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Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • 1. Introduction
    • Using This Book
    • Learning to Knap
  • 2. Flintknapping: Basic Principles
    • Flintknapping
    • Conchoidal Fracture
    • Properties of Material
    • Flakes and Cores
  • 3. A Brief History of Flintknapping
    • Prehistory of Stone Tools
    • Recent "Stone-Age" People
    • Modern Knapping
    • Further Readings
    • Other Resources: Finding Other Knappers
  • 4. Raw Materials
    • Stone Quality
    • Stone Materials
    • Heat-Treating
    • Collecting Material: Ethical and Practical Considerations
  • 5. Safety
    • Proper Technique
    • Eyes
    • Hands
    • Other Body Parts
    • Lungs
    • Waste Disposal
    • Benefits
  • 6. Hard-Hammer Percussion
    • Material and Equipment
    • Percussion-Flaking Principles: An Experiment
    • Percussion Flaking
    • Platforms
    • The Face of the Core
    • Terminations
    • Curvature
    • Starting a Core
    • Summary: Nine Essentials
    • Examples
  • 7. Pressure Flaking
    • Tools
    • Raw Material
    • First Principles
    • Working Position
    • Beginning
    • Platform Preparation
    • Thinning
    • Notching
    • Other Pressure-Flaking Techniques
    • Summary: Six Essentials
    • Application: Small Triangular Points from the Southwest
    • Pressure-Flaking Problems
    • Patterned Pressure Flaking
  • 8. Soft-Hammer Percussion and Bifaces
    • Definitions
    • Tools
    • Beginning
    • Soft-Hammer Principles and Results
    • Biface Thinning Flakes
    • Fracture Theories
    • The Blow Platforms
    • Biface Stages
    • Knapping Strategy and Other Considerations
    • Example: A Basic Biface
    • Biface Problems: Prehistoric Mistakes
    • Summary
  • 9. Blades and Fluting
    • Blades
    • Platforms
    • Holding
    • Punches
    • The Blow
    • Fluting
    • Example: Fluted Point
  • 10. Using Stone Tools
    • Stone vs. Steel
    • Edges and Cutting
    • Making a Projectile Foreshaft
    • Going On
  • 11. Archaeological Analysis of Stone Tools
    • Typology
    • Stone Tool Types and Change through Time
    • What People Did with Stones
    • Sources of Variation: Why Stone Tools Are Not All Alike
    • Analyzing Stone Tool Materials
    • Technology and What It Tells Us
    • Figuring Out Function
    • Questions of Style
    • Conclusions
  • Appendix: Resources for Knappers
  • References
  • Index

Promotional Information

Offers the most detailed handbook on flintknapping currently available and the only one written from the archaeological perspective of interpreting stone tools as well as making them

About the Author

John C. Whittaker is an assistant professor of anthropology at Grinnell College.


"...very attractive to readers interested in ancient crafts, survival skills, or the history of technology... far superior to anything currently available." James C. Woods, director, The Herrett Museum, College of Southern Idaho "A mid-range user's guide to flintknapping is long overdue. There have been some admirable attempts to produce such a volume, but these have been targeted at specific, fairly narrow audiences. Not so with Flintknapping... [Whittaker's] clear aim is to reach professional archaeologists as well as hobbyists. I believe he achieves this goal with incredible skill and humor... I highly recommend this book to everyone interested in flintknapping." Plains Anthropologist "This great new publication is the new 'bible' on the subject of knapping." ATLATL "This is the best, most thorough summary available on flaked stone technology. The book skillfully blends instruction on how to make stone tools with information on how top interpret flaked stone artifacts." Northern Arizona Archaeology Society Newsletter "Whittaker presents this information at a level that will be readable by non-anthropologists as well as specialists in the field." James C. Woods, director, The Herrett Museum, College of Southern Idaho

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