Archaeological flint knapping

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Archaeological flint knapping

Post by Jeroen V. on Sun May 15, 2011 4:57 pm

Dear,

I'm a Belgium guy that is studying archaeology in the Netherlands (Amsterdam). And I'm interested in learning flint knapping, but I want do do it in an experimental archaeological way. So without all the metal tools, just a stone with a stone, piece of wood or antler.
Do you guys hae tips for me?
How to start with it?

Thank you

Best Wishes
Jeroen

Jeroen V.
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Re: Archaeological flint knapping

Post by grendel on Mon May 16, 2011 3:58 pm

Hi Jeroen,

I started knapping years ago with copper and moved to stone very recently. I just made a post here discussing the merits of a beginner using copper over stone.

http://uk-knapping.forumotion.co.uk/t31-copper-boppers

To your question,
Stone his different to copper and different stones, different too. One tip I've heard is in choice of stone, go for a softest one possible. Just like with an antler being soft, it flakes better, softer stone flakes better than harder. Really hard stone if you hit hard creates a too strong shock wave and the flake breaks often step fracturing. However some rock can be so tough a soft stone won't work on it, or will work on some parts and not on others. So have a selection of stone harnesses available.

I've seen a number of vids on Youtube on the subject, this is one of the best.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLxae65B_U0&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL

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Re: Archaeological flint knapping

Post by Jeroen V. on Mon May 16, 2011 4:38 pm

Hi Grenddel,

Thank you for the reply!
I really want to start from 0 by trial and error like our ancestors did. So no copper tool for me.
The tip of the soft stone is helpfull! I tought a harder stone would be better but now I will take a softer one to knap. The father of my girlfriend is every weekend in a mine looking for fossils. And he's going to bring some flint and hammerstones for me. So let's hope this will be soon!

I'm going to put the youtube vid in the list of others that I need to watch, so thank you!

Jeroen V.
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Re: Archaeological flint knapping

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Sat Nov 19, 2011 11:51 am

John lord does some fine hand axe work using only a hard(ish) sandstone pebble, this was after the discoveries at Lynford quarry in Norfolk of a middle paloelithic butchery floor, the only hammer stone found there was of this stone and it has certainly been used for knapping.

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Re: Archaeological flint knapping

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Tue Nov 22, 2011 7:56 pm

*Fact Of The Day* The oddest material used for knapping I've ever come accross is sharpened sea mammal penis bone used as a pressure flaker... oof!

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