Here are some of the Bannerstones Larry has
made over the years.
(Photo LK) This atlatl with geniculate
bannerstone was made by Larry. It has an antler hook, and handle. The main
shaft is hickory and the banner is banded slate. It was fashioned after a
bannerstone from the Bullseye Site in Greene Co. Illinois.
The bannerstone was
drilled using Southern Illinois cane and flint dust. The flint dust acts as
an abrasive and the cane holds the dust in place to cut the stone. The dust
is winnowed on a tarp with a slight breeze blowing then it's selected by
pinching the tarp above and below the correct particle size, then pouring
the dust into a container. Larry believes that the heat generated by the
friction allows the cane to sweat and hold the grit in place. In this
experiment, Larry expected to lose 8 to 12 inches of cane. Instead he only
lost 1 1/8 inches which was the same length as the core removed from the
stone. Notice the "tally mark" on the cane drill in the first picture. It
was used to back-measure to find out how much cane was lost during the
The drilling took 10 hours and 47 minutes and was done in the hands.
Using a bow drill made the shaft spin too fast and that made the grit ride
up on the cane rather than staying between the stone and the cane drill.
Drilling with round sand is not nearly as productive as drilling with the
flint dust. After all, sand is rounded (acting more like ball bearings) and
the Ancients had plenty of flint dust available to them.
The banner core is produced by
drilling the banner. The core is the portion of the stone that remains in
the cane drill. These cores can be compared with archaeological specimens to
see if they match.
Here, two cores are compared.
The top core is from an archaeological site near Rend Lake (approx. 5,000
yrs. bp) and the bottom core is the one Larry produced during the
Here's a butterfly banner Larry
made almost 10 years ago. It's made of banded slate but was drilled with
Here's an atlatl with
banner that Larry has used since 1981.
atlatl, with a banded slate
antler hook, antler handle and
river cane main-shaft.