Classes this semester

Well another semester is about half way over. I am taking 4 classes this semester 3 of which are really interesting. The one that is possibly one of the most interesting classes is because of the lab associated with it. The classes is called Lithic Technology.

Lithic technology is basically anything having to do with stone tools. The labs have been really interesting. This last one we did was grinding different kinds of food materials to make into flower. My lab partner and I both ground up corn, wheat, and grinding peas.

It was harder than I expected it to be but of the three corn was the easiest to grind up. Wheat and grinding peas were nightmares to grind up. We had to use manos and matates, which is a smaller hand stone and a large let stone with either a flat surface or a little dip in the middle of it.

We had to make a back and forth motion with our manos with the materials underneath to get the most out of grinding. What I didn’t account for is the fact that some materials require more force than others to grind which was the case for the grinding peas and the wheat. I don’t know if they were just harder to crack open or if they were oily but they were so hard to get into a more grounded form.

What I will say though is that the peas made this really nice green colored powder that looked like ground pistachios or matcha powder. The corn was obviously yellow with the wheat being a brownish white. I would not have made it back then if I was told to grind up food to make flour for 8 to 9 hours a day. Thankfully now we have technology that does it for us and is way more productive when doing it too.

Our very first lab I also thought was interesting because we basically had to break apart rocks and try to make arrow heads with it. Everyone of us didn’t do a very good job. The breaking of the rocks was interesting because you had to use force and precision to get it how you wanted it to be. The materials we had to use was chert and obsidian. I liked using the chert a lot more than the obsidian because the obsidian was hard to know how it would break apart.

It was a very interesting lab for sure just because now I know how to do it somewhat if there was ever an apocalypse of some kind in the future. I would need more practice with it though.

This class is taught by Dr. Jason La Belle at Colorado State University.

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