CAST #N-5

TYPE IV DANISH DAGGER (CAST)
DAGGER PERIOD
NORTHERN EUROPE
(ORIGINAL) IN FLOYD RITTER COLLECTION
COPYRIGHT MARCH 31, 2003 PETER A. BOSTROM

CAST #N-5
CLICK ON PICTURE FOR LARGE TRIPLE IMAGE

TYPE IV DANISH DAGGER (CAST)
DAGGER PERIOD
NORTHERN EUROPE
FLOYD RITTER COLLECTION

By Errett Callahan Ph.D

   This is an example of the most remarkable of all Danish Neolithic flint dagger types. It is different from the preceding types in several ways. The butt of the handles of Type IV Daggers is typically flared rather than straight. Also, the zigzag seam stitching on the handles are typically (though not exclusively) on the topside only, creating a trihedral cross-section in that area. Plus, the handles of Type IV Daggers are notably thinner than wide.
   The widest portion of the blade is, for the first time, below its center, rather than centered as on the previous types. The pressure flaking on the blade is quite different from the earlier types, as it is usually oriented straight inward rather than at a diagonal. The pressure flakes are typically removed directly from a percussion flaked preform with little or no prior surface grinding. This necessitates total control of the percussion preform. This cast, however, is unusual in that it illustrates a blade portion which was heavily ground prior to pressure flaking. A minority of blade portions were finished with percussion rather than pressure, excepting edge retouch which is typically pressure.
   Type IV Daggers are far more complex than other types. An intricate series of preform stages is called for rather than the rather straight forward reduction plan seen on earlier dagger types. The zigzag retouch on the lateral margins and butt of the handle is quite fine, being scalloped in a particular way, similar to, but different from, the top seam retouch.
   Type IV daggers show remarkable uniformity of handle size, shape, and flaking quality. The blades show much more diversity. One reason for this is because the blades are frequently seen resharpened, such as this example clearly shows. The resharpening is rather abrupt here, resulting in an increasingly steep-angled edge, but one that impinges upon the initial body flakes as little as possible. From this, we could assume that the size, quality of flaking and overall "beauty" was more important to the original owner than the functional cutting ability of the dagger. This would imply that such daggers were meant more for "show" than for use. But it might take a study of wear patterns to confirm or deny this speculation.


CLICK ON PICTURE FOR LARGE TRIPLE IMAGE
END VIEW OF THE HANDLE (ORIGINAL)
IV DANISH DAGGER
DAGGER PERIOD
NORTHERN EUROPE

   This picture shows the end view of the handle of a type IV Danish dagger. The cross-section of type IV dagger handles that have stitched or zigzag flaking on one side only, like this one, look like wide three  sided triangles.

"REFERENCES"

1872, Sir John Lubbock, "Pre-Historic Times, Ancient Remains and the Manners & Customs of Modern Savages"
1952, "Danish Antiquities, II Late Stone Age", by P.V. Glob, pp. 122-123.
1970, "Tools of the Old Stone Age," by Jacques Bordaz, p. 109
1983, "The Search For humanity's Roots", by Herbert C. Kraft and Gabriel DeCicco, pp. 58-59
1996, "The Oxford Companion To Archaeology, Beakers" by Brian M. Fagan, pp. 88-90.
1998, "Chips, Vol. 10, #2, Thor's Toothpick, A Type IV-B Danish Dagger", by D.C, Waldorf, pp. 12-18.
2001, "Chips, Vol. 13, #2, Type V-A Dagger", by D.C. Waldorf, pp.10-17.

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