Knapping is MAGIC!

I have decided that I love knapping 🙂 Actually, even better – given my complete lack of 3D visualisation skills – that I love watching someone who knows what they’re doing, knap!

Yesterday, I watched in awe as Will Lord casually knocked out axe after axe after arrowhead; then very patiently went round and made tactful suggestions about the attempts we were making. He is a brilliant teacher, and it was a fascinating day; half-a-dozen of us sat around a wood fire, happily reducing great nodules of flint to rubble.

Will knocked out this absolute beauty in about 5 mins – photographed by my Olduvai Gorge handaxe for comparison:


I completely failed in the hand-axe department. I tried three times; I could get to a certain point, then just couldn’t see the way to make the next platform to take the next slice off.

On a smaller scale, I was better. This picture shows my more successful attempts, with the hand axe as comparison! I’d actually get excited if I found the leaf arrowhead on a site; nicely Neolithic, lol! And the scraper’s over-elaborate for the Bronze Age, but that’s because I got carried away with how satisfying it was to nibble round 🙂


The only problem was self-inflicted – the palm of my left hand is covered with tiny cuts, several of which bled – and then bled again this morning, when my karate lesson required me to slap my hand against a mat, repeatedly. I learn that, when you hit a flint nodule correctly, the flake comes off the bottom of the module. And catching it is inadvisable 🙂

So I shall have fun playing with the head-sized nodule Will sent me home with – as soon as I’ve found suitably thick gloves and leg-pad! And I’m already saving up to do the day again. Or maybe his bronze-casting workshop. Magic!


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