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Location- Delta River Valley, central Alaska.  It was found subsurface on a bluff near Jarvis creek near Delta Junction, Alaska.   The core was made in a tan chert, and measures 3cm long by 22 mm at the widest part of the platform top.

Microblade cores are a specific type of carefully prepared stone core found primarily in NE Asia and Alaska from the end of the last glacial period up until approximately 1,000 years ago (in Alaska 14,200 years ago to 800 years ago). These cores were shaped to remove small, thin (less than 10 mm wide and 1-3 mm thick) rectangular blades. These blades were extremely sharp and were used as cutting edges in hunting weapons and knives. Microblades first appear in the oldest archaeological site in Alaska, Swan point, at 14,200 years ago. The archaeological culture first associated with microblades is called the Paleoarctic Tradition. At this time, the makers prepared a bifacial tool (flaked on both sides) and then drove off the entire side of the tool to create a platform for microblade strikes. Through time, microblade production became less formal. During the Northern Archaic archaeological tradition (7000-3000 BP) it is common to find microblade cores made on the edges of thick flakes. Cores were thought to be hafted on to a wood or antler handle for support by their bifacially flaked keel, although this was not always necessary. Although we don’t know the age of this specific core or the use of the microblades that were made from it, these tools are found in many sites in central Alaska over a long range of time and were significant parts of prehistoric toolkits.  Special thanks to Julie Esdale and Elliot Hubbard for artifact loan and providing text background.  (cast copyright Occpaleo 2022)

Alaskan Microcore Cast

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