valley, Mary J. Bade)

1994 - "El punzón podía hacerse con piedra, asta de venado, hueso o madera. La percusión indirecta es equivalente a la escultura con martillo y cincel. Los modernos mayas lacandones de la selva tropical de Chiapas todavía usan esta técnica para manufacturar puntas de ñecha con piedra.”

TRANSLATION:  "The punch could be made with stone, deer antler, bone or wood.  The indirect percussion is the equivalent to sculpting with a hammer and chisel.  The modern Lacandon Maya, of the tropical forests, in Chiapas, still use this technique for manufacturing arrowheads with stone.”

1994 - "Hopewell bladelets, produced from conical cores, probably by indirect percussion , average about 40-50 mm in length and 10-20 mm in width."  -  (The organization of North American prehistoric chipped stone tool, Phillip J. Carr) 

1995Theler pictures similar objects (1989:Figure 5.8E) and describes them as "Two carefully worked sections of antler... fashioned into small, ELONGATED RODS or PUNCHES. One had scars at one end consistent with damage from flintknapping" Wisconsin Natural History Society. Archeological Section,

1995 - “La obsidiana se importaba principalmente de la región de Michoacán, en forma de núcleos ya preparados para la obtención de las diferentes herramientas. De este material se hacían navajas, cuchillos, puntas de proyectil, perforadores, cuentas, adornos y gran cantidad de herramientas.  Los utensilios para tallar piedra eran martillos, cinceles y punzones de piedra dura, e instrumentos de madera, hueso y asta.”
Translation:  "The obsidian was mainly imported from Michoacan, in the form of cores already prepared for the procurement of different tools.  From this material were made blades, knives, projectile points, perforaters, beading, ornaments, and a great quantity of tools.  The utensils for working stone were the hammer, CHISELS, and PUNCHES, of hard stone, and instruments of wood, bone, and antler.”  (La Acrópolis de Xochicalco, Beatriz de la Fuente)
1996A typical tool kit of a McFate Late Woodland resident may have included a hammerstone, DRIFT, crude chert knife, turkey bone awl, beaver incisor chisel, sinew stone, several triangular points, and an animal skin bag in which to store” - Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology

1996 - "He notes that the association of a sinew stone (abrading stone) and antler drift with a burial, is duplicated in a postmold, which contained no other artifacts. Suggestive also are associations of drifts and other items. Three of the six pits in which drifts were found also contained hammerstones, rejects, and rodent jaws, the latter perhaps indicating the presence of a bag."  - (Pennsylvania archaeologist: Volúmenes 66-68 - Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology)

1997 - "e) La de percusión indirecta, un poco más complicada, que consiste en sostener la piedra que se va a trabajar con las piernas o los pies, y luego, usando un punzón de piedra, madera dura,hueso u otro material, se descarga sobre ella un golpe para partirla."

Translation:  "The indirect percussion, a little more complicated, which is to hold the stone to be working with the legs or feet, and then, using a punch of stone, hardwood, bone or other material, it is discharged onto a blow to break it. "  (Historia de Costa Rica: Surgimiento de un territorio ; El mundo de nuestros aborígenes ; El descubrimiento y la conquista la colonia ; La mayólica (arquelogía colonial)

1998 - "Los principales desechos que se producen durante esta etapa, utilizando la técnica de percusión indirecta, son navajas quebradas, lascas y desechos diminutos. Las lascas y navajas se seleccionan para hacer puntas de fleche”

“The principle waste that was produced during this period, utilized the technique of INDIRECT PECUSSION, there are broken blades, small flakes, and diminutive waste.  The flakes and blades were selected to make arrowheads”

1998 - "Un sistema desarrollado por algunos indios lacandones del Yucatán mejicano ( Clark 1991) sugiere que existen formas particulares de empleo de las manos que permiten llegar a sujetar el cincel y el núcleo con una sola mano,”

“One system developed by some Lacandon Indians, of the Mexican Yucatan, (Clark1991) suggests that there exist particular forms that employ the hands that can hold the chisel, and the core, with only one hand.”(Tecnología lítica experimental: introducción a la talla de , Javier Baena Preysler)

1999 - "Widespread common artifacts are socketed projectile points of either bone or antler; several varieties of ... mussel shell spoons; ANTLER DRIFTS which may be TAPPING TOOLS; small flat grinding stones; numerous fire-cracked stones or..." - (Measuring the flow of time: the works of James A. Ford, 1935-1941 - Página 539)



2001 - "Given these observations, several of the manufacturing advantages of heat treated cryptocrystalline implements may not prove to be as advantageous in terms of tool use. For example, Purdy (1974) noticed that thermally altered stone experienced a reduction in the tensile strength of stone of approximately 45- 60% and an increased attrition rate for a tool's edge. "  (Chipped stone tool use in the Maya coastal economies of Marco Gonzalez and San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, William James Stemp

2001 - "DRIFTS are illustrated in Figure 46 D. Many are CYLINDRICAL with ends cut and ground off squarely." - Kentucky - William S. Webb, Howard D. Winters

