Tool Maker’s Tools


More photos from earlier this summer when I visited Dan Stueber’s class at the University of Victoria. I have given a talk to his class the past few years about a project where there are no stone tools and virtually everything discovered would normally decay in a few years, as a counterpoint to the focus of his class. Dan has taught a lithic technology course at UVic for most summers for a few years now – it is a very popular course and it seems hard to get a place in it.

The course work covers the manufacture of stone tools, the nature of waste materials from making them, and how to interpret these materials to help archaeologists understand past lifeways. He is based in Portland, Oregon but really seems to like coming to the island for a few weeks every year. Archaeology students here are extremely lucky to take courses from him – he is a master flintknapper who works also as a lithic analyst for an archaeological consulting company. 

Dan comes well prepared to teach. His van is filled with buckets of obsidian and other rock for flaking, hammer stones and antler mallets for shaping the rock by percussion, bone and antler punches used for the finer more controlled details made with pressure, leather to protect the legs and hands, tarps to collect the waste flakes (see yesterday’s post), other raw materials for making stone tools, and so much more. Today’s post looks at some of his toolkit. I was tempted to post in colour as there are many warm and rich tones from the leather and wood and antler. But the black and white works better for today, I expect some of the coloured versions of these shots to creep into a subsequent post.













Canon 5Dii, Nikkor-N 24/2.8 lens, various exposures.



8 thoughts on “Tool Maker’s Tools

  1. One thing I enjoy so much about your blog, Ehpem, is that I can almost always learn something from reading it! The things you see and do every day are so different than my own experiences and you present it in such a way that it’s interesting and informative.

    Oh, and the photographs are good, too!


    • Thanks Melinda! I think that is a mutual state of affairs – the landscapes and buildings you usually photograph are foreign and interesting to me. It is true of a lot of blogs, at the least the kind I follow.


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