I mean I consider myself an experimental archeologist and a Master Naturalist. For the East Texas chapter of the Master Naturalists, I teach the archeology portion of their program, and it includes a lot of the stuff I showed you today – I show them. Just to give them an idea what, you know, people, did as the real naturalists – I mean, the original naturalists, I should say.
That’s Neal Stilley. Friction-fire starter, atlatl thrower, tool-maker, Vietnam vet, and student of nature – Neal loves to share his incredibly extensive knowledge of primitive technologies to bring a connective tissue to how people lived in a simpler time. He brought his collection of hand-made tools and scat display boxes over to my house to bring life to his stories, which he uses in his outreach classes. If you catch him at any of his east Texas courses this spring, kick off your shoes and get ready to touch some bones.
The primitive tools he brought by are atlatls, rabbit stick, starting friction fires. We listened to soundscapes he captured of frogs, toads, and crickets from the 80s and 90s as self-made white noise. He’s really excited to share the Shumla Notch Friction Fire boards, which he rediscovered from research of the Lower Pecos People. It’s a fire board with a notch on the side, instead of on the bottom. Volunteer Archeological Steward for the Texas Historical Commission and their outreach educational Programs.