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People are forever bringing me broken arrowheads for me to fix. Theres two ways of thinking about this>one its unethical to fix these and sell them for authenic and it is. I will not lie to anyone about them being repaired as it it very tough to tell by anyone but an expert and than you almost have to have a microscope. Theres a petina on old points that can only occure over periods of years.

 

Second> Im repairing something that some anicent man made from primative tools and was used to SURVIVE. It would be great if you could see how the piece got broken.

 

Here a a few points that have been brought to me for fixing. Before and after.

eagle015ys0.jpg

 

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Im still working on the other two.

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Heres some ancient man tools I found that could be used by modern man if the need arised.

From left to right spud (digging and canoe building tool), grinding stone and base, small axe head (I made this one) and crude hammer or axe head.

tools006jz2.jpg

You can see where field cultivators scratched the tools as they were in a field.

URL=http://imageshack.us]tools011xw6.jpg[/url]

Grinding grain or grinding stone tool

tools014bj8.jpg

I found this (we call it green granite) partially finished axe head in the same field that I found the grinder making me think they were useing it to make axe heads.I used modern tools to finish it my mikita grinder and a masonary disk and than polished it with a fine stone   

tools018in9.jpg

You can see the marks on this stone where they tied it to a handle.

 

tools021pk9.jpg

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Wow i wish we could find stuff like that over here, we have so much history in our ground you have to dig down a long way to have any hope of finding stuff like that but tools like that were not really used after the end of the Bronze, 1200BC. There is a lot of other stuff above that in the ground, mainly rubbish and industrial slag.

 

some of those tools could be as little as 300 years old i would have thought.

 

i have been looking at this and wondering if it was in fact a weight for tying something to such as fishing nets or possibly a tepee, i say that because if is an axe or hammer i would have they have pecked the center ring out more but i am no expert, it probably is an axe type tool

 

tools021pk9.jpg

 

Swede you have some lovely napping work there well done

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Thanks Adi we have a rich history of native American history right in my back yard as the entire small town was built on an old settlement of Indians.The main reason is Spoon River that runs right through town. Rivers were the interstate highway system for Native Americans plus the abundance of chert out crops the main source of weapon and tool material. Early man depended on the river system for food and travel and we find tools like the spud shown in the picture used to hollow out mainly bass wood trees to make canoes. The spuds or celts were tied onto right angle handles or L shaped roots to be used like a garden hoe to chop wood out of the log.

 

There are fields dotted with chert chips near the flint out crops in the smaller streams where they came to "quarry "material.It seems they came from miles around to obtain their material and Im sure there was some altercations when two tribes arrived at the same time.Late summer when water levels were lowest would be prime time for harvesting.

 

The axe (who knows what they used it for) is primative for sure but maybe it was good for what they used it for. The Native Americans around here didnt have tee pees but wood frame shelters covered with prairie grass (prairie grass state) is our states name as we had miles and miles of prairie. They had mud over that for winter camps but most left here in winter and went south down the river to the Illinois river or south down the Mississippi river.You can imagine how fast they must have felt they were moving going down stream.

 

Heres a couple of examples of chert celts used for goughing. I have some others but Mrs Swede moved them to that place where no one can find them :curse:

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Woops I found them right where I put them. :blushing: :blushing: the one on the right is a scrapping tool of some kind

 

 

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Here is a tool I knapped from scratch.

 

tools2013kc8.jpg

 

Just like anything else the tools or weapons were as good as the person making them. Some were better than others with their craft.

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Here is an example of prairie grass shelters built by modern man. There is evidence the Native Americans built more of a semi perminent shelter useing walls and roof design much like our modern structures.

 

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The N.A. people would erect a short wall frame with roof logs forming a peak in the center much like our modern day structures. Than a few  poles running length ways over the entire structure where they would fold prairie grass in half and hang them over the length way poles starting at the bottom and working towards the peak. That way water would run off. Prairie grass stems would be up to five foot in length back than and still today on praire grass plots.

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Guest Lead Dog

For a period of years the Native Americans would drop down south to southern Illinois or around St Louis area for the winter and a major settlement sprang up called Cahokia Mounds. Heres a link to the area.

http://www.jqjacobs.net/archaeo/cahokia.html

 

http://www.cahokiamounds.com/

 

Cahokia is a great place.  Anyone heading in or around St. Louis needs to make time to visit it.  It is amazing to think of such a large city, the largest native settlement north of Mexico.

 

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Here is my fathers large life long collection of artifacts estamated to be worth in the five figures. I have them locked up and photographed for insurance purposes. Some of the points here are clovis points made by prehistoric man with estamated worth in the thousand dollar range also a dove tail in the picture frame with such outstanding quality it is also in the thousand dollar range. So it is possible to pick up a piece like these that is as good as gold.Clovis points are average 10.000 years old and have been found in mastadon bones.The dove tail is just to the left of the flash reflection in the picture frame.If you look close my father spelled cedar creek with the points in the frame in spite of the flash.

