Channeling our ancestral craft

MCCC’s Archeology Club hosted a flint knapping seminar to help channel their inner caveperson.

“We’re using original tools and techniques that our ancestors used to make arrowheads,” said Ken Mohney, professor of Anthropology.

The Archeology Club taught students how to whittle a variety of rocks from volcanic glass to  very fine flint, and silicified mud stone into arrowheads using ancient tools made of stones and antlers.

“It’s kind of a geeky thing for archeologists,” said Julia Joblinski, president of the Archeology Club. “I think it’s cool to understand how people lived in the prehistoric times, and it’s interesting to understand them.”

Students used a moose hammer to chip away at a block of stone to make chunks the correct size for an arrowhead.

“It felt really neat being able to hold that rock and make the arrow point. It was incredible to see how much precision you need to get the chunk of stone you need to make an arrowhead,” student Geoff Jablonski said. “It would be neat to try this for a whole day and see what I could come up with.”

The exercise helped students understand how hard it was to live in the prehistoric era and to understand that “primitive technology” isn’t as primitive as one might think.

“I hate the words ‘primitive technology;’ I call it ‘ancestral technology,’ ” Mohney said. “I just want people to have an appreciation for what our ancestors went through. People should give our ancestors proper credit for doing something that we can’t do,”  he said.

If you’re interested in joining the archeology club you can contact Dr. Mohney at kmohney@