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Title: The Ancient Stone Implements, Weapons and Ornaments, of Great Britain - Second Edition, Revised
Author: Evans, John
Language: English
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Second Edition, Revised.


SIR JOHN EVANS, K.C.B., D.C.L., Sc.D., LL.D., F.R.S., F.S.A., F.G.S., etc., etc.

Correspondant de L’Institut de France.

Longmans, Green, and Co.
39, Paternoster Row, London
and Bombay

(All rights reserved.)

Printed by J. S. Virtue and Co., Limited.
City Road.



In presenting this work to the public I need say but little by way
of preface. It is the result of the occupation of what leisure hours
I could spare, during the last few years, from various and important
business, and my object in undertaking it is explained in the

What now remains for me to do is to express my thanks to those numerous
friends who have so kindly aided me during the progress of my work,
both by placing specimens in their collections at my disposal, and
by examination of my proofs. Foremost among these must be ranked the
Rev. William Greenwell, F.S.A., from whose unrivalled collection of
British antiquities I have largely drawn, and from whose experience and
knowledge I have received much assistance in other ways.

To Mr. A. W. Franks, F.S.A.; Mr. J. W. Flower, F.G.S.; Mr. W. Pengelly,
F.R.S.; Colonel A. Lane Fox, F.S.A.; Mr. E. T. Stevens, of Salisbury;
Messrs. Mortimer, of Fimber; Mr. Joseph Anderson, the Curator of the
Antiquarian Museum at Edinburgh; and to numerous others whose names are
mentioned in the following pages, my thanks must also be expressed.

The work itself will, I believe, be found to contain most of the
information at present available with regard to the class of
antiquities of which it treats. The subject is one which does not
readily lend itself to lively description, and an accumulation of
facts, such as is here presented, is of necessity dull. I have,
however, relegated to smaller type the bulk of the descriptive |vi|
details of little interest to the ordinary reader, who will probably
find more than enough of dry matter to content him if he confines
himself to the larger type and an examination of the illustrations.

Whatever may be the merits or defects of the book, there are two
points on which I feel that some credit may be claimed. The one is
that the woodcuts—the great majority of which have been specially
engraved for this work by Mr. Swain, of Bouverie Street—give accurate
representations of the objects; the other is, that all the references
have been carefully checked.

The Index is divided into two parts; the first showing the subjects
discussed in the work, the second the localities where the various
antiquities have been found.

Now that so much more attention than formerly is being bestowed on this
class of antiquities, there will, no doubt, be numerous discoveries
made, not only of forms with which we are at present unacquainted, but
also of circumstances calculated to throw light on the uses to which
stone implements and weapons were applied, and the degree of antiquity
to be assigned to the various forms.

I will only add that I shall gladly receive any communications relative
to such discoveries.


_Nash Mills, Hemel Hempstead, May, 1872._



The undiminished interest taken by many archæologists in the subject
to which this book relates seems to justify me in again placing it
before the public, though in an extended and revised form. I am further
warranted in so doing by the fact that the former edition, which
appeared in 1872, has now been long out of print.

In revising the work it appeared desirable to retain as much of the
original text and arrangement as possible, but having regard to the
large amount of new matter that had to be incorporated in it and to the
necessity of keeping the bulk of the volume within moderate bounds,
some condensation seemed absolutely compulsory. This I have effected,
partly by omitting some of the detailed measurements of the specimens,
and partly by printing a larger proportion of the text in small type.
I have also omitted several passages relating to discoveries in the
caverns of the South of France.

I have throughout preserved the original numbering of the Figures, so
that references that have already been made to them in other works will
still hold good. The new cuts, upwards of sixty in number, that have
been added in this edition are distinguished by letters affixed to the
No. of the Figure immediately preceding them.

The additions to the text, especially in the portion relating to the
Palæolithic Period, are very extensive, and I hope that all the more
important discoveries of stone antiquities made in this country during
the last quarter of a century are here duly recorded, and references
given to the works in which fuller details concerning them may be
found. In some cases, owing to the character of the |viii| objects
discovered being insufficiently described, I have not thought it
necessary to cite them.

I am indebted to numerous collectors throughout the country for having
called my attention to specimens that they acquired, and for having,
in many cases, sent them to me for examination. I may take this
opportunity of mentioning that while the whole of the objects found by
Canon Greenwell during his examination of British Barrows has been most
liberally presented to the nation, the remainder of his fine collection
of stone antiquities, so frequently referred to in these pages, has
passed into the hands of Dr. W. Allen Sturge, of Nice.

The two Indices have been carefully compiled by my sister, Mrs.
Hubbard, and are fuller than those in the former edition. They will
afford valuable assistance to any one who desires to consult the book.

For the new woodcuts that I have had engraved I have been so fortunate
as to secure the services of Messrs. Swain, who so skilfully cut the
blocks for the original work. I am indebted for the loan of numerous
other blocks to several learned Societies, and especially to the
Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and to the Geological Society of
London. Mr. Worthington Smith has also most liberally placed a number
of blocks at my disposal.

It remains for me to express my thanks to those who have greatly aided
me in the preparation of this edition, the whole of the proofs of which
have been kindly read by Mr. C. H. Read, F.S.A., of the British Museum,
as well as by some members of my own family. Dr. Joseph Anderson, of
the National Museum at Edinburgh, has been good enough to read the
parts relating to Scotland, while Professor Boyd Dawkins has gone over
the chapter on Cave Implements, and Mr. William Whitaker has corrected
the account of the discoveries in the River-drift. To each and all I am
grateful, and as the result of their assistance I trust that, though
not immaculate, the book may prove to be fairly free from glaring
errors and inconsistencies.


_Nash Mills, Hemel Hempstead, May, 1897._





The Iron, Bronze, and Stone Ages — Bronze in use before Iron —
Persistence of Religious Rites — Use of Stone in Religious Ceremonies —
Stone Antiquities not all of the same Age — Order of Treatment . . . 1



Pyrites and Flint used for striking Fire — Strike-a-light Flints —
The Gun-flint Manufacture — Gun-flint Production — Modes of producing
Flakes — Pressigny Nuclei — Rough-hewing Stone-hatchets — Ancient
Mining for Flint — Flint-mines at Grime’s Graves and Spiennes —
Production of Arrow-heads — Flaking Arrow-heads — Arrow-flakers —
Grinding Stone Implements — Methods of Sawing Stone — Methods of
Boring Stone — Boring by means of a Tube — Progress in Modes of
Manufacture . . . 14




Belief in their Meteoric Origin — Regarded as Thunderbolts — Celt with
Gnostic Inscriptions — Their Origin and Virtues — How regarded by the
Greeks and Romans . . . 55



The Kjökken-Mödding Type — Some possibly Agricultural Implements — Some
carefully Chipped — The Common Forms — Their abundance — Discoveries
at Cissbury — Found in company with Polished Celts — Their probable
Age . . . 67



Pointed at the Butt-end — Of Elongated Form — Expanding at the Ends —
Of Peculiar Forms — Their Occurrence in Foreign Countries . . . 87



A Type common in the Eastern Counties — With the Surface ground all
over — Expanding at the Edge — Of other Materials than Flint — The
Thin and Highly-polished Type — With Flat Sides — With Flat Sides
and Narrow Butt — With Flat Sides and Pointed Butt — Of Rectangular
Section — Chisel-like and of Rectangular Section — Of Oval Section —
Of Oval Section with Conical Butt — Of a Form common in France — Of
Oval Section pointed at the Butt — With a Cutting Edge at each End —
Sharp at both Ends — Polished Celts narrowing in the Middle — Used in
the Hand without Hafting — Polished Celts of Abnormal types — Polished
Celts with Depressions and Flutings — Circumstances under which they
have been Found — Their Discovery with Objects of Later Date — Their
Range in Time — Accompanying Interments — Manner in which Hafted — In
their original Handles — Inserted in Sockets in the Hafts — Hafted with
Intermediate Sockets — Compared with Axes of modern Savages — Mounted
in Forked Hafts — Mounted on Wooden Hafts — Compared with Adzes of
modern Savages — Mounted in Withes and Cleft Sticks — Modern methods of
Hafting Axes . . . 98



Small Hand Chisels — Gouges rare in Britain — Bastard Gouges . . . 173



Sharp at both Ends — Expanding at one End — Pointed at one End —
Adze-like in Character — Cutting at one End only — Used as Battle-axes
— Ornamented on the Faces — Large and Heavy — A Large Form common
in the North — Fluted on the Faces — Boring, the last Process —
Axe-hammers hollowed on the Sides — Axe-hammers ornamented on the
Faces — Frequently found in Barrows — But little used by modern
Savages . . . 183



Of Peculiar Forms — Some of them Weapons, not Tools — Conical, Rounded
at each End — Made from Pebbles with Natural Holes — Of an Ornamented
Character — Made from Quartzite Pebbles — Purposes to which Applied —
Mauls for Mining Purposes — Of Wide Range — Net-sinkers . . . 217



With Depressions on the Faces — With Cup-shaped Depressions — Ridged
at the End — Made of Flint and Quartzite — Saddle-querns — Pestles
and Mortars — From Shetland and Orkney — Various forms of Mortars —
Hand-mills or Querns . . . 238



Uses for Sharpening Celts — Found in Barrows — Found with Interments —
Pebbles with Grooves in them . . . 261



The Cone and Bulb of Percussion — Classification of Flakes — Polygonal
Cores — Numerous in Ancient Settlements — Localities where Abundant
— Not Confined to the Stone Period — The Roman Tribulum — In other
parts of the World — The Uses of Flakes — Flakes ground at the Edge —
Hafted Flakes — Flakes made into Saws — Serrated, as the Armature of
Sickles . . . 272



Used in Dressing Hides — Horseshoe-shaped — Kite-shaped and
Duck-bill-shaped — Some like Oyster Shells in Form — Double-ended and
Spoon-shaped — Found with Interments — Evidences of Wear upon them —
Found with Pyrites — The Modern form of Strike-a-light — Used with
Pyrites for producing Fire — The Flat and Hollowed Forms . . . 298



Found in different Countries — Of Minute Dimensions . . . 321



From different Countries — Some Trimmed Flakes, probably Knives —
Knives from Barrows — Some possibly Lance-heads — Knives with one
Edge blunt — Of Oval Form — Sharpened by Grinding — Of Circular Form
— Of Semicircular and Triangular Form — The so-called “Picts’ Knives”
— Like those of the Eskimos — Daggers or Lance-heads — With Notches
at the Sides — Found in other Countries — Curved and Crescent-shaped
Blades — Curved Knives, probably Sickles — Ripple-marked Egyptian
Blades . . . 326



Their earliest occurrence — Thought to fall from the Heavens —
Superstitions attaching to them — Worn as Amulets — An Egyptian Arrow
— Javelin-heads — Leaf-shaped Arrow-heads — Leaf-shaped Arrow-heads
pointed at both Ends — Lozenge-shaped Arrow-heads — Stemmed-Arrow-heads
— Stemmed and Barbed Arrow-heads — Unusual Forms — Found in Scotland
— Localities where found — The Triangular Form — Single-barbed
Arrow-heads — The Chisel-ended Type — Found in Barrows — Irish and
French Types — From various Countries — African and Asiatic Types —
South American Types — How attached to their Shafts — Bows in Early
Times . . . 360



Their probable Uses — Used for working in Flint . . . 412



Sling-stones Roughly Chipped from Flint — Ornamented Balls principally
from Scotland — The use of “Bolas” . . . 417



Wrist-guards or Bracers of Stone — The use of Arm-guards — Bone
Lance-heads and Pins — Needles of Bone — Hoes of Stag’s
Horn . . . 425



Superstitions attaching to Whorls — Uses of Perforated Discs — Use of
Slick-stones — Stones as Burnishers and Weights — Stone Cups — Cups
turned in a Lathe — Amber Cup — Vessels made of Stone . . . 436



Buttons of Jet, Shale, and Stone — Buttons found in Barrows — Necklaces
of Jet — Necklaces, Beads, Pendants, and Bracelets — Rings of Stone —
Pebbles found in Barrows — Lucky Stones and Amulets — Conclusions as
to the Neolithic Period . . . 452




Compared with those from the River-drift — Formation of Caverns —
Deposition of Stalagmite — Different Ages of Caverns — Chronological
Sequence of Caverns — Fauna of the Caves — Dean Buckland’s Researches
— Kent’s Cavern, Torquay — Alteration in Structure of Flint — Trimmed
Flakes from Kent’s Cavern — Scrapers from Kent’s Cavern — Cores and
Hammers from Kent’s Cavern — Bone Harpoon-heads from Kent’s Cavern
— Fauna of Kent’s Cavern — Animal Remains associated with Works of
Art — Correlation of Kent’s Cavern with Foreign Caves — Brixham Cave
— Trimmed Flakes from the Brixham Cave — The Wookey Hyæna Den — The
Gower and other Welsh Caves — The Caves of Creswell Crags — General
Considerations . . . 473



The Discoveries at Abbeville and Amiens — Discoveries on the Continent
and in India — In the Valley of the Ouse — Biddenham, Bedford —
Hitchin, Herts — Valleys of the Cam and the Lark — Bury St. Edmunds
— Icklingham — High Lodge, Mildenhall — Redhill, Thetford — Santon
Downham — Bromehill, Weeting — Gravel Hill, Brandon — Lakenheath
— Shrub Hill, Feltwell — Hoxne, Suffolk — Saltley, Warwickshire —
Possibility of their occurrence in the North of England — Gray’s Inn
Lane, London — Highbury, London — Lower Clapton, Stoke Newington, &c.
— Ealing and Acton — West Drayton, Burnham, Reading — Oxford and its
Neighbourhood — Peasemarsh, Godalming — Valleys of the Gade and Colne
— Caddington — No Man’s Land, Wheathampstead — Valley of the Lea —
Valley of the Cray — Swanscomb and Milton Street — Ightham, Sevenoaks
— Limpsfield, Surrey — Valley of the Medway — Reculver — Thanington,
Kent — Canterbury and Folkestone — Southampton — Hill Head, Southampton
Water — The Foreland, Isle of Wight — Bemerton, Salisbury — Fisherton
and Milford Hill, Salisbury — Bournemouth and Barton Cliff — Valley of
the Axe . . . 526



Flint Flakes — Trimmed Flakes — Pointed Implements — Sharp-rimmed
Implements — Differ from those of Neolithic Age — Their occurrence in
other parts of the World — Found in Africa and Asia — Their probable
Uses — The Civilization they betoken — Characteristics of their
Authenticity . . . 640



Hypothetical case of River-action — Origin of River Systems — Amount
of Solid Matter in Turbid Water — Nature of Flood-deposits — Effects of
Ground-Ice — Deposits left on the Slopes of Valleys during Excavation
— Solvent power of Carbonic Acid — The results of the Deepening of
Valleys — Actual Phenomena compared with the Hypothetical — The
Denudation of the Fen Country — The Valley of the Waveney — The Valley
of the Thames — Deposits in the South of England — Deposits near
Salisbury — The Origin of the Solent — Deposits at Bournemouth — Breach
through the Chalk-range South of Bournemouth — The Question of Climate
— Evidence as to Climate — Association of Implements with a Quaternary
Fauna — Scarcity of Human Bones in the River-drift — Attempts to
formulate Chronological Data — Data from Erosion — Conclusion . . . 662


     * The cuts marked with an asterisk have been borrowed from various
       sources, which are duly acknowledged in the body of the book.



