Stone Tools & Weapons

History of Stone Craft

The stone age is defined by the human advancement in the science of manipulating rock. From pecking and grinding celts, axe heads and adzes to the surgical precision of percussion and pressure flaking arrowheads, humans found themselves, for the first time, to be at an advantage.

To reconnect with this most ancient skill is incredibly therapeutic and gratifying. As a survivalist the art of stone reduction is an absolute necessity. As a primitive skills practitioner it represents an apex skill, the final factor in the harvest of an animal, the deciding point where the hunter and the hunted meet.

Harvesting local stone for a celt, axe or war club puts a practitioner in immediate relation with their ancestry. Grinding and shaping is simple to understand, though the science of hafting can take some time to perfect.

For the interested flint knapper, we usually recommend beginning with obsidian. Though it is not found locally, it’s purity as a medium makes it a valuable learning resource. Eventually as the science of preparing platforms, executing percussion strikes, removing spalls, and driving long flakes across a biface are understood, the practitioner begins to feel in their bones the ancient lessons of flint knapping. Finally thin, symmetrical lethal arrowheads are released from the stones. The stones begin to talk to the practitioner. This is truly the point where a primitive skills practitioner begins to look through the eyes of the ancients.

When studying artifacts or when finding queries and knapping sites, one can see the thought processes and problem solving played out in the piece before them, allowing one to learn from the original masters of flint napping, our very own ancestors.


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