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The Stanfield Knife: A Large Paleo Blade

by Col. John F Berner Roswell, Georgia

Originally Published in the Central States Archaeological Journal, Vol.57, No.1, pg.29

The Stanfield knife is a medium to large knife with slightly convex sides and a straight to convex base.The basal end may contract slightly and often the corners are rounded. Some resharpened specimens have beveled edges which stops short of the hafting area. A slight polish is normally existent on the base. This type may range from 4 inches to over 10 inches in length prior to resharpening. The Stanfield is generally manufactured from tabular flint such as high grade Burlington chert and Ft.Payne chert and in one particu­lar instance, an 8 1/2″ Rhyolite specimen was found at Findley Lake, Chatauqua County, New York.

The distribution of Stanfields is from Florida northward and east ofthe Rocky Moun­tains. The majority of these knives feature col­lateral flaking on both faces. Stanfields are pre-dicted to be Late Paleo butchering tools and are often mistaken for the large Cobbs Tri­angular. Cobbs knives are percussion flaked with large removed flakes across the face of the tool with steep beveled blade edges on opposite sides of the artifact.

Stanfield knives feature smaller per­cussion removed flakes in the resharpen­ing process. This point was named by James W. Cambron for examples discovered at the Stanfield-Worley rock shelter in Northern Al­abama (Cambron & Hulse 1964:105).

The Stanfield paleo knife above is 7 3/4 inches long, made of glossy white Burling­ton chert and was found Calhoun County, Illinois. It was formerly in the Heye Founda­tion collection at New York, after which it was owned by R.Doy, Merton Henderschott and Bobby Sharp.

“Used by Permission of the Author”

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