About 70 people stepped tens of thousands of years into the past, learning to hunt with darts chunked by spears, make tools from stone and join a badminton-like game played by an ancient Peruvian civilization.
Taking place at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga on Chamberlain Field on Saturday, Nov. 4, the fifth annual Paleo Skills Workshop was organized by Assistant Professor Brooke Persons, director of the Jeffrey L. Brown Institute of Archaeology at UTC. The event was arranged by faculty and interns from the anthropology program—along with community volunteers—and was open to anyone interested in participating.
Among the skills practiced at the workshop were:
- Using an atlatl, or spearthrower, and dart, a hunting technology from about 20,000 years ago.
- Making projectile points and other forms of stone tools, a technique known as “knapping.”
- Using wooden slings to try to hit a target with a rock.
- Listening to music played on handmade flutes.
- Preparing Paleolithic meals by grinding corn on a metate, a type of grinding stone.
As part of the day’s festivities, the workshop hosted Gaylon Nelson, a traditional musician and flutist who performed with retired UTC Professor Lyn Miles.