Spalled Burin (ASTt)

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Artifact: Stone Tool
Class Flaked Stone
Culture(s) Arctic Small Tool Tradition
Temporal Period Palaeo-Eskimo Period


Small, flaked burins with sequential removals from one or both distal ends.


Basal Shape: Varies - Concave, Convex, Straight, Irregular
Hafting Modification: Varies - Unilateral Notching, Bilateral Notching, Tapering, None
Working Edge Shape: Varies - Convex, Straight



Technological Notes

  • ASTt spalled burins are technologically distinct from Old World burins, particularly in the arrangement and creation of the working surfaces (Bandi 1963).
  • Maxwell (1973) provides a typology of 13 Palaeo-Eskimo spalled burin variants, but Riddle (2010) disputes Maxwell's classification scheme, arguing that it misrepresents the morphological variation that exists in burin samples.
  • Dorsal and ventral faces are often shaped by Grinding

Geographical Distribution

  • Spalled burins are commonly found on Palaeo-Eskimo sites across the North American Arctic and Greenland (Bandi 1963; Maxwell 1985)

Map of sites where Spalled Burin (ASTt) specimens have been reported

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Note: In the interest of protecting our shared cultural heritage from those who would do it harm, intentional or otherwise, only approximate site locations are provided here.

Temporal-Cultural Affiliation

Palaeo-Eskimo Period

Archaeological Contexts

Notable Sites/Components

Similar Artifact Types


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