------------------------------- MODERN FLINTKNAPPING----------------------------



Modern Flintknapping Grading System



The Modern Flintknapping Grading system Overview.   

In the Objective side of our grading system, we will include points derived from various measurements and mathematical formulas. The measurements will include, length, width, and diameter of blade. Since a longer wider thinner piece involves more skill to produce, these qualities will get more points. There are four formulas to this part of the grading system. They are as follows:


1. Overall total length of piece.

2. Length X Width

3. Width divided by diameter to create a width/thickness ratio.

4. Length divided by diameter to create a length/thickness ratio.






Our grading system includes 3 aspects of the flintknapping piece. These will include the length, width and diameter. The system includes four separate calculations.


1) Length


A piece that is 6 inches are longer is considered to be of higher difficulty to produce, therefore extra points are received for pieces over 6 inches long.


20 points will be received for every inch up to 6 inches.

40 points will be received for every inch over 6 inches.

Any fractions of inches will be determined by dividing by that fraction.(ie, 1/4 inch for piece 6 inches or lower would receive 5 pts and 1/4 over 6 inches would receive 10 pts)



5 inch piece will score 100 points(20X5)

10 inch piece will score 280 points(6 inches at 20 pts per inch and 4 inches at 40 pts per inch   

 (20X6=120     40X4=160   120+160= 280)


2) Length X Width


Length multiplied by Width at the widest point of the piece. Then multiply that figure by 10 to get total number of points.



10 inches long by 2 inches wide would receive 200 points.(10X2=20   20X10=200)

8 inches long by 4 inches wide would receive  320 points(8X4=32  32X10= 320)


3) Width to Thickness Ratio


Divide width by diameter of piece(at thickest and widest points)  A piece of a 10/1 ratio is considered to be of higher difficulty to produce, so once a piece reaches 10/1 the points increase dramatically on a sliding scale.


Sliding Scale Points

up to 9/1 is 30 pts per ratio(9/1 would be total of 270pts)

10/1 is additional 90 pts

11/1 is additional 90 pts

12/1 is additional  90 pts

13/1 is additional 180 pts

14/1 is additional 360 pts

15/1 is additional 720 pts

16/1+ is additional 1000 pts per 1 ratio increase


Any fractions of a ratio would receive that same % of the next step up in points. For example, 13.5/1 ratio would receive and additional 180 more points(.5 of the 360 you receive at 14/1)





A piece 1 7/8 inches wide by 1/8 inch diameter has a ratio of 14.5/1(1.87/.187) and would receive 1240 pts.(270+90+90+90+180+360+360)


A piece 5 inches wide by 3/8 inch diameter has a ratio of 13.3/1(5/.375=13.3) and would receive  828 points(270+90+90+90+180+108)



4)Length to Thickness Ratio


Divide the length by the diameter. A 30/1 ratio must be reached before any points are awarded. The sliding scale will be used here as well, giving points by % in the same manner as the W/T sliding scale.



30/1  is 500 pts


40/1  is additional 500 pts


50/1  is additional 750 pts


60/1  is additional 1000 pts


70/1  is additional 1000 pts


80/1  is additional 1000 pts





A piece which is 10 inches long and 1/4 inch diameter would have a 40/1 ratio and receive 1000 pts. (500+500)


A piece that is inches long and 1/8 inch diameter would have a 64/1 ratio and receive 3150 pts(500+500+750+1000+400)



All the points from each area are then added together for a total score.




I would like to acknowledge and thank Jim Winn of CA for his help on developing this system.



 Disclaimer---This system is not intended for use with eccentrics, very small pieces, or pieces over 1/2 inch in diameter. FOG pressure scores are not intended to be compared to Percussion scores



Scoring by using average width to thickness ratio:




I think a more equitable way of measuring pieces is to use an average W/T ratio. This is really only necessary on your higher ratio pieces, ones that are at least 10/1 or higher. I think this gives a more equitable grading of the entire piece and will increase the score of a piece that is thinner throughout the blade. It is disappointing to see an otherwise thin blade, get deducted down due to one small thicker spot. Although, this calculation still takes the thickest point into consideration, it doesn't destroy your W/T ratio. It takes into account a wider blade which holds that width over a longer distance, which requires more skill to accomplish. It takes into account the thinnest point, where the knapper risked breaking the blade to remove a hinge, removed a very thick flake, or was able to bring two descending flakes from opposite edges. When trying to perform any of these task the knapper runs the risk of breaking the blade.


Although, i realize there are different opinions on this subject, so on most percussion pieces i will list the "Standard Score" using the standard method of the widest and thickest points and the "Average Score" using the averaging method of thickness.  


The following information explains the calculations used to figure an average W/T ratio. The same average diameter can also be used to find the average L/T ratio.


The diameter(thickness) of the piece will be measured at 1 inch intervals starting at one end and taken down the center of the piece.(the last measurement must be a least 1 inch from the end of the blade) Then a diameter measurement will also be taken at both the thinnest point(must be within 1/2 inch of the center line and 1 inch from either end of blade) and thickest point from any where on the piece.


If any of the 1 inch interval measurements happen to hit at the thinnest or thickest point, then that measurement counts for the thinness or thickest point measure and can not be used again in the calculation.







A 6 inch long piece will include 5 interval measurement points when taken at every 1 inch  along with two other measures of thinnest and thickest point.


All 5 of the 1 inch interval measurements were 3/16 or .1875 inches.


The thinnest point is 3/32 or .09 inches.


The thickest point is 7/32 or .219 inches.



Add all measurements together and divide by total number of measurements taken.




.1875 X 5=.94+ .09 + .219=1.25     1.25/7=.18




If using the same size piece, but the thinnest point happened to hit and be included in one of the 1 inch interval measurements you would have one less measure, or 6, and would be as the following:




.1875 X 4=.75 + .09= .84+.219=1.06    1.06/6=.18






If using the same size piece, but the thickest point happened to hit and be included in the 1 inch interval measures you would still have 6 measurements and would be as the following:




.1875 X 4=.75 +.219=.97 + .09=1.06    1.06/6=.18




So as you can see, either calculation comes out to be exactly the same. So by not using the thinnest or thickest measurements twice in the same calculations, as we have done, is an equitable way of doing it.




When figuring the average width, you will measure the width once again at the same 1 inch intervals, then calculate the average.










6 inch piece would include 5 measurements, 1.5, 2, 2.69,2,1.5 inches respectively at each 1 inch interval.




1.5+2+2.69+2+1.5=9.69       9.69/5=1.94 average width




Then take average width divided by average thickness:








Average W/T ratio would be 10.8/1








Mega Blade Grading System


1) Length


75 points per inch


2) Length X Width


Length multiplied by Width, then multiply by 10 to get points.


3) Width to Thickness Ratio


Divide width by diameter(at thickest and widest points)


2/1 no points

3/1   500 points

4/1   1000 points

5/1   1500 points


Any fractions of a ratio would receive the same % of the next step up in points. For example, 4.5/1 ratio would receive 250 additional points more than 4/1.


A straighter center line for the piece is an added positive to the overall blade.


This system is intended for blades 20 inches or longer in length.


I would like to acknowledge and thank Cole Hurstfor his expertise and knowledge in the development of this grading system.


Check out Cole Hurst’s MEGA BLADES