Sunday, 28 December 2014

The Museum of Nothing in Particular; part 2.

This dull piece of flint has a history; I picked it up while I was sitting down waiting for Robyn to catch me up on the South Downs Way at Ditchling.
I was looking down at the path and saw this piece of flint - I idly picked it up.
The side you can't see is completely smooth - it's been cleanly 'knapped' in one go by a human hand.
Of course it could be an accident  but then look at the photograph. On the side you can see there are multiple tiny fractures caused by very accurate little 'knaps'; this flint has been worked by man, it has been shaped.
It's very small; it sits nicely between finger and thumb. It isn't an arrow head, if it was there would be two tails at the blunt end to help you tie it to the wooden shaft of the arrow.
It's actually a little knife and a very sharp one at that. The left side is just the flat base. The right hand side would be pointed except it's got broken off by accident. That's why someone threw it away all those thousands of years ago and because it was broken no one ever noticed it on the path.
In stone age times such a flint knife would have been extremely precious and passed from one generation to the next. If you hold my flint you can feel how smooth it is, worn by the fingers of generations.
Even more interesting, the flint doesn't match the flints up on the Downs - where did it come from? How far did it travel?
A very special thing.
Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)

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