2007 Flint Ridge Knap-In

Seen here is Ed Moreland at a recent knapping demonstration at Flint Ridge State Memorial, one of several held on Saturdays throughout the summer. Ed is a skilled and accomplished artisan and is seen here turning a raw or un-heat treated piece of Flint Ridge chalcedony (acquired off the State Memorial property) into the beautiful “Dovetail” spear point seen in the second inset.
If you were unable to attend any of these small but informative demonstrations there is still the “grand-daddy” of them all to take place in a couple of weeks. From August 31 through September 2, 2007 the Flint Ridge Lithic Society, in cooperation with the Ohio Historical Society, will hold its annual Flint Knap-In and Stone Tool Technology Show at Flint Ridge State Memorial. As was the case for thousands of years, the hills and woods around the State Memorial will once again ring with the musical sound of hammer stone on flint as folks from all over the country will get together at this ancient quarry site to see old friends and make new and practice the ancient art of knapping or chipping arrow heads and spear points from flint. Although the digging of flint on the State Memorial property is prohibited there will be plenty of flint, obsidian and other raw material suitable for knapping available from sources as far away as Australia. It is an excellent opportunity to see how things were made in the very old times and how some modern practitioners have elevated what was once a subsistence skill to an art form. The annual Flint Ridge Knap-In is one the largest events of its type in the country and over 100 knappers will be on hand to demonstrate their craft. If you feel so inclined, there is always room foranyone else who just might want to give it a try. Additionally there will be demonstrations of other traditional crafts and skills including spear throwing with a device known as an atlatl. An atlatl is a handle-like device that allows a person to throw a spear further and at a greater velocity than with just regular arm motion. It was perhaps THE weapon of choice in prehistoric times in both the Old World and in the Americas and used extensively for hunting and warfare before the advent of the bow and arrow. On Saturday September 1, an archaeologist from the Ohio Historical Society will be on hand at the museum to identify artifacts and other objects brought in by the public. So if you have an arrow head you dug out of your garden or a few things grandpa found while plowing, here is a chance to find out about them.
If the weather cooperates it is always a fun and rewarding event. It’s even fun when it does rain. Hope to see you there!
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7 Responses to 2007 Flint Ridge Knap-In

  1. Anonymous says:

    The knap in sounds like a good time! I’ve always wanted to learn how to make arrowheads. Will there be anyone there who is willing to show a beginner how to do it? Flintknapping must be one of the oldest “art” forms still around. I didn’t realize there were still “100 knappers” in the entire world!

  2. Anonymous says:

    is there some way a non-member could acquire an agenda of what will be happening at Flint Ridge during the Knap-In? We live quite a distance and knowing what will be happening on a given day would be of great help.

    Thanks so much.

    Cat

  3. Bill Pickard says:

    To anonymous and Cat and everyone else that might be interested:
    It is surprising how many people have taken up the hobby in recent years although it has really been as long ago as the 1970’s or so that flint knapping moved from an academic exercise by archaeologists studying stone tool technology to a popular hobby. There are books and whole web sites dedicated to flint knapping and it has become an international phenomenon. As a whole flint knappers are a very approachable bunch and they are always willing to bring new people into the circle as it were. The Flint Ridge event is an excellent chance to stock up on flint and the proper tools to work it and get acquainted with what becomes a passion to some. As for a published agenda there really isn’t one. In its own way its akin to a small carnival or street fair and there is always something interesting to see if it is flint knapping and fancy rocks that catches your interest. Although it is advertised as a weekend event it really gets going by Friday but the best day to attend is Saturday. There is usually a slide presentation at the shelter house on Friday night and other demonstrations through the day on Saturday. Sunday is a wind down day and everyone is gone by Monday morning. There are walking trails throughout the State Memorial, a museum and gift shop and the world famous Newark Earthworks just a few miles away. All are welcome and we hope you can attend.
    Bill Pickard

  4. Anonymous says:

    The Great Mookalini will be there on Friday. Got Mook!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    It is a shame that Black Hand Gorge is not ever mentioned when
    people talk about Flint Ridge.
    It is around 6 miles away from Flint Ridge. It is beatuiful along
    the riverand the trails are nice.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Have the dates been set for the 2008 Flint Ridge Knap-in?
    Thanks, Mike

  7. Bill Pickard says:

    Mike,
    The Flint Ridge event is always on Labor Day weekend. More precisely it is officially the Friday, Saturday and Sunday before Labor Day. Set up for the event begins on Tuesday and vendors begin to arrive on Wednesday and Thursday. In 2008 the event will be on the 29th, 30th and 31st of August, but if you are so inclined, feel free to drop by on Wednesday or Thursday when the vendors are setting up – there is always something going on. Also, the weekend before there is an excelent Knap-In / Stone Tool Show held at Letchworth State Park near Mt. Morris NY, about 3 1/2 hours east of Cleveland. Hope to see you at one or the other or perhaps both.
    Bill Pickard

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