The Neolithic British Isles refers to the period of British, Irish and Manx history that spanned from c. 4000 to c. 2,500 BCE. The final part of the Stone Age in the British Isles, it was a part of the greater Neolithic, or “New Stone Age“, across Europe.
Humans first settled down and began farming. They continued to make tools and weapons from flint. Some tools stayed the same from earlier periods in history, such as scrapers for preparing hides.
But the Neolithic also saw the introduction of new stone tool. First there was a movement away from using microliths to make spears and arrows as composite weapons and instead the universal adoption of flint arrow heads.
Neolithic tools were often retouched all over, by pressure flaking, giving a characteristic appearance and were often laboriously polished, again giving them a distinctive look.
Pottery also developed in this period and there are examples of Neolithic Pottery recorded in this collection
Neolithic Hand Axe
Found near the River Ter Valley, Chelmsford Essex
This tool was found sticking out of a ditch wall in woodland and it’s a favourite of mine. As it took me by surprise when I removed the item from its long resting place.
The item is made from brown flint with the cortex still present on the area that you would hold (the base of the axe)
The tool is bifacial although one side of the axe has smoothed and browned due to the way it was in situ and the elements of water over thousands of years. A hole exists on this side of the Axe possibly due to erosion.
17cm x 9cm
Neolithic 4000 BCE – 2500 BCE