Monday, September 22, 2008

Flintknapping 101: Introduction

I've decided to work on a tutorial overview of flintknapping. I almost regret it as I try to envision how to illustrate some principles. Hopefully, this can be done in about a dozen installments covering topics such as materials, tools, priniciples, strategies, etc., - to give a working understanding of how it is done. The name flintknapping is believed to have orginated in Germany, in the gun flint industry. "Knapp" meaning to crack, or pinch off, as in the manufacture of gun flints. In a broader sense, it refers to the making stone tools. When you mention flintknapping, people tend to think in terms of arrowheads and stone spear points. That is common, and some consider them to be man's first art form. But, that tool list also includes drills, scrapers, choppers, handaxes, adze blades, axeheads, cutting flakes, perforators, burins, ...and the list goes on. These are probably the real work horses of daily life.

1 comment:

Mungo said...

I look forward to reading these tutorials! I would love to do some flintknapping, but alas can't find any flint or chert around to do it with... I'll keep my eyes peeled though. I'm in Toronto, Ontario - hopefully I can find a gem/stone shop that has a supply.

I had a great time in Algonquin - intend to post some more images soon! Although I heard wolves the second day, howling about a kilometer away, I managed to survive the week!