1. Egypt . . . 8



2. Flint Core with Flakes replaced upon it . . . 20

2A. Gun Flint, Avlona, Albania . . . 21

3. Nucleus—Pressigny . . . 29

4. —   —   . . . 30

5. —   —   . . . 30

6. Flake —   . . . 31

7. —   —   . . . 31

8. Eskimo Arrow-flaker . . . 38

9.* —   —   —   . . . 38

10. —   —   —   . . . 38



11.* Celt with Gnostic Inscription . . . 61



12. Near Mildenhall . . . 68

13. —   —   . . . 68

14. Near Thetford . . . 69

15. Oving, near Chichester . . . 70

16. Near Newhaven . . . 71

17. Near Dunstable . . . 72

18. Burwell Fen . . . 72

19. Mildenhall . . . 73

20. Bottisham Fen . . . 73

21. Near Bournemouth . . . 74

22. Thetford . . . 74

23. Reach Fen, Cambridge . . . 75

24. Scamridge, Yorkshire . . . 76

25.* Forest of Bere, near Horndean . . . 76

25A.* Isle of Wight . . . 77

26. Cissbury . . . 81

27. —   . . . 81

28. —   . . . 82

29. —   . . . 82



30. Downs near Eastbourne . . . 88

31. Culford, Suffolk . . . 88

32. Near Mildenhall, Suffolk . . . 88

33. Sawdon, North Yorkshire . . . 89

34. Weston, Norfolk . . . 90

35. Mildenhall . . . 91

35A. Reach Fen . . . 92

36. Burwell Fen . . . 93

37. Thetford . . . 93

38. Undley Common, Lakenheath . . . 94

38A. East Dean . . . 95

39. Ganton . . . 95

40. Swaffham Fen . . . 95

41. Grindale, Bridlington . . . 96

42. North Burton . . . 96



43. Santon Downham, Suffolk . . . 99

44. Coton, Cambridge . . . 101

45. Reach Fen, Cambridge . . . 102

46. Great Bedwin, Wilts . . . 102

47. Burradon, Northumberland . . . 103

48. Coton, Cambridge . . . 104

49. Ponteland, Northumberland . . . 105

50. Fridaythorpe, Yorkshire . . . 105

51. Oulston . . . 106

52. Burwell Fen . . . 107

52A.* Berwickshire . . . 108

53. Botesdale, Suffolk . . . 111

54. Lackford, Suffolk . . . 112

55. Dalmeny, Linlithgow . . . 113

56. Sprouston, near Kelso . . . 114

57. Nunnington, Yorkshire . . . 115

58. Burradon, Northumberland . . . 116

59. Livermere, Suffolk . . . 116

60. Ilderton, Northumberland . . . 117

61. Near Pendle, Lancashire . . . 118

62. Ness . . . 119

63. Gilling . . . 120

64. Swinton, near Malton . . . 121

65. Scamridge Dykes, Yorkshire . . . 121

66. Whitwell, Yorkshire . . . 122

67. Thames, London . . . 123

68. Near Bridlington . . . 124

69. Lakenheath, Suffolk . . . 125

70. Seamer, Yorkshire . . . 126

71. Guernsey . . . 127

72. Wareham . . . 127

73. Forfarshire . . . 128

74. Bridlington . . . 129

75. Caithness . . . 129

76. Gilmerton, East Lothian . . . 131

77. Stirlingshire . . . 132

78. Harome . . . 133

79. Daviot, near Inverness . . . 134

80. Near Cottenham . . . 135

81. Near Malton . . . 135

82. Mennithorpe, Yorkshire . . . 136

83. Middleton Moor . . . 137

83A. Keystone . . . 137

84. Near Truro . . . 138

84A.* Slains . . . 138

85. Near Lerwick . . . 139

86. Weston, Norfolk . . . 139

87. Acklam Wold . . . 140

88. Fimber . . . 140

89. Duggleby . . . 141

90. Guernsey . . . 141

90A. Wereham . . . 142

91.* Solway Moss . . . 151

92. Cumberland . . . 153

93.* Monaghan . . . 154

94. Axe from the Rio Frio . . . 155

95.* War-axe—Gaveoë Indians, Brazil . . . 156

96. Axe of Montezuma II . . . 157

97. Axe—Nootka Sound . . . 158

98. Axe in Stag’s-horn Socket—Concise . . . 159

99. Axe—Robenhausen . . . 159

99A. Penhouet . . . 161

99B.* New Guinea . . . 161

99C.* —   —  Adze . . . 162

100. Axe—Robenhausen . . . 163

101. Schraplau . . . 163

102.* Adze—New Caledonia . . . 164

103.* Adze—Clalam Indians . . . 165

104.* South-Sea Island Axes . . . 166

105.* Axe—Northern Australia . . . 168

106.* Hatchet—Western Australia . . . 170



107. Great Easton . . . 173

108. Bury St. Edmunds . . . 174

109. Burwell . . . 175

110. Near Bridlington . . . 175

111. Dalton, Yorkshire . . . 176

112. Helperthorpe . . . 177

113. New Zealand Chisel . . . 178

114. Burwell . . . 179

114A. Westleton Walks . . . 179

115. Eastbourne . . . 180

116. Willerby Wold . . . 181

117. Bridlington . . . 181



118. Hunmanby . . . 185

119.* Hove . . . 186

120. Llanmadock . . . 188

121. Guernsey . . . 189

122. Fireburn Mill, Coldstream . . . 190

123. Burwell Fen . . . 191

124. Stourton . . . 192

125. Bardwell . . . 193

126. Potter Brompton Wold . . . 194

127. Rudstone . . . 195

128. Borrowash . . . 196

129.* Crichie, Aberdeenshire . . . 197

130. Walsgrave-upon-Sowe . . . 199

131. Wigton . . . 201

132. Wollaton Park . . . 203

133. Buckthorpe . . . 204

134. Aldro’ . . . 205

135. Cowlam . . . 206

136. Seghill . . . 207

136A.* Wick, Caithness . . . 208

137. Kirklington . . . 209

138.* Winterbourn Steepleton . . . 210

139. Skelton Moors . . . 211

140. Selwood Barrow . . . 211

140A.* Longniddry . . . 212

141. Upton Lovel . . . 213

142. Thames, London . . . 213

143. Pelynt, Cornwall . . . 214



144. Balmaclellan . . . 219

145. Thames, London . . . 219

145A.* Kirkinner . . . 220

146. Scarborough . . . 221

147. Shetland . . . 221

148.* Caithness . . . 222

149. Leeds . . . 222

150. Rockland . . . 223

151. Heslerton Wold . . . 224

152. Birdoswald . . . 225

153. Maesmore, Corwen . . . 226

154. Normanton, Wilts . . . 227

155. Redgrave Park . . . 228

156. Redmore Fen . . . 228

157.* Stifford . . . 229

158. Sutton . . . 231

159.* Ambleside . . . 236



160. Helmsley . . . 239

161. Winterbourn Bassett . . . 240

161A.* Goldenoch . . . 241

162. St. Botolph’s Priory . . . 242

163. Bridlington . . . 242

164. —   . . . 243

165. —   . . . 243

166. Scamridge . . . 246

167 & 168. Yorkshire Wolds . . . 248

168A.* Culbin Sands . . . 249

169. Bridlington . . . 249

170.* Holyhead . . . 251

171.* Ty Mawr . . . 253

172.* Holyhead . . . 254

173.* Pulborough . . . 254

174.* Shetland . . . 256

175.* —   . . . 256

176.* —   . . . 256

177.* —   . . . 256

178.* —   . . . 256

179.* —   . . . 257

180.* Balmaclellan . . . 260



180A.* Lamberton Moor . . . 264

181. Dorchester . . . 265

182. Rudstone . . . 265

183. Fimber . . . 266

184. Cowlam . . . 267

185. Amesbury . . . 267

186.* Hove . . . 268

187.* Ty Mawr . . . 270



188. Artificial Cone of Flint . . . 274

189. Weaverthorpe . . . 276

190. Newhaven . . . 278

191. Redhill, Reigate . . . 278

192. Icklingham . . . 278

193. Seaford . . . 278

194.* Tribulum from Aleppo . . . 285

195.* Admiralty Islands . . . 288

196. Charleston . . . 291

197. Nussdorf . . . 292

198. Australia . . . 293

199. Willerby Wold . . . 295

200. Yorkshire Wolds . . . 295

201. Scamridge . . . 296

202. West Cranmore . . . 296



203.* Eskimo Scraper . . . 298

204. Weaverthorpe . . . 300

205. Sussex Downs . . . 301

206. Yorkshire . . . 302

207. Helperthorpe . . . 302

208. Weaverthorpe . . . 302

209. Sussex Downs . . . 303

210. Yorkshire . . . 303

211. —  Wolds . . . 303

212. —   —   . . . 304

213. Sussex Downs . . . 304

214. Yorkshire Wolds . . . 304

215. Sussex Downs . . . 305

216. —   —   . . . 306

217. —   —   . . . 306

218. Bridlington . . . 307

219. —   . . . 307

220. Yorkshire Wolds . . . 307

221. —   —   . . . 308

222. French “Strike-a-light” . . . 314

223. Rudstone . . . 316

224. Method of using Pyrites and “Scraper” for striking a
light . . . 317

225. Yorkshire Wolds . . . 319

226. —   —   . . . 319

226A. North of Ireland . . . 320



227. Yorkshire Wolds . . . 322

228. Bridlington . . . 322

229. Yorkshire Wolds . . . 323

230. Bridlington . . . 323

231. Yorkshire Wolds . . . 324

232. —   —   . . . 324

232A. Hastings . . . 325

232B. —   . . . 325

232C. —   . . . 325

232D.* Vindhya Hills . . . 325

232E.* —   —   . . . 325

232F.* —   —   . . . 326



233. Cambridge (?) . . . 326

234. Yorkshire Wolds . . . 328

235. Yorkshire . . . 328

236. Bridlington . . . 329

237. Yorkshire . . . 329

238. Bridlington . . . 329

239. Castle Carrock . . . 329

240. Ford, Northumberland . . . 330

240A.* Etton . . . 330

241. Weaverthorpe . . . 331

242. Wykeham Moor . . . 331

243. Potter Brompton Wold . . . 332

244. Snainton Moor . . . 333

245. Ford . . . 333

246. Bridlington . . . 334

247. Cambridge Fens . . . 334

248. Scamridge . . . 335

249. Burwell Fen . . . 336

250. Saffron Walden . . . 336

251. Fimber . . . 337

252. Argyllshire . . . 338

253. Glen Urquhart . . . 338

254. Bridlington . . . 339

255. Overton . . . 339

256. Kempston . . . 340

256A. Eastbourne . . . 341

257. Kintore . . . 342

258. Newhaven, Derbyshire . . . 342

259. Harome, Yorkshire . . . 343

260. —   —   . . . 344

261. Crambe . . . 345

262. Walls, Shetland . . . 346

263. —   —   . . . 347

264. Lambourn Down . . . 349

265. Thames . . . 350

266. Burnt Fen . . . 350

267. Arbor Low . . . 352

267A. Sewerby . . . 355

268. Fimber . . . 356

269. Yarmouth . . . 356

270. Eastbourne . . . 357



271.* Elf Shot . . . 365

272. Egypt . . . 369

273. Winterbourn Stoke . . . 371

274. —   —   . . . 371

275. —   —   . . . 371

276.* Calais Wold Barrow . . . 372

277.* —   —   —   . . . 372

278.* —   —   —   . . . 372

279.* —   —   —   . . . 372

280. Icklingham . . . 373

281.* Gunthorpe . . . 373

282. Yorkshire Wolds . . . 373

283. —   —   . . . 374

284. Little Solsbury Hill . . . 374

285. Yorkshire Wolds . . . 374

286. Bridlington . . . 374

287 & 288. Yorkshire Wolds . . . 375

289. Lakenheath . . . 375

290 & 291. Yorkshire Wolds . . . 376

292 & 293. Yorkshire Wolds . . . 376

294. —   —   . . . 376

295.* Fyfield . . . 377

296. Bridlington . . . 378

297. Newton Ketton . . . 378

298 & 299. Yorkshire Wolds . . . 378

300. Yorkshire Wolds . . . 379

301. Amotherby . . . 379

302. Iwerne Minster . . . 379

303. Yorkshire Wolds . . . 380

304. —   —   . . . 380

305. Pick Rudge Farm . . . 380

305A. Ashwell . . . 381

306. Sherburn Wold . . . 381

307. Yorkshire Wolds . . . 381

308. —   —   . . . 381

309. —   —   . . . 381

310. —   —   . . . 381

311. —   —   . . . 381

312. —   —   . . . 381

313 & 314. Yorkshire Wolds . . . 382

314A. Icklingham . . . 382

315. Eddlesborough . . . 383

316. Reach Fen . . . 383

317. Isleham . . . 383

318. Rudstone . . . 384

318A. Dorchester Dykes . . . 384

319. Lambourn Down . . . 384

320. Fovant . . . 384

321. Yorkshire Moors . . . 385

322 & 323. Yorkshire Wolds . . . 385

323A.* Brompton . . . 386

324.* Isle of Skye . . . 387

325. Urquhart . . . 387

326. Aberdeenshire . . . 387

327. Glenlivet . . . 387

327A.* Philiphaugh . . . 388

328. Icklingham . . . 390

329. Langdale End . . . 390

330. Amotherby . . . 390

331. Weaverthorpe . . . 391

332. Lakenheath . . . 391

333. Yorkshire Wolds . . . 391

334. —   —   . . . 391

335. —   —   . . . 392

336. Bridlington . . . 392

337. —   . . . 392

338. Fimber . . . 393

339. Hungry Bentley . . . 394

340.* Caithness . . . 394

341. Lakenheath . . . 395

342. Urquhart . . . 395

342A.* Fyvie, Aberdeenshire . . . 408

343. Switzerland . . . 408

344. Fünen, Denmark . . . 409

345.* Modern Stone Arrow-head . . . 409



346. Yorkshire Wolds . . . 412

346A.* Corennie . . . 413

347. Bridlington . . . 413

348. Sawdon . . . 415

349. Acklam Wold . . . 415



350. Yorkshire Wolds . . . 419

351.* Dumfriesshire . . . 420

352.* Towie . . . 421



353. Isle of Skye . . . 425

354. Evantown . . . 426

355. Devizes . . . 426

356.* Isle of Skye . . . 428



357. Scampston . . . 438

358.* Holyhead . . . 438

359.* —   . . . 438

360.* —   . . . 438

361.* —   . . . 442

362.* Scotland . . . 444

363.* Sutherlandshire . . . 444

364.* Faroe Islands . . . 445

365.* Broad Down or Honiton . . . 446

366.* Rillaton . . . 448

367.* Hove . . . 449

368.* Ty Mawr . . . 450



369. Butterwick . . . 453

370. —   . . . 453

371. Rudstone . . . 454

372. —   . . . 454

373. Crawfurd Moor . . . 454

374.* Calais Wold Barrow . . . 455

375.* Assynt, Ross-shire . . . 457

376.* Pen-y-Bonc . . . 458

377.* Probable Arrangement of the Jet Necklace found at Pen-y-Bonc,
Holyhead . . . 459

378.* Fimber . . . 461

379.* Yorkshire . . . 462

380.* —   . . . 462

381. Hungry Bentley . . . 464

381A.* Heathery Burn Cave . . . 464

382.* Jet—Guernsey . . . 464

383.* Bronze—Guernsey . . . 464

384. Kent’s Cavern . . . 465

385.* Ty Mawr . . . 466



386. Kent’s Cavern . . . 493

387. —   —   . . . 493

388. —   —   . . . 494

388A.* —   —   . . . 495

389. —   —   . . . 496

390. —   —   . . . 496

391. —   —   . . . 498

392. —   —   . . . 499

393. —   —   . . . 499

394. —   —   . . . 500

395. —   —   . . . 500

396. —   —   . . . 501

397. —   —   . . . 501

398. —   —   . . . 502

399. —   —   . . . 502

400. —   —   . . . 502

401. —   —   . . . 503

402. —   —   . . . 503

403. —   —   . . . 505

404. —   —   . . . 505

405. —   —   . . . 505

406. —   —   . . . 506

407. —   —   . . . 506

408. —   —   . . . 506

409. Brixham Cave . . . 514

410. —   —   . . . 515

411. —   —   . . . 515

412. —   —   . . . 516

413.* Wookey Hyæna Den . . . 518

413A.* Robin Hood Cave . . . 522

413B.* —   —   —   . . . 523

413C.* —   —   —   . . . 523

413D.* —   —   —   . . . 523

413E.* —   —   —   . . . 523

413F.* —   —   —   . . . 524

413G.* Church Hole Cave . . . 524

413H.* —   —   —   . . . 524



414. Biddenham, Bedford . . . 532

415. —   —   . . . 533

416. —   —   . . . 534

417. —   —   . . . 534

418. —   —   . . . 535

418A. Hitchin . . . 537

419. Maynewater Lane, Bury St. Edmunds . . . 540

419A. Grindle Pit, Bury St. Edmunds . . . 541

419B. Bury St. Edmunds . . . 542

419C. Nowton, near Bury St. Edmunds . . . 543

419D. Westley, near Bury St. Edmunds . . . 544

420. Rampart Hill, Icklingham . . . 545

421. Icklingham . . . 546

422. —   . . . 546

423. —   . . . 547

424. —   . . . 548

425. High Lodge . . . 548

426. —   —   . . . 549

426A. —   —   . . . 549

427. Redhill, Thetford . . . 552

428. —   —   . . . 553

429. —   —   . . . 554

430. —   —   . . . 555

431. —   —   . . . 555

432. Whitehill, Thetford . . . 556

433. Santon Downham . . . 557

434. —   —   . . . 558

435. —   —   . . . 559

436. —   —   . . . 560

437. —   —   . . . 561

438. Bromehill, Brandon . . . 562

439. Gravel Hill, Brandon . . . 563

440. —   —   —   . . . 564

441. —   —   —   . . . 564

442. —   —   —   . . . 565

443. —   —   —   . . . 566

444. Valley of the Lark, or of the Little Ouse . . . 567

445. Shrub Hill, Feltwell . . . 570

446. —   —   —   . . . 570

447. —   —   —   . . . 571

448. —   —   —   . . . 571

449. Hoxne . . . 575

450. —   . . . 576

450A. Saltley . . . 579

451. Gray’s Inn Lane . . . 582

452. Hackney Down . . . 583

453. Highbury New Park . . . 585

453A.* Lower Clapton . . . 587

453B.* Stamford Hill . . . 588

453C.* Stoke Newington Common . . . 588

453D.* —   —   —   . . . 589

454. Ealing Dean . . . 590

455. Peasemarsh, Godalming . . . 595

455A.* Caddington . . . 599

455B.* —   . . . 599

455C.* —   . . . 600

455D.* —   . . . 600

455E.* —   . . . 601

455F.* —   . . . 601

455G.* —   . . . 601

455H.* Wheathampstead . . . 601

456. Dartford Heath . . . 606

456A. Bewley, Ightham . . . 609

457. Reculver . . . 612

458. Near Reculver . . . 614

459. —   —   . . . 615

460. Reculver . . . 616

461. —   . . . 616

462. Studhill . . . 618

463. Thanington . . . 619

464. Canterbury . . . 620

464A.* —   . . . 621

464B. Folkestone . . . 622

465. Southampton . . . 623

466. Hill Head . . . 625

467. The Foreland, Isle of Wight . . . 627

468. Lake . . . 628

469. Bemerton . . . 629

470. Highfield . . . 629

471. Fisherton . . . 630

472. Milford Hill, Salisbury . . . 633

473. Fordingbridge . . . 634

474. Boscombe, Bournemouth . . . 635

475. —   —   . . . 636

476. Bournemouth . . . 637

477. Broom Pit, Axminster . . . 638



In the following pages I purpose to give an account of the various
forms of stone implements, weapons, and ornaments of remote antiquity
discovered in Great Britain, their probable uses and method of
manufacture, and also, in some instances, the circumstances of
their discovery. While reducing the whole series into some sort
of classification, as has been done for the stone antiquities of
Scandinavia by Worsaae, Montelius, and Sophus Müller, for those of
France by Messrs. Gabriel and Adrien de Mortillet, and for those of
Ireland by Sir William Wilde, I hope to add something to our knowledge
of this branch of Archæology by instituting comparisons, where
possible, between the antiquities of England and Scotland and those of
other parts of the world. Nor in considering the purposes to which the
various forms were applied, and the method of their manufacture, must I
neglect to avail myself of the illustrations afforded by the practice
of modern savages, of which Sir John Lubbock and others have already
made such profitable use.

But before commencing any examination of special forms, there are
some few general considerations on which it seems advisable to enter,
if only in a cursory manner; and this is the more necessary, since
notwithstanding the attention which has now for many years been
devoted to Prehistoric Antiquities, there is seemingly still some
misapprehension remaining as to the nature and value of the conclusions
based upon recent archæological and geological investigations.

At the risk therefore of being tedious, I shall have to notice once
more many things already well known to archæologists, but which, it
would appear from the misconceptions so often evinced, even by those
who speak and write on such matters, can hardly be too often repeated.

