Friday, February 10, 2012

St. John's Flintknapping Workshop - Percussion

MUNArch, Memorial University of Newfoundland's archaeology society, is sponsoring a pair of flintknapping workshops next week, on the evenings of February 14th and 16th.  The executive put a lot of hard work in to organizing these events and have brought in 70 lbs of fine black obsidian for participants to work with.

These first two workshops will be dedicated to percussion knapping with hammerstones and antler billets.  Both evenings cover the same material, but I can only handle 15 students at a time, so we added an extra night.  Next month there will be a pair of follow-up workshops where you can learn the fundementals of pressure flaking.  But for now, everyone will earn their Homo habilis and erectus badges in cracking big flakes off of cores.  Here's a wrap-up from the last time that I offered this class, in 2010.

The tools and rock will be provided for you to use during the workshop and you can keep what you make.  MUNArch organized these workshops for their members, so registration priority goes to current archaeology students.  The workshop on February 14th is already full, but there are some spaces open to the public on the 16th.  Ages 16 and up, please.

Flintknapping Workshop: Introduction to Percussion Knapping.
Tim Rast, Instructor
Queen's College, Memorial University, St. John's, NL
February 14th (full) and 16th (spaces available), 
5:30 - 7:30PM (stay longer if you like)

This workshop is sponsored by MUNArch, who are providing the rock, space, and registration
Contact Aurora at to book a space (Student registration is $25 for one workshop or $40 for both a percussion session and a pressure flaking workshop in March)


  1. Bruce Thomas here.

    I'm just wondering: where would a person acquire 70 pounds of fine black obsidian? I'm sorry I'm several thousand miles and an international boundary away from St. John's. If not for that, I'd be there. Your work is just stunning.

  2. The obsidian was ordered from Craig Ratzat at

    I've been buying knapping materials form him for years and have always had a good experience.

    1. Thanks, Tim -

      That will beat driving 700 miles round trip to Glass Buttes in Oregon and carrying back a couple buckets of fist sized cobbles.


      Bruce Thomas


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