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GALLERY: Flaking Flint at Silver River


Ocala, Fla. — Archaeologists and artists gathered at Silver River State Park over the weekend to demonstrate their prehistoric flint-knapping skills and showcase their artwork at the fourth annual Silver River Knap-In.

Jeff Whitfield, a government-contracted survival techniques instructor, traveled from Alabama to demonstrate his knapping skills.

Knapping is the art of cracking stone in a controlled fashion, Whitfield said. Flint, chert and obsidian are commonly used.

Whitfield said he first flakes away at the edges of a stone with a bopper — a durable and cylindrical copper tool with a lead tip — to create an initial shape. Details are added during a process called pressure flaking, he said.

“It is all about setting up platforms to make it break where you want,” Whitfield said. “There is a little bit of method to the madness.”

Scott Mitchell, director of Silver River Museum and Environmental Education Center, said Marion County Public Schools hosted the event at Silver River and all proceeds benefit the museum and center.

All photos taken by WUFT News photographer Aubrey Stolzenberg.


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