Not the least misunderstood of these subjects has been the |2|
classification of the antiquities of Western Europe, first practically
adopted by the Danish antiquaries, under periods known as the Iron,
Bronze, and Stone Ages; the Iron Age, so far as Denmark is concerned,
being supposed to go back to about the Christian era, the Bronze Age to
embrace a period of one or two thousand years previous to that date,
and the Stone Age all previous time of man’s occupation of that part
of the world. These different periods have been, and in some cases may
be safely, subdivided; but into this question I need not now enter, as
it does not affect the general sequence. The idea of the succession is

1. That there was a period in each given part of Western Europe, say,
for example, Denmark, when the use of metals for cutting-instruments
of any kind was unknown, and man had to depend for his implements and
weapons on stone, bone, wood, and other readily accessible natural

2. That this period was succeeded by one in which the use of copper,
or of copper alloyed with tin—bronze—became known, and gradually
superseded the use of stone for certain purposes, though it continued
to be employed for others; and

3. That a time arrived when bronze, in its turn, gave way to iron or
steel, as being a superior metal for all cutting purposes; which, as
such, has remained in use up to the present day.

Such a classification into different ages in no way implies any exact
chronology, far less one that would be applicable to all the countries
of Europe alike, but is rather to be regarded as significant only of a
succession of different stages of civilization; for it is evident that
at the time when, for instance, in a country such as Italy, the Iron
Age may have commenced, some of the more northern countries of Europe
may possibly have been in their Bronze Age, and others again still in
their Stone Age.

Neither does this classification imply that in the Bronze Age of
any country stone implements had entirely ceased to be in use, nor
even that in the Iron Age both bronze and stone had been completely
superseded for all cutting purposes. Like the three principal
colours of the rainbow, these three stages of civilization overlap,
intermingle, and shade off the one into the other; and yet their
succession, so far as Western Europe is concerned, appears to be
equally well defined with that of the prismatic colours, though the
proportions of the spectrum may vary in different countries.[1] |3|

The late Mr. James Fergusson, in his Rude Stone Monuments,[2] has
analyzed the discoveries made by Bateman in his exploration of
Derbyshire barrows, and on the analysis has founded an argument against
the division of time into the Stone, Bronze, and Iron Ages. He has,
however, omitted to take into account the fact that in many of the
barrows there were secondary interments of a date long subsequent to
the primary.

I have spoken of this division into Periods as having been first
practically adopted by the Danish school of antiquaries, but in fact
this classification is by no means so recent as has been commonly
supposed. Take, for instance, the communication of Mahudel to the
_Académie des Inscriptions_ of Paris[3] in 1734, in which he points
out that man existed a long time in different countries using
implements of stone and without any knowledge of metals; or again, the
following passage from Bishop Lyttelton’s[4] “Observations on Stone
Hatchets,” written in 1766:—“There is not the least doubt of these
stone instruments having been fabricated in the earliest times, and by
barbarous people, before the use of iron or other metals was known, and
from the same cause spears and arrows were headed with flint and other
hard stones.” A century earlier, Sir William Dugdale, in his “History
of Warwickshire,”[5] also speaks of stone celts as “weapons used by
the Britons before the art of making arms of brass or iron was known.”
We find, in fact, that the same views were entertained, not only by
various writers[6] within the last two centuries, but also by many of
the early poets and historians. There are even biblical grounds for
argument in favour of such a view of a gradual development of material
civilization. For all, including those who invest Adam with high
moral attributes, must confess that whatever may have been his mental
condition, his personal equipment in the way of tools or weapons could
have been but inefficient if no artificer was instructed in brass and
iron until the days of Tubal Cain, the sixth in descent from Adam’s
outcast son, and that too at a time when a generation was reckoned at a
hundred years, instead of at thirty, as now. |4|

Turning, however, to Greek and Roman authors, we find Hesiod,[7] about
B.C. 850, mentioning a time when bronze had not been superseded by

 Τοῖς δ᾿ ἧν χάλκεα μὲν τεύχεα, χάλκεοι δέ τε οἷκοι
 Χαλκῶ δ᾿ εἰργάζοντο, μέλας δ᾿ οὐκ ἓσχε σίδηρος.

Lucretius[8] is even more distinct in his views as to the successive

 “Arma antiqua manus, ungues, dentesque fuerunt
 Et lapides, et item sylvarum fragmina rami—
 Posterius ferri vis est ærisque reperta;
 Sed prior æris erat quam ferri cognitus usus—
 Ære solum terræ tractabant, æreque belli
 Miscebant fluctus et vulnera vasta ferebant.”

So early as the days of Augustus it would appear that bronze arms were
regarded as antiquities, and that emperor seems to have commenced the
first archæological and geological collection on record, having adorned
one of his country residences “rebus vetustate ac raritate notabilibus,
qualia sunt Capreis immanium belluarum ferarumque membra prægrandia quæ
dicuntur gigantum ossa et arma heroum.”[9]

We learn from Pausanias[10] what these arms of the heroes were, for
he explains how in the heroic times all weapons were of bronze, and
quotes Homer’s description of the axe of Pisander and the arrow of
Meriones. He also cites the spear of Achilles in the temple of Pallas,
at Phaselis, the point and ferrule of which only were of bronze; and
the sword of Memnon in the temple of Æsculapius, at Nicomedia, which
was wholly of bronze. In the same manner Plutarch[11] relates that when
Cimon disinterred the remains of Theseus in Scyros he found with them a
bronze spear-head and sword.

There is, indeed, in Homer constant mention of arms, axes, and adzes
of bronze, and though iron is also named, it is of far less frequent
occurrence. According to the Arundelian marbles,[12] it was discovered
only 188 years before the Trojan war, though of course such a date must
be purely conjectural. Even Virgil preserves the unities, and often
gives bronze arms to the heroes of the Æneid, as well as to some of the
people of Italy—

 “Æratæque micant peltæ, micat æreus ensis.”[13] |5|

The fact that in the Greek[14] language the words χαλκεύς and
χαλκεύειν remained in use as significant of working in iron affords
a very strong, if not an irrefragable argument as to bronze having
been the earlier metal known to that people. In the same way the
continuance in use of bronze cutting implements in certain religious
rites—as was also the case with some stone implements which I shall
subsequently mention—affords evidence of their comparative antiquity.
The Tuscans[15] at the foundation of a city ploughed the pomærium with
a bronze plough-share, the priests of the Sabines cut their hair with
bronze knives, and the Chief Priest of Jupiter at Rome used shears
of the same metal for that purpose. In the same manner Medea has
attributed to her both by Sophocles and Ovid[16] a bronze sickle when
gathering her magic herbs, and Elissa is represented by Virgil as using
a similar instrument for the same purpose. Altogether, if history is
to count for anything, there can be no doubt that in Greece and Italy,
the earliest civilized countries of Europe, the use of bronze preceded
that of iron, and therefore that there was in each case a Bronze Age of
greater or less duration preceding the Iron Age.

It seems probable that the first iron used was meteoric, and such may
have been that “self-fused” mass which formed one of the prizes at the
funeral games of Patroclus,[17] and was so large that it would suffice
its possessor for all purposes during five years. Even the Greek word
for iron (σίδηρος) may not improbably be connected with the meteoric
origin of the first known form of the metal. Its affinity with ἀστήρ,
often used for a shooting star or meteor, with the Latin “_sidera_” and
our own “star” is evident.

Professor Lauth,[18] moreover, interprets the Coptic word for iron,
ⲂⲈⲚⲒⲠⲈ, as “the stone of heaven” (Stein des Himmels) which implies that
in Egypt also its meteoric origin was acknowledged.

Among the Eskimos[19] of modern times meteoric iron has been employed
for making knives. Where an excess of nickel is present, the meteoric
iron cannot well be forged,[20] but Dana seems to be right in saying,
as a general rule it is perfectly malleable.

Some, however, are of opinion that during the time that bronze was
employed for cutting instruments, iron was also in use for |6| other
purposes.[21] At the first introduction of iron the two metals were,
no doubt, in use together, but we can hardly suppose them to have been
introduced simultaneously; and if they had been, the questions arise,
whence did they come? and how are we to account for the one not having
sooner superseded the other for cutting purposes?

Another argument that has been employed in favour of iron having been
the first metal used, is that bronze is a mixed metal requiring a
knowledge of the art of smelting both copper and tin, the latter being
only produced in few districts, and generally having to be brought from
far, while certain of the ores of iron are of easy access and readily
reducible,[22] and meteoric iron is also found in the metallic state
and often adapted for immediate use. The answer to this is, first, that
all historical evidence is against the use of iron previously to copper
or bronze; and, secondly, that even in Eastern Africa, where, above all
other places, the conditions for the development of the manufacture of
iron seem most favourable, we have no evidence of the knowledge of that
metal having preceded that of bronze; but, on the contrary, we find in
Egypt, a country often brought in contact with these iron-producing
districts, little if any trace of iron before the twelfth dynasty,[23]
and of its use even then the evidence is only pictorial, whereas the
copper mines at Maghara are said to date back to the second dynasty,
some eight hundred years earlier. Agatharchides,[24] moreover, relates
that in his time, _circa_ B.C. 100, there were found buried in the
ancient gold mines of Egypt the bronze chisels (λατομίδες χαλκᾶι) of
the old miners, and he accounts for their being of that metal by the
fact that at the period when the mines were originally worked the use
of iron was entirely unknown. Much of the early working in granite may
have been effected by flint tools. Admiral Tremlett has found that
flakes of jasper readily cut the granite of Brittany.[25]

To return, however, to Greece and Italy, there can, as I have already
said, be little question that even on historical grounds we must accept
the fact that in those countries, at all events, the use of bronze
preceded that of iron. We may therefore infer theoretically that the
same sequence held good with the |7| neighbouring and more barbarous
nations of Western Europe. Even in the time of Pausanias[26] (after
A.D. 174) the Sarmatians are mentioned as being unacquainted with the
use of iron; and practically we have good corroborative archæological
evidence of such a sequence in the extensive discoveries that have been
made of antiquities belonging to the transitional period, when the use
of iron or steel was gradually superseding that of bronze for tools or
weapons, and when the forms given to the new metal were copied from
those of the old. The most notable relics of this transitional period
are those of the ancient cemetery at Hallstatt, in the Salzkammergut,
Austria, where upwards of a thousand graves were opened by Ramsauer,
of the contents of which a detailed account has been given by the
Baron von Sacken.[27] The evidence afforded by the discoveries in the
Swiss lakes is almost equally satisfactory; but I need not now enter
further into the question of the existence and succession of the Bronze
and Iron Ages, on which I have dwelt more fully in my book on Ancient
Bronze Implements.[28]

I am at present concerned with the Stone Age, and if, as all agree,
there was a time when the use of iron or of bronze, or of both
together, first became known to the barbarous nations of the West of
Europe, then it is evident that before that time they were unacquainted
with the use of those metals, and were therefore in that stage of
civilization which has been characterized as the Stone Age.

It is not, of course, to be expected that we should discover direct
contemporary historical testimony amongst any people of their being
in this condition, for in no case do we find a knowledge of writing
developed in this stage of culture; and yet, apart from the material
relics of this phase of progress which are found from time to time in
the soil, there is to be obtained in most civilized countries indirect
circumstantial evidence of the former use of stone implements, even
where those of metal had been employed for centuries before authentic
history commences. It is in religious customs and ceremonies—in rites
which have been handed down from generation to generation, and in which
the minute and careful repetition of ancient observances is indeed
often the essential religious element—that such evidence is to be
sought. As has already been observed by others, the transition from
ancient to venerable, from venerable to holy, is as natural as it is
universal; |8| and in the same manner as some of the festivals and
customs of Christian countries are directly traceable to heathen times,
so no doubt many of the religious observances of ancient times were
relics of what was even then a dim past.

Whatever we may think of the etymology of the word as given by
Cicero,[29] Lactantius,[30] or Lucretius,[31] there is much to be
said in favour of Dr. E. B. Tylor’s[32] view of superstition being
“the standing over of old habits into the midst of a new and changed
state of things—of the retention of ancient practices for ceremonial
purposes, long after they had been superseded for the commonplace uses
of ordinary life.”

Such a standing over of old customs we seem to discover among most of
the civilized peoples of antiquity. Turning to Egypt and Western Asia,
the early home of European civilization, we find from Herodotus[33] and
from Diodorus Siculus,[34] that in the rite of embalming, though the
brain was removed by a crooked iron, yet the body was cut open by a
sharp Ethiopian stone.

In several European museums are preserved thin, flat, leaf-shaped
knives of cherty flint found in Egypt, some of which will be mentioned
in subsequent pages. In character of workmanship their correspondence
with the flint knives or daggers of Scandinavia is most striking. Many,
however, are provided with a tang at one end at the back of the blade,
and in this respect resemble metallic blades intended to be mounted by
means of a tang driven into the haft.

In the British Museum is an Egyptian dagger-like instrument of flint,
from the Hay collection, still mounted in its original wooden handle,
apparently by a central tang, and with remains of its skin sheath. It
is shown on the scale of one-fourth in Fig. 1. There is also a polished
stone knife broken at the handle, which bears upon it in hieroglyphical
characters the name of PTAHMES, an officer.

[Illustration: EGYPT.—Fig. 1.]

Curiously enough the bodies of the chiefs or Menceys of the Guanches in
Teneriffe[35] were also cut open by particular persons set apart for
the office with knives made of sharp pieces of obsidian. |9|

The rite of circumcision was among those practised by the Egyptians,
but whether it was performed with a stone knife, as was the case with
the Jews when they came out of Egypt, is not certain. Among the latter
people, not to lay stress on the case of Zipporah,[36] it is recorded
of Joshua,[37] that in circumcising the children of Israel he made use
of knives of stone. It is true that, in our version, the words חַרְבוֹת
צוּרִים are translated sharp knives, which by analogy with a passage
in Psalm lxxxix. 44 (43 E.V.), is not otherwise than correct; but the
Syriac, Arabic, Vulgate, and Septuagint translations all give knives
of stone;[38] and the latter version, in the account of the burial of
Joshua, adds that they laid with him the stone knives (τὰς μαχαίρας τὰς
πετρίνας) with which he circumcised the children of Israel—“and there
they are unto this day.” Gesenius (_s. v._ צוּר) observes upon the
passage, “This is a circumstance worthy of remark; and goes to show at
least, that knives of stone were found in the sepulchres of Palestine,
as well as in those of north-western Europe.”[39] In recent times the
Abbé Richard, in examining what is known as the tomb of Joshua at some
distance to the east of Jericho, found a number of sharp flakes of
flint as well as flint instruments of other forms.[40]

Under certain circumstances modern Jews make use of a fragment of flint
or glass for this rite. The occurrence of flint knives in ancient
Jewish sepulchres may, however, be connected with a far earlier
occupation of Palestine than that of the Jews. It was a constant custom
with them to bury in caves, and recent discoveries have shown that,
like the caves of Western Europe, many of these were at a remote period
occupied by those unacquainted with the use of metals, whose stone
implements are found mixed up with the bones of the animals which had
served them for food.[41]

Of analogous uses of stone we find some few traces among classical
writers. Ovid, speaking of Atys, makes the instrument with which he
maimed himself to be a sharp stone,

 “Ille etiam saxo corpus laniavit acuto.”

The solemn treaties among the Romans were ratified by the |10|
Fetialis[42] sacrificing a pig with a flint stone, which, however,
does not appear to have been sharpened. “Ubi dixit, porcum saxo silice
percussit.” The “religiosa silex”[43] of Claudian seems rather to
have been a block of stone like that under the form of which Jupiter,
Cybele, Diana, and even Venus were worshipped. Pausanias informs us
that it was the custom among the Greeks to bestow divine honours on
certain unshaped stones, and ΖΕΥΣ ΚΑΣΙΟΣ is thus represented on coins
of Seleucia in Syria, while the Paphian Venus appears in the form of
a conical stone on coins struck in Cyprus. The Syrian god from whom
Elagabalus, the Roman emperor, took his name seems also to have been an
unhewn stone, possibly a meteorite.

The traces, however, of the Stone Age in the religious rites of Greece
and Rome are extremely slight, and this is by no means remarkable when
we consider how long the use of bronze, and even of iron, had been
known in those parts of Europe at the time when authentic history
commences. We shall subsequently see at how early a period different
implements of stone had a mysterious if not a superstitious virtue
assigned to them. I need only mention as an instance that, in several
beautiful gold necklaces[44] of Greek or Etruscan workmanship, the
central pendant consists of a delicate flint arrow-head, elegantly set
in gold, and probably worn as a charm. Nor is the religious use of
stone confined to Europe.[45] In Western Africa, when the god Gimawong
makes his annual visit to his temple at Labode, his worshippers kill
the ox which they offer, with a stone.

To come nearer home, it is not to be expected that in this country,
the earliest written history of which (if we except the slight account
derived from merchants trading hither), comes from the pen of foreign
conquerors, we should have any records of the Stone Age. In Cæsar’s
time, the tribes with which he came in contact were already acquainted
with the use of iron, and were, indeed, for the most part immigrants
from Gaul, a country whose inhabitants had, by war and commerce, been
long brought into close relation with the more civilized inhabitants
of Italy and Greece. I have elsewhere shown[46] that the degree of
civilization which must be conceded to those maritime tribes far
exceeds what is accorded by popular belief. The older occupants
of Britain, who |11| had retreated before the Belgic invaders,
and occupied the western and northern parts of the island, were no
doubt in a more barbarous condition; but in no case in which they
came in contact with their Roman invaders do they seem to have been
unacquainted with the use of iron. Even the Caledonians,[47] in the
time of Severus, who tattooed themselves with the figures of animals,
and went nearly naked, carried a shield, a spear, and a sword, and wore
iron collars and girdles; they however deemed these latter ornamental
and an evidence of wealth, in the same way as other barbarians esteemed

But though immediately before and after the Christian era the knowledge
of the use of iron may have been general throughout Britain, and though
probably an acquaintance with bronze, at all events in the southern
part of the island, may probably date many centuries farther back, it
by no means follows, as I cannot too often repeat, that the use of
stone for various purposes to which it had previously been applied
should suddenly have ceased on a superior material, in the shape of
metal, becoming known. On the contrary, we know that the use of certain
stone weapons was contemporary with the use of bronze daggers, and
the probability is that in the poorer and more inaccessible parts of
the country, stone continued in use for many ordinary purposes long
after bronze, and possibly even iron, was known in the richer and more
civilized districts.

