Saturday, February 9, 2008

Arrowheads and Atlatls

We spent most of the day at the Stone Age and Primitive Art Festival at the Ochlockonee River State Park, about an hour south of here. We took B's boy scouts to the event. Many of the exhibitors travel together to different events such as this. They are demonstrating flint-knapping, which is the art of chipping stone into tools. There were other craftsmen with baskets, pottery, carved wood, atlatls, as well as, archeologists from the State there. The boys got a chance to throw the atlatls and learned it is not as easy as it looks. The styles of atlatls ranged from very primitive to fairly high-tech. Atlatls have been used universally to propel spears and we were told they pre-date the bow and arrow. The spears run from about 5 to 7 feet; the lengths are used for different purposes. A publication stated: Acting as an extra segment of the human arm, the atlatl generates forces ten times greater than the unaided human arm. There is a physics lesson from prehistoric man!



Everywhere in the camp you heard the sound of the "chink, chink," as  stone hit stone to create arrowheads and spearheads. Others used a chipping method. Our local material source is not flint, but agatized coral and chert. We have collected this at times over the years for flint and steel fire starter kits. Today we saw flint from all over the country. One of our Venture scouts wanted a picture of this hand-crafted knife with a carved deer antler handle.


Along with these interesting tools and crafts, there were interesting people whose passion this is. Very interesting. We heard one little kid say, "He's a caveman!" And he was wearing skins and was barefoot. Some went for authenticity.

Others presented their research. Archeologists shared castings of mastodon and saber tooth tiger bones and a fine collection of points found at Wakulla Springs and area rivers.


Can't go to a park without a hike. First we checked out the point, where the Dead River comes into the Ochlockonee River.


Then we hiked through the pine woods.


This picture is one I took at this park a year ago when we took the scouts camping. It shows the Dead River at low tide at dawn when a forest fire had smoked up the sky.



David said...

Love that shot of the pines :) Reminds me of the area around Olustee - isn't that coming up?

Anonymous said...

Make you want to go camping again.