Stone tools have been made by humans and their ancestors for over 2 million years. It is the oldest technology we know of, probably because all the other early tools were made of organic material, which decomposed. You can learn these skills first-hand at our upcoming workshop on Feb. 24.
In this afternoon class, we’ll cover the history of stone tools, from unifacial scrapers and flake tools, through Acheulean hand axes and blades. Then we’ll dive into the basic principles of stone material properties, fracture dynamics, and percussion hammers. You’ll get hands-on experience that will give you the skills needed to continue to learn on your own after the workshop. Like any other skill, it takes time and practice. By the end of the afternoon, you should be able to take flakes off of a core, which is the basic technique used for making arrowheads, scrapers, or any other tool.
This course will cover basic aspects of flintknapping. Please wear long pants and closed-toed shoes (you’ll be sitting, and it is best if the pant cuffs cover the tops of your shoes or boots to prevent flakes from falling into your shoes). We will be inside, so cold-weather clothing is not necessary. We have (required) safety glasses and work gloves, but feel free to bring your own. We’ll provide some soft and hard hammers and grinders, but if you have granite or other stones between golf- and baseball sized, feel free to bring them. You’ll go home with a copper soft hammer and grinder.
The workshop will take place at the Low Technology Institute on Feb. 24, 2018, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. You can reserve your spot by paying the workshop fee of $30 ($20 for members, memberships start at $35/year) at our online store. If the course is sold out, please check out with the $0 “Waitlist” option to be added to the queue.
Scott Johnson is leading this course. He has been flintknapping since he was young. He holds a Ph.D. in archaeology and can discuss the current state of the field in terms of stone tool technology. He is also the director of the Low Technology Institute and lives in Cooksville.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about the workshop or logistics.