Sir William Wilde informs us that in Ireland[48] “stone hammers,
and not unfrequently stone anvils, have been employed by country
smiths and tinkers in some of the remote country districts until a
comparatively recent period.” The same use of stone hammers and anvils
for forging iron prevails among the Kaffirs[49] of the present day.
In Iceland[50] also, perforated stone hammers are still in use for
pounding dried fish, driving in stakes, for forging and other purposes;
“knockin’-stones”[51] for making pot-barley, have till recently been in
use in Scotland, if not still employed; and I have seen fruit-hawkers
in the streets of London cracking Brazil nuts between two stones.

With some exceptions it is, therefore, nearly impossible to say whether
an ancient object made of stone can be assigned with |12| absolute
certainty to the Stone Period or no. Much will depend upon the
circumstances of the discovery, and in some instances the form may be a

The remarks I have just made apply most particularly to the weapons,
tools, and implements belonging to the period more immediately
antecedent to the Bronze Age, and extending backwards in time through
an unknown number of centuries. For besides the objects belonging
to what was originally known by the Danish antiquaries as the Stone
Period, which are usually found upon or near the surface of the soil,
in encampments, on the site of ancient habitations, and in tumuli,
there are others which occur in caverns beneath thick layers of
stalagmite, and in ancient alluvia, in both cases usually associated
with the remains of animals either locally or entirely extinct. In
no case do we find any trace of metallic tools or weapons in true
association with the stone implements of the old ossiferous caverns,
or with those of the beds of gravel, sand, and clay deposited by the
ancient rivers; and, unlike the implements found upon the surface
and in graves, which in many instances are ground or polished, those
from the caves, and from what are termed by geologists the Quaternary
gravels, are, so far as at present known, invariably chipped only, and
not ground, besides as a rule differing in form.

This difference[52] in the character of the implements of the two
periods, and the vast interval of time between the two, I pointed out
in 1859, at the time when the discoveries of M. Boucher de Perthes,
in the Valley of the Somme, first attracted the attention of English
geologists and antiquaries. Since then, the necessity of subdividing
what had until then been regarded as the Stone Age into two distinct
stages, an earlier and a later, has been universally recognized; and
Sir John Lubbock[53] has proposed to call them the Palæolithic and
the Neolithic Periods respectively, terms which have met with almost
general acceptance, and of which I shall avail myself in the course of
this work. In speaking of the polished and other implements belonging
to the time when the general surface of the country had already
received its present configuration, I may, however, also occasionally
make use of the synonymous term Surface Period for the Neolithic, and
shall also find it convenient to treat of the Palæolithic Period under
two subdivisions—those of the River-gravels and of the |13| Caves, the
fauna and implements of which are not in all cases identical.

In passing the different kinds of implements, weapons, and ornaments
formed of stone under review, I propose to commence with an examination
of the antiquities of the Neolithic Period, then to proceed to the
stone implements of human manufacture discovered imbedded with ancient
mammalian remains in Caverns, and to conclude with an account of
the discoveries of flint implements in the Drift or River-gravels
in various parts of England. But before describing their forms and
characters, it will be well to consider the method of manufacture by
which the various forms were produced.




In seeking to ascertain the method by which the stone implements and
weapons of antiquity were fabricated, we cannot, in all probability,
follow a better guide than that which is afforded us by the manner in
which instruments of similar character are produced at the present day.
As in accounting for the vast geological changes which we find to have
taken place in the crust of the earth, the safest method of argument
is by referring to ascertained physical laws, and to the existing
operations of nature, so, in order to elucidate the manufacture
of stone implements by the ancient inhabitants of this and other
countries, we may refer to the methods employed by existing savages
in what we must judge to be a somewhat similar state of culture, and
to the recognized characteristics of the materials employed. We may
even go further, and call in aid the experience of some of our own
countrymen, who still work upon similar materials, although for the
purpose of producing different objects from those which were in use in
ancient times.

So far as relates to the method of production of implements formed of
silicious materials, there can be no doubt that the manufacture of
gun-flints, which, notwithstanding the introduction of percussion-caps,
is still carried on to some extent both in this and in neighbouring
countries, is that best calculated to afford instruction. The principal
place in England where the gun-flint manufacture is now carried on,
is Brandon, on the borders of Norfolk and Suffolk, where I have
witnessed the process. I have also seen the manufacture at Icklingham,
in Suffolk, where thirty years ago, gun-flint factories existed,
which have now I believe |15| been closed. They were also formerly
manufactured in small numbers at Catton, near Norwich. At Brandon, in
1868, I was informed that upwards of twenty workmen were employed, who
were capable of producing among them from 200,000 to 250,000 gun-flints
per week. These were destined almost entirely for exportation,
principally to Africa. On July 18th, 1890, the _Daily News_[55] gave
the number of workmen at Brandon as thirty-five.

Some other sites of the gun-flint manufacture in former times are
mentioned by Mr. Skertchly, as for instance, Clarendon near Salisbury;
Gray’s Thurrock, Essex; Beer Head, Devon; and Glasgow; besides several
places in Norfolk and Suffolk.

In France the manufacture of gun-flints is still carried on in the
Department of Loir et Cher,[56] and various other localities are
recorded by Mr. Skertchly.[57]

In proof of the antiquity of the use of flint as a means of producing
fire, I need hardly quote the ingenious derivation of the word Silex
as given by Vincent of Beauvais:—“Silex est lapis durus, sic dictus eò
quod ex eo ignis exiliat.”[58] But before iron was known as a metal,
it would appear that flint was in use as a fire-producing agent in
combination with blocks of iron pyrites (sulphide of iron) instead of
steel. Nodules of this substance have been found in both French and
Belgian bone-caves belonging to an extremely remote period; while,
as belonging to Neolithic times, to say nothing of discoveries in
this country, which will subsequently be mentioned, part of a nodule
of pyrites may be cited which was found in the Lake settlement of
Robenhausen, and had apparently been thus used.[59] In our own days,
this method of obtaining fire has been observed among savages in
Tierra del Fuego, and among the Eskimos of Smith’s Sound.[60] The |16|
Fuegian tinder, like the modern German and ancient Roman, consists of
dried fungus, which when lighted is wrapped in a ball of dried grass
and whirled round the head till it bursts into flames. Achates, as will
shortly be seen, is described by Virgil as following the same method.

The name of pyrites (from πῦρ) is itself sufficient evidence of the
purpose to which this mineral was applied in early times, and the
same stone was used as the fire-giving agent in the guns with the
form of lock known as the wheel-lock. Pliny[61] speaks of a certain
sort of pyrites, “plurimum habens ignis, quos vivos appellamus, et
ponderosissimi sunt.” These, as his translator, Holland, says, “bee
most necessary for the espialls belonging unto a campe, for if they
strike them either with an yron spike or another stone they will cast
forth sparks of fire, which lighting upon matches dipt in brimstone
(_sulphuratis_) drie puff’s (_fungis_) or leaves, will cause them to
catch fire sooner than a man can say the word.”

Pliny also[62] informs us that it was Pyrodes, the son of Cilix, who
first devised the way to strike fire out of flint—a myth which seems to
point to the use of silex and pyrites rather than of steel. The Jews
on their return to Jerusalem, under Judas Maccabæus, “made another
altar and striking stones they took fire out of them and offered a
sacrifice.”[63] How soon pyrites was, to a great extent, superseded
by steel or iron, there seems to be no good evidence to prove; it is
probable, however, that the use of flint and steel was well known to
the Romans of the Augustan age, and that Virgil[64] pictured the Trojan
voyager as using steel, when—

       “silici scintillam excudit Achates,
 Suscepitque ignem foliis atque arida circum
 Nutrimenta dedit, rapuitque in fomite flammam.”

And again, where—

             “quærit pars semina flammæ
 Abstrusa in venis silicis.”[65]

In Claudian[66] we find the distinct mention of flint and steel—

 “Flagrat anhela silex et amicam saucia sentit
 Materiem, placidosque chalybs agnoscit amores.”

At Unter Uhldingen[67] a Swiss lake station where Roman pottery was
present, was found what appears to be a steel for striking a |17|
light. However the case may have been as to the means of procuring
fire, it was not until some centuries after the invention of gunpowder
that flints were applied to the purpose of discharging fire-arms.
Beckmann,[68] in his “History of Inventions,” mentions that it was not
until the year 1687 that the soldiers of Brunswick obtained guns with
flint-locks, instead of match-locks, though, no doubt, the use of the
wheel-lock with pyrites had in some other places been superseded before
that time.

I am not aware of there being any record of flints, such as were in
use for tinder-boxes,[69] having been in ancient times an article
of commerce: this, however, must have been the case, as there are
so many districts in which flint does not naturally occur, and into
which, therefore, it would have by some means to be introduced.
Even at the present day, when so many chemical matches are in use,
flints are still to be purchased at the shops in country places in
the United Kingdom; and artificially prepared flints continue to
be common articles of sale both in France and Germany, and are in
constant use, in conjunction with German tinder, or prepared cotton, by
tobacco-smokers. At Brandon[70] a certain number of “strike-a-light”
flints are still manufactured for exportation, principally to the East
and to Brazil—they are usually circular discs, about two inches in
diameter. These flints are wrought into shape in precisely the same
manner as gun-flints, and it seems possible that the trade of chipping
flint into forms adapted to be used with steel for striking a light may
be of considerable antiquity, and that the manufacture of gun-flints
ought consequently to be regarded as only a modification and extension
of a pre-existing art, closely allied with the facing and squaring of
flints for architectural purposes, which reached great perfection at an
early period. However this may be, it would seem that when gun-flints
were an indispensable munition of war, a great mystery was made as
to the manner in which they were prepared. Beckmann[71] says that,
considering the great use made of them, it will hardly be believed how
much trouble he had to obtain information on the subject. It would be
ludicrous to repeat the various answers he obtained to his inquiries.
Many thought that the stones were cut down by grinding them; some
conceived that |18| they were formed by means of red-hot pincers,
and many asserted that they were made in mills. The best account of
the manufacture with which he was acquainted, was that collected by
his brother, and published in the _Hanoverian Magazine_ for the year
1772. At a later date the well-known mineralogist Dolomieu[72] gave
an account of the process in the _Mémoires de l’Institut National des
Sciences_, and M. Hacquet,[73] of Leopol, in Galicia, published a
pamphlet on the same subject. The accounts given by both these authors
correspond most closely with each other, and also with the practice of
the present day, though the French process differs in some respects
from the English.[74] This has been well described by Dr. Lottin.[75]
The flints best adapted for the purpose of the manufacture are those
from the chalk. They must, however, be of fair size, free from flaws
and included organisms, and very homogeneous in structure. They are
usually procured by sinking small shafts into the ground until a band
of flints of the right quality is reached, along which low horizontal
galleries, or “burrows,” as they are called, are worked. For success in
the manufacture a great deal is said to depend upon the condition of
the flint as regards the moisture it contains, those which have been
too long exposed upon the surface becoming intractable, and there being
also a difficulty in working those that are too moist. A few blows
with the hammer enable a practised flint-knapper to judge whether the
material on which he is at work is in the proper condition or no. Some
of the Brandon workmen, however, maintain that though a flint which has
been some time exposed to the air is harder than one recently dug, yet
that it works equally well, and they say further, that the object in
keeping the flints moist is to preserve the black colour from fading,
black gun-flints being most saleable.

A detailed account, by Mr. Skertchly, of the manufacture of gun-flints,
with an essay on the connection between Neolithic art and the gun-flint
trade, forms an expensive memoir of the geological survey, published in
1879; but it seems well to retain the following short account of the

The tools required are few and simple:—

1. A flat-faced blocking, or quartering hammer, from one to |19| two
pounds in weight, made either of iron or of iron faced with steel.

2. A well-hardened steel flaking hammer, bluntly pointed at each end,
and weighing about a pound, or more; or in its place a light oval
hammer, known as an “English” hammer, the pointed flaking hammer having
been introduced from France.

3. A square-edged trimming or knapping hammer, which may either be in
the form of a disc, or oblong and flat at the end, made of steel not
hardened. In England, this hammer is usually made from a portion of an
old flat file perforated to receive the helve, and drawn out at each
end into a thin blade, about 1∕16 of an inch in thickness; the total
length being about 7 or 8 inches.

4. A chisel-shaped “stake” or small anvil set vertically in a block of
wood, which at the same time forms a bench for the workman. In England,
the upper surface of this stake is about 1∕4 inch thick, and inclined
at a slight angle to the bench.

The method of manufacture[76] is as follows:—A block of flint is
broken by means of the quartering hammer in such a manner as to detach
masses, the newly-fractured surfaces of which are as nearly as possible
plane and even. One of these blocks is then held in the left hand, so
that the edge rests on a leathern pad tied on the thigh of the seated
workman, the surface to be struck inclining at an angle of about 45°.
A splinter is then detached from the margin by means of the flaking
hammer. If the flint is of good quality, this splinter may be three
or four inches in length, the line of fracture being approximately
parallel to the exterior of the flint. There is, of course, the usual
bulb of percussion, or rounded protuberance at the end,[77] where
the blow is given, and a corresponding depression is left in the
mass of flint. Another splinter is next detached, by a blow given at
a distance of about an inch on one side of the spot where the first
blow fell, and then others at similar distances, until some portion
of the block assumes a more or less regular polygonal outline. As
the splinters which are first detached usually show a portion of the
natural crust of the flint upon them, they are commonly |20| thrown
away as useless. The second and succeeding rows of flakes are those
adapted for gun-flints. To obtain these, the blows of the flaking
hammer are administered midway between two of the projecting angles of
the polygon, and almost immediately behind the spots where the blows
dislodging the previous row of flakes or splinters were administered,
though a little to one side. They fall at such a distance from the
outer surface as is necessary for the thickness of a gun-flint. By
this means a succession of flakes is produced, the section of which
is that of an obtuse triangle with the apex removed, inasmuch as for
gun-flints, flakes are required with the face and back parallel, and
not with a projecting ridge running along the back.

[Illustration: Fig. 2.—Flint-core with flakes replaced upon it.]

Fig. 2, representing a block from which a number of flakes adapted
for gun-flints have been detached and subsequently returned to their
original positions around the central core or nucleus, will give a
good idea of the manner in which flake after flake is struck off.
Mr. Spurrell and Mr. Worthington Smith have succeeded in building up
flakes of Palæolithic date into the original blocks from which they
were struck. The former has also replaced ancient Egyptian flakes,[78]
the one upon the other. Mr. F. Archer has likewise restored a block of
flint from Neolithic flakes[79] found near Dundrum Bay, county Down.

To complete the manufacture of gun-flints, each flake is taken in the
left hand, and cut off into lengths of the width required, by means
of the knapping hammer and the stake fixed in the bench. The flake
is placed over the stake at the spot where it is to be cut, |21|
and a skilful workman cuts the flake in two at a single stroke. The
sections of flakes thus produced have a cutting edge at each end;
but the finished gun-flint is formed by chipping off the edge at the
butt-end and slightly rounding it by means of the fixed chisel and
knapping hammer, the blows from which are made to fall just within
the chisel, so that the two together cut much in the same manner as
a pair of shears. Considerable skill is required in the manufacture,
more especially in the production of the flakes; but Hacquet[80] says
that a fortnight’s practice is sufficient to enable an ordinary workman
to fashion from five hundred to eight hundred gun-flints in a day.
According to him, an experienced workman will produce from a thousand
to fifteen hundred per diem. Dolomieu estimates three days as the time
required by a “_caillouteur_” to produce a thousand gun-flints; but
as the highest price quoted for French gun-flints by Hacquet is only
six francs the thousand, it seems probable that his calculation as to
the time required for their manufacture is not far wrong. Some of the
Brandon flint-knappers are, however, said to be capable of producing
sixteen thousand to eighteen thousand gun-flints in a week. Taking
the lowest estimate, it appears that a practised hand is capable of
making at least three hundred flint implements of a given definite
form, and of some degree of finish, in the course of a single day. If
our primitive forefathers could produce their worked flints with equal
ease, the wonder is, not that so many of them are found, but that they
do not occur in far greater numbers.

An elegant form of gun-flint, showing great skill in surface flaking,
is still produced in Albania. A specimen, purchased at Avlona[81] by
my son, is shown in Fig. 2A. Some gun-flints and strike-a-lights are
formed of chalcedony or agate, and cut and polished.

[Illustration: Fig. 2A.—Gun-flint, Avlona, Albania. 1∕1]

The ancient flint-workers had not, however, the advantages of steel
and iron tools and other modern appliances at their command; and, at
first sight, it would appear that the |22| production of flakes of
flint, without having a pointed metallic hammer for the purpose, was
a matter of great difficulty, I have, however, made some experiments
upon the subject, and have also employed a Suffolk flint-knapper
to do so, and I find that blows from a rounded pebble, judiciously
administered, are capable of producing well-formed flakes, such as, in
shape, cannot be distinguished from those made with a metallic hammer.
The main difficulties consist—first, in making the blow fall exactly
in the proper place; and, secondly, in so proportioning its intensity
that it shall simply dislodge a flake, and not shatter it. The pebble
employed as a hammer need not be attached to a shaft, but can be used,
without any preparation, in the hand. Professor Nilsson tried the same
method long ago, and has left on record an interesting account of his

In the neighbourhood of the Pfahl-bauten of Moosseedorf, in
Switzerland, have been found numerous spots where flint has been
worked up into implements, and vast numbers of flakes and splinters
left as refuse. Dr. Keller[83] says, that “the tools used for making
these flint implements do not seem to have been of the same material,
but of gabbro, a bluish-green and very hard and tough kind of stone.
Several of these implements have been met with; their form is very
simple, and varies between a cube and an oval. The oval specimens were
ground down in one or two places, and the most pointed part was used
for hammering.” There were nearly similar workshops at Wauwyl[84] and
Bodmann, not to mention places where flint was dug for the purposes of

Closely analogous sites of ancient flint-workshops have been discovered
both in France[85] and Germany[86] as well as in Great Britain; such,
for instance, as that at the confluence[87] of the Leochel and the
Don, in Aberdeenshire, where, moreover, flint is not native in the
neighbourhood; but proper attention has not, in all cases, been paid to
the hammer-stones, which, in all probability, occur with the chippings
of flint.

