I found out that several of my students have been ill, one of them got in a car accident, and one is dealing with emotional problems...hardly reasons to miss class. Just joking.
I probably just have boring lectures.
Anyway, on Thursday Dr. Clark showed me a different technique of hard hammer reduction. Clark has developed a method of using the flat or face of the hammerstone rather than the edges.
Clark hits the biface with the flat of the hammerstone in a downward motion and pulls of very thin, flat flakes. he had me try it out, and while it is a slightly uncomfortable method for me (mainly because it is new), I had some success. The flakes removed from this method are not as curved as those removed with an antler billet. This allows the knapper to avoid creating central ridges which interfere with the thickness of the biface.
Clark had been working on a biface about 5 inches long and 1/4 to 1/8 inches thick. Shortly after teaching me this new technique, he left and I pulled some flakes off of his biface using this new technique. It was a high risk activity(working on his biface), but he had so many perfectly prepared platforms that I couldn't say no. Granted, I could have broken it, but I felt confident enough in my abilities that I didn't sweat it too much.
It's certainly a technique worth developing.