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KNIFE RIVER FLINT IN THE NORTHEASTERN PLAINS

Michael L. Gregg
Plains Anthropologist
Vol. 32, No. 118 (November 1987), pp. 367-377
Published by: Maney Publishing on behalf of the Plains Anthropological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25668712
Page Count: 11
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KNIFE RIVER FLINT IN THE NORTHEASTERN PLAINS
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Abstract

Knife River Flint (KRF) is a high quality flintknapping material with the primary source area in west-central North Dakota. The densest flint deposits, largest pieces, and highest quality materials are concentrated in a relatively small area where prehistoric surface mining for KRF took place throughout the Holocene. This flint was widely exchanged at certain times in prehistory. Its occurrence is often used to assess direction and extent of group interaction. Recent documentation of naturally occurring KRF in the Northeastern Plains requires that another source area needs to be considered when using the presence of KRF artifacts to formulate inferences regarding prehistoric interaction involving the Northeastern Plains, Middle Missouri, and Northwestern Plains subareas. Analyses of cortical data for KRF tools and flaking debris from Northeastern Plains sites may sometimes enable an archaeologist to identify the reduction and use of raw material procured from nearby sources rather than from the quarry heartland.

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