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home : community : community October 15, 2019

8/8/2019 12:49:00 PM
East Coast Knappers Share Ancient Craftsmanship
Photos Courtesy Kirk Herbertson
Photos Courtesy Kirk Herbertson

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GASTONIA, N.C. – The 30th annual gathering of East Coast Knappers was held at The Schiele Museum of Natural History in Gastonia August 3-4.

The 2019 Focus for the gathering was “Petroglyphs” which are symbols within rocks. In ancient times, worldwide, humans hunted and were hunted. To survive, they did so silently and developed a method to communicate silently. This method using, primarily, hand gestures developed into sign language and was reported in the form of pictographs on almost anything and as petroglyphs when on rock. Each glyph has a meaning and by putting these ideograms together tell a story or message.

Scott Silsby, a highly skilled primitive technologist from Northern Virginia, and Johnny Faulkner, retired archaeologist with the Daniel Boone Forest Service from Kentucky kicked-off the event with a shared presentation on Saturday, August 3. Silsby discussed various topics on petroglyph symbols, their origins and meanings. Faulkner discussed his replication of petroglyphs with similar tool kits used by the Native Americans.

A Trade Session was held later on Saturday modeled after a historic old-time trading session where no money was allowed. Attendees for the event brought their trade goods including knapping tools, raw materials, finished pieces, leather goods, primitive and traditional skills books, camping gear, outdoor clothing, food… then they trading began which was of interest to all those in attendance to watch and/or participate in.

Traditional free knapping was held on Sunday, August 4 where the knappers shared the wonders of the natural world, ancient cultures and skills to the visitors who stopped by to see the event. Stone tools were the cutting edge of technology for thousands of years. Visitors learned how these tools were shaped from stone as the flint knappers shared their ancient craftsmanship.

The Schiele Museum is located on Garrison Blvd. in Gastonia. For more information about their events visit or call 704-866-6908.

(Information in this article provided by

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