Friday, April 26, 2013


François Bordes "François Bordes (1919 - 1981) was a French scientist, archaeologist and geologist and was a professor of prehistory and quaternary geology at the Science Faculty of Bordeaux. Bordes changed the approach of prehistoric lithic industries, by introducing scientific and statistical studies in the use of experimental flint knapping. He duplicated some 63 tool types and made over 100,000 stone tools in his life; he also concluded that there were four Neanderthal cultures based on stone tool assembleges. Bordes wrote many books which include the Old Stone Age and A Tale Of Two Caves and many articles under the "pen name" Francis Carsac." (Experimental Archaeology) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia " François Bordes François Bordes (December 30, 1919 – April 30, 1981), also known by the pen name of Francis Carsac, was a French scientist, geologist, and archaeologist. He was a professor of prehistory and quaternary geology at the Science Faculty of Bordeaux. He deeply renewed the approach of prehistoric lithic industries, introducing statistical studies in typology and expanding the use of experimental flint knapping. He also published many science fiction novels under his pen name. His books have not been translated into English. On the other hand, in USSR the science fiction of Carsac was very popular. He was translated and published into Russian as well as Bulgarian, Lithuanian, Latvian, Hungarian, Estonian amongst others. [edit] Bibliography Prehistory "Principes d'une méthode d'étude des techniques de débitage et de la typologie du Paléolithique ancien et moyen", L'Anthropologie, t. 54 (1950) A Tale of two caves, Harper and Row, 169 p., (1972) Typologie du Paléolithique ancien et moyen, Delmas, Publications de l'Institut de Préhistoire de l'Université de Bordeaux, Mémoire n° 1 (1961), réédition CNRS 1988 : ISBN 2-87682-005-6 Leçons sur le Paléolithique, CNRS, 3 vol. (1984) Science fiction Ceux de nulle part (Those from nowhere) (1954) Les Robinsons du Cosmos (The Robinsons of the Cosmos) (1955) Terre en fuite (Fleeing Earth) (1960) Ce monde est nôtre (This world is ours) (1962) Pour patrie, l'espace (For homeland, space) (1962) La vermine du lion (The vermin of the lion) (1967)" According to Ray Harwood's "History of Modern Flintknapping", Errett Callahan read more and more of Bordes's works and met him several times. Francois Bordes stayed at Callahan's house for several days in 1977. Bordes, as Errett, was inspired by Edgar Rice Burroughs and he published numerous science fiction novels. Callahan, as a college student, had once been assigned to be Bordes's escort to a knapping demonstration sponsored by the Anthropology department in D.C. for the Leaky Foundation lectures. In 1977 Bordes spent four days knapping there in Richmond. Bordes had plenty of money to visit the U.S.A. because not only was he a master flintknapper and Europe's leading archaeologist, but also one of the most popular science fiction writers in France. According to Callahan Bordes wrote dozens of novels under the pen name of Franci Carsac. Callahan was influenced quite a bit by Bordes. At the same time Errett was also reading the works of Don Crabtree. Errett was Fascinated by Crabtree, they met in Calgary in 1974 and Crabtree gradually became a heavy influence on Errett's knapping. J.B. Sollberger was another major influence and led Errett to bigger and better things than he could have without that input. Gene Titmus of Idaho, a friend of Crabtree was also a major influence on Callahan, mostly his notching and serrating techniques. Errett stayed in close contact with Gene for many years, Gene a master knapper of percussion and, like Don, about the nicest and humblest guy he'd ever met. Some other overseas influences on Errett were Jacques Pelegrin and Bo Madsen. Pelegrin had been Bordes number one student in France, working under him for years. Pelgrin first trained with Bordes over six summers, for three weeks each summer. Pelegrin worked with a hardwood billit, which he learned to use from Bordes's friend in Paris, Jacques Tixier, whom was one of the Masters of flintworking of the time. Pelegrin became very good with boxwood. Jacques Pelegrin's father built a cottage in the French woods, here Jacques reflected on archaeological concepts and flintknapping. At this time, in the 1970s, Pilegrin was writing a bit back and forth to Master Don Crabtree in the USA and Jacques had begun to read and interprit Crabtree's publications. Pelegrin did public flintknapping demonstations in the Archeodrome, which is on the main road between Beaune and Lyon, France. He is concidered one of the best flintknappers in the world. Pelegrin and Bordes learned English together and spend years flintknapping together and learning, master and student became knapping partners. Jacques Pelgrin went through almost all the Paleolthic French technologies while learning his craft- Levallois, blade making, different kinds of Paleolithic tools, different kinds of flint cores, and leave points, including Solutrean pressure material. It is an interesting fact that Pelegrin learned to flintknap standing up and only changes after his first exposure to other knappers and text. Crabtree died on November 16, 1980 from complications of heart disease, within six months of Francois Bordes . When Bordes and Crabtree passed away the 1970's academic flintknapping heyday passed away with Them .It was Francois Bordes that realy put flintknapping on the world map. Bordes was internationally known for having studied and recreating ancient stone tools from 12,000 years ago. Bordes duplicated some 63 tool types. Bordes made over 100,000 stone tools in his life. He was Born in France in 1919. Bordes was director of the Labratory of Quarternary Geology and History at the University of Bordeaux, France. Bordes concluded that there were four Neanderthal cultures based on stone tool