The Cutting Edge of Prehistoric Technology

NFA-prehistory technology

Joey Pulone for The Chronicle

Students in an experimental-archaeology course at Washington College, in Maryland, learn how to skin a carcass with a stone blade from Tom Pitre, an avid local deer hunter and a friend of Bill Schindler, the professor.

It is a gusty autumn day on Maryland's Eastern Shore, and two deer carcasses lie stretched on the lawn of a small farm, gutted and ready to be butchered.

Twelve students from an experimental-archaeology course at nearby Washington College crouch over the animals with razor-sharp stone blades that their professor, Bill Schindler, helped them produce weeks earlier using flint-knapping techniques that are as much as 2.5 million years old.

"Are we all set, or are we kind of