Close up of a recycled biface fragment. This biface was never finished and probably rejected because it had a thick spot marked by the triangular patch of cortex (outer surface) in the lower left. Abandoned, it aged and formed a dark patina – seen here as the dark gray-brown surface in the middle of the artifact. Much later in time, during the period the midden was in use, someone picked up the reject and found a new use for it. This is obvious because of the fresh flaking around the edge (the lighter colored areas). Such recycling was a common practice among the native peoples of the region, but one that archeologists have been slow to recognize. We now realize that artifacts sometimes had a long “use life” sometimes interrupted by thousands of years. Such messy facts can make archeological interpretation quite challenging. TARL archives.
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