Watch: Making an ‘Ötzi the Iceman’ Flint Dagger
Russ Chastain 05.29.18
In this video, mouse trap lover Shawn Woods demonstrates as he builds a wood-handled flint dagger similar to one found with the frozen mummy called Ötzi the Iceman. He begins by cutting and shaping a piece of green ash wood using primitive tools before allowing it to dry and season.
Then the video shows the blade-making process, which I find fascinating. I still can’t fully wrap my mind around the process of flint knapping.
Once the blade is mostly shaped, we learn how he knows about the details — and we see that he has also built a replica knapping tool by copying one that was found with the mummy. He uses that tool to make the dagger blade. Cool!
This is followed by some discussion of the tool itself, in which he acknowledges that not everyone believes the tool is even a knife. I personally agree with his notion that it was indeed a knife, and that it was originally much longer than its current size. When a knife gets dull, it needs to be sharpened, and you sharpen a flint knife by removing flakes to reveal new edges. This necessarily reduces the size of the blade over time.
All in all, it’s really interesting to anyone who likes knives and old stuff. Enjoy!