All posts by Peter Berg

Maine Primitive, Equinunk Historical Society This Weekend

We had a great time in Flint Ridge in Brownsville, Ohio. It was great to see all the knappers and atlatlists! The weather was pretty hot Friday and Saturday but now back in upstate New York, we are experiencing massive flooding throughout the area so the hot weather was probably better!
This weekend, September 10 and 11, we are splitting up forces Bob will be at the Maine Primitive in Wells, Maine and Cheryll will be presenting a program at the Equinunk Historical Society in Equinunk, Pa.
Next weekend, Sept. 16 to 18, we will be at the annual atlatl program in Vermont. More details to come. There is still room to sign up for workshops!
Our son, Peter, is still participating in the Mongol Rally and should be in Mongolia now. We are waiting for him to have internet access so we can be updated! Stay dry if you are in upstate New York!

Letchworth this Weekend; Sending in an Order? Read On!

We will be at Letchworth State Park this weekend for the annual Stonetool Technology Show on the Mt. Morris side of the park. We are looking forward to a great weekend and seeing a lot of atlatlists there for one of the most popular shows in the U.S. Flintknappers and atlatlists from across the country come to Letchworth each year.

How To Order

We are looking into a new format for our shopping cart to make it easier to use. Bear with us as we figure out the system! It might take us a little time as we do deal in primitive technology products! Until then, please continue to use the current shopping cart or give us a call at 800-836-4520 or our cell phone at 607-743-4379 and we will make sure your order gets out! You can also trying emailing us at and tell us what you are interested in ordering and we can help you out.
When you place an order on the current system, you don’t always see immediate feedback. You need to go to the bottom of the page and hit the “check cart” button to see what is being added to your cart. When you are ready to order, hit the “check out” button and then fill out the information sheet. Once you have entered all your information, hit the “send order” button and there will be a little note saying “thank you”. Hit “okay” and the order should send, followed by a little message that we will get back to you within 72 hours with a final price with shipping. If we aren’t at a show, we usually send a return message fairly quickly. If you don’t hear from us, please call the above number 800-836-4520 or email to check and we will make sure your order has been processed! The system is a little archaic and we are working on it. If you don’t hear from us within 72 hours, please do call either of the numbers above. We are here and shipping orders and trying to make this modern technology work with our primitive technology goods!
See you at Letchworth or talk to you on the phone or internet. The Thunderbird Atlatl staff!

Off to the 40th Pennsic War; Atlatl Fun in Germany & England

The Thunderbird Atlatl crew is getting ready to leave for the 40th Pennsic War near Slippery Rock, Pa. on Friday, August 5. We will be at Pennsic through August 13. We are able to take orders and ship from Pennsic and will also have someone at home to answer our regular line. If you get a recording, leave a message or try our cell phone at 607-743-4379. Our regular numbers at 800-836-4520 or 607-659-3854. Give us a call or send an email to

Recaps from our European Journey

We can’t thank our European hosts enough for their kindnesses and help during our recent visit. Uli & Jutta Weigel of Warendorf and their family opened their home to our family during our recent stay. Along with helping our son, Peter, get his team’s car ready for the Mongol Rally, the Weigels treated us to many great meals and impromptu atlatl contests. They also helped find a wonderful VW Passat station wagon to drive around Europe in. The car is now for sale to the next team of adventurers – anyone interested? The Weigels’ son, Paul, spent a year with us in 2002 to 2003 as an exchange student. It was great seeing Paul again and his brother, Max, and sister, Lina.
Our first weekend show was in Eisenbach, Germany at the The Internationale Eisenbacher Bogen und Messsermesse held at the internationally famous Hotel-Gasthof-Pension Bad, Familie Wursthorn. We made many great people and enjoyed booth space next to Angelika Hörnig, publisher of Traditionell Bogenschießen, and her staff.
The second weekend we were hosted by the Bad Munstereifel Archery Club. Many thanks to Bernard, Manfred and Frank for making this a possibility. Bob was able to demonstrate straightening cane darts, flintknapping and showed the atlatl to enthusiasts of all ages. We all had a wonderful time touring the beautiful city of Bad Munstereifel. The archery club is set in a beautiful location and is a great place to visit. Thanks to Frank Reinshagen for introducing us to this fine community and we hope to visit again!
When we arrived in England for our final program, Steve Medlock met us at the ferry and we followed him to a campground where he had set up a tent and all the camping supplies plus more that we would need for our stay. Our English hosts generously hosted us through the weekend and the following weekdays as we prepared to return home to the United States and Peter prepared to set off for the Mongol Rally. The workshops were great with workshops in flintkknapping, atlatl making and all sorts of fun times. Thanks Steve for all the help and your generosity. Enjoy the pictures.

Bad Eisenbach Show
Bad Eisenbach Show
Cane Straightening in Bad Munstereifel
Cane Straightening in Bad Munstereifel
Making your own atatl in Sussex, England
Making your own atatl in Sussex, England
Uli Weigle in Warendorf
Uli Weigle in Warendorf

Getting Closer to Releasing Our DVD!

