I just spent the weekend showing knapping basics to four archaeology students. We covered hard hammering, soft hammering, pressure flaking, indirect percussion and grinding. Needless to say, two days of work only scratched the surface of the subject. Still, we were able to produce some really nice flakes with all the aforementioned percussion and pressure methods.
Grinding some pieces of the famous Köli red slate on various sandstones with water also produced results. One of the students also tried knapping olivine diabase and amhibolite chlorite slate, types of rock used (among others) during the Stone Age in Finland. As predicted, olivine diabase requires great force and mostly hard hammering, while ´AC slate´ was somewhat easier to brake in a desired fashion.
Flint is not indigenous rock to Finland, but it was imported from the East already at the beginning of the Mesolithic. During the Neolithic, flint was imported to Finland also from Southern Scandinavia – just the type of rock we used for the workshop.
We also had little bit of time to try our various flakes for different types of work; cutting leather, planing wood, and sawing bone. Different types of edges and their uses hopefully became apparent to the students.
While the students were hard at work, I made couple of Pulli type mesolithic arrow heads from simple blades. These are intented for Kuttelo Stone Age Action Group´s demos and camps, so I gave them to our group´s subject specialist Tuukka.