Solving the mystery of prehistoric engineering

About 10,000 years ago, a group of prehistoric North Americans developed a distinct process for creating arrowheads for hunting bison. Researchers have been unable to fully understand the engineering technique used to create these particular Paleoindian arrowheads. The process clearly involved chipping flakes from glass-like materials, but the exact method required to consistently produce this type of arrowhead remained a mystery.

Tony Baker, a full time petroleum engineer and part time archeologist was fascinated by this prehistoric mystery. He decided to use FEA software from Algor to model the formation of flakes from plate glass, a material similar to those used for the arrowheads. Based on the analysis results, Baker believes that additional research could help to explain the arrowhead’s construction, and demonstrate how modern engineering analysis methods can contribute to archeological research.