Devizes Touch to See Book Club session
March 24, 2016

Phil harding talking to the Touch to See book club group

From time to time all Clubs ask speakers to come and talk about interesting subjects. The Devizes Book Club were fortunate to have Phil Harding come and speak about the art of flint knapping. Phil is England’s most favourite master flint-knapper and is passionate about pre-historic Britain. He is well known for starring in the Channel 4’s Time Team programme. His enthusiasm had everyone transfixed. Several different artefacts were handed around, they were heavy, smooth to touch with sharp edges.

Phil harding talking to the Touch to See book club group

Phil also bought a couple of tools used to do the flint knapping. They were replica stone-age tools, a soft hammer (made from deer antler) and a hard hammer (basically a large round pebble). He was very protective over his tools, apparently he never shares these with anyone as they were so special to him. He described the techniques used to make flint heads, it required a lot of skill and is actually very subtle. You have to calculate the angles and pressure to ensure the rock flakes shear off and create the correct shape. Phil explained how the sound of the knapping technique is key to creating the best axe heads.

The Devizes Book Club would like to thank Phil for coming to speak to everyone. It was not only inspiring but a real step back in time.

Members said that they have never had the opportunity to hear about stone age tools, feeling and hearing about axe flint heads gave them an insight into a world they knew little about.

A truly inspiring session!!

By for now.


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