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Family course: Flintknapping - Part 1

Continuation of the prehistoric techniques course of the Kepinski clan. For this act, the whole clan followed the traces of prehistoric man on the shores of the Haut Allier to learn how to make stone tools.

The basalt cliff of Prades
The basalt cliff of Prades

We used as raw material basalt rollers and stone firing pins directly gleaned on site.

The gravel pit
The gravel pit

Basalt is a very difficult knapping material.

The fracture wave is not spreading well (we will discuss this in a future article on flintknapping). In short, flint is flexible but not indulgent, while basalt is hard but indulgent to the beginner's movements.

The basalt knapping
The basalt knapping

Despite this, it is quite possible to obtain very functional tools.

And so, without fear of their first, sometimes unskilled, gestures of knapping, the trainees brought back enough to cut, scratch and pierce. They made small bifaces or axe blades for the shell of a future camp.

A basalt biface
A basalt biface
Results of this day of knapping in Prades
Results of this day of knapping in Prades
Demonstration of the sharpness of a basalt chipDemonstration of the sharpness of a basalt chip Demonstration of the sharpness of a basalt chip
Demonstration of the sharpness of a basalt chip

Anita 40 years old

Being on the banks of the Allier in a breathtaking landscape provides a fabulous feeling of well-being.

At the foot of a magnificent lava flow I tested the basalt knapping. It's wonderful to be able to pick up a stone and say to yourself, I'll try to knapping tools out of it. My objective was to obtain a usable sharpness. I succeeded with great difficulty, because this volcanic rock is really difficult to knapping, it breaks easily.

In the end my result was a beautifully chopper with which I cut a small branch!

Anita
Anita

Paul 15 years old

Knowing how to create a sharp tool is of paramount importance in a primitive and survivalistic life scenario:
cutting branches, cutting up an animal, preparing tinder for fire, etc.

We went to Prades to learn how to knapping. Having already observed my father I already knew approximately how to do it. The first shots were initially clumsy. I had to adjust my strength and the angle of impact. After much perseverance I finally managed to make several pebbles arranged in stones of different sizes.

Producing something "useful" with your hand and using it gives you a feeling that doesn't exist with a purchased tool.

Paul
Paul

Augustine 12 years old

Knapping basalt can be difficult, but I have successfully made sharp tools. I immediately tried to cut some branches. The basalt block I knnaped best with was a flat block, with a very high-pitched percussion sound. It was a real pleasure for me to be able to make sharp tools with just two stones collected from the riverside.

Augustine
Augustine

Hannah 7 years old

I took a quartzite to knapping basalt on the banks of the Allier river in Prades. It's not easy to do because the blade may break. I found a lot of basalt and quartzite, it was great.

Hannah
Hannah

Tag : Family course

May 7, 2017
Yannick, Anita, Paul, Augustine et Hannah Kepinski

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