assembleges. Francois Bordes was an accomplished fellow. He wrote many books which include the Old Stone Age and A Tale Of Two Caves. He wrote several books and many articles under the "pen name" Francis Carsac. Bordes was a hot tempered fellow, with a massive brain and bank account to match, he often visited America and his friends; Don Crabtree, Errett Callahan and Bruce Bradely. Francois Bordes died on April 30th, 1981 while lecturing at the University of Arizona at Tuson. February 26, 1999 8:00 - 12:00 Field Techniques and Analytical Methods Workshop Presentation by Dr. Irv Rovner North Carolina State University : Jane Eastman: Our next presenter is Dr. Irwin Rovner from the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at North Carolina State University. He is going to be talking about the digital imaging methods and equipment. He’s got this system on display near the flintknapping. Rovner: I was told that we’re going to be talking about methodology this morning. So, you want methodology – I don’t have any slides of sunsets, I don’t have any slides of stratigraphic units. I have no slides of artifacts. If you want methodology, you’re going to get methodology. For me, this is almost a homecoming. What has to be clearly the most phenomenal professional experience I’ve ever had in my entire career as an archaeologist was years ago when I was fortunate enough to be selected for one of the first Don Crabtree flintknapping schools. I sat in the cottonwood grove on the edge of the Snake River breaking rock with Don Crabtree the year that Francois Bordes showed up. To sit there and break rock with those two pioneering giants of lithic replication studies was just unsurpassed. To watch those two men – to actually break rock with them – was sublime. [There were] many, many stories that may never see print. We had a truckload of Glass Buttes, Oregon, obsidian, which Don Crabtree loved. Of course, we all used obsidian. But when Francois arrived, he went right past the big pile of obsidian, right for the vesicular basalts and the cherts and the quartzites. He did his work on the Dordogne flints, you know. So, I watched him do his work and he would sit under the tree and he would sing Hank Williams Country and Western songs, punctuated by French obscenities every time he popped a hinge fracture. Wonderful! It may be politically incorrect, but I asked him, “Professor Bordes, don’t you use obsidian?” He said, “Ah! Obsidian is terrible stuff. It is like a woman – very fragile and never does what you want it to!” The story of modern California knapping. I met Jeannie Binning at the 1984 NARC knap in. Jeannie one of the better knappers, and is most likely the best female flintknapper in the world,at that time, and still, , She is now an instructor at U.C. Riverside. This is where she got her Ph.D.. Jeannie was born and raised in southern California and got her BA degree and Cal. State Northrige while working at NARC. Jeannie Binning is a master at knapping obsidian and true to her instructors, Don Crabtree and later Jeffery Flenniken, she is excellent at knapping large wide obsidian bifaced blades. Jeannie was told me the story of when she first went to the Crabtree Flintknapping Field School in Idaho. She and some other students arrived at the little airport and some old guy came and picked the up in some old jalopy, the guy was nice enough and rather unassuming. It wasn't until they were at their destination that she learned the old guy was" the dean of American flintknapping", Don Crabtree. She told me that when Don was teaching her some technique and he cut his hand. he was on blood thinners for his heart condition and blood was squirting everywhere , but he kept on knapping, he was intent on teaching me. Jeannie has been to many of the Field Schools, first as a student then as an assistant. It was through Crabtree that Jeannie met Francois Bordes. For one of Bordes Films, he was required to percussion knap, so Jeannie supplied him some Farmington Chert, a very notoriously tough California lithic material, Bordes swung his hammer stone as hard as he could, without any notable results. and between filming cussed profusely in French. /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// According to Bruce Bradley "François Bordes spent a whole semester at U of A in spring 1970 and he and I spent most every spare moment knapping in a little room on the ground floor of the Anthro building. I still don't know why it was, but he and I hit it off extremely well (pun intended). Our temperaments were absolute opposites. I was born with patience (in knapping) and a high threshold of frustration. When something went wrong and I screwed up I would, for the most part, shrug my shoulders and toss the offending pieces over my shoulder and quietly begin over. François on the other hand was a 'power knapper' and what he lacked in finesse he made up for in sheer force. You can imagine how this worked with the brittle obsidian we had to work with. There was an almost unbroken string of obscenities wafting out of that little room and bouncing around the halls of the Anthro. building. One of François's favorite sayings was "Flint, she is a woman, obsidian, she is a whore". I learned how to swear in 14 languages! A skill I seldom employ, but on rare occasions I can still be heard mumbling unintelligibly some of those colorful phrases. François invited me to participate in his middle paleolithic excavations in SW France that summer and I spent several glorious months digging in 50,000 year old sites, knapping incredible flint (mostly Bergerac), and exploring the countryside and backwoods of the Dordogne. During this time, I once again met up with Jacques Tixier who invited me to come to Lebanon and dig with him near Beirut. This I couldn't pass up and I went there in September 1970. Although I was there only a short three weeks, I managed to have some great adventures and discovered the amazing light pink flint of the Baka Valley. On the way home, I visited a French Canadian archaeologist who I worked with in France, in Cambridge, England. There I was introduced to the rich blue-black flints of the European chalks. I managed to visit the famous Brandon gunflint knapping areas and saw Grimes Graves, the neolithic flint mining complex. All the while I continued knapping at every possible opportunity." //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// BORDES IN AMERICA JAMES SACKETT: "Finally, a word is in order regarding Bordes’ quite special relationship to America, which he first saw in 1959, revisited numerous times, and where he ultimately met his untimely death. His feelings about the USA, true to his contradictory character, were highly mixed. For he was A horizontal exposure of a stone pavage found in the uppermost Paleolithic occupation floor at Solvieux. 