Archaeology Training

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Flintknapping Classes with Dennis Torresdal
April 29 and 30, 2017

Introduction to Percussion Flaking, Saturday April 29, 2017: The instructor will describe and demonstrate the
percussion reduction process, analyzing strategies, execution of the strategies, and outcomes. Students will have ample
time and material to practice, ask questions and get guidance in developing their skills. We will make core blades for
reduction, and prepare edges by removing round, square, and thin sharp edges. We will also, if learned skills allow,
perform primary thinning, secondary thinning, shaping and finishing. Everyone should be able to produce at least one
large bifacially flaked pre-form to the stage 2 or stage 3 level, as illustrated on page 2-7 of the OAS Basic Archaeology
Training Course Session 2 handout.
Introduction to Pressure Flaking, Sunday, April 30, 2017: Learn how to make a variety of pressure flaked tools such
as scrapers, gravers, spokeshaves, drills, simple knives and projectile points. For those who took the percussion flaking
class, we will expand the skill of creating platforms, developing the correct edge angles, and pressing flakes off the
surface of a tool core flake to create a sharp edge. If you did not take the percussion flaking class, you will learn those
principles on this day. The percussion flaking class is not a prerequisite for the pressure flaking class. The first tools we
make will be unifacially flaked tools. The second sequence of tools will be bifacially pressure flaked tools (sharpened on
both sides of the cutting edge) such as knives and projectile points. The skills learned will lay the groundwork for
producing more sophisticated bifacially flaked tools such as stemmed or notched projectile points and larger knives.
Again, we will discuss the ethics involved in flintknapping.
Supplies to bring: Lunch, five gallon bucket, old bath towel to use as a cushion, or leather pad, 4’x8’ tarp to work over,
SAFETY GLASSES. High top or tight fitting shoes so chips do not fall into your shoes. Optional would be a pair of thin gloves.
Big thick leather ones do not work very well. Nitrile or surgical type gloves work well. I will have a supply of these.
Other information: Obsidian and flintknapping tools are provided. Flintknapping tools and supplies will also be available for purchase. Dress for the Oregon weather, as we will be outside. If you are allergic to bee stings bring appropriate medication, as there are many
beehives nearby, but they usually do not cause a problem.
Class tuition: $50.00 per day, including materials and tools.
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. or a little later.

To reserve your place in either or both classes please send a message to OAS at
You will be contacted by Dennis with registration information.

OAS Basic Training, also known as Archaeology for the Curious, is an annual program taught by experienced regional professionals from organizations such as the U.S. Forest Service, BLM, and the University of Oregon. The sessions are typically held on six Saturdays in late winter at the Portland Community College Rock Creek Campus.

If you looking to learn more about archaeology basics, or need a refresher on the history of the Pacific Northwest, this is a great introductory program. Completing the OAS Basic Training program will allow you to have access to volunteer field work opportunities with professional archaeologists, including the University of Oregon field school and excavations and lab work at Fort Vancouver.
Topics for the first two sessions include archaeology basics as well as information on artifacts, laws and ethics, Northwest archaeology and rock art, site stewardship and volunteering. The four additional training sessions cover field excavation, laboratory methods, site mapping, cataloging and compass reading. The program is a great way to network with other archaeology lovers and to learn how you can get involved in the field. Please reserve your space early.
The entire six-session package is $95 which includes a one-year OAS membership,
or $65 for current OAS members.

Thanks teachers, students, and volunteers for another successful year.
See you in 2018!

Download registration forms here:



If you are joining OAS and enrolling in classes, please mail both applications to the address on the training application.

Need more information? Email us at


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