Fluting Flint

6 Apr 2017

At https://phys.org/print410541003.html ... it seems Clovis Points, which are fluted, are still a problem for archaeology. What was the reasoning behind the fluting of flint points? Clovis points date from around 13,500 years ago - and disappeared at the Younger Dryas boundary. The flute is the groove chipped off the base of the point, on both sides. It seems that this thinning action, rather than weakening the points, actually is able to make the point more powerful in that it is able to withstand and absorb the shock of colliding with a hard object, such as the bones of a prey animal. Hence, fluting projectile points, arrowheads and spear heads, was a clever innovation as it allowed the same point to be re-used on multiple occasions.

However, fluting the point of a projectile also improved aerodynamic air flow (important for an arrowhead as it gave greater distance potential, allowing it to fly further and retain more energy on impact. In addition, it may originally have been a technique to make it easier to attach the point to the shaft (which is a practical solution).