2001BLUNT DRIFTS, which might have been used in the INDIRECT PERCUSSION fracture of flint; also ANTLER CHISELS, and SECTIONS OF ANTLER, which were drilled transversely. These horn CYLINDERS are about 4.5 inches long, smoothly cut at the ends. Although no care was used to make the cut square, they were polished as if by use.…” - (Sun Circles and Human Hands: The Southeastern Indians Art,   Emma Lila Fundaburk, Mary Douglass Fundaburk Foreman)

2001 - "Deer antler is represented by antler-tip flaking tools and CUT ANTLER SECTIONS FOR DRIFTS and TAPPING TOOLS. Shell items other than whole mussel shells from the middens are scarce in Henrietta complex sites."  (Handbook of North American Indians: Plains: Parte1 - Página 218)


(Differentiating Archaic and Basketmaker II Projectile Point Manufacturing Techinques, Phil Geib)

2002 -  "GROUND STONE PUNCHES -  This category is comprised of two ground stone punches manufactured from slate recovered from a midden and an unknown context (Figure 8.8; Table 8.20).  Stone punches functioned as indirect percussion implements in the production of chert and obsidian blades (Clark 1991; Hester personal communication, 2002)  Similar stone punches are used by modern day Lacandon Indians of Southern Mexico in the production of chert, and obsidian, blades (Hester personal communication 2002).  

The first specimen was recovered from an Early Postclassic midden at Op 2010 1:7 (Taylor 1980). At its medial section along the vertical axis are found several horizontal scratches or incisions. Vertical scratches are also visible along the edges. Hester (personal communication 2002) suggests these marks resulted from platform preparation. The ends are prepared and faceted. The second specimen is of unknown provenience. It is a much shorter specimen and displays wear in the form of striations on one end only. The opposing end is fragmented. (Material and Meaning a Contextual Examination of Select Portable Material Culture from Colha, Belize, Palma Jeanne Buttles)

2002 -  "Guernsey (1931: 73, plate 34d) tentatively identified two examples of this artifact type from Broken Roof Cave as "FLAKING PUNCHES" for INDIRECT PERCUSSION, comparing them to indirect punches of antler from a burial mound in Ohio." - (Traditions, transitions, and technologies: themes in Southwestern ..., Sarah, Schlanger)

2003 - "gorgets, bone awls, ANTLER DRIFTS, antler arrow points, bone whistles or flutes, antler or bone hooks, antler harpoons, bone needles, bone beamers..."  (FACING THE FINAL MILLENNIUM:  STUDIES IN THE LATE PREHISTORY OF INDIANA, AD 700 - AD 1700, James R. Jones)

2003 - "Bone artifacts fairly well represented in the northern portion of the area from which we have the best information.  Included are antler arrowpoints, small cylindrical sections of antler called "flakers"..."  ( Archaeological survey in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley, 1940-1947 by Philip Phillips)

2003 - "Historical Aspects of Indirect Percussion Use of the punch technique was identified very early by both archaeologists and ethnographers. For instance, Sir John Evans (1872) says that the Inuit used a punch made out of antler for the detachment of flakes that were retouched into arrowheads. He believed that the punch technique was also used to shape cores and detach blades..."  (Mesoamerican lithic technology: experimentation and interpretation, Kenn Hirth)

2003 - "Indeed, I suspect that when Bordes and Crabtree met they both had only a basic understanding of indirect percussion."  (Mesoamerican lithic technology: experimentation and interpretation, Kenn Hirth)

2005 - "An antler drift was recovered from feature 13 (Figure 84F)."  (INVESTIGATIONS IN THE UPPER WHITE RIVER DRAINAGE:  THE ALBEE PHASE AND LATE WOODLAND SETTLEMENT,  Beth K. McCord)

2005 - "Drift : A tool or implement, usually made of antler, which is used in the indirect percussion flaking process."  (Dictionary of Archaeology - Página 89, R.K.C. Shekhar)

2006 - "Few archeologists in Texas are aware of the Maya punches and the large thin bifaces made using them. If the Maya could make large thin bifaces using punches, then it is reasonable to assume the central Texas flintknappers could as well.  Missing in bone assemblages across central Texas are antler billets and the bone debitage related to their manufacture; antler debitage from punch manufacture was present at Colha. If such tools and debitage do occur, they are not being reported. The most-common flintknapping tools recovered archeologically are antler punches (often misidentified), antler tine pressure flakers, and deer ulna pressure flakers. Examples of presumed antler flakers from Archaic sites are not convincingly shown to have been billets."

"The use of indirect percussion using an antler punch is foreign to most modern flintknappers, but it was a method widely used by prehistoric chipped stone artisans from North America to Central America. Punches made of deer antler bases have large contact areas that produce wide flake initiations consistent with the production of large biface-thinning flakes (Geib 2004). The rare finds of flintknappers’ kits provide a glimpse into the tool set used for chipped stone manufacture. Flintknapper kits from Horse Shoe Ranch Caves (Shafer 1986:105), Burial 119 at Morhiss (Dockall and Dockall 1999), Feature 9 at the Crestmont site (Hall 2002), Lemens Rockshelter (Smith 1994), and the San Dune Cave cache in Utah (Geib 2004) are cases in point.  The Horse Shoe Ranch Caves tool kit clearly provisioned the man for the hunt. It contained not only biface blanks, spare flakes, antler punches, sinew, and an edge abrader but a scarifier, jackrabbit mandibles, and buckeye and mountain laurel seeds for hunting rituals, all components of the technological system supporting his technological style of hunting and associated ritual behavior.

