Knapping Precise Porcelain Replicas

Author(s): Charles Speer

Year: 2017


The experimental replication of lithic artifacts commonly encounters issues of standardization and control. Two major issues are how to accurately sample a population and how to sample from specific stages over the flaking process. Knappable stone is unpredictable due to inclusions, cracks, and differences in size, texture, and fracture toughness. It is necessary to create knappable facsimiles of either artifacts or knapped replicas by experts at specific stages. This allows for observation of specific behaviors at critical stages in the production process; such as notching, fluting, pressure flaking, or late stage bifacial thinning. A new method is presented that provides several advantages over traditional approaches to flintknapping experiments: flaking of precise facsimiles of actual artifacts, recording and replication of critical stages in the reduction process, and the production of a large number of these precise replicas at a relatively low cost. The method presented here uses a micro-CT scanner to record the artifact form, a Fused Deposition Modeling 3D printer to produce a copy of the artifact form, a plaster mold of the printed artifact form, and then lastly casting, production, and firing of the artifact form in the plaster mold from porcelain slip.

Cite this Record

Knapping Precise Porcelain Replicas. Charles Speer. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429703)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -113.95; min lat: 30.751 ; max long: -97.163; max lat: 48.865 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15935