Flint Knapping Defined

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Flint knapping defined in this free how-to video.

Part of the Video Series: Techniques for Flintknapping
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Video Transcript

Today we're going to be talking about flint knapping. Flint knapping is a tradition that goes back a long way. Perhaps several hundred thousand years. It's world wide. It was done on every continent. It is a way of processing stone into tools. Functional tools, like knives, arrows, projectile points, gravers, cutting edges, many different things. Each area, every continent has their different ways of doing things. Basically though, it's making a sharp cutting edge or something that you can butcher and animal with. It was probably one of the most important skills that we can all relate to. Our ancestors all did it no matter where we came from. For instance this piece right here; Danish dagger type 1, made by a good friend of mine. This is Danish flint. This was made in Denmark. This is the end of the Stone Age. So, the progression of the quality of their craftsmanship was incredible. After this time period, Iron, bronze and copper became more popular and stone tools faded out. Here on the North American continent, we have different projectile points that were probably 13,000 years to 150 year ago. Different styles, they all evolved differently. Very large points, for killing large animals, the mega fauna that lived on this continent. To, perhaps, 3-400 years ago, into arrow heads. Smaller things, smaller projectile points, smaller game. Many people say that these larger projectile points, Clovis point, Karmelin's, and things like that were, maybe the cause of the extinction of some of the ice age animals on this continent. Basically what flint knapping is, is taking a raw stone and creating something useful. It doesn't have to be made into something really pretty or uniform. Just something small, like a flake.


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