Modern flintknappers(stone tool workers) can be a great asset to the science of Archaeology. In this section we offer proper examples to be used in demonstrations and teaching collections. When traditional tools are used with the authentic process, the past truly comes to life.
Flint projectile points shown with traditional primitive hafting of pine pitch mastic and sinew lashing. When these tools are demonstrated as they would have been used, students can get a much better view of how these objects were used in history.
For the purpose of Archaeology, a scientific drawing of a tool is much more useful than a photo. An accurate drawing by an experienced stone tool technician can bring out many details easily lost in a photo. This masterpiece of a biface was collected on the Occoquan River in 1862. It is now in the collections of the Smithsonian Institution.
A quality replica can be a wonderful teaching tool for students of Archaeology and history in general. Years of study with museum objects "in hand" produce replicas that are not only the same shape and feel as the originals, but ones that are made by the same process. This leaves reduction debitage that is also correct for study, such as the Paleoindian channel flake from the fluting process. If interested in obtaining a version of an item on these pages, or in creating a set of tools for teaching or display, please email for availability at firstname.lastname@example.org
Scrapers, burins, and graver
Levallois core and flake point
Clovis channel flake and overshot flake
Lower Paleolithic hand axe replica
In 2011 we are launching our new page of LITHIC CASTS. Casting allows much greater access to study pieces from around the world when it is not possible to study the original. We will be continually adding new casts every month to the catalog coming in March 2011.
The Basic Stages of Biface Manufacture as shown by Dr. Errett Callahan after a lifelong study of the Archaeological record
This celt replica was made in basalt, and hafted in Beech wood. To make a proper replica for North Carolina's Morrow Mountain Museum, the traditional stages had to be followed. First the basalt was flaked with antler hammers, then it was repeatedly struck with quartzite blows(pecking) to get the shape close to finishing. The final step was grinding on a sandstone slab with a mixture of water and sand(containing quartz harder than the basalt). Beech is a wood that does not split easily and made a fine handle for this style of celt axe. This type of tool was used later in North American Archaeology, and functions best as a tool to cut larger diameter wood poles.
Basalt celt ground to fit the hole in the wood handle. The widest part is near the middle, so that it only gets tighter with repeated blows. To remove, a tap on the back end in the other direction is all that is needed.
Bannerstones, barstones, and boatstones are found throughout the Archaic period of North American Archaeology. Although under debate, the mainstream idea is that many are the weights attached to atlatl spear throwers. See our atlatl pages to see how they might have looked attached or to see available examples.
Bannerstone style atlatl weight
Barstone granite weight attached to atlatl
In the collections of the Smithsonian Institution, I had a chance to examine an archaeological stone hammer from a Colorado dry cave with the hafting still attached. Inspired to test this technique, a granite river cobble was struck repeatedly with a harder quartz rock until a hafting groove was deep enough. It was then wrapped with a green oak sapling and tightened with rawhide. The replica functioned very well, and is now in the collections of the Virginia Museum of Natural History.
Pecking a groove in granite river cobble by striking with harder quartz rock
Finished hammer ready for hafting
Wrapped green oak and rawhide handle
Stone hammer made for Norway's Archaeological park
When stone tools are hafted, they can bring an otherwise misunderstood artifact to life. Once this granite cobble was hafted, several students were able to test with pounding out plant stalks for cord fibers, and had a much better understanding of how these objects worked in prehistory.
This grooved axe replica was made for the Morrow Mountain Museum in North Carolina. This model uses both of the techniques shown above. The groove for the hafting was pecked with quartz, and the chopping bit was ground on a slab of slate and sand. It was wrapped with a Serviceberry sapling and tightened with buckskin.
Stone tipped Pump Drill $68
Our flint tipped pump drills make an excellent demonstration of how ancient tools were used. Stone drills are often seen in arrowhead case displays, and seldom get the attention they deserve. When hafted and used to drill through wood, bone, antler, and even other stone, archaeology comes to life. The point of knapped flint is set in with genuine pine pitch and wood ash glue, and the flywheel is made of sandstone. (see ITEMS FOR SALE)