May 30th marks the loss of a giant in the fields of experimental archaeology and primitive technology. One year ago Dr. Errett Callahan passed and left a large void in quality instruction, ethics, and expertise. Errett was the inspiration for our business Occpaleo, and still serves as a model of how we should all proceed today.
He was the founder and first president of the Society of Primitive Technology, and he taught hundreds of students at his Cliffside house in Lynchburg, VA. I first became a student in the mid 90's, and started with a distant respect and reverence. The final years of mentoring ended with partnership and friendship.
One of Errett's last gathering of flintknappers. Old and new students came out to show support. He was still very able to teach up to 2019
The signs over Errett's knapping pit at Cliffside, his home for many years. He was especially proud of his time knapping in European open air museums. It was a reminder to him that knapping heritage is worldwide and brought him to working on his passion, neolithic danish daggers.
The photo on the left was taken around 2005 I was able to get Dennis Stanford of the Smithsonian back together in conversation with Errett, at the Oregon Ridge Primitive Tech event. It was the first time they had talked since their groundbreaking experiments on Clovis points in the 1970's. The photo on the right was one of those very experiments, as part of pioneering work on atlatl technology and Paleoindian spear point replicas, in Front Royal, Virginia.
I'm happy to share this video summarizing Errett's life and career which can be seen via this link on YouTube.
A Danish Dagger Cake: a fitting way to celebrate Errett's life at his memorial service at Cliffside in Spring of 2019.