Glass Kimberley Points held by the Manchester Museum

MM pointer 2

This morning Elizabeth Healey and myself popped over to the museum to have a look at their Kimberley Points. There were two boxes with nine or so aboriginal points and a similar quantity of copies (some of which had been painted to resemble stone). The aboriginal points are very impressive and two stood out for me. The above example can be seen as archetypal in shape with the needle like tip. It is 83mm long, 30mm wide and 8mm thick, being thickest at the proximal end.

MM pointer 1

Not all the points had this kind of tip. These tips are produced by reduction on one side, and then flipping over the point and reducing the other. The result is a rhomboidal cross section. The overall impression of these aboriginal pieces is one of systematic and controlled flaking. On this one it has resulted in a lens like cross section for the main body of the piece. The second piece that stood out was a small green glass point.

MM twister

This one is 79mm long, 24mm wide and 6mm thick with a serrated edge. It has been made from a side panel of a bottle but with its longitudinal axis at a slight angle to that of the bottle. The result is a longitudinal twist. The systematic and controlled flaking applied to this twisted blank has resulted in an idiosyncratic and impressive point. It feels to me that the knappers have a real creative engagement with the particularities of the glass fragment being worked. An acceptance of shape and skilled application of flaking to bring the point into some kind of form. This is in contrast to a need to force symmetry onto an unsymmetrical fragment. I need to up my game and play with this systematic and controlled flaking pattern.

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