Mesolithic Flint




Frederick Foulds

This small blade was picked up during a community-based landscape survey in the Westmorland Dales, now part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. It displays a series of flake scars along one edge (on the left in the image), indicating that it has been modified, or ‘retouched’. This is where the original flake or blade is further reduced by the removal of additional flakes for a specific purpose. Sometimes this can be to produce an edge suitable for scraping or cutting. In this case, the retouch was probably applied to blunt this edge, meaning that it could be more easily handled with a lower risk of cutting the user. The opposing edge also displays some scars, although these are much smaller. Some are probably from damage caused after this tool was discarded, which we know has happened as the tip of the tool has snapped and is missing. However, others may indicate that it was used for the purpose of cutting, like a knife, and this is exactly what we would classify this tool as. Tools like this were used throughout much of prehistory. This one, in particular, possibly dates back to the Mesolithic!



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