Flint Knapping Intro: Painful Lessons

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Some of my early obsidian points and a field found paleo-style blade

I’ve talked about flint knapping a little in my books and I figured it’d be good to let people know what that really is.  At its most basic, the skill or art of flint knapping is the shaping of stone to make blades, points, and other implements.  When you think about the classic, often inaccurate image of Native American combat, you think of bows and stone-tipped arrows, spears and tomahawks.  Those stone projectile points, weapon blades, and tools such as drills, grinders, scrapers, needles, fishing hooks, harpoons, and dozens of others were all possible with skilled flint knapping. 

 However, from the time the first European settlers set foot in North America, the art of flint knapping was on borrowed time.  And, for a while, it nearly disappeared completely from the cultural lexicon of America.     Continue reading