Saturday, September 26, 2009

Elfshot: Sticks and Stones, an Archeology Blog on Canada Blog Friends


Tim Rast writes Elfshot: Sticks and Stones, which is an archeology blog centered on his life and work in St Johns, Newfoundland. Tim is a modern day flintknapper and his domain is profiled this week on Canada Blog Friends.

A flintknapper is someone who makes stone arrowheads, and Tim specializes in recreating the authentic points used by the Maritime Archaic Indians, the Groswater and Dorset Palaeoeskimo and the Newfoundland Recent Indians.

"Knapping" is the shaping of flint, chert, obsidian or other stone through the process of lithic reduction to manufacture stone tools, strikers for flintlock firearms, or to produce flat-faced stones for building or facing walls, and flushwork decoration.

Dumpdiggers everywhere could learn a thing or two about Flintknapping by reading Tim's blog. He makes it fun and easy because his writing is terrific. Start with this piece about Dorset Palaeoeskimo knives because it’s a pretty good little snapshot of what the site is, and what Elfshot is all about. It brings archaeology, arts and crafts, and geothermal energy in the high Arctic all together, with a pinch of polar bears.

Tim Rast describes his experiments patinating copper as a fun bit of household chemistry that’s useful for the sort of artifact reproduction work that he does.

Dumpdiggers might also find Tim's first post about the Tuktut Nogait bow that he's working on for Parks Canada to be quite interesting, but the Ioffe Site post is really outstanding. In this piece he describes a site that he found while working as a resource archaeologist for an Adventure Canada cruise last fall.

Tim Rast is Canadian, from Alberta. He has two university degrees including a Masters in Anthropology from Memorial University in Newfoundland. He's a terrific writer, researcher and blogger, and a bright light in the darkness that surrounds the study of the earliest Canadian people.

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