N104 – Black Neolithic Hammer-Stone (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 Hammer-Stone

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

Description – An almost perfect sphere – A black Neolithic Hammer-Stone with a few signs of wear

Size – 5.5 cm x 4.9 cm

Weight – 220g

Age / Period – Neolithic 4000 BCE – 2500 BCE


  1. Nigel Stapple

    I run a small local community archaeology group near Tunbridge Wells (Kent) and currently excavating a site at Rusthall. We believe one of the primary functions of the area being excavated was that of a prehistoric lithic mine. In particular a local ‘cherty’ material generally referred to as ‘Quartzose’ has been extracted and utilized as a viable lithic source in the absence of locally available flint – though imported flint artefacts have also been recorded on-site. Over the past year or so we have gathered a collection of what we are suggesting to be ‘hammer stones’. Generally these are imported flint and granite cobbles and not found in our geology (Wealden Clays and Sandstone bedrock). The production of local stone tools is quite conclusive, with 100’s of examples of burins, scrapers, picks, projectile points and related debitage. The general morphology of such largely points to a broad Neolithic – Bronze Age phase, though examples of much earlier artefacts are now being considered (upper-Palaeolithic?). Your knowledge of hammer stones is certainly more compete than mine so that is why I’m contacting you. I wonder if you would be interested in knowing more about our work? We are an unfunded volunteer group and totally independent of mainstream archaeology.

    Kind Regards
    Nigel Stapple – Landscape Investigater, WKDArchaeology

    1. Post

      Hi Nigel,

      Thank you for reaching out to me on this post. I am very interested in learning more about the site your excavating.
      My email address is:


      The site I have been looking at includes a lot of ancient earthworks and most of my finds have accumulated by simple field-walking, there is a lot to be found and I think it’s a site that was in use for a very long time. I did email the British Museum, but sadly never received a reply. So i’m guessing they might be very behind as a result of Covid 19.

      Feel free to send me an email and we can share some of our findings and hopefully help each other with the work we are doing.

      On my site, I have found a lot of red heligoland flint, this is also an import, I think most of its been heat treated – Which was often done to soften the rock and help with tool making.

      I look forward to hearing from you.

      Kindest Regards

      Stephen Kuta

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