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Learn 3-Million-Year-Old Craft at Redoubt Fortress’ Flint Knapping Workshops

24 January 2018

The Redoubt Fortress will be offering the chance to get hands on and create primitive tools using prehistoric flint knapping, in a brand new series of events next month. Taught by experts from the Sussex School of Archaeology, the workshops will demonstrate how over the last 3 million years, stone was used to create tools from primitive choppers in the early Palaeolithic days to arrowheads in the hi-tech Bronze Age era.

Grant Williams Flint Knapping


Across three bookable sessions Chris Butler, author of the seminal work Prehistoric Flintwork, and experimental archaeologist, Grant Williams, will be teaching everything from the theory behind prehistoric technologies to a masterclass on how to knap and haft tools from scratch. With limited spaces on these sessions, archaeology enthusiasts will have to book early to avoid disappointment.

In the first session on 10 February, Chris and Grant will offer expert insight into the theory and practice behind flint, teaching how to identify prehistoric worked flint and discover the theory behind flint knapping. This £40 session will feature live flint knapping action as Grant creates replica tools and explains the knapping process.

The second session on 17 February is a practical flint knapping workshop with Grant Williams which costs £45 and covers the cost of materials. For those who have ever wondered how stone tools were created and wanted to try themselves, this workshop offers the opportunity to explore different prehistoric technologies and get hands on with this material.

Only five spaces are available for the final session on 8 September, a flint tool masterclass where Grant Williams will be teaching how to knap and haft tools for £75. As flint tools decompose over time, very few are found complete with handles so with the use of archaeological and ethnographic examples, this workshop aims to produce finished tools complete with handles that are ready to take home at the end of the session.

Eastbourne Borough Council Lead Cabinet Member for Tourism and Enterprise, Cllr Margaret Bannister said “What better way to understand our early ancestors than to replicate the skills they used to turn natural material into everyday tools? This is a truly brilliant opportunity to learn from prehistory experts and experience what life was like all those years ago. These flint study days are a must-do for anyone interested in prehistory and archaeology!”

Grant Williams is fascinated by prehistory and the journey of discovery undertaken by our ancestors. In the search to interpret archaeological contexts he has undertaken a wide range of projects exploring reconstructive archaeology. His research is predominantly focussed around the production of stone tools and he has been flint knapping for 15 years. He has worked alongside organisations such as the Sussex Archaeological Society, the Portable Antiquities Scheme, the East Sussex Archaeology and Museums Partnership, East Sussex County Council, Eastbourne Borough Council, and teaches people of all ages in schools and with a number of smaller organisations and forest schools.

Chris Butler has been an archaeologist since 1985, and formed the Mid Sussex Field Archaeological Team in 1987, and then set up a commercial archaeological business Chris Butler Archaeological Services Ltd at the beginning of 2002. Chris is a Member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists, and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London. He was a part time lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Sussex, and taught A-Level Archaeology at Bexhill 6th Form College having qualified (Cert. Ed.) as a teacher in 2006. Chris specialises in prehistoric flintwork analysis and wrote the book Prehistoric Flintwork, which is used by many universities as a standard text book.

Prehistoric flintwork from the archives of Eastbourne Heritage Service will be on display for an up close look. Flint tool replicas will be on sale as well as signed copies of Prehistoric Flintwork to purchase at a discounted rate.

For more information or to book a space, please contact The Sussex School of Archaeology on 01323 811785 or visit

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