Mostly ‘armless

Hello folks! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Sadly my apprenticeship is on hold for the foreseeable future as I was knocked off my motorbike by a lorry driver and spent most of the summer in hospital. Most of the damage is healing nicely but unfortunately I have lost the use of my (dominant) left […]

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Basic but beautiful!

Scrapers often get a bum rap from archaeologists for being intensely boring – probably a result of the fact that you can’t dig a prehistoric site in most of Europe without practically falling over the things. I have a huge fondness for the little blighters though, because as a novice knapper, scrapers are where it’s […]

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If I had a hammer

‘In short, intelligence, considered in what seems to be its original feature, is the faculty of manufacturing artificial objects, especially tools to make tools’ – Henri Bergson, Creative Evolution …and who doesn’t enjoy a bit of ego-stroking from influential French philosophers? I was pondering where to start this series (beyond the obvious introduction post a […]

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Introducing the Padawan

 So, in this first post, a quick introduction. My name is Heather Armstead and I am an archaeology student in my second year at the Institute of Archaeology, UCL. I met Karl in the first week of my degree, when he came to demonstrate flintknapping for us in a soggy field in West Sussex. The […]

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High Gloss Polishing of Lithic Material

Discoveries are frequently the result of accident or are coincidental to another area of research. The topic of this study was just such a coincidence while examining the efficiency of Palaeolithic bifaces as butchery tools. The initial area of study was to test certain aspects of the bifacial, ovate handaxe to discern its efficiency in […]

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Introducing the Primtechmobile!

Sadly it was recently time to retire Arthur, my trusty green Landrover Discovery, so I’d like to introduce the new Primtechmobile – Freddie the L200 Browning SE! The Browning is a collaboration between the Firs Garage in Oxfordshire and Browning, and is perfect for hauling all my flint and tools around muddy fields without getting […]

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That Was The Week That Was

What a week! One of the best things about this line of work is getting to travel all over the country meeting people, from field-leading academic researchers at prestigious universities to front line heritage staff, passionate about their site. I’m certainly clocking up the miles: Bristol on the 24th May Derbyshire over the Bank Holiday […]

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A happy handaxe owner

As you may have read here, one of my workshop participants at the British Museum had a great time, and fell in love with one of the handaxes I’d taken down with me. As a thankyou for taking the time to write a lovely blog post on her experiences with flint, I tasked my social […]

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