Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Flints Galore

This beautiful gunspall caught our eyes as we were cataloging a few days back. This artifact was discovered in Unit 54, Stratum 1 in the Compton Field. It is a good example of an English Gunspall, which was used to create a spark in a firearm to ignite the gunpowder and fire a bullet.

Gunspalls were made by striking a large nodule of rock. This example is flint, but obsidian and chert also were used. Later gunflints are prism-shaped rather than gunspalls, which are rounded. A large bulb of percussion is visible at the bottom of the gunspall, which resulted from the pressure exerted upon this piece to remove it from a larger rock. Additional knapping was done to finish the bottom edge, and its condition suggests that this flint was not used many times prior to it being lost.

Previous flints found at Port Tobacco include a possible Aboriginal gunflint made of quartz and an English gunflint.

Anne & Kelley

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