Feature 9 at the Crestmont site (Hall 2002:14, 60–63) contained three antler punches, three
biface cores, an atlatl hook, and three socketed bone points. The burial is described as an adult female, but the sex-linked artifacts associated with the burial are reason to question the sexual identification. The burial most likely contained a flintknapper’s kit, and the punches are hardly deniable.  In the American Southwest, the Sand Dune Cave cache (Geib 2004) found inside a white dog skin bag is an excellent view into a Basketmaker II flintknapper and hunter’s bag. This bag contained three smaller bags, two of which are prairie dog skin bags, and a bundle of six dart point fore shafts with hafted stone points and two large mammal tendons for sinew. One of these contained 16 dart point preforms, two notched points, and a lump of uranium ore. The other prairie dog skin bag contained eight rod-like punches fashioned of mountain sheep horn. The Lemens Rockshelter (Smith 1994) kit contained only nonperishable items, but here, too, the burial assemblage consisted of seven antler tools, two of which are clearly punches; possibly three others are punches as well, although Smith describes four as flakers. One (Smith 1994:Figure 7a) is identical to Postclassic antler punches from Colha, Belize. These antler base tools at Colha were originally described as billets (Shafer 1985) but were later examined microscopically by the author and John Dockall. We identified them as punches based on wear patterns; they were used in the manufacture of very large thin bifaces.  One site that yielded punches, possibly in the time frame of the proposed Prairie Caddo assemblage, is Blum Rockshelter (Jelks 1953). Jelks mentions indirect percussion tools of antler being stratigraphically between Scallorn and Perdiz deposits; these same deposits yielded arrow points identified by Jelks as Alba."  

Photos of Flintworking Punch Tools from Colha Quarries 
(courtesy of Professor Harry J. Shafer, Texas A.M. University)

2007 - "The method used by the Clovis flint knappers to remove the channel flakes has not been identified; any one of three might have been used: direct percussion, indirect percussion, and some form of massive pressure..."  
(Murray Springs: a Clovis site with multiple activity areas in the San Pedro Valley, Arizona,

2009 - "La taille par percussion indirecte du quartz, développée par expérience et opportunisme, étant donné la rareté des pierres de bonne qualité à tailler dans les Guyanes et sur le plateau brésilien, est une technique diffusée du sud du Brésil jusqu’en Guyane.)

TRANSLATION:  "Working quartz with indirect percussion developed by experience and expediency, given the scarcity of good quality stone carving in the Guianas and the Brazilian plateau, is a technique issued from southern Brazil to Guyana."  (

The antler punch is a soft hammer indirect percussion instrument utilized in
the production of stone tools (Figure 9.3; Hester and Shafer 1979, 1991a; Michaels
1994; Shafer 1979). At Colha, hard hammer percussion prevailed during the
Preclassic and Late Classic eventually being replaced by soft hammer technique in
the Postclassic (Hester 1982; Hester and Shafer 1991; Shafer 1979). Their use
during the Postclassic at Colha is confirmed by the presence of lipped biface
thinning flakes (Shafer 1979:52). Within this form category are found two
subforms based predominantly on the section of antler it was produced from.


2010 -

"A number of bone and antler tools have been recovered in our excavations that were probably flaking tools.  There are two small antler logenzes that may have been used for indirect percussion punches."  (Report of Archaeological Research Conducted at Stix and Leaves Pueblo, Bruce Bradley)

2010 neatly made, chipped end scraper; two thin, finely made, triangular arrowheads; one drilled antler tip; and SEVERAL CYLINDRICAL SECTIONS OF ANTLER that may have been "gaming pieces." Scattered over the skull were many small, blue,…” - Archaeological Salvage in the Walter F. George Basin, Tennessee
Figure 9.3. Antler Punches: a) thick punch, 2010 1:5; b) long tapering punch
2010 1:2 (after Scott 1980:319)

2002 -

"Antler Punches"

Antler Punches: Thick

The first subform is comprised of 11 short, thick sections of antler
recovered from midden (n=9) construction related (n=1), and obsidian
concentration (n=1) contexts (Figure 9.3a; Table 9.4). These specimens were
probably manufactured from the thick branches of mature white tail often referred

(standard deviation 1.12 cm), average thickness 4.39 cm (standard deviation 7.30
cm), and average weight 29.48 g (standard deviation 11.97 g.)

Antler Punches: Long Tapering

The second subform is represented by nine long tapering sections of antler
 recovered from midden (n=8) and unknown (n=1) contexts (Figure 9.3b; Table
 9.5). These specimens were produced from tine sections that have had their points
 removed. The average length of these specimens is 7.85 cm (standard deviation
 1.27 cm), average thickness 1.54 cm (standard deviation 0.36 cm), and average
 weight 24.29 g (standard deviation 15.67 g).


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