Modern Stone and Flint Tools

Modern stone and flint tools“The set is a result of an experimental exploration of the realm of tool
making. Where stone and flint tools have been the means of our
ancestors’ survival for over a million years, they magnify our bodily
(teeth, fingernails, fists etc.) capabilities of cutting and chopping,
sawing and pounding. Through a method of three-dimensionally scanning
and printing, the ancient artifacts are digitally outfitted with
custom-designed handles, encapsulating the rugged forms in a perfectly
enclosed case.”

Modern stone and flint tools. Via Makezine. Previously: Flint knapping.

Making a Dugout Canoe Using Stone Tools and Fire

Making a Dugout Canoe Using Stone Tools and Fire

“The Dugout Canoe Project (.pdf) began as an experiment to use traditional Native American technologies. Archaeologists are reliant on just a few ethnohistoric sources that mention how Native Americans made dugout canoes using stone tools and fire. Numerous contemporary examples of dugouts exist, particularly Plimouth Plantation’s Wampanoag Indian Program, made by burning and scraping out logs. However, to the best of our knowledge, no one has attempted to fell a tree using only stone tools and fire. We wanted to see if we could cut down a live tree using these technologies, something that may not have been done in this area for several hundred years.”

“Dugout canoes are probably the first type of boat ever made. People from all over the world made dugouts. They were widely used in North America before the arrival of Europeans. Dugout canoes were made by Native Americans across North and South America for transportation and to hunt fish with a spear, bow and arrows, or with hooks made from antler or bones. In Eastern North America, dugout canoes were typically made from a single log of chestnut or pine. Carefully controlled fires were used to hollow out these logs. The fires were extinguished at intervals to scrape out the burned wood with wood, shell or stone tools, giving the canoes a flat bottom with straight sides.”

Courtesy of the Fruitlands Museum. More posts on primitive technology.

Flint Knapping

Flintknappers 8

Flintknappers 1 “Flint knapping is the process of making stone tools (arrowheads,
projectile points, hand axes, etc.). The ancient art of flint knapping has been around for about 4
millions years. Flint knapping has evolved as man has evolved. And it
was not until recently that man quit knapping for survival purposes.
Only a few small groups of people in remote parts of the world still
knap as part of their daily lives.”

Tribal People vs. Progress

“Wherever they are in the world, tribal peoples are deprived of their livelihood and way of life; driven from their land by mining, logging or settlers; flooded by dams or forcibly relocated in order to make way for cattle ranches or game parks. Such abuse is often justified by the claim that tribal peoples are somehow ‘primitive’ or ‘backward’.”

Survival International documents the on-going clash between tribal people and civilization.

The Origins Of Invention: Industry Among Primitive Peoples

industry among primitive peoples

Tools and mechanical devices
Invention and uses of fire
The potter’s art
Primitive uses of plants
The textile industry
War on the animal kingdom
Capture and domestication of animals
Travel and transportation
The art of war

The origins of invention: a study of industry among primitive peoples“, Otis T. Mason, 1895. Related: Primitive technology handbook.

Primitive Technology Handbook

primitive technology handbookPrimitive Ways makes use of the internet to teach us the lost knowledge of our Stone Age ancestors: making fire, tools, weapons, cooking utensils, musical instruments, shelters, and much more.

Not everything is that useful in the 21st century, but the site contains a wealth of information and many of the diy-projects sure look like fun. Moreover, they also combine traditional skills with modern materials, like in this four-hour kayak. Some articles are extremely short, but very useful – see the Inuit Thimble, for example.

Primitive Ways is also available as a book or a dvd, but all information is freely accessible on the website. Articles also appeared in the “Bulletin of Primitive Technology”, a print magazine from the Society of Primitive Technology.

Another good resource is “Primitive Technology: A Book of Earth Skills“, available on Amazon. Update: “The origins of invention: a study of industry among primitive peoples“.