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Flint Knapping

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Flint Knapper at Work

Flint Knapper at Work

Travis Shinabarger
Definition:

Flint knapping is the process by which stone (or lithics tools were and are today made. A flintknapper selects a block of stone, called a core, and, using a hammerstone begins to chip away at core to create a projectile point, scraper, or other tool.

Tools used to shape the core include hard percussion tools (tools made of stone such as a hammerstone) or soft percussion tools (bone or antler batons) tools to deliberately flake away or sculpt a stone tool such as a projectile point or scraper. The detritus created by the knapper is called debitage. The application of heat treatment has long been recognized as a method of improving workability.

Sources

This glossary entry is a part of the About.com Guide to Lithics and Lithic Analysis and part of the Dictionary of Archaeology.

See the discussion on Systematic Flaking for more information about identifying worked stone tools.

This glossary entry is part of the Dictionary of Archaeology.

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