N071 – Neolithic Stone Handheld Hammer (British Find)

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 Stone Handheld Hammer

Provenance – Found near the River Ter Valley, Chelmsford, Essex

Description – This incredible item was found sticking out of the wall of a ditch close to two matching stone sculptures – N069 / N070

This item is a Neolithic Handheld Stone Hammer, complete with a placement for your middle finger. The hammer was found at the centre of the site I have been field walking.

There is green algae on this tool, caused by weathering and the elements as it was close to the water level in the ditch about a meter down from the top of the embankment.

There is signs of damage and a strange cut out area, either a fragment that broke whilst in use, or this tool was the beginnings of a sculpture. Another hand sculpture perhaps.

Size – 9 cm x 9.5 cm

Weight – 436g

Age / Period – Neolithic 4000 BCE – 2500 BCE

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