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 Polishing / Grinding Stone
Provenance – Found near the River Ter Valley, Chelmsford, Essex
Description – This large heavy Brown pebble has been halved and smoothed on one side. Interestingly these forms of working stone tools are common around this site. They have all been halved and smoothed in one way or another. The stone most likely had two functions. i. A Polishing Stone ii. A Grinding Stone.
This particular tool is very interesting as it includes a stopping point. A piece of pebble that projects downwards which i’m sure helped the polishing and grinding of other tools, including flint, bone and antler.
Size – 7 cm x 13.5 cm
Weight – 753g
Age / Period – Neolithic 4000 BCE – 2500 BCE