Our friends, Mark and Phoebe Morris at Owego House Productions, tell us they are in the finishing stages of editing a new DVD featuring Thunderbird Atlatl. We look forward to offering it on our website and at shows we go to.
To get an idea of some of the items on the DVD check out these two clips on You Tube:


Stoneage Workshops in Germany with Bob Berg and Craig Ratzat

Join Bob Berg and Craig Ratzat in Europe this summer when they offer a step back into the Stoneage.

The two experts in the fields of atlatls and flintknapping will present four one-day atlatl and flintknapping workshops at two different locations in Germany. Practice some of humankind’s earliest technologies in a goal oriented environment with these experts in the primitive arts field. This class is suited for anyone who is interested in the fields of atlatls, flintknapping, primitive technology, outdoor survival, archaeology, anthropology or just a desire to learn about these subjects in an experiential manner.

The first workshop is in association and preceding The Internationale Eisenbacher Bogen und Messsermesse July 2nd and 3rd 2011 at the internationally famous Hotel-Gasthof-Pension Bad Familie Wursthorn, Hauptstrasse 55, 79871 Eisenbach, Hochschwarzwald
Tel. (0 76 57) 471
Fax (0 76 57) 15 05

Stoneage Workshops in Germany with Bob Berg and Craig Ratzat.

1. June 30th, July 1st, 2011 in association with and preceding
The Internationale Eisenbacher Bogen und Messsermesse (see details below)

2. Bad Münstereifel Archery Club, July 9th and 10th, 2011

The Internationale Eisenbacher Bogen und Messsermesse
July 2nd and 3rd 2011 at the internationally famous
Hotel-Gasthof-Pension Bad
Familie Wursthorn

Hauptstrasse 55
79871 Eisenbach

Tel. (0 76 57) 471
Fax (0 76 57) 15 05

Practice some of humankind’s earliest technologies in a goal oriented environment with two seasoned practitioners
of these fundamental primitive arts and technologies. This class is suited for anyone who is interested in atlatls, and
primitive technology. Anyone with a desire to learn about these subjects in an experiential manner is invited to

Bob will teach atlatl and dart making in a hands on environment. Craig Ratzat will teach students how to make stone tools, with the goal of producing working equipment at the same time as developing each student’s skills related to the project.
Materials will be provided that include flint for stone tools, bamboo for darts, wood for atlatls as well as fiber for cordage and bow strings. We will work with natural glues, oils and resins for use in sizing, hafting and joining. Bob will teach the construction methods for high quality atlatl darts made from bamboo, tapered hardwood and tapered softwood. All three dart styles have different characteristics and different uses that Bob will explain. Bob will show each student how to do the experiments that will determine the best length and spine to match the users shooting style and body characteristics.

Craig’s beginning classes will focus on the production of a stone tool set for each student that will be used throughout the seminar. Meanwhile Bob will focus on string making from natural fibers such as hemp, flax and sinew.
Bob will continue with cordage making techniques that will lead into exploring the production of cordage to be used in hafting stone points to dart shafts and for fletching. He will also teach the production of reverse wrapped cordage for other uses and on the atlatl handle. Bob teaches both purely hand twisted cordage and spindle twisted line. Bob’s atlatl making class will explore stone tool technology methods of working deer antler to produce the atlatl spur.
The student will learn to experience a feel for the use of both modern and ancient tool styles while developing hand to eye coordination in the use of both. The student will earn an appreciation of how ancient man worked under different time constrictions. While learning the use of stone tools is one of our goals we will allow students to “regress” to using metal tools if and when necessary. This will be up to the individual student.
In this comparative way each student will come to a greater understanding of how atlatls function and get a glimpse
of the world of Neolithic times.
Bob will present several ways to prepare and apply fletching, heat straighten dart and arrow shafts and haft stone
and bone points. Craig will also teach the art of biface reduction in order to make stone projectile points. There
will also be a selection of stone points available made by others. Bone, copper and antler point blanks will also be
available. We will provide several alternatives for gluing including hide glue, and various pitches in hand made pottery vessels warmed over charcoal.
A simple breakfast and lunch will be available at Badmünstereifel Archery club. The evening meal is up to the
participants. There is a kitchen and dining room available as well as an outdoor grill. Primitive camping is available
at the Archery club. There are restrooms.
At Bad Eisenbach, Hochschwartzwald meals and accommodations can be obtained from our honored host Hubert
Wusthorn and his esteemed family at the restaurant that so graciously offers its services to us.
Craig’s classes will be conducted in English. Bob’s classes will be in German and English.

A web page is being developed to promote the workshop. For further information, contact Bob or Cheryll Berg at Thunderbird Atlatl, 800-836-4520 in the United States or 607-659-3854 if calling from outside the United States.