Sewing I do quite a bit of sewing and I feel it is an essential skill for nearly everyone. My sewing includes new buckskin trousers, cotton shirts, shoes, a few leather bags, backpacks, and repairs to clothes to name just a few projects. All this has caused me to think about sewing without manufactured goods. … Continue reading Primitive (but useful) Sewing Kit
Gourds have played an important role in human history in both the Old World and New. The origin, domestication, and spread of this and other plants was a topic of much conversation when I was in graduate school. It seems now that its antiquity and introduction to the Americas is becoming much clearer. This humble … Continue reading On the Antiquity of Gourds
Today I'm prepping to present some primitive skills on Saturday, from raw materials to finished goods. I'm also getting some kid's activities together to draw in the latest generation. An assortment of stone-age technology laid out to take to the public.
I don't normally share my professional work on this blog but thought it might be of interest. We were out re-recording a rock shelter yesterday known for some rather mysterious pictographs. Mysterious in that they are vague and probably mostly wiped out due to weathering. Only the protected portions of the shelter contain clear images … Continue reading Archaeological Work in Progress
A quick follow-up on yesterday's post in the wee hours of the morning. Based on a question that came in yesterday it seems appropriate to show the thrower in use. This is my favorite dart but I'm a little embarrassed by the sloppy fletching. The base (proximal end) of the dart is carved out … Continue reading Spear Thrower Follow Up
Finding “handedness” in archaeology… using the fletching of arrows as an example. As a professional archaeologist AND primitive technologist I am very skeptical when someone claims they can determine which hand of a maker is dominant on an ancient tool or weapon. One reason for the distrust is that the archaeologist may not have experienced creating the object in the same way the original maker did. I think the Leatherworking Reverend has a valid point in the following article (and not just because it affirms my own experiences).
At most find-sites that have arrows there will be a non-equal mix of S- and Z-wrap on the bindings. The dig report will assert that left-handed fletchers were responsible for those that aren’t the majority direction arrow binding, probably without mentioning whether it’s the Z- or S- that they are talking about. I can’t find where it was written down the first time, but it has been repeated until it became lore. Consider the Ötze website:
According to technical archaeologist Harm Paulsen, the two arrows could not have been fashioned by the same person. The fletching shows that one was wound by a left-hander and the other by a right-hander.
and the Mary Rose Trust:
Hopkins (1998) studied 408 shafts from chest 81A2582 (O9) and recorded that, in every case, the binding thread had been wound in a clockwise direction from the tip end of the shaftment (ie, the portion of the arrow…
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"A good meal ought to begin with hunger." French Proverb. All animals need to eat. All the time. As humans, we eat every day if we are lucky. An average Westerner will have about 275,000 meals in a lifetime, not including snacks, munchies, and other nibbles. Once upon a time, we all caught, gathered, and … Continue reading Ancient Dutch Ovens and the Ceramic Hibachi
Back to the beginnings. Larry Kinsella is a great flint knapper and an all-around talented guy who, amongst other things, recreates stone-age technologies from his home near Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site (one of the great cities of the prehistoric world) in Illinois. Back in 2008, Larry, prompted by Tim Baumann, created a great lithic … Continue reading Making Tools
Using archaeology to find out hows things "should be" done? A response to a common question, by George Thomas Crawford I am regularly asked about my connection to archaeology and my interest in primitive technology. I've also been chided by some people in the primitive tech community on behalf of other archaeologists because they (archaeologists) … Continue reading Learning from Masters (not me, just what I seek)
On 7 September 2011, an advanced constructed and complete bow was found at the edge of the Åndfonne glacier in Breheimen mountain range. The C14 dating shows that Norway’s oldest and best preserved bow is 3300 years old.
The 131 centimeters long bow was discovered by archaeologists in connection with the last check before summer fieldwork was completed. The bow was found at the ice edge about 1700 meters above sea level. This shows how important it is that archaeologists are present just when the ice is melting.
Findings of complete bows are very rare, and it turned out even rarer after the results of the C14 dating returned from the laboratory in the U.S.: The bow turned out to be 3300 years old – dating back to about 1300 BC – in other words from the early Bronze Age.
It is the oldest bow ever found in…
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