 

photos100019vu2.jpg

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Here are some things I found on a rather dirty camp site along a small stream called Haw Creek near the Spoon River bottom. For some reason the site was littered with trash left over from the clan. It might have been a winter site where trash could not be buried or they were just unconcerned about living on their own trash who knows.

 

From left to right> Some broken pottery shards.They would use mud mixed with crushed clam shells and prairie grass mixed all together. They would mold the mud into shape and would put designs on it and bake the pottery in or under camp fires.

Deer jaw bones and teeth>Most bones found showed they crushed them to get the marrow out of the center of the bones.

Antler point

Turkey spur> showing there were wild turkeys back than. It wasnt a pheasant because they were introduced from China years later.

Looks to be a snapping turtle leg bone.

Some vertebrae of some kind probably deer.

Two clay balls possibly for children toys or games.

 

bones001ce9.jpg

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It might be of some interest to research making pottery from a camp fire for SURVIVAL situations. Although pottery would be more for a long term SURVIVAL it would be interesting to see if it could be done.

 

It is believed the crushed clam shells melted from the heat causing a type of cement to hold the pottery together.I just happen to have a bucket of fire clay in the basement Ive had for years where I was going to try making some pottery in my wood burner.( doesnt every body have a bucket of fire clay laying around?)  8|

 

Now if I can just get the energy -------------------------

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Stephen Plant of The Pottery Plant. "Earth, air, fire, water, and imagination are the ingredients, and you can almost always find them anywhere."

 

What you do, simply, is shape a clay mix, let it dry, then fire it to red heat in an outdoor fire. You will probably turn out some pretty crude pots and sculptures the first time, but you'll learn with experience.

 

"The whole process has an endless number of variables and ways of doing things," Stephen says. "There is no 'right' way, and often the results are unexpectedly amazing!"

 

Earth

 

The earth you use is a mixture of clay and filler (sand or mica). By opening the pores of the clay to let moisture escape, the coarse filler "tempers" it so that pottery dries and fires more successfully. Without it, pots can warp, shrink, crack, or explode in the fire.

 

If you are lucky, you may have a local outcrop of clay nearby. To check if the clay is suitable for pottery-making, roll a small lump into a coil about 18 mm in diameter, then bend the coil into a ring about 5 cm in diameter. If you have good clay, it will not split and the ring will be firm enough to set on an edge without sagging.

 

If you don't have a natural source of clay, you can buy it from a ceramic supply house or through a local potter, generally in 25 kg or 55 kg packages. The best kind for campfire pottery is red earthenware for hand building.

 

Dampen filler before adding to clay and mix in well, almost as if you were kneading bread. Slowly add filler and keep moistening until the clay is easily workable and plastic. If it starts to crumble, you've added too much filler. "You'll know when it's right," Stephen says. A good guideline is 1/2 to 1/3 cup filler to 10 kg clay.

 

The simplest form of pot to make is a "pinch pot". You start with a ball of clay you can comfortably hold in your hand. Push the thumb of the other hand gently into the centre of the ball, then squeeze the clay between thumb on the inside and the fingers on the outside. Continue to squeeze the clay and turn the pot to hollow it out and thin the walls.

 

If the weather is hot while you are working, the top of your pot might start to crack. Dampen it slightly from time to time, but try not to get it soggy or it will not be very workable.

 

Some of your members might want to try making a pot by "coiling", another traditional method. Start by squeezing clay into a sausage shape, then putting it on a flat clean surface and rolling back and forth to make a long round "snake" or rope. The number of coils you need will depend on the size of pot you want to make. The first time, try a small pot to get used to the technique.

 

When you've made four or five ropes, make a flat clay disc to be the bottom of the pot. Coil the first rope around the outside of the disc and firmly thumb the clay of the two parts together. Build each coil on the one below, firmly pushing the clay together to join them each time. The clay must be the right dampness for the coils to merge. Support the pot on the outside with the other hand as you shape it

 

Stephen offers a few tips to make your pottery more successful.

 

  1. Avoid leaving air pockets in the piece.

 

  2. Try not to make pieces too thick or too thin. If they are too thick, they are difficult to dry and fire. If they are too thin (less than 6 mm), they will likely crack or break. The ideal thickness is about 12 mm. Stephen uses a "rule of thumb": if a piece is thicker than your thumb, hollow it out more or thin it down.

 

  3. If you join pieces of clay, moisten and scratch together the surfaces you want to join.

 

Air & Fire

 

Before firing the pots, let them air dry completely. A day in the hot sun might be enough, but since they can't get too dry, you might want to leave them longer. You can also dry them near the campfire, but be careful not to set them too close and remember to turn them frequently.

 

During the drying process, you can burnish the pots to make them waterproof. They need to be at the "leather hard" stage: still damp and dark in colour, but no longer pliable. Carefully rub a pebble or the back of a spoon over the pot to put on a shiny finish. Maybe you want to shine up some parts of the pot and leave others unpolished.

 

When the pots are dry, it's a good idea to preheat them a bit before firing them. That removes more moisture from the clay, cutting down further the chance of explosions in your pottery fire. Heat them by standing them by the fire and turning them often.

