The Stanfield Knife: A Large Paleo Blade
by Col. John F. Berner
|Central States Archaeological Societies 2010
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 of the
Rocky Mountains. The majority of these knives features collateral flaking
on both faces. Stanfields are predicted 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 ¾ 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.
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