Stone Knapping and Goat Butchering

|Stone Knapping and Goat Butchering

One of the major focuses of the Archaeology module in the Turkana Basin is the use of stone tools in pre-historical times. Oldowan and Acheulean stone tool technologies were collectively prevalent for millions of years; Now it was time for our modern day students to try their hand at reliving their ancient ancestors´ ways of life.

While at Nariokotome the students collected phonolite and rhyolite as the raw materials for the next week, as well as Basalt and Quartz to use as hammerstones to create their masterpieces.

During the final week, the students knapped their own stone tools following minimal instruction. Dr. Sonia Harmand left them to their own devices and, using only a short video as a guide, the students still managed to perform remarkably well at constructing their own tools.

Group photo of the students knapping their tools

Group photo of the students knapping their tools

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Some of the materials were too large, so several students had to break them into smaller bits.

Some of the materials were too large, so several students had to break them into smaller bits.

Lorraine and Evelyn shape their tools

Lorraine and Evelyn shape their tools

The students work hard at creating the perfect stone tools

The students work hard at creating the perfect stone tools

The men of the field school knap their stone tools, like their forebears did

The men of the field school knap their stone tools, like their forebears did

Students knap and Derrick shows off his handaxes

Students knap and Derrick shows off his handaxes

After knapping the tools required for preparing meat, the students took them to the butchering site where a dead goat was waiting for them.

The students, with the help of Francis and the kitchen staff, skinned and disembowelled the carcasses in preparation for the evening´s barbecue and celebration.

Derrick helps Francis skin the goat

Derrick helps Francis skin the goat

Isaiah gives Kristle, Lucy, and Luisa some butchering pointers

Isaiah gives Kristle, Lucy, and Luisa some butchering pointers

The students skin their future meal

The students skin their future meal

Francis shows the students how to butcher a goat

Francis shows the students how to butcher a goat

And thus, the field school comes to a close. The students enjoyed the barbecue and are sadly packing their bags to go home. After 10 amazing weeks, it was time for the students to return to their home lives to tell their families and friends about their exciting adventures in Turkanaland!

By | 2017-01-04T18:04:57+00:00 November 16th, 2013|Field Schools|Comments Off on Stone Knapping and Goat Butchering

About the Author:

Hi! I am Kat Warren and I am the Teaching Assistant for the Spring 2014 field school. While I am here I am also involved in the African Fossils Project (africanfossils.org) where I am 3D-scanning modern African fauna, fossils and archaeological material. I am a recent graduate in Archaeological Science from the University of Sheffield and my current interests lie in the evolution of cognition, and primate behaviour as a means to understand the cognitive frameworks of our earliest ancestors.