• Ancient Flint Knapping Skills Still Alive and Well

    • Worthing Archaeological Society News - Sompting Downs Barn event:



      Seventeen of us spent a fascinating day in the very special setting of the Downs Barn in Sompting. Led by Bob and with Gill providing expertise on a viewing of the Upton flint collection, we sat under gazebos for protection from the sun and knapped happily to our hearts content.
      Bob’s aim was for us to produce a flint tool kit which during Neolithic times would have consisted of at least 9 different types of tools. All members of the family would have taken part with the younger ones learning knapping skills from their elders. Essential for skinning animals to provide food, fashioning wooden implements and so on, flint continued to be used prolifically until the Bronze Age when the use of flints decreased with the introduction of metal. 
      This was very much a ‘hands on’ demonstration as was evident from the amount of plasters needed during the flint knapping process, flint being an extremely sharp material! 
      Connie brought along a deer skin which a few brave souls amongst us (not me!) applied their newly fashioned blades to.
      Towards the end of the day, Bob gave us all a lump of flint and tasked us (in 20 minutes!) with the job of fashioning a flint tool of some sort. We then went round to each person to say what type of tool we had made and what it would have been used for.
      We learnt a lot and had a great time and many thanks to Gill and Bob for their tuition and for everyone who made it such a splendid day.
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