The blow from the hammer could not, of course, be always administered
at the right spot; and I have noticed on some ancient flakes, a groove
at the butt-end, the bottom of which is crushed, as if by blows from a
round pebble, which, from having |23| fallen too near the edge of the
block, had at first merely bruised the flint, instead of detaching the

There are, moreover, a certain number of small cores, or nuclei, both
English and foreign, from which such minute and regular flakes have
been detached, that it is difficult to believe that a mere stone
hammer could have been directed with sufficient skill and precision to
produce such extreme regularity of form. I may cite as instances some
of the small nuclei which are found on the Yorkshire wolds, and some
of those from the banks of the Mahanuddy,[88] in India, which, but for
the slight dissimilarity in the material (the latter being usually
chalcedony and the former flint), could hardly be distinguished from
each other. Possibly in striking off the flakes some form of punch was
used which was struck with the hammer as subsequently described. There
are also some large nuclei, such as those from the neighbourhood of
the Indus,[89] in Upper Scinde, and one which I possess from Ghlin, in
Belgium, which are suggestive of the same difficulty. In form they much
resemble the obsidian cores of Mexico, and it seems not improbable that
they are the result of some similar process of making flakes or knives
to that which was in use among the Aztecs.

Torquemada[90] thus describes the process he found in use:—“One of
these Indian workmen sits down upon the ground, and takes a piece of
this black stone” (obsidian) “about eight inches long or rather more,
and as thick as one’s leg or rather less, and cylindrical; they have
a stick as large as the shaft of a lance, and three cubits or rather
more in length; and at the end of it they fasten firmly another piece
of wood, eight inches long, to give more weight to this part; then,
pressing their naked feet together, they hold the stone as with a pair
of pincers or the vice of a carpenter’s bench. They take the stick
(which is cut off smooth at the end) with both hands, and set it well
home against the edge of the front of the stone (_y ponenlo avesar
con el canto de la frente de la piedra_), which also is cut smooth in
that part; and then they press it against their breast, and with the
force of the pressure there flies off a knife, with its point, and edge
on each side, as neatly as if one were to make them of a turnip with
a sharp knife, |24| or of iron in the fire.” Hernandez[91] gives a
similar account of the process, but compares the wooden instrument used
to a cross-bow, so that it would appear to have had a crutch-shaped
end to rest against the breast. So skilful were the Mexicans in the
manufacture of obsidian knives, that, according to Clavigero, a single
workman could produce a hundred per hour.

The short piece of heavy wood was probably cut from some of the
very hard trees of tropical growth. I much doubt whether any of
our indigenous trees produce wood sufficiently hard to be used for
splintering obsidian; and flint is, I believe, tougher and still more
difficult of fracture. We have, however, in this Mexican case, an
instance of the manufacture of flakes by sudden pressure, and of the
employment of a flaking tool, which could be carefully adjusted into
position before the pressure or blow was given to produce the flake.

Mr. G. E. Sellers, in the Smithsonian Report for 1885,[92] has
published some interesting “observations on stone chipping,” and from
the report of Mr. Catlin, who sojourned long among the Indians of North
America, gives sketches of crutch-like flaking tools tipped with walrus
tooth or bone which he had seen in use. He also describes a method of
making flint flakes by the pressure of a lever. The whole memoir is
worthy of study.

The subject of the manufacture of stone implements is also discussed
by[93] Sir Daniel Wilson in an essay on the Trade and Commerce of the
Stone Age.

There appears to have been another process in use in Central America,
for Mr. Tylor[94] heard on good authority that somewhere in Peru the
Indians still have a way of working obsidian by laying a bone wedge on
the surface of a piece and tapping it till the stone cracks. Catlin[95]
also describes the method of making flint arrow-heads among the Apaches
in Mexico as being of the same character. After breaking a boulder of
flint by means of a hammer formed of a rounded pebble of horn-stone
set in a handle made of a twisted withe, flakes are struck off, and
these are wrought into shape while held on the palm of the left hand,
by means of a punch made of the tooth of the sperm whale, held in the
right hand, and struck with a hard wooden mallet by an assistant. Both
holder and striker sing, and the strokes of the |25| mallet are given
in time with the music, the blow being sharp and _rebounding_, in
which the Indians say is the great medicine or principal knack of the

The Cloud River[96] Indians at the present day use a punch made of
deer’s-horn for striking off obsidian flakes from which to make

Such a process as this may well have been adopted in this country in
the manufacture of flint flakes; either bone or stag’s-horn sets or
punches, or else small and hard pebbles, may have been applied at the
proper spots upon the surface of the flints, and then been struck by
a stone or wooden mallet. I have tried some experiments with such
stone sets, and have succeeded in producing flakes in this manner,
having been first led to suppose that some such system was in use by
discovering, in the year 1864, some small quartz pebbles battered at
the ends, and associated with flint flakes and cores in an ancient
encampment at Little Solsbury Hill, near Bath, of which I have already
given an account elsewhere.[97] I am, however, inclined to think that
the use of such a punch or set was in any case the exception rather
than the rule; for with practice, and by making the blows only from
the elbow kept fixed against the body, and not with the whole arm, it
is extraordinary what precision of blow may be attained with merely a
pebble held in the hand as a hammer.

The flakes of chert from which the Eskimos manufacture their
arrow-heads are produced, according to Sir Edward Belcher,[98] who saw
the process, by slight taps with a hammer formed of a very stubborn
kind of jade or nephrite. He has kindly shown me one of these hammers,
which is oval in section, about 3 inches long and 2 inches broad, and
secured by a cord of sinew to a bone handle, against which it abuts.
The ends are nearly flat. This hammer is now in the Christy Collection
at the British Museum and is figured by Ratzel.[99] Another from
Alaska,[100] and several such hammers made of basalt from the Queen
Charlotte Islands,[101] have also been figured. It seems doubtful
whether the proper use of these hammers was not for crushing bones.[102]

Among the natives of North Australia a totally different method |26|
appears to have been adopted, the flakes being struck off the stone
which is used as a hammer, and not off the block which is struck. In
the exploring expedition, under Mr. A. G. Gregory, in 1855–6, the party
came on an open space between the cliffs along one of the tributary
streams of the Victoria River, where the ground was thickly strewn with
fragments of various stones and imperfectly-formed weapons. The method
of formation of the weapons, according to Mr. Baines,[103] was this,
“The native having chosen a pebble of agate, flint, or other suitable
stone, perhaps as large as an ostrich egg, sits down before a larger
block, on which he strikes it so as to detach from the end a piece,
leaving a flattened base for his subsequent operations. Then, holding
the pebble with its base downwards, he again strikes so as to split
off a piece as thin and broad as possible, tapering upward in an oval
or leaf-like form, and sharp and thin at the edges. His next object
is to strike off another piece nearly similar, so close as to leave a
projecting angle on the stone, as sharp, straight, and perpendicular
as possible. Then, again taking the pebble carefully in his hand, he
aims the decisive blow, which, if he is successful, splits off another
piece with the angle running straight up its centre as a midrib, and
the two edges sharp, clear, and equal, spreading slightly from the
base, and again narrowing till they meet the midrib in a keen and taper
point. If he has done this well, he possesses a perfect weapon, but at
least three chips must have been formed in making it, and it seemed
highly probable, from the number of imperfect heads that lay about,
that the failures far outnumbered the successful results. In the making
of tomahawks or axes, in which a darker green stone is generally used,
great numbers of failures must ensue; and in these another operation
seemed necessary, for we saw upon the rocks several places were they
had been ground, with a great expenditure of labour, to a smooth round

In the manufacture of flint flakes, whether they were to serve as
knives or lance-heads without any more preparation, or whether they
were to be subjected to further manipulation, so as eventually to
become arrow-heads, scrapers, or any other of the more finished
implements, the form of the nucleus from which they were struck was
usually a matter of no great importance, the chips or flakes being
the object of the operator and not the resulting core, which was in
most cases thrown away as worthless. But where very long |27| flakes
were desired, it became a matter of importance to produce nuclei of a
particular form, specially adapted for the purpose. I have never met
with any such nuclei in England, but the well-known _livres-de-beurre_
chiefly found in the neighbourhood of Pressigny-le-grand (Indre et
Loire), France, are typical instances of the kind. I have precisely
similar specimens, though on a rather smaller scale, and of a somewhat
different kind of flint, from Spiennes, near Mons, in Belgium; and
a few nuclei of the same form have also been found in Denmark. The
occurrence of flints wrought into the same shape, at places so far
apart, might at first appear to countenance the view of this peculiar
form being that of an implement intended for some special purpose,
and not merely a refuse block. This, however, is not the case. I have
treated of this question elsewhere,[104] but it will be well here to
repeat a portion, at least, of what I have before written on this point.

These large nuclei or _livres-de-beurre_ are blocks of flint, usually
10 or 12 inches long and 3 to 4 inches wide in the broadest part, the
thickness being in most cases less than the width. In general outline
they may be described as boat-shaped, being square at one end and
brought to a point—more or less finished—at the other. The outline
has been given by striking a succession of flakes from the sides of a
mass of flint, until the boat-like contour has been obtained, with the
sides slightly converging towards the keel, and then the upper surface
corresponding to the deck of the boat has been chipped into form by a
succession of blows administered at right angles to the first, and in
such a manner that the deck, as originally formed, was convex instead
of flat. After this convex surface was formed, one, two, or even more
long flakes were dislodged along its whole length, or nearly so, by
blows administered at the part represented by the stern of the boat,
thus leaving one or more channels along what corresponds to the deck.
In rare instances, these long flakes have not been removed, in others
of more frequent occurrence, one of the flakes has broken off short
before attaining its full length.

Strange as this boat-shaped form may at the outset appear, yet on a
little consideration it will be seen that the chipping into such a
form is in fact one of the necessities of the case for the production
of long blades of flint. Where flakes only 3 or 4 inches long are
required, the operator may readily, with his hammer, strike off from
the outside of his block of flint a succession of chips, so as to |28|
give it a polygonal outline, the projections of which will serve for
the central ridges or back-bones of the first series of regular flakes
that he strikes off. The removal of this first series of flakes leaves
a number of projecting ridges, which serve as guides for the formation
of a second series of flakes, and so on until the block is used up.

But where a flake 10 or 12 inches in length is required, a different
process becomes necessary. For it is nearly impossible with a rough
mass of flint, to produce by single blows plane surfaces 10 or 12
inches in length, and arranged at such an angle as to produce a
straight ridge, such as would serve to form the back-bone, as it were,
of a long flake; and without such a back-bone, the production of a
long flake is impossible. It is indeed this ridge (which need not,
of course, be angular, but may be more or less rounded or polygonal)
that regulates the course of the fissure by which the flake is
dislodged from the matrix or parent flint; there being a slight degree
of elasticity in the stone, which enables a fissure once properly
commenced in a homogeneous flint to proceed at right angles to the
line of least resistance in the dislodged flake, while at the same
time exerting a nearly uniform strain, so that the inner surface of
the flake becomes nearly parallel to the outer ridge. It was to obtain
this outer ridge that the Pressigny cores were chipped into the form
in which we find them; and it appears as if the workmen who fashioned
them adopted the readiest means of obtaining the desired result of
producing along the block of flint a central ridge whenever it became
necessary, until the block was so much reduced in size as to be no
longer serviceable. For, the process of chipping the block into the
boat-like form could be repeated from time to time, until it became too
small for further use. The same process of cross-chipping was practised
in Scandinavia in early times, and the obsidian cores from the Greek
island of Melos, Crete, and other ancient Greek sites prove that it was
also known there. The blocks are found in various stages, rarely with
the central ridge still left on, as Fig. 3, and more commonly with one
or more long flakes removed from them, like Figs. 4 and 5. The sections
of each block are shown beneath them. Two of the flakes are represented
in Figs. 6 and 7. All the figures are on the scale of one-half linear

The causes why the nuclei were rejected as useless are still
susceptible of being traced. In some cases they had become so thin that
they would not bear re-shaping; in others a want of |29| uniformity in
the texture of the flint, probably caused by some included organism,
had made its appearance, and caused the flakes to break off short of
their proper length, or had even made it useless to attempt to strike
them off. In some rare instances, when the striking off long flakes
had proved unsuccessful on the one face, the attempt has been made to
procure them from the other. The abundance of large masses of flint
near Pressigny—some as much as two or three feet across—has, however,
rendered the workmen rather prodigal of their materials. The skill
which has been brought to bear in the manufacture of these long flakes
is marvellous, as the utmost precision is required in giving the blow
by which they are produced. Generally speaking, the projecting ridge
left at the butt-end of the nucleus between the depressions, whence
two of the short flakes have been struck off in chipping it square,
has been selected as the point of impact. They appear to me to have
been struck off by a free blow, and not by the intervention of a set
or punch. No doubt the face of the flint at the time of the blow being
struck was supported on some elastic body. A few flints which bear
marks of having been used as hammer-stones are found at Pressigny. |30|

[Illustration: Fig. 3.—Nucleus—Pressigny. 1∕2]

[Illustration: Fig. 4, Fig. 5; Nuclei—Pressigny. 1∕2]

An interesting lecture on the Flint Industry of Touraine was given on
the occasion of the annual meeting of the Société Archéologique de
Touraine, in 1891, by M. J. de Saint-Venant. |31|

[Illustration: Fig. 6.—Flake—Pressigny. 1∕2]

[Illustration: Fig. 7.—Flake—Pressigny. 1∕2]

I have hitherto been treating of the production of flint flakes for
various purposes. In such cases the flakes are everything, and the
resulting core, or nucleus, mere refuse. In the manufacture of celts,
or hatchets, the reverse is the case, the flakes are the refuse
(though, of course, they might occasionally be utilized) and the
resulting block is the main object sought. To produce this, however,
much the same process appears to have been adopted, at all events
where flint was the material employed. The hatchets seem to have been
rough-hewn by detaching a succession of flakes, chips, or splinters,
from a block of flint, by means of a hammer-stone, and these rough-hewn
implements were subsequently worked into a more finished form by
detaching smaller splinters, also probably by means of a hammer,
previously to their being ground or polished, if they were destined to
be finished in such a manner. In most cases, one face of the hatchet
was first roughed out, and then by a series of blows, given at proper
intervals, along the margin of that face the general shape was given
and the other face chipped out. This is proved by the fact that in most
of the |32| roughly-chipped hatchets found in Britain, the depressions
of the bulbs of percussion of the flakes struck off occur in a perfect
state only on one face, having been partly removed on the other face
by the subsequent chipping. There are, however, exceptions to this
rule, and more especially among the implements found in our ancient
river gravels. In some cases (see _postea_, Fig. 12) the cutting edge
has been formed by the intersection of two convex lines of fracture
giving a curved and sharp outline, and the body of the hatchet has
been subsequently made to suit the edge. The same is the case with
the hatchets from the Danish kjökken-möddings and coast-finds, though
the intersecting facets are at a higher angle, and the resulting edge
straighter, than in the specimens which I have mentioned. The edge is
also, like that of a mortising chisel, at the extremity of a flat face,
and not in the centre of the blade. The cutting edge has, however, in
most of the so-called celts of the ordinary form, been fashioned by
chipping subsequent to the roughing out of the hatchet; and even in
the case of polished hatchets, the edge when damaged was frequently
re-chipped into form before being ground afresh.

There hardly appears to be sufficient cause for believing that any of
the stone hatchets found in this country were chipped out by any other
means than by direct blows of a hammer; but in the case of the Danish
axes with square sides, and with their corners as neatly crimped or
puckered as if they had been made of pieces of leather sewn together,
it is probable that this neat finish was produced by the use of some
kind of punch or set. The hammer-stones used in the manufacture of
flint hatchets appear to have been usually quartzite pebbles, where
such are readily to be obtained, but also frequently to have been
themselves mere blocks of flint. Many such hammer-stones of flint
occurred in the Cissbury pits[105]—of which more hereafter—and I have
found similar hammer-stones on the Sussex Downs, near Eastbourne, where
also flint implements of various kinds appear to have been manufactured
in quantities. Not improbably, these hammers were made of flints which
had been for some time exposed on the surface, and which were in
consequence harder than the flints recently dug from the pits. We have
already seen that the gun-flint knappers of the present day are said
to work most successfully on blocks of flint recently extracted, and
those, too, from a particular layer in |33| the chalk; and it seems
probable that the ancient flint-workers were also acquainted with the
advantages of using the flints fresh from the quarry, and worked them
into shape at the pits from which they were dug, not only on account
of the saving in transport of the partly-manufactured articles, but
on account of the greater facility of working the freshly-extracted
flints. This working the flints upon the spot is conclusively shown by
the examination of the old flint-quarry at Cissbury, Sussex, by General
Pitt Rivers (then Colonel A. Lane-Fox) and others. A very large number
of hatchets, more or less perfectly chipped out, were there found, as
will subsequently be mentioned. That they were in some cases at great
pains to procure flint of the proper quality for being chipped into
form, and were not content with blocks and nodules, such as might be
found on the surface, is proved by the interesting explorations at
Grime’s Graves, near Brandon, carried on by Canon Greenwell, F.R.S.[106]

In a wood at this spot, the whole surface of the ground is studded
with shallow bowl-shaped depressions from 20 to 60 feet in diameter,
sometimes running into each other so as to form irregularly shaped
hollows. They are over 250 in number, and one selected for exploration
was about 28 feet in diameter at the mouth, gradually narrowing to
12 feet at the bottom, which proved to be 39 feet below the surface.
Through the first 13 feet it had been cut through sand, below which
the chalk was reached, and after passing through one layer of flint
of inferior quality, which was not quarried beyond the limits of the
shaft, the layer known as the “floor-stone,” from which gun-flints
are manufactured at the present day, was met with at the bottom of
the shaft. To procure this, various horizontal galleries about 3 feet
6 inches in height were driven into the chalk. The excavations had
been made by means of picks formed from the antlers of the red-deer,
of which about 80 were found. The points are worn by use, and the
thick bases of the horns battered by having been used as hammers, for
breaking off portions of the chalk and also of the nodules of flint.
Where they had been grasped by the hand the surface is polished by
use, and on some there was a coating of chalky matter adhering, on
which was still distinctly visible the impression of the cuticle of the
old flint-workers. The marks of the picks and hammers were as fresh
on the walls of the galleries as if made but yesterday. |34| It is
to be observed that such picks as these formed of stag’s horn have
been found in various other places, but have not had proper attention
called to their character. I have seen one from the neighbourhood
of Ipswich,[107] Suffolk. Canon Greenwell mentions somewhat similar
discoveries having been made at Eaton and Buckenham, Norfolk. One was
also found by him in a grave under a barrow he examined at Rudstone,
near Bridlington,[108] and others occurred near Weaverthorpe and
Sherburn. A polished hatchet of basalt had also been used at Grime’s
Graves as one of the tools for excavation, and the marks of its cutting
edge were plentiful in the gallery in which it was discovered. There
were also found some rudely-made cups of chalk apparently intended
for lamps; a bone pin or awl; and, what is very remarkable, a rounded
piece of bone 4 1∕2 inches long and 1 inch in circumference, rubbed
smooth, and showing signs of use at the ends, which, as Canon Greenwell
suggests, may have been a punch or instrument for taking off the lesser
flakes of flint in making arrow-heads and other small articles. It
somewhat resembles the pin of reindeer horn in the Eskimo arrow-flaker,
shortly to be mentioned. The shaft had been filled in with rubble,
apparently from neighbouring pits, and in it were numerous chippings
and cores of flint, and several quartzite and other pebbles battered at
the ends by having been used as hammers for chipping the flints. Some
large rounded cores of flint exhibited similar signs of use. On the
surface of the fields around, numerous chippings of flint, and more or
less perfect implements, such as celts, scrapers, and borers were found.

