In the second phase of study, Kat
and Sunjana used the same lithic (stone) toolkit to groove sections of
elk antler. This time they clocked their cut rates as the antler
natural course of drying. The results of this ongoing study will help
delineate the window in which antler can be worked before it becomes too
hard and dry to realistic shape with stone tools. We are also
interested in how labor
times and working
strategies for antler carving may vary between individuals, even those who have similar degrees of experience and training.
Oberlin undergraduate researchers Kat Lamp and Sunjana Supekar (OC '11)
first spent several weeks mastering basic techniques for creating tools
from bone and antler. Here you can see them using flint flakes to
groove, saw, and
section portions of reindeer antler.