Lithic casting involves making a 3 dimensional copy of an artifact that is suitable for scientific study. When high grade silicones and epoxies are used to mold and cast an artifact, the finest of details can be replicated. Once this is done, objects that are hard to access are immediately open for world wide study. Lithic casts are a great tool for reference and teaching collections. When a 3D replica of an object is held in hand, it brings archaeology to life much more than a picture in a book.
This authentic "St. Louis Type" Clovis spear point was sent to Occpaleo for casting in 2011. It is a rare and well flaked example of the type, making it very desirable for study. A once hard to access stone tool can now be made available to anyone. The original is on the left made in black Chert, with our new cast on the right in high grade urethane epoxy.
NEW LITHIC CAST
THE CINMAR BIFACE
A new cast in October 2013 of what is possibly the oldest stone tool in the Americas. For more information on this masterpiece of stonework SEE ITEM
PALEOINDIAN PERIOD SEE ITEMS (? - ca. 10,000 years before the present) The Paleoindian period refers to the time span between the first arrival of people in North America and the turn of the Ice Age. Although the time and direction of the first people is still debated, by roughly 13,000 years ago the Clovis Archaeological Complex was set in. The hallmark of this period is the fluted spear point, the disappearance of the megafauna, and the great changes in the climate and flora of the Ice Age.
ARCHAIC PERIOD SEE ITEMS (ca 10,000 B.P. - ca. 3,000 B.P.)
This period in North America refers to the time between the ending of the Ice Age, and the more settled cultures associated with the use of pottery. During this time there is an explosion of different cultures and point types, many of which show the new feature of "notching" and different hafting area shapes. The Bannerstone also shows up during this time, and by 4,000 years ago was showing amazing workmanship and defined types unlike anything else in the world.
WOODLAND PERIOD SEE ITEMS (ca. 3,000 BP to 500 AD)
This period in North America roughly deals with the time when cultures settled down more in areas with the use of pottery and agriculture. The arrival of the bow and arrow is generally thought to have happened here around 2,000 years ago, and brought with it an explosion of new types of stone tool work in the form of arrowheads and farming tools.
OLD WORLD PALEOLITHIC SEE ITEMS (? to ca. 10,000 years ago)
This period refers to the time span of the beginnings of stone tools in Africa, and through the spread to Europe and Asia, and up to the point of around 10,000 years ago. The hallmark of this time is certainly the Hand Axe, which is the longest running tool type in history. The most recent 30,000 years or so shows a great increase in the use of cores and blades, as well as the first known true projectile points.
MESO AMERICAN CASTS SEE ITEMS (Pre-Columbian, before 1600's)
In this section we are offering casts that are made from modern examples that have made great teaching collections for students. Casts of modern materials will always be clearly noted as such, to set them apart from our casts of authentic artifacts. Modern replicative lithic work has advanced the understanding of stone tools greatly, and with casting this knowledge can be spread to students everywhere.