At Spiennes (near Mons, in Belgium), where a very similar manufacture
but on a larger scale than that of Cissbury or even of Grime’s Graves,
appears to have been carried on, flints seem to have been dug in the
same manner. Since I visited the spot, now many years ago, a railway
cutting has traversed a portion of the district where the manufacture
existed, and exposed a series of excavations evidently intended for
the extraction of flint. Mons. A. Houzeau de Lehaie, of Hyon, near
Mons, has most obligingly furnished me with some particulars of
these subterranean works, a detailed account of which has also been
published.[109] From this |35| account it appears that shafts from
3 feet to 3 feet 6 inches in diameter were sunk through the loam and
sand above the chalk to a depth of 30 or even 40 feet; and from the
bottom of the shafts lateral galleries were worked, from 5 to 6 feet in
height and about the same in width. Stag’s horns which had been used
as hammers, were found in the galleries, but it is doubtful whether
they had been used as pick-axes like those in Grime’s Graves. Among
the rubble in the galleries, as well as on the surface of the ground
above, were found roughly-chipped flints and splinters, and more or
less rudely-shaped hatchets by thousands. There is one peculiar feature
among these hatchets which I have not noticed to the same extent
elsewhere, viz., that many of them are made from the nuclei or cores
which, in the first instance, had subserved to the manufacture of long
flint flakes, the furrows left by which appear on one of the faces of
the hatchets. Sometimes, though rarely, the Pressigny nuclei have been
utilized in a similar manner.

In France, pits for the extraction of flint have been discovered
at Champignolles, Sérifontaine (Oise)[110] and at Mur de Barrez

Professor J. Buckman[112] has recorded a manufactory of celts and other
flint instruments near Lyme Regis.

In these instances, especially at Cissbury and Grime’s Graves in
England, and at Pressigny and Spiennes on the Continent, and, indeed,
at other places also,[113] there appears to have been an organized
manufactory of flint instruments by settled occupants of the different
spots; and it seems probable that the products were bartered away to
those who were less favoured in their supply of the raw material,
flint. At Old Deer,[114] Aberdeenshire, thirty-four leaf-shaped flints,
roughly blocked out, were found together.

The chipping out of celts and some other tools formed, not of flint,
but of other hard rocks, must have been effected in the same manner.
The stone employed is almost always of a more or less silicious nature,
and such as breaks with a conchoidal fracture. |36|

Dr. F. A. Forel[115] chipped out a hatchet of euphotide or gabbro with
a hammer formed of a fragment of saussurite. The process occupied an
hour and ten minutes, and the subsequent grinding three hours more. He
made and ground to an edge a rude hatchet of serpentine in thirty-five

To return, however, to the manufacture of the flint implements of this
country, and more especially to those which are merely flakes submitted
to a secondary process of chipping. We have seen that in the gun-flint
manufacture the flakes are finally shaped by means of a knapping or
trimming hammer and a fixed chisel, which act one against the other,
somewhat like the two blades of a pair of shears, and the process
adopted by the ancient flint-workers for many purposes must have been
to some extent analogous, though it can hardly have been precisely
similar. One of the most common forms of flint implements is that to
which the name of “scraper” or “thumb-flint” has been given, and which
is found in abundance on the Yorkshire Wolds, on the Downs of Sussex,
and in many other parts of England and Scotland. The normal form is
that of a broad flake chipped to a semicircular edge, usually at the
end farthest from the bulb of percussion, the edge being bevelled
away from the flat face of the flake, like that of a round-nosed
turning-chisel. The name of “scraper” or “_grattoir_,” has been given
to these worked flints from their similarity to an instrument in use
among the Eskimos[116] for scraping the insides of hides in the course
of their preparation; but I need not here enter upon the question of
the purpose for which these ancient instruments were used, as we are at
present concerned only with the method of their manufacture. I am not
aware of any evidence existing as to the method pursued by the Eskimos
in the chipping out of their scraping tools: but I think that if, at
the present time, we are able to produce flint tools precisely similar
to the ancient “scrapers” by the most simple means possible, and
without the aid of any metallic appliances, there is every probability
that identically the same means were employed of old. Now, I have found
by experiment that, taking a flake of flint (made, I may remark, with
a stone hammer, consisting of a flint or quartzite pebble held in the
hand), and placing it, with the flat face upwards, on a smooth block of
stone, I can, by successive blows of the pebble, chip the end of the
flake without any difficulty into the desired form. The face of the
stone hammer is brought to |37| bear a slight distance only within
the margin of the flake, and, however sharp the blow administered, the
smooth block of stone on which the flake is placed, and which of course
projects beyond it, acts as a stop to prevent the hammer being carried
forward so as to injure the form, and brings it up sharply, directly it
has done its work of striking off a splinter from the end of the flake.
The upper face of the flake remains quite uninjured, and, strange as
it may appear, there is no difficulty in producing the evenly circular
edge of the scraper by successive blows of the convex pebble.

Some of the other ancient tools and weapons, having one flat face,
seem to have been fashioned in much the same manner. In the case of
arrow-heads and lance-heads, however, another process would appear to
have been adopted. It is true that we know not exactly how

       “the ancient arrow-maker
 Made his arrow-heads of sandstone,
 Arrow-heads of chalcedony,
 Arrow-heads of flint and jasper,
 Smooth and sharpened at the edges,
 Hard and polished, keen and costly.”

And yet the process of making such arrow-heads is carried on at the
present day by various half-civilized peoples, and has been witnessed
by many Europeans, though but few have accurately recorded their
observations. Sir Edward Belcher[117] who had seen obsidian arrow-heads
made by the Indians of California, and those of chert or flint by the
Eskimos of Cape Lisburne, states that the mode pursued in each case
was exactly similar. The instrument employed among the Eskimos, which
may be termed an “arrow-flaker,” usually consists of a handle formed
of fossil ivory, curved at one end for the purpose of being firmly
held, and having at the other end a slit, like that for the lead in
our pencils, in which is placed a slip of the point of the horn of a
reindeer, which is found to be harder and more stubborn than ivory.
This is secured in its place by a strong thong of leather or plaited
sinew, put on wet, which on drying becomes very rigid. A representation
of one of these instruments, in the Blackmore Museum at Salisbury, is
given in Fig. 8. Another in the Christy Collection[118] is shown in
Fig. 9. Another form of |38| instrument of this kind, but in which
the piece of horn is mounted in a wooden handle, is shown in Fig. 10,
from an original in the same collection from Kotzebue Gulf. The bench
on which the arrow-heads are made is said to consist of a log of wood,
in which a spoon-shaped cavity is cut; over this the flake of chert
is placed, and then, by pressing the “arrow-flaker” gently along the
margin vertically, first on one side and then on the other, as one
would set a saw, alternate fragments are splintered off until the
object thus properly outlined presents the spear or arrow-head form,
with two cutting serrated sides. |39|

[Illustration: Fig. 8.—Eskimo Arrow-flaker. 1∕2]

[Illustration: Fig. 9.—Eskimo Arrow-flaker. 1∕2]

[Illustration: Fig. 10.—Eskimo Arrow-flaker. 1∕2]

Sir Edward Belcher some years ago kindly explained the process to me,
and showed me both the implements used, and the objects manufactured.
It appears that the flake from which the arrow-head is to be made is
sometimes fixed by means of a cord in a split piece of wood so as to
hold it firmly, and that all the large surface flaking is produced
either by blows direct from the hammer, or through an intermediate
punch or set formed of reindeer horn. The arrow-or harpoon-head
thus roughly chipped out is afterwards finished by means of the

The process in use at the present day among the Indians of Mexico in
making their arrows is described in a somewhat different manner by
Signor Craveri, who lived sixteen years in Mexico, and who gave the
account to Mr. C. H. Chambers.[119] He relates that when the Indians
wish to make an arrow-head or other instrument of a piece of obsidian,
they take the piece in the left hand, and hold grasped in the other
a small goat’s horn; they set the piece of stone upon the horn, and
dexterously pressing it against the point of it, while they give the
horn a gentle movement from right to left, and up and down, they
disengage from it frequent chips, and in this way obtain the desired
form. M. F. de Pourtalès[120] speaks of a small notch in the end of
the bone into which the edge of the flake is inserted, and a chip
broken off from it by a sideways blow. Mr. T. R. Peale[121] describes
the manufacture of arrow-heads among the Shasta and North California
Indians, as being effected by means of a notched horn, as a glazier
chips glass. This has also been fully described and illustrated by
Mr. Paul Schumacher[122] of San Francisco. Major Powell confirms this

The Cloud River Indians[123] and the Fuegians,[124] also fashion their
arrow-heads by pressure. Mr. Cushing[125] has described the process and
claims to be the first civilized man who flaked an arrow-head with horn
tools. This was in 1875. I had already done so and had described the
method at the Norwich Congress in 1868.

The late Mr. Christy,[126] in a paper on the Cave-dwellers of |40|
Southern France, gave an account, furnished to him by Sir Charles
Lyell, of the process of making stone arrow-heads by the Shasta Indians
of California who still commonly use them, which slightly differs from
that of Mr. Peale. This account by Mr. Caleb Lyon runs as follows:—“The
Indian seated himself upon the floor, and, laying the stone anvil
upon his knee, with one blow of his agate chisel he separated the
obsidian pebble into two parts, then giving a blow to the fractured
side he split off a slab a quarter of an inch in thickness. Holding
the piece against his anvil with the thumb and finger of his left
hand, he commenced a series of continuous blows, every one of which
chipped off fragments of the brittle substance. It gradually seemed to
acquire shape. After finishing the base of the arrow-head (the whole
being little over an inch in length), he began striking gentle blows,
every one of which I expected would break it in pieces. Yet such was
his adroit application, his skill and dexterity, that in little over
an hour he produced a perfect obsidian arrow-head. . . . . No sculptor
ever handled a chisel with greater precision, or more carefully
measured the weight and effect of every blow than did this ingenious
Indian; for even among them, arrow-making is a distinct profession,
in which few attain excellence.” Dr. Rau[127] has, however, pointed
out that this account of the manufacture requires confirmation; but
Mr. Wyeth[128] states that the Indians on the Snake River form their
arrow-heads of obsidian by laying one edge of the flake on a hard
stone, and striking the other edge with another hard stone; and that
many are broken when nearly finished and are thrown away.

Captain John Smith,[129] writing in 1606 of the Indians of Virginia,
says, “His arrow-head he maketh quickly with a little bone, which he
ever weareth at his bracert,[130] of any splint of stone or glasse in
the form of a heart, and these they glew to the end of their arrowes.
With the sinewes of deer and the tops of deers’ horns boiled to a
jelly, they make a glue which will not dissolve in cold water.”

Beyond the pin of bone already mentioned, as having been found in
one of the pits at Grime’s Graves, I am not aware of any bone or
horn implements of precisely this character, having |41| been as
yet discovered in Europe; but hammers of stag’s horn and detached
tines have frequently been found in connection with worked flints,
and may have served in their manufacture. I have, moreover, remarked
among the worked flints discovered in this country, and especially
in Yorkshire, a number of small tools, the ends of which present a
blunted, worn, and rounded appearance, as if from attrition against
a hard substance. These tools are usually from 2 to 4 inches long,
and made from large thick flakes, with the cutting edges removed by
chipping; but occasionally, they are carefully finished implements of a
pointed oval or a subtriangular section, and sometimes slightly curved
longitudinally. Of these, illustrations will be given at a subsequent
page. They are usually well adapted for being held in the hand, and I
cannot but think that we have in them some of the tools which were used
in the preparation of flint arrow-heads and other small instruments.
I have tried the experiment with a large flake of flint used as the
arrow-flaker, both unmounted and mounted in a wooden handle, and have
succeeded in producing with it very passable imitations of ancient
arrow-heads, both leaf-shaped and barbed. The flake of flint on which I
have operated has been placed against a stop on a flat piece of wood,
and when necessary to raise the edge of the flake I have placed a small
blocking piece, also of wood, underneath it, and then by pressure of
the arrow-flaker upon the edge of the flake, have detached successive
splinters until I have reduced it into form. If the tool consists of
a rather square-ended flake, one corner may rest upon the table of
wood, and the pressure be given by a rocking action, bringing the
other corner down upon the flake. In cutting the notches in barbed
arrow-heads, this was probably the plan adopted, as I was surprised
to find how easily this seemingly difficult part of the process was
effected. Serration of the edges may be produced by the same means.

The edges of the arrow-heads made entirely with these flint
arrow-flakers are, however, more obtuse and rounded than those of
ancient specimens, so that probably these flint tools were used rather
for removing slight irregularities in the form than for the main
chipping out. This latter process, I find experimentally, can be best
performed by means of a piece of stag’s horn, used much in the same way
as practised by the Eskimos. By supporting the flake of flint which is
to be converted into an arrow-head against a wooden stop, and pressing
the horn against the edge of the |42| flake, the flint enters slightly
into the body of the horn; then bringing the pressure to bear sideways,
minute splinters can be detached, and the arrow-head formed by degrees
in this manner without much risk of breaking. Not only can the
leaf-shaped forms be produced, but the barbed arrow-heads, both with
and without the central stem. The leaf-shaped arrow-heads are, however,
the most easy to manufacture, and this simple form was probably that
earliest in use. The counterfeit arrow-heads made by the notorious
Flint Jack are of rude work, and were probably made with a light hammer
of iron. Of late years (1895) a far more skilful workman at Mildenhall
has produced imitations which can hardly be distinguished from genuine
arrow-heads. He keeps his process of manufacture secret.

Among many tribes[131] of America, arrow-making is said to have been
a trade confined to a certain class, who possessed the traditional
knowledge of the process of manufacture; and it can hardly be expected
that a mere novice like myself should be able at once to attain the
art. I may, therefore, freely confess that, though by the use of stag’s
horn the ordinary surface-chipping characteristic of ancient implements
may be obtained, yet the method of producing the even fluting, like
ripple-marks, by detaching parallel splinters uniform in size, and
extending almost across the surface of a lance- or arrow-head is at
present a mystery to me; as is also the method by which the delicate
ornamentation on the handles of Danish flint daggers was produced. It
seems, however, possible that by pressing the flint to be operated
upon on some close-fitting elastic body at the time of removing the
minute flakes, the line of fracture may be carried along a considerable
distance over the surface of the flint, before coming to an end by
reason of the dislodged flake breaking off or terminating. It is also
possible that the minute and elegant ornaments may have been produced
by the use of a pointed tooth of some animal as a punch. Mr. F. C.
J. Spurrell,[132] in an interesting article, has suggested that the
final flaking was effected after the blades had been ground to a
smooth surface, in the same manner as the flaking on some of the most
symmetrical Egyptian blades. His view appears to be correct, at all
events so far as certain parts of some Danish blades are concerned.
It seems, however, very doubtful whether any such general practice
prevailed. I have seen a delicate lance-head |43| 6 inches long, of
triangular section, with the broad face polished and the two other
faces exquisitely fluted. In this case also the faces may have been
ground before fluting. This blade was found in a cavern at Sourdes, in
the Landes, and was in the collection of M. Chaplain-Duparc.

With regard to the process of grinding or polishing flint and other
stone implements not much need be said. I may, however, refer the
reader to Wilde’s Catalogue[133] of the Museum of the Royal Irish
Academy, for an account of the different processes. In all cases the
grindstone on which they were polished was fixed and not rotatory, and
in nearly all cases the striæ running along the stone hatchets are
longitudinal, thus proving that they were rubbed lengthways and not
crossways on the grinding-bed. This is a criterion of some service in
detecting modern forgeries. The grinding-stones met with in Denmark
and Scandinavia are generally of compact sandstone or quartzite, and
are usually of two forms—flat slabs, often worn hollow by use, and
polygonal prisms smallest in the middle, these latter having frequently
hollow facets in which gouges or the more convex-faced hatchets might
be ground, and sometimes rounded ridges such as would grind the hollow
part of gouges. From the coarse striation on the body of most flint
hatchets, especially the large ones, it would appear that they were
not ground immediately on such fine-grained stones, but that some
coarse and hard grit must have been used to assist the action of the
grindstone. M. Morlot[134] thought that some mechanical pressure was
also used to aid in the operation, and that the hatchet to be ground
was weighted in some manner, possibly by means of a lever. In grinding
and polishing the hollowed faces of different forms of stone axes, it
would appear that certain rubbers formed of stone were used, probably
in conjunction with sand. These will be more particularly described
in a subsequent page. The surface of hard rocks or of large boulders
fixed in the ground was often used for the purpose of grinding stone
implements. Instances will be given hereafter.

