How did an antiquarian record Arbor Low in the 1700s?(read more)
Polished flint knife
DERSB : 3242
Polished flint knife found at Arbor Low, 5,000-4,500 years old (Late Neolithic).
The rectangular shape of this flint tool is unusual. Both ends and one long side have been sharpened by knapping and polishing. This suggests that you hold the tool by the blunt edge, but what for? It may have been used for scraping or shaving animal hides. Another suggestion is that the shape and finish made it look like a copper axe head, a rarer and more desirable tool. In Derbyshire, knives like this have only been found near Arbor Low.
In its simplest form, a flint knife is a flake of stone modified to make an effective cutting and sawing tool. This knife has been worked to a greater extent - knapped into its distinctive shape and its surfaces and edges polished for sharpness. During the Neolithic more and more elaborate tool forms emerged, including knives like these. These objects may still have had practical uses, but could have also helped people to express their indentity or importance in society.
Many stone tools have been found in the landscape around Arbor Low, suggesting this was an important focal point for prehistoric people, but no one really knows why or what people did there. Did people gather here seasonally to meet each other and celebrate festivals? The earthen bank and ditch of the henge were built around 4,500 years ago and can be seen from miles away. Around 500 years later a stone circle was added, hidden from view by the bank of the henge. Archaeologists are still debating whether or not the stones stood upright.
- Description: height 14mm; width 54mm; length 92mm; depth 7mm; diameter mm
- Rights: Creative Commons CC BY-NC 4.0 Buxton Museum and Art Gallery (part of Derbyshire County Council)
Wonders linked to this object:
Evidence suggests that the landscape around Arbor Low was used for thousands of years, even before the henge and barrows were built(read more)