Microblades are a unique technology focused on producing thin, narrow blade-like flakes from distinctly prepared cores. The production sequence that produces these tiny blades will have some specific typological characteristics that are easy to identify. Look for: long, straight, thin flakes (1/3 width over length); parallel, lateral margins; a strong arris (sometimes two); and little evidence for platform preparation. These tiny pieces could be used as tools themselves or as composites for much more complex functions. In production sequences that are dominated primarily by flake technologies, the presence of microblades can mark a functional change in the technological industry and process. It is also important to determine if you have indeed identified microblades and microblade production. In the case of this photo, we only found some fortuitous flakes, but the obsidian was still a nice find! Obsidian has a very fine crypto-crystalline structure, allowing for the production of long, straight, thin, pressure flakes that can easily be misidentified as microblades. When in doubt, ask an expert! Happy hunting.
~by Jode MacKay, aka Mr. Fortuitous Flakes