Stone Age Tools

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JonathanD

Ophiological Genius
Sep 3, 2004
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Stourton,UK
Following on from Pops’ Otzi thread. I have always had a fascination for the tools our ancestors made whilst living in this beautiful island, and I have a few original pieces I’ve managed to collect over the last few years. Pops has just rekindled my interest in knapping and I dug a couple of items I made a few years back when I was really into it.

On top: Red deer antler handle secured and wrapped with nettle cordage and pine resin. Bottom: ovate hand axe
8B64D7A2-6F44-49E5-A871-F2C4A6F26FA8.jpeg

I have a ton of arrowheads in various shapes and sizes around here too somewhere (as long as they haven’t been nicked and used), and spears and scrapers etc.

So let’s see your work if you’ve done some.
 
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JonathanD

Ophiological Genius
Sep 3, 2004
12,679
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Stourton,UK
Was Britain already an island when these were made?
In all seriousness though, yes. Britain became an island as we know it around 8000 years ago. The mass excavation of flint (Grimes Graves 5000 years ago) and the making of tools of this complexity and knife type would have been in circulation when Britain was an island. But handaxes similar to the bottom one have been found and dated to 500,000 years ago, long before it had been cut off from continental Europe.

Although Britain has been cut off and become an island several times over the last few hundred thousand years. I’m sure Toddy can expand on this.
 
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Kadushu

Full Member
Jul 29, 2014
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Kent
I wonder if humans would still be stuck in Africa, or at least limited to the tropics, if we hadn't invented and fully utilised such tools.
 

JonathanD

Ophiological Genius
Sep 3, 2004
12,679
1,266
Stourton,UK
I wonder if humans would still be stuck in Africa, or at least limited to the tropics, if we hadn't invented and fully utilised such tools.
That’s a whole other debate that would take a few hours replying to. It’s certainly a major factor.
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
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McBride, BC
Those are magnificent tools. Over in Paleoplanet, several of us are discussing the shapes of stone tools meant for shaving arrow shafts and bow staves. I have flint tools that I use in my kitchen for cutting bison roasts and vegetables.

The premium stock material (besides flint) in North America was volcanic glass obsidian. Every volcano here has a different fingerprint of impurities in the obsidian. Knowing that, the web of trade routes across the continent is amazing. Obsidian artifacts on the Atlantic coast were knapped from Oregon, Washington and BC obsidian.

Flint and obsidian are not the only knapped stones. Quartz for example.
 

Toddy

Mod
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Jan 21, 2005
36,774
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S. Lanarkshire
It's one of the very first signs of 'humanity', the making and use of tools.
It implies not just creative ability but forethought and planning and teaching and learning, and often too the access to resources.

We find very little flint in Scotland really. There's only the source at Boddam in Aberdeenshire and flint pebbles washed ashore on the western coast across from Antrim. Otherwise it was all carried here, traded here ? it certainly implies connections across the islands. That in itself is huge, because then we start to wonder what else was valued enough to trade? and why, and in comes detail of economy and status and the anthroplogists go kind of crazy :)

Thing is though, other materials make good stone tools too. Decent chert is very sound, so is pitchstone (Arran) or Bloodstone (Rhum) and we know of slate and obsidian used elsewhere too.
Flint though, good flint is superb stuff, and it lasts. Even thousands of years in the ground, it comes up sharp and as defined as the day it was last handled.
 

Robson Valley

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Nov 24, 2014
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McBride, BC
I, for one, certainly admire the skills of the flint knappers with their background of some 500,000 years.
Beyond that expertise, I have enjoyed my kitchen applications with flint tools.
Even with the fluid from a raw bison roast, flint flakes are not the least bit slippery.
But obviously the sharpens things that I have ever used in food prep.

Use them for foods! Close your eyes for 15,000 years.
 

Robson Valley

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Nov 24, 2014
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McBride, BC
It did not take a minute from my first flint cut of raw bison to realize that I was working with one of the sharpest tools I have ever held. A molecular edge that no steel will ever match.

Pay attention to where your fingers are, please.
 
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JonathanD

Ophiological Genius
Sep 3, 2004
12,679
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Stourton,UK
Ah, Mr Lord. He’s the bloke who started me off way back when too. You’re right, he does know a little bit. I had a hand axe of his, but it got nicked a while back. And I don’t mean by Poppy. Beautiful thing.

Cracking name Mookaite, I must get some to make a ring for Emm.

That is stunning though. Looks like it’s just come out of a hot forge.
 

CLEM

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Jul 10, 2004
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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
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McBride, BC
The Sealaska Heritage Institute has produced an excellent video series on the construction of a Tlingit halibut hook. As is explained, the hook is so sophisticated that it selects for a meduim size class of fish AND as you hand-line the catch, the hook rolls the halibut over on it's back so it fights less.

There do not appear to be any hook carving kits. There are no paper plans.


 

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