By John C. Whittaker

Making arrowheads, blades, and different stone instruments was a survival ability and continues to be a craft practiced by means of hundreds of thousands of flintknappers around the globe. within the usa, knappers assemble at neighborhood "knap-ins" to socialise, trade principles and fabric, purchase and promote either gear and knapped artwork, and make stone instruments within the corporation of others. In among those gatherings, the knapping neighborhood remains hooked up via newsletters and the Internet.

In this e-book, avid knapper anthropologist John Whittaker deals an insider's view of the knapping group. He explores why stone instruments allure smooth humans and what making them capacity to people who pursue this artwork. He describes how new contributors are included into the knapping neighborhood, how rookies examine the ideas of knapping and locate their roles in the crew, how the neighborhood is dependent, and the way ethics, ideas, and ideology approximately knapping are constructed and transmitted. He additionally explains how the perform of knapping pertains to specialist archaeology, the alternate in glossy replicas of stone instruments, and the forgery of artifacts. Whittaker's booklet therefore records a desirable way of life of yankee existence and introduces the broader public to an historical and nonetheless worthwhile craft.

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Additional info for American Flintknappers. Stone Age Art in the Age of Computers

Sample text

They are the oldest artifacts we can document. The first recognizable cutting and pounding tools are found in African deposits dating between  and  million years ago, where they are associated with the hominid forms that are the ancestors of all of us. Tools of more perishable materials such as wood were surely important, too, but stone tools preserve well and thus are disproportionately important to archaeologists. They also changed through time, and distinctive forms are associated with particular times and places, so they can be readily used as chronological markers, as well as shedding light on human activities and technological skills.

When I was a young anthropology student at Cornell University, poking around in the old books in the library, I came across his Antiquités —  — A F Celtiques et Antédiluviennes (Celtic and Pre-Flood Antiquities, ). I opened this pioneering work with awe, and was horrified to see that alongside handaxes and fossils he had published things that even I could see at a glance were rubbish. It was probably a good lesson. In the s the English scholar Sir John Lubbock, writing his bestseller Pre-Historic Times (, ), felt it necessary to explain the differences between weathered ancient flints and fresh forgeries.

The name honors Ishi, last survivor of a group of California Indians. His flintknapping skills and tools were recorded by a number of early anthropologists (Nelson ; Shackley ) and are admired by modern knappers. ). Mechanical lever devices have also been used by modern knappers to remove large flakes by pressure. The most common lever device to be seen today is the “fluting jig,” which is used by some knappers to —  — A F flute Clovis and Folsom points (Blackwell a,b).

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