 

Make a fire pit about 25 cm deep and 75 cm in diameter. Have plenty of fuel close by: cow dung, sticks, dry grass, shavings, briquettes, pine cones, and dry firewood. Fill the pit with straw and pile in the dry pots, open ends down. Build up fuel around the pots in a tipi, and light the straw and the fire lay. You need to avoid drafts on the pots, so keep piling on fuel so that you don't expose the sides to the air. If a wind starts blowing, set up a windbreak to protect the fire.

 

Stephen says you can also start by placing the dried pots on a bed of coals, but only if you have preheated them hot enough that you can't touch them with your bare hands. If you heat the pots too suddenly, they will burst, he explains.

 

When the pots are glowing red hot, the fire has done its job. Let the fire burn down, then bank it by throwing lawn clippings or damp hay over the pots. It's best to let both fire and pots cool down slowly, then to remove the pots with tongs or sticks.

 

The whole firing process will take about three hours. And, with luck, your pots will be an interesting and attractive blend of orange, red, black, and grey.

 

You've already used a little water to mix and shape your clay and you've kept a good supply close by during firing for safety. You've probably used more to clean up after shaping your pots. And, as Stephen points out, water is good to drink - in your new pots.

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Guest Lead Dog

Swede, this is a fantastic topic.  I'm really glad we have an expert like you to share this information.  Keep up the great work!   :cool:

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Swede this is excellent and informative.  I believe there is a front page website article here to be posted.  :thumbup:

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hey swede,

I'll trade you some Canada goose feathers for some of that clean white chert.  I've got some nice wing tips and tail feathers, all legal.  I haven't been able to find any show white since we mostly get brown and a little black.

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Lets go over some tips about flint knapping.

 

Here I have a piece of chert that I found on a campsite. At first glace its just a piece of flint left over but lets look closser.>

 

chert005ud6.jpg

 

Here you can see some chipping that isnt a natural occurrence  >

 

chippingoa8.jpg

 

Here is an example of a "hinge fracture" this occures when a blow or chip doesnt have suffencient energy to break completely accross. Propper preparation before the blow was not successful.>

 

hingefracturegw7.jpg

 

This may be because of "problem areas" these areas are different elements within the rock its self. Since chert is a product of lime stone and limestone is crustacean shells piled up and placed under extreme pressures over time different elements get mixed into the formation.

 

Theres areas are difficult to chip uniformally because they are harder. Here is an example of these areas.>

 

problemareasrf2.jpg

 

Here is the "cutting edge" the user was using as a tool. Possibly a scrapper or knife. I suspect a shapping tool for atlatl shafts.

 

chert010yv4.jpg

 

Next I wiill show you how to attempt to repair this tool and demonstrate how it was used.

 

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Hey swede.  Let me ask a couple of questions if I may.  The wife is going to learn how to do flint knapping.  She has all the stuff, elk horn, deer horn, hammerstone, canvas for chips, video to show her how, that kind of stuff.  My question is, what of these tools would it be worthwhile to carry with you, or should you just re-make them in the wild?  Kind of like once you've got a favorite knife, you'd hate to leave it behind.

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If you were thrown into the wild without any tools the best you could hope for are tools made from chert. Simply striking chert glancing blows on the edges can get some very sharp chips that can be used as knives. Actually some chips are sharper than most knives.

 

Some thin chips can be made by "pressure flaking" useing pointed stones and working the edges of the chips.These could be worked into points mostly for spears.

 

Deer antler tips are the best you can find but thats pretty slim as rodents chew up most antlers rather quickly.

 

If I could be lucky enough to have my knapping tools with me I would like to have a deer antler tip, a dowel with copper wire inserted in the ends, an elk or moose antler billet(hammer) and my copper billet.

 

The tips of the antler and the copper wire can be sharpened as needed by grinding on sandstone or other rough surfaced stone. 

 

Although there are several excellent books on flint knapping I reccomend The art of flint knapping by D. C Waldorf. Amazon is your best source for these books.

 

Ill try to video a short demonstration. It took me two years of trial and error before I could make a descent arrowhead.

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Thank you very much, Swede.  We are lucky to have been friends with someone who is one of the foremost lithic experts in the country, but I think it's been a lot of years since he did any, but he can certainly tell you chapter and verse about the points you find.  That's how the wife got interested.  Of course I just wanna make something that I can get something to eat with...grin.

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Thank you very much, Swede.  We are lucky to have been friends with someone who is one of the foremost lithic experts in the country, but I think it's been a lot of years since he did any, but he can certainly tell you chapter and verse about the points you find.  That's how the wife got interested.  Of course I just wanna make something that I can get something to eat with...grin.

 

That's the absolute truth. I've learned alot about knapping, so far from Swede's messages and posts.  Prior to comming here, I knew how to break a rock into a point, that's it. Now' I'm actually getting some respectible arrow and knife heads.  A student's only as good as his teacher, and I hope to be half the knapper that Swede is.

 

Tho...he's been promising the video for weeks now.  :notangel:  I may have to head down there with my vid camera just to 'assist' in getting it done.

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