WALLER KNIFE

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The Waller Knife was named for early diver Ben Waller who recovered many of these knives in the context of Paleoindian kill sites along Florida rivers. The Waller Knife is a medium-sized, unifacially-flaked blade measuring 1.3 to 2.4 inches in length. The blade is made from a large percussion flake during an early stage of core reduction. The flake is modified with uniform pressure flaking on only the dorsa or outside face. The ventral or inside face is unworked, creating a plano-convex cross-section. The hafting area was developed through bifacial notching. Basal smoothing is not characteristic of this blade. Waller’s association of these blades with early kill sites and Ripley Bullen’s inclusion of them as part of the Nalcrest site tool kit would place them from 10,000 to 7,500 years BP.

The consistent recovery of these blades with kill sites is a strong suggestion that it was a quickly made, throwaway tool. The side notching could be done quickly, but would not sustain hafting to a hard handle. This suggests that it might have been hung from a lanyard around the neck of the hunter, allowing quick access during the butchering process.