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
Large Neolithic Hammer Stone
Provenance – Found near the River Ter Valley, Chelmsford, Essex
Description – This grey/white implement was most likely used as a hammer stone. it is important due to the context in which it was found. It was discovered in the same area as all the other tools we have found. It stands out from just a normal large pebble. It shows visible signs of wear and usage and has a small hole in the centre of the stone. So this tool may well have had a dual purpose. Possibly a fire cup or used as a base for drilling holes in wood and bone.
Size – 14.5 cm x 9.5 cm
Weight – 877g
Age / Period – Neolithic 4000 BCE – 2500 BCE