Finds Through The Ages – The Neolithic Period in Berkshire

The Neolithic period dates from 4000 BC – 2200 BC. Core and flake technology and axe manufacture were the characteristics of this period where we see object types such as; leaf oblique arrowheads, scrapers serrated blades, and polished axes in the Earlier Neolithic, oblique arrowheads, large scrapers, fabricators(long, thick flakes or blades with retouch on all faces), polished discoidal knives, polished axes, and plano-convex knives in the Later Neolithic.

Only 5 finds from this period have been recorded on the PAS database which were found in West Berkshire, and 7 from East Berkshire. Tools include the below stone axehead, flint blade, and oblique arrowhead.

 

BERK-BC7542. Copyright: The Portable Antiquities Scheme, License: CC-BY 2.0

This stone axe head was found in Lambourn, West Berkshire and dates to c. 3500-2100 BC. This is one of only two stone axeheads found in the whole of Berkshire. It has a curved cutting edge and is made of an igneous low silica rock, between gabbro and coarse-grained dolorite in terms of grain size. This type of stone is not natural to the southeast area so therefore has been imported into the area.

 

BERK-1994EC .Copyright: The Portable Antiquities Scheme, License: CC-BY 2.0

We don’t get many lithic arrowheads in Berkshire so it was lovely to see this come in last year! Found in Hermitage West Berkshire, this oblique arrowhead dated to c. 2700 – 2400 BC (Later Neolithic) is sub-triangular in shape and is asymmetrical with a hollowed base to one side.

 

BERK-BABC71. Copyright: The Portable Antiquities Scheme, License: CC-BY 2.0

This flint laurel leaf knife was found in White Waltham, East Berkshire and dates to c. 4000 – 2200 BC. Evident by its name it is leaf-shaped and is worked on both sides and is covered on both sides with scaled, low angle flaking. One edge has scaled retouch whereas the other edge is highly worn with less evidence of retouch. This knife must have been a heavy duty knife!

 

References:

Portable Antiquities Scheme. 2013. Recording fling and stone: A Guide and Protocol.

The Trustees of the British Museum, 1968. Flint Implements.