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Knives of Flint 

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Fun Factoids of Flintknapping

1. Simple flint tools predate any other cutting instrument. The first was probably a single sliver of broken flint or obsidian called a "micro-blade".  
2. A simple micro-blade, like a flat razor blade, was probably what Abraham or Joshua used for circumcision (Joshua 5:2), not a large knife with a handle (Thank Goodness!).
3. Flint can have a sharper edge than any modern metal.  Ironic considering that knives made with natural  and primitive flint has never been improved over thousands of years of metal technologies. We're truly talking "basics" here.
4. Obsidian, a natural glass often used in flintknapping, is king of edges having the sharpest edge known to man, even surpassing flint, being only molecules thick on the cutting edge.
5. Even today, obsidian is sometimes used by plastic surgeons to make incisions that leave no scars.
6. Flintknapping was virtually forgotten in North America by every native tribe once they made contact with Europeans. Steel "trade" knives and arrowheads immediately made stone tools obsolete, therefore the knowledge to work flint was lost very quickly.
7. It's interesting that no one wanted to know how flintknapping was done until all the Indians were on reservations and all of the knowledge was lost several generation earlier. Only one Native American passed the ancient knowledge of flintknapping to the white man, an Indian in California known as Ishi. He was from the Yahi tribe which managed to hide and isolate themselves from contact with the invading white men, at least until they were all murdered or died leaving Ishi all alone. Besides Ishi there was only one other known Indian that was suspected to have the ability, but he was profiting too much selling his flint blades to share the secret.
8. Ishi was the last "wild Indian" and the last survivor of his tribe, living alone in the wild until he surrendered in 1911, walking out of the forest and into modernization having never met a white man his whole fifty years except observing from a distance. Read about him, his story is fascinating.
9. If Ishi was the "Father of modern flintknapping" then Don Crabtree (1912-1980) would be the "Headmaster" dispensing knowledge of the little known art en masse. His 1972 book, "An Introduction to Flintworking", was the first to open the door to a following of numerous modern flintknappers. Later, the internet created an explosion of flintknappers still happening today.
10. Amazingly, even though there are literally thousands of flintknappers across the world today, flintknapping is still viewed only as a relic of the past and a "new" form of art. Very few recognize or appreciate its practical value to modern hunters. Did I mention that it was SHARPER THAN STEEL?


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