A projectile point can be a thing of beauty when seen. I love the materials often used to build these things. Consider these two as samples.
The obsidian point is a thing of beauty I believe. Carefully crafted.
See how the technologist structured the flakes taken off. While its a thing of beauty, this obsidian point is deadly as well. Ever touched obsidian or wonder at its make-up? Its actually silica or otherwise called glass. Sharp as glass and sometimes as fragile if the technologist/artist wrongly works.
Now consider the chert projectile point. A completely different base material. The chert stands out in its tough makeup but the beauty here is that chert comes in so many different wonderful colors. The material is also known as crypto-crystalline silicate and the names are wonderful. I love the rock names like Chalcedony, Jasper. The coloring is almost hypnotic in nature. See how the pinks, blues, and almost greens bounce around in your vision? Truly something of beauty yet lethal.
The artistry and technology of these things has always interested me. It seems that the art and style and technique were valued enculturation items taken from father to son in a odyssey of style and approach. Perhaps though as the new generation got the design elements, changes were made. There was evolution of style and approach. Nothing stays static in technology and science as we know. To remain static is to lose relevancy.
The art of building stone tools evolved as we all know. It started here, went there, evolved, changed, became different when the need was or perhaps as an innovation not based on extreme need. Who really knows since the ideas can never be excavated along with the rock material. We can only build our surmises and theories and approaches based on what we see. The archeological record is incomplete. Like a rather famous southwestern archeologist once told me,
ideas and thoughts are the hardest to excavate
Yes indeed! The mentors I found or that found me on my journey way back when filled my head with wonder at the shapes of the tools above; but never stopped there. They also told me perhaps what the ideas and thoughts were as the person built the tool. Maybe its more like the tool building the person though. The tool evolves, the person evolves, the need evolves, the society evolves in some kind of cosmic dance.
The art of simply building a hearth or cooking pit I believe was always more than just the rocks burned up and the dead bunny bones we would find. I have thought the ideas and thoughts we could not excavate pointed at a rich social and oral tradition where the pit was the social media, the Google Plus of the time. We have circles on Google Plus and the hearths were in circles. No coincidence there? I believe that these things were more than just fires built to keep warm. They were socialization institutions where families gathered and poured over their lore, told the young ones the stories of the day and the past day. Perhaps those flintknappers gathered then and taught their young the art and style. But they also knew that the young would enrich the style and bring a new element.
Question for Today
How many things do you innovate do you think? Do you touch things and build your own mental projectile points to thrust at the prey? Perhaps that prey is work. Maybe life. Maybe conditions you find yourself in. I believe if you apply the old, tired methods you will not build things of value. Just like trying to teach someone a set of morals and guidance from some old book if you know what I mean. That old book had a set of morals and codes maybe good for the day. We have evolved since then. Has the book? It still seems to teach the same ole, same ole to me.
If religion is to be the point of the tip, where is the evolution that it dances around to stay relevant? If our lives are to be relevant, where are our evolutions? As the anthropologist once said,
there is nothing so constant as change
Are you under the wheel of the change or driving it? I admit to not being a vehicle of change but being the victim of others that conducted the change. Perhaps without my knowledge or approbation. But hey… When you consider how it all works you may not be the headmaster of your own change. Time to still adapt and adopt and build your projectile points.