Closely allied to the process of grinding is that of sawing
stone. It is however rarely, if ever, that in this country any
of the stone implements show signs of having been reduced into
shape by this process. Among the small hatchets in fibrolite, so
common in the Auvergne and in the south of France, and among the
greenstone, and especially the nephrite celts found in the |44| Swiss
Pfahlbauten,[135] many show evident traces of having been partially
fashioned by means of sawing. I have also remarked it on a specimen
from Portugal, and on many fibrolite hatchets from Spain.[136] Dr.
Keller has noticed the process, and suggests that the incisions on the
flat surface of the stone chosen for the purpose of being converted
into a celt were made sometimes on one side, and sometimes on both, by
means of a sharp saw-like tool. He has since[137] gone more deeply into
the question, and has suggested that the stone to be sawn was placed
on the ground near a tree, and then sawn by means of a splinter of
flint fixed in the end of a staff, which at its other end was forked,
and as it were hinged under one of the boughs of the tree sufficiently
flexible to give pressure to the flint when a weight was suspended from
it. The staff was, he supposed, to have been grasped in the hand, and
moved backwards and forwards while water was applied to the flint to
facilitate the sawing. The objection to this suggestion is, that in
case of the flint being brought to the edge of the stone it would be
liable to be driven into the ground by the weight on the bough, and
thus constantly hinder the operation; nevertheless some such mechanical
aids in sawing may have been in use.

M. Troyon[138] considered that the blade of flint was used in
connection with sand as well as water. This latter view appears, at
first sight, far more probable, as the sawing instrument has in some
instances cut nearly 3∕4 of an inch into the stone, which, it would
seem, could hardly have been accomplished with a simple flint saw; and
the sides of the saw-kerf or notch show, moreover, parallel striæ,
as if resulting from the use of sand. The objection that at first
occurred to my mind against regarding the sawing instrument as having
been of flint was of a negative character only, and arose from my not
having seen in any of the Swiss collections any flint flakes that had
indisputably been used for sawing by means of sand. At one time I
fancied, from the character of the bottom and sides of the notches,
that a string stretched like that of a bow might have been used with
sand in the manner in which, according to Oviedo,[139] the American
Indians sawed in two their iron fetters, and I succeeded in cutting
off the |45| end of an ancient Swiss hatchet of hard steatite by this
means. I found, however, that the bottom of the kerf thus formed was
convex longitudinally, whereas in the ancient examples it was slightly
concave. It is therefore evident that whatever was used as the saw must
have been of a comparatively unyielding nature, and probably shorter
than the pebble or block of stone it was used to saw, for even the iron
blades used in conjunction with sand and water by modern masons become
concave by wear, and, therefore, the bottom of the kerf they produce
is convex longitudinally. I accordingly made some further experiments,
and this time upon a fragment of a greenstone celt of such hardness
that it would readily scratch window-glass. I found, however, that
with a flint flake I was able to work a groove along it, and that
whether I used sand or no, my progress was equally certain, though it
must be confessed, very slow. I am indeed doubtful whether the flint
did not produce most effect without the sand, as the latter to become
effective requires a softer body in which it may become embedded; while
by working with the points and projections in the slightly notched
edge of the flake, its scratching action soon discoloured the water in
the notch. What was most remarkable, and served in a great measure to
discredit the negative evidence to which I before referred, was that
the edges of the flake when not used with sand showed but slight traces
of wear or polish.

On the whole, I am inclined to think that both the Swiss antiquaries
are in the right, and that the blocks of stone were sawn both with
and without sand, by means of flint flakes, but principally of strips
of wood and bone used in conjunction with sand.[140] The reader may
consult Munro’s Lake-Dwellings, 1890, p. 505.

Professor Flinders Petrie, in addition to the flint implements of the
“New Race,” which he discovered near Abydos, found a number of stone
implements at Kahun, and Mr. F. C. J. Spurrell has contributed to
his[141] book an interesting chapter on their character and the method
of their manufacture.

Most of the jade implements from New Zealand and N.W. America have
been partially shaped by sawing, and in the British Museum is a large
block of jade from the former country deeply grooved by sawing, and
almost ready to be split, so as to be of the |46| right thickness for a
_mere_. The natives[142] use stone hammers for chipping, flakes of trap
or of some other hard rock for sawing, and blocks of sandstone and a
micaceous rock for grinding and polishing. Obsidian is said to be used
for boring jade. I have a flat piece of jade, apparently part of a thin
hatchet, on one face of which two notches have been sawn converging at
an angle of 135° and marking out what when detached and ground would
have formed a curved ear-ring. It was given me by the late Mr. H. N.
Moseley, who brought it from New Zealand.

There is another peculiarity to be seen in some of the greenstone
hatchets and perforated axes, of which perhaps the most characteristic
examples occur in Switzerland, though the same may occasionally be
observed in British specimens. It is that the blocks of stone have
been reduced into form, not only by chipping with a hammer, as is the
case with flint hatchets, but by working upon the surface with some
sort of pick or chisel, which was not improbably formed of flint.
In some instances, where the hatchets were intended for insertion
into sockets of stag’s horn or other materials, their butt-end was
purposely roughened by means of a pick after the whole surface had been
polished. Instances of this roughening are common in Switzerland, rare
in France, and rarer still in England. The greenstone hatchet found
in a gravel-pit near Malton[143] (Fig. 81) has its butt-end roughened
in this manner. The shaft-holes in some few perforated axes appear
to have been worked out by means of such picks or chisels, the hole
having been bored from opposite sides of the axe, and generally with a
gradually decreasing diameter. In some rare instances the perforation
is oval. The cup, or funnel-shaped depressions, in some hammer-stones
seem to have been made in a similar manner. The inner surface of
the shaft holes in perforated axes is also frequently ground, and
occasionally polished. This has in most cases been effected by turning
a cylindrical grinder within the hole; though in some few instances the
grinding instrument has been rubbed backwards and forwards in the hole
after the manner of a file. M. Franck de Truguet,[144] of Treytel, in
Switzerland, thinks he has found in a lake-dwelling an instrument used
for finishing and enlarging the holes. It is a fragment of sandstone
about 2 1∕2 inches long, and rounded on one face, which is worn by

But, besides the mode of chipping out the shaft-hole in |47|
perforated implements, several other methods were employed, especially
in the days when the use of bronze was known, to which period most of
the highly-finished perforated axes found in this country are to be
referred. In some cases it would appear that, after chipping out a
recess so as to form a guide for the boring tool, the perforation was
effected by giving a rotatory motion, either constant or intermittent,
to the tool. I have, indeed, seen some specimens in which, from the
marks visible in the hole, I am inclined to think a metallic drill
was used. But whether, where metal was not employed, and no central
core, as subsequently mentioned, was left in the hole, the boring tool
was of flint, and acted like a drill, or whether it was a round stone
used in conjunction with sand, as suggested by the late Sir Daniel
Wilson[145] and Sir W. Wilde,[146] so that the hole was actually ground
away, it is impossible to say. I have never seen any flint tools that
could unhesitatingly be referred to this use; but Herr Grewingk, in
his “Steinalter der Ostseeprovinzen,”[147] mentions several implements
in the form of truncated cones, which he regards as boring-tools
(_Bohrstempel_), used for perforating stone axes and hammers. He
suggests the employment of a drill-bow to make them revolve, and thinks
that, in some cases, the boring tools were fixed, and the axe itself
caused to revolve. Not having seen the specimens, I cannot pronounce
upon them; but the fact that several of these conical pieces show
signs of fracture at the base, and that they are all of the same kinds
of stone (diorite, augite, porphyry, and syenite) as those of which
the stone axes of the district are made, is suggestive of their being
merely the cores, resulting from boring with a tube, in the manner
about to be described, in some cases from each face of the axe, and in
others where the base of the cone is smooth, from one face only. One of
these central cores found in Lithuania is figured by Mortillet,[148]
and is regarded by him as being probably the result of boring by means
of a metal tube; others, from Switzerland, presumably of the Stone Age,
are cited by Keller.[149] Bellucci[150] thinks that he has found them
in Northern Italy.

Worsaae[151] has suggested that in early times the boring may have
been effected with a pointed stick and sand and water; and, |48|
indeed, if any grinding process was used, it is a question whether some
softer substance, such as wood, in which the sand or abrasive material
could become imbedded, would not be more effective than flint. By way
of experiment I bored a hole through the Swiss hatchet of steatite
before mentioned, and I found that in that case a flint flake could be
used as a sort of drill; but that for grinding, a stick of elder was
superior to both flint and bone, inasmuch as it formed a better bed for
the sand.

Professor Rau, of New York, has made some interesting experiments in
boring stone by means of a drilling-stock and sand, which are described
in the “Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institute for 1868.”[152]
He operated on a piece of hard diorite an inch and three-eighths in
thickness, and employed as a drilling agent a wooden wand of ash, or
at times, of pine, in conjunction with sharp quartz sand. Attached to
the wand was a heavy disc, to act as a fly-wheel, and an alternating
rotatory motion was obtained by means of a bow and cord attached at its
centre to the apex of the drilling-stock, and giving motion to it after
the manner of a “pump-drill,” such as is used by the Dacotahs[153] and
Iroquois[154] for producing fire by friction, or what is sometimes
called the Chinese drill. So slow was the process, that two hours of
constant drilling added, on an average, not more than the thickness of
an ordinary lead-pencil line to the depth of the hole.

The use of a drill of some form or other, to which rotatory motion in
alternate directions was communicated by means of a cord, is of great
antiquity. We find it practised with the ordinary bow by the ancient
Egyptians;[155] and Ulysses is described by Homer[156] as drilling out
the eye of the Cyclops by means of a stake with a thong of leather
wound round it, and pulled alternately at each end, “like a shipwright
boring timber.” The “fire-drill,” for producing fire by friction, which
is precisely analogous to the ordinary drill, is, or was, in use in
most parts of the world. Among the Aleutian Islanders the thong-drill,
and among the New Zealanders a modification of it, is used for boring
holes in stone. Those who wish to see more on the subject must consult
Tylor’s “Early History of Mankind”[157] and a “Study of the Primitive
Methods of Drilling,”[158] by Mr. J. D. McGuire. |49|

Professor Carl Vogt[159] has suggested that the small roundels of
stone (like Worsaae, “Afb.” No. 86) too large to have been used as
spindle-whorls, which are occasionally found in Denmark, may have been
the fly-wheels of vertical pump-drills, used for boring stone tools.
They may, however, be heads of war-maces.

In the case of some of the unfinished and broken axes found in the
Swiss lakes, and even in some of the objects made of stag’s horn,[160]
there is a projecting core[161] at the bottom of the unfinished hole.
This is also often seen in[162] Scandinavian and German specimens.
Dr. Keller has shown that this core indicates the employment of some
kind of tube as a boring tool; as indeed had been pointed out so long
ago as 1832 by Gutsmuths,[163] who, in his paper “Wie durchbohrte
der alte Germane seine Streitaxt?” suggested that a copper or bronze
tube was used in conjunction with powdered quartz, or sand and water.
In the Klemm collection, formerly at Dresden, is a bronze tube, five
inches long and three quarters of an inch in diameter, found near
Camenz, in Saxony, which its late owner regarded[164] as one of the
boring tools used in the manufacture of stone axes. This is now in the
British Museum, but does not appear to me to have been employed for
such a purpose. The Danish antiquaries[165] have arrived at the same
conclusion as to tubes being used for boring. Von Estorff[166] goes so
far as to say that the shaft-holes are in some cases so regular and
straight, and their inner surface so smooth, that they can only have
been bored by means of a metallic cylinder and emery. Lindenschmit[167]
considers the boring to have been effected either by means of a hard
stone, or a plug of hard wood with sand and water, or else, in some
cases, by means of a metallic tube, as described by Gutsmuths. He
engraves some specimens, in which the commencement of the hole, instead
of being a mere depression, is a sunk ring. Similar specimens are
mentioned by Lisch.[168] Dr. Keller’s translator, Mr. Lee, cites a
friend as suggesting the |50| employment of a hollow stick, such as a
piece of elder, for the boring tool. My experience confirms this; but
I found that the coarse sand was liable to clog and accumulate in the
hollow part of the stick, and thus grind away the top of the core. If I
had used finer sand this probably would not have been the case.

Mr. Rose[169] has suggested the use of a hollow bone; but, as already
observed, I found bone less effective than wood, in consequence of its
not being so good a medium for carrying the sand.

Mr. Sehested,[170] however, who carried out a series of interesting
experiments in grinding, sawing, and boring stone implements, found dry
sand better than wet, and a bone of lamb better than either elder or
cow’s-horn for boring.

Most of the holes drilled in the stone instruments and pipes of North
America appear to have been produced by hollow drills, which Professor
Rau[171] suggests may have been formed of a hard and tough cane, the
_Arundinaria macrosperma_, which grows abundantly in the southern parts
of the United States. He finds reason for supposing that the Indian
workmen were acquainted with the ordinary form of drill driven by a
pulley and bow. The tubes of steatite, one foot in length, found in
some of the minor mounds of the Ohio Valley,[172] must probably have
been bored with metal.

Dr. Keller, after making some experiments with a hollow bone and
quartz-sand, tried a portion of ox-horn, which he found surprisingly
more effective, the sand becoming embedded in the horn and acting like
a file. He comments on the absence of any bronze tubes that could
have been used for boring in this manner, and on the impossibility of
making flint tools for the purpose. The perishable nature of ox-horn
accounts for its absence in the Lake settlements.[173] On the whole
this suggestion appears to me the most reasonable. Experiments have
also been made in boring with stag’s-horn.[174]

M. Troyon[175] considered that these holes were not bored by means of
a hollow cylinder, inasmuch as this would not produce so conical an
opening, and he thought that the axe was made to revolve in some sort
of lathe, while the boring was effected by |51| means of a bronze
tool used in conjunction with sand and water. He mentions some stone
axes found in Bohemia, and in the collection of the Baron de Neuberg,
at Prague, which have so little space left between the body of the axe
and the central cores, that in his opinion they must have been bored
by means of a metal point and not of a hollow cylinder. Mortillet[176]
thinks that some of the Swiss axes were bored in a similar manner. The
small holes for suspension, drilled through some of the Danish celts,
he thinks were drilled with a pointed stone.[177] Not having seen the
specimens cited by M. Troyon, I am unable to offer any opinion upon
them; but it appears to me very doubtful whether anything in character
like a lathe was known at the early period to which the perforated
axes belong, for were such an appliance in use we should probably
find it extended to the manufacture of pottery in the shape of the
potter’s wheel, whereas the contemporary pottery is all hand-made. M.
Desor,[178] though admitting that a hollow metallic tube would have
afforded the best means of drilling these holes, is inclined to refer
the axes to a period when the use of metals was unknown. He suggests
that thin flakes of flint may have been fastened round a stick and
thus used to bore the hole, leaving a solid core in the middle. I do
not however think that such a method is practicable. In some of the
Swiss[179] specimens in which the boring is incomplete there is a
small hole in advance of the larger, so that the section is like that
of a trifoliated Gothic arch. In this case the borer would appear to
have somewhat resembled a centre-bit or pin-drill. In others[180] the
holes are oval, and must have been much modified after they were first
bored. The process of boring holes of large diameter in hard rocks
such as diorite and basalt by means of tubes was in common use among
the Egyptians. These tubes are supposed to have been made of bronze,
and corundum to have been employed with them. Professor Flinders
Petrie[181] has suggested that they had jewelled edges like the modern
diamond crown drill, and that they could penetrate diorite at the rate
of one inch in depth for 27 feet of forward motion. I think, however,
that this is an over-estimate. Saws of the same kind were also used.

Kirchner,[182] the ingenious but perverse author of “Thor’s
Donnerkeil,” considers that steel boring tools must have been used
|52| for the shaft-holes in stone axes; and even Nilsson,[183] who
comments on the rarity of the axes with the central core in the holes,
is inclined to refer them to the Iron Age. He[184] considers it an
impossibility to bore “such holes” with a wooden pin and wet sand, and
is no doubt right, if he means that a wooden pin would not leave a core
standing in the centre of the hole.

The drilling the holes through the handles of the New Zealand[185]
_meres_ is stated to be a very slow process, but effected by means of a
wetted stick dipped in emery powder. I have seen one in which the hole
was unfinished, and was only represented by a conical depression on
each face.

In some stones, however, such holes can be readily bored with wood
and sand; and in all cases where the stone to be worked upon can be
scratched by sand, the boring by means of wood is possible, given
sufficient time, and the patience of a savage.

To what a degree this extends may be estimated by what Lafitau[186]
says of the North American Indians sometimes spending their whole life
in making a stone tomahawk without entirely finishing it; and by the
years spent by members of tribes on the Rio Negro[187] in perforating
cylinders of rock crystal, by twirling a flexible leaf-shoot of wild
plantain between the hands, and thus grinding the hole with the aid of
sand and water. The North American[188] tobacco-pipes of stone were
more easily bored, but for them also a reed in conjunction with sand
and water seems to have been employed.

On the whole, we may conclude that the holes were bored in various
manners, of which the principal were—

1. By chiselling, or picking with a sharp stone.

2. By grinding with a solid grinder, probably of wood.

3. By grinding with a tubular grinder, probably of ox-horn.

4. By drilling with a stone drill.

5. By drilling with a metallic drill.

Holes produced by any of these means could, of course, receive their
final polish by grinding.

With regard to the external shaping of the perforated stone axes
not much need be said. They appear to have been in some |53| cases
wrought into shape by means of a pick or chisel, and subsequently
ground; in other cases to have been fashioned almost exclusively by
grinding. In some of the axe-hammers made of compact quartzite, the
form of the pebble from which they have been made has evidently given
the general contour, in the same manner as has been observed on some
fibrolite hatchets, which have been made by sawing a flat pebble in two
longitudinally, and then sharpening the end, or ends, the rest of the
surface being left unaltered in form. This is also the case with some
stone hatchets, to form which a suitable pebble has been selected, and
one end ground to an edge.

