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Occoquan Paleotechnics is the creation of primitive technologist Michael Frank, run from the edge of the Occoquan River in Virginia. Growing up there, Michael had a place to experience and connect with the natural world. That connection led to further study of native skills during four years of classes at the famous Tracker School in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. After a degree in Anthropology and Archaeology Field School, Michael worked conserving archaeological artifacts in the vast collections of the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of Natural History. Through this unique experience, he not only had access to the knowledge base of the resident scientists, visiting experts and scholars, but also an opportunity to directly study the objects in hand. Heavily influenced there by pioneering archaeologists Dr. Dennis Stanford and Dr. Pegi Jodry, Michael’s speciality is analyzing and demonstrating the correct stages of how paleo objects were made by primitive peoples. During the 1990's, Michael found a mentor in experimental archaeologist Dr. Errett Callahan, former president and founder of the Society of Primitive Technology. In 2011, Occoquan Paleotechnics added expert artifact casting services for private, academic, and museum clients. With over 35 years of experience in the fields of primitive technology and experimental archaeology, and over 25 years of professional museum experience conserving collections, the highest degree of authenticity can be reached. Upholding the proper ethics and practices for reproductions and the the preservation of the archaeological record is an essential cornerstone of our business. We are proud to have worked with the many notable clients, projects and programs.
The practice of using natural materials such as wood, stone, hide, and plants in ancient techniques fosters a deeper respect for the natural world. When authentic, tangible objects are held, used and examined, our shared human history is understood in a way that cannot be accomplished by simply looking at pictures in books. The thrill of an arrow shot from an ancient style bow, the hands-on inspection of the engineering of a paleolithic stone tool, or the prehistoric awareness sparked when starting a fire the way our ancestors did -- these connections are the heart of the mission of Occoquan Paleotechnics.