Stone Tool Make and Use, 2012

Background

For many archaeologists, especially those specialising in the Stone Age, stone tools are a regular occurrence. But although the average stone tool may seem like an object of simple design and purpose, there are many underlying factors that determine its creation and use. The type of stone used, the methods employed to strike flakes from a core, and the precision that goes into preparing a functional tool, are major role players. The stone tool course, presented by Graham Reeks, aimed at providing information on everything from rock mechanics and stone tool assemblages, to insights into human and pre-human ancestors responsible for their creation.

Stone Tools 036Graham Reeks demonstrating different hammering techniques and materials

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Some basic yet functional flakes were soon being produced by participants.

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Although basic, this flakes was later hafted to a wooden shaft to create a functional arrow.

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Some tools were just sooooooo pretty!

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It took some time and patience to find the correct raw material, but participants were soon producing functional tools.

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To test the functionality of their stone tools, participants created spears by hafting their stone points to a wooden shaft using natural materials; twine, leather straps and resin.

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Some ‘flight dynamics’ in action

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Our ‘grassy gazelle’ suffered quite a few injuries that day

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Graham demonstrates the use of an atlatl to provide greater distance

Skinning

The tools our participants made were actually sharp enough to skin a bush pig