Prehistoric Knapping Protection

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Prehistoric Knapping Protection

Post by grendel on Sun May 06, 2012 10:43 am

I always wondered what ancient knappers did in the days before safety goggles, gloves and plasters. This excerpt from Hunting With Bows by Saxton Pope explains the method that Ishi, the last Yana Indian used.


To make arrowheads properly one should smear his face with mud and sit out in the hot sun
in a quiet secluded spot. The mud is a precaution against harm from the flying chips of glass,
possibly also a good luck ritual. If by chance a bit of glass should fly in the eye, Ishi's
method of surgical relief was to hold his lower lid wide open with one finger while he
slapped himself violently on the head with the other hand. I am inclined to ascribe the
process of removal more to the hydraulic effect of the tears thus started than to the
mechanical jar of the treatment.




From now on, I'm not considering a point to be abo just because the knapper only used stone and antler, I want to see clear evidence the knapper got naked and rolled about in the mud before he knapped.

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I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. cats look down on us but pigs treat us as equals.

Stupidity got us into this mess, why can't it get us out

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Re: Prehistoric Knapping Protection

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Sun May 06, 2012 3:49 pm

This is the way I always knap, the neighbours object though.

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Re: Prehistoric Knapping Protection

Post by grendel on Sun May 06, 2012 4:55 pm

Sexism, if you were female they wouldn't object.

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I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. cats look down on us but pigs treat us as equals.

Stupidity got us into this mess, why can't it get us out

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Re: Prehistoric Knapping Protection

Post by Lumpendoodle on Sun May 06, 2012 9:51 pm

Now, if my knapping neighbour was Johnny Depp............................cyclops

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Re: Prehistoric Knapping Protection

Post by skalla on Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:44 pm

i have often wondered about ancient eye protection, and indeed if it was used at all - perhaps something like inuit snow gloggles with a thin slot in them would do the job, or even long hair covering your eyes? obviously it's no fun getting shards of flint or glass in your eyes, and once it happens you rarely forget to stick your goggles on! however, i have tried knapping without as an experiment, and just time my "blinks" with each strike - it aint perfect but it kinda works.

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Re: Prehistoric Knapping Protection

Post by grendel on Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:23 pm

I think the best eye protection would be predictive ability before striking and knowing which angles are more likely to cause eye injury, then modifying the angle you hold the peice before striking it.

Of course this would only reduce injury and I guess there were some kind of flake from eye removal procedure and even a few one eyed knappers.

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Stupidity got us into this mess, why can't it get us out

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