History comes alive at Georgia Gwinnett College with ancient tools demonstration
Georgia Gwinnett College’s (GGC) Arctos Anthropology Club got a view into the past with primitive-living expert, Andrew Minnick, who demonstrated tool-making technologies used during the Stone Ages and pre-contact period in the Americas.
“This event will give students the opportunity to see how these technologies work and try their hand at some of them,” said Kathryn Deeley, assistant professor of anthropology in GGC’s School of Liberal Arts. Deeley said this is the second year Minnick visited campus to demonstrate the tools and tool-making processes to participants.
Students marveled over the Atlatl, a hunting tool that early humans used to improve, power, accuracy and control as they hurled a spear toward unsuspecting prey. They also tried their hand at “flint knapping,” a technique of shaping stones into tools, weapons or decorative pieces, by striking them with a hammerstone.
One of those students, was Isaac Robitaille, who serves as president of the Arctos Anthropology Club. Robitaille said the experience brought home to him that early humans were sophisticated problem solvers well before modern science and technology impacted their lives.
“It's easy to assume that the process is as simple as putting a rock and stick together or that early humans were just unsophisticated cavemen, but people actually developed complex and effective means to help them survive, ones that require skill and knowledge to do so,” he said.
Robitaille said the exercise was important to learn about and understand ancient technologies, much of which has been forgotten in modern times. The demonstration, he said, sheds light on how these technologies shaped human evolution, history and culture.
“It's something that is important to keep alive to remind us of where we come from and how much we continue to depend on the earth and its resources for our needs,” he said. “It's really anthropology at its core, a passion and yearning to understand humans and how we interact with the world around us.”