New experimental archaeology/primitive technology book

Submitted by Tom Gresham (

view_coverLong time SGA member and primitive technology researcher Scott Jones has just published a book that is a compilation of his articles from the past decade related to primitive technology and experimental archaeology. Scott has practiced primitive technology for two decades and now makes a living presenting the subject to the general public (always with lots of examples and demonstrations) and by conducting experimental archaeology with CRM firms. He is a long time board member of the Society for Primitive Technology and is currently its president. He lives with his wife and son in rural (i.e., primitive) Oglethorpe County.

The book, entitled A View to the Past: Experience and Experiment in Primitive Technology, is a 277-page, soft bound collection of about 40 articles, most of which were originally published in the Bulletin of Primitive Technology. The articles are illustrated with numerous photographs and a few drawings and charts. They are organized into six chapters: foundation skills, making things fly, shelter, stone tools, regional perspectives in experimental archaeology and other musings. While there is a good bit of “how to” in many of the articles, Scott also addresses the “why” and “what does it mean” aspects of experimental work. The fact that Scott has an anthropology degree (UGA) and works with professional archeologists allows him to make a great many more anthropological observations from his work than most primitive technologists. Thus, while the articles on building a shelter, making a long bow, and fire starting will appeal to the general public, and especially young readers, these and most every article have important messages for the working archaeologist who is trying to interpret the anthropology of artifact assemblages. This is a very readable, interesting, and entertaining book that will appeal to a wide audience.

A View to the Past by Scott Jones is available from Createspace.