Of the 20,000 Native American artifacts in the collection ranging from local tribes such as the Lenne Lenape to artifacts from across the Midwest and South, Brian focused in on a process called “knapping”. The tool-making process of Native Americans through knapping involved lithic reduction. This was done by striking workable material with a much harder tool, such as a rock. It was through this process that Native American tool making took a giant step forward during prehistoric times in North America. Through knapping, Native Americans formed sharper and more useful tools and weapons, some of which are exhibited in Brian’s display. Arrowheads are the most well-known products of knapping and are some of the most fascinating to look at.
The exhibit consists of two display cases, the first of which exhibits the tools used for the knapping process, while the second shows the process and end results of knapping. Included in the exhibit are some examples created by Brian himself in order to replicate the process while others are the actual artifacts in MNHP’s collection. Through Brian’s work in one short semester, we are now able to showcase some of the more unique artifacts in collection here at Morristown National Historical Park Museum.
Exhibit by Brian Williams, Drew University.