Best Replicas 1973

     I started knapping seriously in 1969 and made good progress through 1970-1971.  In the summer of 1971 I spent 10 days visiting Don Crabtree's knapping fieldschool in Twin Falls, Idaho.  I wasn't officially enrolled but there by a personal invitation.  Later that year I travelled to several Universities giving knapping demonstrations and engaging with the resident archaeologists.  I first went to the University of Oregon, Eugene where I met and collaborated with C. Garth Sampson who later became my PhD 'away' supervisor and mentor at Southern Methodist University.  My PhD was at the University of Cambridge.

From Eugene I went to the University of Minnesota where I spent time with Marie Wormington who later introduced me to George Frison at the University of Wyoming.  I also visited the University of Kansas and spent time with Carlyle Smith.  These encounters resulted in many future opportunities, one of which was to spend time in Wyoming working on digs and knapping. 

 

     In September of 1973 I worked with George on excavations at the Hanson (Folsom) site near Shell, Wyoming.  While there we visited a stone source (Spanish Point) that was being commercially mined for moss agate by Mr. Drengson who had the lease and a rock shop in Shell.  He had a small dozer, which he used to expose a vertial slope that cut into ancient quarry pits and masses of 'agate'.  It was an amazing source.  He gave us permission to take what we wanted but if we found 'moss agte' we would return it to him.  Any piece that didn't have 'moss' (dendrites) he dubbed 'dog stone'.  Late one evening George and I were at the quarry and there was a massive chunk of 'agate' exposed.  It was to large for us to get in the truck and there were no acute angles on it to be used as platforms.  It  was just to amazing to leave so with a large diorite cobble that I found in the spoil (probably an ancient hammerstone), I battered a facet producing a cone and several large spalls.  It was getting too dark so we had to leave.  We returned first thing in the morning with equipment to allow us to load the chunk into our truck,but somebody had removed it during the night (without Drengson's permission).  later that month we were back in laramie and I spent some time in the lab knapping, including the two Spanish Point spalls.  Everything went perfectly and I made a Scottsbluff from one spall and a matching Eden from the other.  I kept the Scottsbluff and gave the Eden to George.  It was the best work I had done and remains one of the best.  George kept the Eden until just befor his passing in 2020.  He gave it to his friend and colleague, George Zeimens along with some other things I made over the years.  However, we thought the Eden had been misplaced or 'liberated'.  

Today, 19 March 2021, George Z. gave me three of my early replicas, including the 'missing' Eden.  The two points have been reunited after 48 years!  He also gave me the largest Agate Basin point (made of Knife River flint) I have ever made and one that George Frison cherished.  I intend to donate these replicas and others from my early Wyoming years to the Western History Museum in Sunrise, Wyoming- but not quite yet!

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