Monday, March 18, 2013

Knapping with the Archaeological Society of Alberta in Edmonton

Hafting workshop
On Saturday, I had the good fortune of leading a flintknapping workshop in Edmonton sponsored by the Archaeological Society of Alberta.  This was the second of two workshops organized by the Strathcona Centre of the ASA, with Sean Lynch teaching a beginning knapping workshop the weekend before.  Each workshop had a dozen or so people in attendance.  This was my first time in Edmonton since I was a child and I loved the city and had a great time meeting and working with everyone.

A productive bunch.  Sean Lynch is billeting in the middle in the light blue shirt.

"Hoko Knife" from the workshop
We focused on hafting techniques in the workshop, with most participants leaving with multiple hafted flakes and tools.  We started with the simple, clever, and effective "Hoko Knife" based on an artifact recovered from a well preserved site along the Hoko River in Washington.  Throughout the day, the students used their Hoko flake knife to whittle and carve other hafts and handles for their knapping projects.  We worked with different natural glues and binding materials and, of course, there was plenty of knapping throughout the day as well.

Peter grinding ochre for the the spruce glue on his arrow.

Kurtis, standing, organizing
There is some good volunteer energy behind the Strathcona Centre right now.  I don't know everyone working to build the Society's presence in Edmonton, but Kurtis Blaikie-Birkigt deserves a lot of credit for organizing these workshops with Sean and I.  The scope and scale of the session reminded me a lot of the first "Advanced Workshop" that I was invited to lead at Calgary four years ago, and I've seen a lot of growth there in the time that I've been involved with those workshops.  I'd love to see similar growth in Edmonton over the years.  For more information on the Strathcona Centre, visit the Archaeological Society of Alberta's website.

Photo Credits: Tim Rast


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