These kits contain the most common flint tools of the Middle and Upper Paleolithic.
Burins are tools made on a flint blade that show a special narrow edge, used for ciseling, scraping, carving soft materials such as bone, antlers, woods... or even rocks..
The narrow working edge is made by knocking off (burin blow technique) one or more long flakes, known as burin spalls, from the tip of a flint blade.
This working edge shows an angle of 90°, gaining in strengh what it loses in sharpness, making it the ideal tool for thinning an antler needle, carving drawings on a cave wall or scraping the arms of a bow...
There are many types of burins, according to the techniques used for making them and to their shape:
• Burin on a troncation • Dihedral burin (see left image) • Parrot's beak burin (here on the right) • Noailles' burin
Variable in shape, these tools can be made on blade tips or on flakes, borers typically show one, sometimes several protruding spikes used for drilling holes into soft materials (leather, wood, antler, bones).
The spike is usually made with a hard hammerstone, the flint flake or blade being set on an anvil: it is a quick tool to make but mking a tiny point without breaking it is rather risky and breakages are frequent.
Flint borers may be used to punch holes into a piece of leather before sewing it and even drilling the eye of the needle, if the point is sharp enough.
Traces reveal alternate rotative action, the tool being held in hand, rotating half a circle in every direction.
Scrapers are tools that show abrupt or semi-abrupt scars on a blade extremity.
Their shape and probable usage make them very similar to our modern planes, but scrapers can be used in both ways, pushed or pulled.
Their robust edge can be used on skins, like sidescrapers or on wood like a chisel.
Easily and quickly made, these tools can be inserted in an handle to more strength or used directly in the hand.
Robust tools made on spalls, with their cutting edges being knapped so they feature abrupt scars. Mainly used to scrape skins and rawhide before tanning.
Though nothing cuts more than the raw edge of a flint spall, a cutting edge would... cut through the soft skin.
Sides have to be as regular as possible without any dent or spike in order to be efficient.
Qucikly and easily made, these are probably the very first tools ever used by clothes designers !
Here on the side, inferior view of a convergent double sidescraper (the percussion point of the spall is on the lower left plane).
Nothing cuts like a flint blade or a flint flake and these simple tools are efficient enough for slicing or butchering meat.
Flint blades are even more efficient than flakes because they are much thinner, but blades have two sharp edges that make them dangerous to hold and work with since they cut your hand as easily as meat !
A backed knife is a blade with one edge deliberately knapped with abrupt scars so it doesn't cut anymore.
Thus neutralized, a flint blade is safe to hold: its base can be held between the thumb, middle and ring finger while the index can rest on the neutralized edge, precisely guiding the blade. The knapped edge can also be inserted in a chiseled block of wood, along with pitch glue or tar, to make a neolithic knife.
This tool requires medium size straight blades... not always easy to obtain in sufficient quantities for average knappers. The back is easy to make once the blade is driven off the core.