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 brown pebble has been smoothed on four sides, the tool is relatively thin. One area which has been smoothed out fits into the palm of the hand which indicates the stone item had a dual purpose, most likely as a hammer stone. There is a burnt area on this tool too, so the stone may have been heated.
Size – 7.5 cm x 8.5 cm
Weight – 396g
Age / Period – Neolithic 4000 BCE – 2500 BCE