14 intensively chauvinistic, as we have seen, and in fact viscerally anti-American when it came to matters of foreign policy. Some of his remarks on the topic were callously insensitive, especially to those of us who had lost family, friends, and neighbors on French soil in two world wars. Yet his love of our land, as opposed to our nation, was itself altogether genuine. He was particularly attracted, as are many Europeans, by the vast and raw beauty of the Southwest, an attraction no doubt enriched by an almost juvenile nostalgia for the lore of the old Far West created by American cowboy novels and movies. And there was something in the openness of the American character he particularly enjoyed, perhaps, fairly or not, in contrast to the supposed reserve of our Anglophone counterparts across the ocean. My impression is that Americans were more likely than his own countryman to find him in a relaxed, congenial, and receptive mood. In part this was due to the fact that he was as welcome in New York as Los Angeles, in Chicago as in San Francisco. And intellectual life in America probably seemed less factionalized and partisan than it is in France (a fact, as we have seen, for which he himself must bear some responsibility). Then too was the great esteem he enjoyed among American replicators of stone tools, stemming from his early association with Donald Crabtree. Knappers all belong to the same fraternity and practice a craft and mindset that overrides ethnic, linguistic, and even archaeological boundaries. As a result, Bordes was able to forge close and empathetic bonds with skilled colleagues who may never have known nor cared how the stratigraphy of Pech de l’Azé correlates with that of Combe-Grenal or why some researchers argue that conventionally recognized Early Magdalenian industries constitute an historically distinct techno-complex, the Badegoulian. I imagine he welcomed the intellectual vacation this afforded. Bordes was fond of American students, and they reciprocated warmly. They found it difficult to resist someone who loved to show off, spoke so colorfully and amusingly in a strong French accent, all the while sporting a cowboy hat and a Far-West bola tie. But, at a more fundamental level, they felt the force of his scholarly dedication and eagerness to share his knowledge; they appreciated the fact that he took them seriously, even if they did not always have the preparation needed to follow the details of his argument. I believe this is why he took so much care in writing that lucid exposition of Mousterian archeology, A Tale of Two Caves (1972), which to my knowledge sadly never appeared in French.. Bordes’ relations with his fellow prehistorians in America are not so easily summarized. While he was highly respected by nearly all—he was (and remains so thirty years after his death)--the center of controversy with respect to theoretical matters. I doubt he took it all too seriously. To be sure, he admired the accomplishments and vigor of North American archaeologists, and for obvious reasons followed developments in Paleo-Indian research closely. But he never bought into the proposition that archaeology is anthropology or it is nothing. And he thought the philosophical posturing of the New Archaeology of his era pretentiously naive. At the same time, he seemingly felt that that the problem was exacerbated by the fact that most American 15 archaeologists at the time era were to be found in academic departments, intellectual settings whose nature it is to promote theoretical controversy for its own sake (especially among those of its members who otherwise would have nothing of substance to say). I suspect he held, probably rightly, that American archaeology would be better served if the country possessed a semiindependent, empirically oriented scientific establishment comparable to the excellent Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, which supplied the bulk of the full-time archaeological researchers in France. Again, of course, I simplify. No one denies that a scientific engine cannot be driven without good theory, and Bordes knew this as well as any American. But to the end he remained a militantly down-to-earth homme-de-terrain. It was ignorance and intellectual pretension, not ideas, that he opposed. And if he sometimes struck Americans as being diffident and over simplistic in dealing with theoretical questions, we must keep in mind the dualistic nature of his character. For archaeological theory must have seemed rather dull in comparison to the rich store of novelty and imagination which he found in sharing the same mind with his alter ego, Françis Carsac. Perhaps Americans would have had a greater and more nuanced appreciation of François Bordes had they also been given the opportunity to know Francis Carsac. But Carsac, unfortunately, never spoke a word of English." JAMES SACKETT Professor emeritus, Anthropology, UCLA Director, European Laboratory Cotsen Institute of Archaeology University of California, Los Angeles

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