Such is a general review of the more usual processes adopted in
the manufacture of stone implements in prehistoric times, which I
have thought it best should precede the account of the implements
themselves. I can hardly quit the subject without just mentioning that
here, as elsewhere, we find traces of improvement and progress, both in
adapting forms to the ends they had to subserve, and in the manner of
treating the stubborn materials of which these implements were made.
Such progress may not have been, and probably was not, uniform, even
in any one country; and, indeed, there are breaks in the chronology of
stone implements which it is hard to fill up; but any one comparing,
for instance, the exquisitely made axe-hammers and delicately chipped
flint arrow-heads of the Bronze Age, with the rude implements of the
Palæolithic Period—neatly chipped as some of these latter are—cannot
but perceive the advances that had been made in skill, and in
adaptation of means to ends. If, for the sake of illustration, we
divide the lapse of time embraced between these two extremes into four
Periods, it appears—

1. That in the Palæolithic, River-gravel, or Drift Period, implements
were fashioned by chipping only, and not ground or polished. The
material used in Europe was, moreover, as far as at present known,
mainly flint, chert, or quartzite.

2. That in the Reindeer or Cavern Period of Central France, though
grinding was almost if not quite unused, except in finishing bone
instruments, yet greater skill in flaking flint and in working up
flakes into serviceable tools was exhibited. In some places, as at
Laugerie-haute, surface-chipping is found on the flint arrow-heads, and
cup-shaped recesses have been worked in other hard stones than flint,
though no other stones have been used for cutting purposes. |54|

3. That in the Neolithic or Surface Stone Period of Western Europe,
other materials besides flint were largely used for the manufacture
of hatchets; grinding at the edge and on the surface was generally
practised, and the art of flaking flint by pressure from the edge
was probably known. The stone axes, at least in Britain, were rarely

4. That in the Bronze Period such stone implements, with the exception
of mere flakes and scrapers, as remained in use, were, as a rule,
highly finished, many of the axes being perforated and of graceful
form, and some of the flint arrow-heads evincing the highest degree of
manual skill. The subsequent manufacture of stone implements in Roman
and later times needs no further mention.

Having said thus much on the methods by which the stone implements of
antiquity were manufactured, I pass on to the consideration of their
different forms, commencing with those of the Neolithic Age, and with
the form which is perhaps the best known in all countries—the celt.





The name of Celt, which has long been given to hatchets, adzes,
or chisels of stone, is so well known and has been so universally
employed, that though its use has at times led to considerable
misapprehension, I have thought it best to retain it. It has been
fancied by some that the name bore reference to the Celtic people, by
whom the implements were supposed to have been made; and among those
who have thought fit to adopt the modern fashion of calling the Celts
“Kelts” there have been not a few who have given the instruments the
novel name of “kelts” also. In the same manner, many French antiquaries
have given the plural form of the word as _Celtæ_. Notwithstanding this
misapprehension, there can be no doubt as to the derivation of the
word, it being no other than the English form of the doubtful Latin
word _Celtis_ or _Celtes_, a chisel. This word, however, is curiously
enough almost an ἅπαξλεγόμενον in this sense, being best known
through the Vulgate translation of Job,[189] though it is repeated
in a forged inscription recorded by Gruter and Aldus.[190] The usual
derivation given is à _cælando_, and it is regarded as the equivalent
of _cælum_. The first use of the term that I have met with, as applied
to antiquities, is in Beger’s “Thesaurus Brandenburgicus,”[191] 1696,
where a bronze celt, adapted for insertion in its haft, is described
under the name of _Celtes_.

I have said that the word _celte_, which occurs in the Vulgate, is
|56| of doubtful authenticity. Mr. Knight Watson,[192] in a paper
communicated to the Society of Antiquaries, has shown that the reading
in many MSS. is _certe_, and the question has been fully discussed by
Mr. J. A. Picton,[193] Mr. E. Marshall,[194] Dr. M. Much,[195] and
others. K. v. Becker[196] suggests that the error in writing _celte_
for _certe_ originated between A.D. 800 and 1400, and he points out
that Conrad Pickel, the poet laureate, who died in 1508, latinized
his surname by _Celtes_. Treating the subject as one of probability,
it appears much more unlikely that a scribe should place a newfangled
word _celte_ in the place of such a well-known word as _certe_, than
that _certe_ should have been substituted for a word that had become
obsolete. I am, therefore, unwilling absolutely to condemn the word,
especially having regard to there being a recognized equivalent in
Latin, _Cælum_.

It has been suggested that there may originally have been some
connection between the Latin _celtis_ and the British or Welsh _cellt_,
a flint; but this seems rather an instance of fortuitous resemblance
than of affinity.[197] A Welsh triad says there are three hard things
in the world—_Maen Cellt_ (a flint stone), steel, and a miser’s heart.

The general form of stone celts is well known, being usually that of
blades, approaching an oval in section, with the sides more or less
straight, and one end broader and also sharper than the other. In
length they vary from about two inches to as much as sixteen inches. I
do not, however, propose to enter at once into any description of the
varieties in their form and character, but to pass in review some of
the opinions that have been held concerning their nature and origin.

One of the most universal of these is a belief, which may almost be
described as having been held “_semper_, _ubique et ab omnibus_,” in
their having been thunderbolts.

“The country folks[198] of the West of England still hold that the
‘thunder-axes’ they find, once fell from the sky.” In Cornwall[199]
they still have medical virtues assigned to them; the water in which
“a thunderbolt,” or celt, has been boiled being a specific |57| for
rheumatism. In the North of England, and in parts of Scotland, they are
known as thunderbolts,[200] and, like flint arrow-heads, are supposed
to have preservative virtues, especially against diseases of cattle.
In Ireland the same superstition prevails, and I have myself known an
instance where, on account of its healing powers, a stone celt was lent
among neighbours to place in the troughs from which cattle drank.

In the British Museum is a thin highly polished celt of jadeite,
reputed to be from Scotland, in form like Fig. 52, mounted in a silver
frame, and with a hole bored through it at either end. It is said to
have been attached to a belt and worn round the waist as a cure for
renal affections, against which the material nephrite was a sovereign

In most parts of France,[201] and in the Channel Islands, the stone
celt is known by no other name than “_Coin de foudre_,” or “_Pierre de
tonnerre_”; and Mr. F. C. Lukis[202] gives an instance of a flint celt
having been found near the spot where a signal-staff had been struck
by lightning, which was proved to have been the bolt by its peculiar
smell when broken. M. Ed. Jacquard has written an interesting paper on
“Céraunies ou pierres de tonnerre.”[203]

In Brittany[204] a stone celt is frequently thrown into the well for
purifying the water or securing a continued supply; and in Savoy it is
not rare to find one of these instruments rolled up in the wool of the
sheep, or the hair of the goat, for good luck, or for the prevention of
the rot or putrid decay.

In Sweden[205] they are preserved as a protection against lightning,
being regarded as the stone-bolts that have fallen during thunderstorms.

In Norway they are known as Tonderkiler, and in Denmark the old name
for a celt was Torden-steen.[206] The test of their being really
thunderbolts was to tie a thread round them, and place them on hot
coals, when, if genuine, the thread was not burnt, but rather rendered
moist. Such celts promote sleep.

In Germany[207] both celts and perforated stone axes are regarded
|58| as thunderbolts (_Donnerkeile or Thorskeile_); and, on account
of their valuable properties, are sometimes preserved in families
for hundreds of years. I possess a specimen from North Germany, on
which is inscribed the date 1571, being probably the year in which
it was discovered. The curious perforated axe or hammer found early
in the last century, now preserved in the Museum of Antiquities at
Upsala,[208] seems to have been a family treasure of the same kind.
It bears upon it, in early Runes, an inscription thus interpreted by
Professor Stephens—“Owns Oltha this Axe.” Another, with four[209]
Runic characters upon it, was found in Denmark, and it has been
suggested that the letters on it represent the names of Loki, Thor,
Odin, and Belgthor.[210] The appearance of the American inscribed axe
from Pemberton,[211] New Jersey, described by my namesake, Dr. J. C.
Evans, and published by Sir Daniel Wilson, is not calculated to inspire
confidence in its authenticity.

The German belief is much the same as the Irish. Stone celts are held
to preserve from lightning the house in which they are kept. They
perspire when a storm is approaching; they are good for diseases of man
and beast; they increase the milk of cows; they assist the birth of
children; and powder scraped from them may be taken with advantage for
various childish disorders. It is usually nine days after their fall
before they are found on the surface.

In the ruins of a Cistercian nunnery, Martha’s Hof, at Bonn,[212] a
large polished celt of jadeite, like Fig. 52, was found, which had been
presumably brought there as a protection against lightning. It had been
placed in the roof of a granary.

In Bavaria[213] and Moravia[214] stone axes, whether perforated or not,
are regarded as thunderbolts.

In Holland,[215] in like manner, they are known as _donder-beitels_, or

In Spain they are known as _rayos_ or _centellos_, and are regarded
as thunder-stones, while among the Portuguese[216] |59| and in
Brazil[217] the name for a stone axe-blade is _corisco_, or lightning.

In Italy[218] a similar belief that these stone implements are
thunderbolts prevails, and Moscardo[219] has figured two polished celts
as _Saette o Fulmini_; and in Greece[220] the stone celts are known as
_Astropelekia_, and have long been held in veneration.

About the year 1081 we find the Byzantine emperor, Alexius
Comnenus,[221] sending, among other presents, to the Emperor Henry III.
of Germany, ἀστροπέλεκυν δεδεμένον μετὰ χρυσαφίου, an expression which
appears to have puzzled Ducange and Gibbon, but which probably means
a celt of meteoric origin mounted in gold. About 1670[222] a stone
hatchet was brought from Turkey by the French Ambassador, and presented
to Prince François de Lorraine, bishop of Verdun. It still exists in
the Musée Lorrain at Nancy.

Nor is the belief in the meteoric and supernatural origin of celts
confined to Europe. Throughout a great part of Asia the same name of
thunderbolts or lightning-stones is applied to them. Dr. Tylor[223]
cites an interesting passage from a Chinese encyclopædia of the
seventeenth century respecting lightning-stones, some of which have the
shape of a hatchet.

In Japan[224] they are known as thunderbolts, or as the battle-axe of
Tengu,[225] the Guardian of Heaven. They are there of great use[226]
medicinally; in Java[227] they are known as lightning-teeth. The old
naturalist Rumph,[228] towards the end of the seventeenth century,
met with many such in Java and Amboyna, which he says were known as

In Burma[229] and Assam[230] stone adzes are called lightning-stones,
and are said to be always to be found on the spot where a thunderbolt
has fallen, provided it is dug for, three years afterwards. When
reduced to powder they are an infallible specific |60| for ophthalmia.
They[231] also render those who carry them invulnerable, and possess
other valuable properties. The same is the case in[232] Cambodia.

Among the Malays[233] the idea of the celestial origin of these stones
generally prevails, though they are also supposed to have been used in
aërial combats between angels and demons[234]; while in China they are
revered as relics of long-deceased ancestors.

I am not aware whether they are regarded as thunderbolts in India,[235]
though a fragment of jade is held to be a preservative against
lightning.[236] Throughout the whole of Hindostan, however, they appear
to be venerated as sacred, and placed against the Mahadeos, or adorned
with red paint as Mahadeo.

It is the same in Western Africa.[237] Sir Richard Burton[238]
has described stone hatchets from the Gold Coast, which are there
regarded as “Thunder-stones.” Mr. Bowen, a missionary, states that
there also the stones, or thunderbolts, which Saugo, the Thunder god,
casts down from heaven, are preserved as sacred relics. Among the
Niam-Niam,[239] in central Africa, they are regarded as thunderbolts.
An instructive article by Richard Andrée on the place of prehistoric
stone weapons in vulgar beliefs will be found in the _Mittheilungen_
of the Anthropological Society of Vienna,[240] and an article[241] by
Dr. A. Bastian on “Stone Worship in Ethnography” in the _Archiv für

[Illustration: Fig. 11.—Celt with Gnostic Inscription. (The upper
figure actual size, the lower enlarged.)]

The very remarkable celt of nephrite (now in the Christy collection),
procured in Egypt many years ago by Colonel Milner, and exhibited to
the Archæological Institute in 1868[242] by the late Sir Henry Lefroy,
F.R.S., affords another instance of the superstitions attaching to
these instruments, and has been the subject of a very interesting
memoir by the late Mr. C. W. King,[243] the well-known authority on
ancient gems. In this case both faces of the celt have been engraved
with gnostic inscriptions in Greek, arranged on one |61| face in the
form of a wreath; and it was doubtless regarded as in itself possessed
of mystic power, by some Greek of Alexandria, where it seems to have
been engraved. It is shown in Fig. 11, here reproduced from the
_Archæological Journal_. Another celt not from Egypt, but from Greece
proper, |62| with three personages and a Greek inscription engraved
upon it, is mentioned by Mortillet.[244] It seems to reproduce a
Mithraic[245] scene. A perforated axe, with a Chaldæan[246] inscription
upon it, is in the Borgia collection, and has been figured and
described by Lenormant.

Curiously enough, the hatchet appears in ancient times to have had
some sacred importance among the Greeks. It was from a hatchet that,
according to Plutarch,[247] Jupiter Labrandeus received that title; and
M. de Longpérier[248] has pointed out a passage, from which it appears
that Bacchus was in one instance, at all events, worshipped under
the form of a hatchet, or πέλεκυς. He has also published a Chaldæan
cylinder on which a priest is represented as making an offering to a
hatchet placed upright on a throne, and has shown that the Egyptian
hieroglyph for _Nouter_, God, is simply the figure of an axe.

In India the hammer was the attribute of the god Indra[249] as
Vágrâkarti. A similar worship appears to have prevailed in the North.
Saxo Grammaticus mentions that the Danish prince Magnus Nilsson, after
a successful expedition against the Goths, brought back among his
trophies some Thor’s hammers, “malleos joviales,” of unusual weight,
which had been objects of veneration in an island in which he had
destroyed a temple. In Brittany the figures of stone celts are in
several instances engraved on the large stones of chambered tumuli and

There are two[250] deductions which may readily be drawn from the facts
just stated; first, that in nearly, if not, indeed, all parts of the
globe which are now civilized, there was a period when the use of stone
implements prevailed; and, secondly, that this period is so remote,
that what were then the common implements of every-day life have now
for centuries been regarded with superstitious reverence, or as being
in some sense of celestial origin, and not the work of man’s hands.

Nor was such a belief even in Europe, and in comparatively modern
times, confined to the uneducated. On the contrary, Mercati,[251]
physician to Clement VIII., at the end of the sixteenth |63| century,
appears to have been the first to maintain that what were regarded as
thunderbolts were the arms of a primitive people unacquainted with the
use of bronze or iron. Helwing[252] at Königsberg in 1717 showed the
artificial character of the so-called thunderbolts, and in France, De
Jussieu in 1723, and Mahudel,[253] about 1734, reproduced Mercati’s
view to the Académie des Inscriptions. In our own country, Dr. Plot,
in his “History of Staffordshire”[254] (1686), also recognized the
true character of these relics; and, citing an axe of stone made of
speckled flint ground to an edge, says that either the Britons or
Romans, or both, made use of such axes; and adds that “how they might
be fastened to a helve may be seen in the Museum Ashmoleanum, where
there are several Indian ones of the like kind fitted up in the same
order as when formerly used.” Dr. Plot’s views were not, however,
accepted by all his countrymen, for in the _Philosophical Transactions
of the Royal Society_,[255] we find Dr. Lister regarding unmistakeable
stone weapons as having been fashioned naturally and without any
artifice. Some of the old German[256] authors have written long
dissertations about these stone hatchets and axes under the name of
Cerauniæ, and given representations of various forms, which were known
as _Malleus fulmineus_, _Cuneus fulminis_, Donnerstein, Strahlhammer,
&c. Aldrovandus says that these stones are usually about five inches
long and three wide, of a substance like flint, some so hard that a
file will not touch them. About the centre of gravity of the stone is
usually a hole an inch in diameter, quite round. They all imitate in
form a hammer, a wedge, or an axe, or some such instrument, with a hole
to receive a haft, so that some think them not to be thunderbolts, but
iron implements petrified by time. But many explode such an opinion,
and relate how such stones have been found under trees and houses
struck by lightning; and assert that trustworthy persons were present,
and saw them dug out, after the lightning had struck.[257] Kentmann
informs us how, in the month of May, 1561, there was dug out at Torgau
such a bolt projected by |64| thunder. It was five inches long, and
of a stone harder than basalt, which in some parts of Germany was
used instead of anvils. He also relates how near Jülich another stone
was driven by thunder through an enormous oak, and was then dug up.
Aldrovandus gives a highly philosophical view as to the formation of
these stones. He regards them as due to an admixture of a certain
exhalation of thunder and lightning with metallic matter, chiefly
in dark clouds, which is coagulated by the circumfused moisture and
conglutinated into a mass (like flour with water), and subsequently
indurated by heat, like a brick.

Georgius[258] Agricola draws a distinction between the _Brontia_ and
the _Ceraunia_. The former, he says, is like the head of a tortoise,
but has stripes upon it, the latter is smooth and without stripes. The
_Brontia_ seems to be a fossil echinus, and the _Ceraunia_ a stone
celt, but both are thunderbolts. Going a little further back, we find
Marbodæus,[259] Bishop of Rennes, who died in the year 1123, and who
wrote a metrical work concerning gems, ascribing the following origin
and virtues to the _Ceraunius_:——

 “Ventorum rabie cum turbidus æstuat äer,
 Cum tonat horrendum, cum fulgurat igneus æther,
 Nubibus elisus cœlo cadit ille lapillus.
 Cujus apud Græcos extat de fulmine nomen:
 Illis quippe locis, quos constat fulmine tactos,
 Iste lapis tantum reperiri posse putatur,
 Unde κεράυνιος est Græco sermone vocatus:
 Nam quod nos fulmen, Græci dixere κεραυνὸν.
 Qui caste gerit hune à fulmine non ferietur,
 Nec domus aut villæ, quibus affuerit lapis ille:
 Sed neque navigio per flumina vel mare vectus,
 Turbine mergetur, nec fulmine percutietur:
 Ad causas etiam, vincendaque prælia prodest,
 Et dulces somnos, et dulcia somnia præstat.”

It was not, however, purely from the belief of his own day that
Marbodæus derived this catalogue of the virtues of the Cerauniæ,
but from the pages of writers of a much earlier date. Pliny,[260]
giving an account of the precious stones known as Cerauniæ, quotes
an earlier author still, Sotacus, who, to use the words of Philemon
Holland’s translation, “hath set downe two kinds more of Ceraunia, to
wit, the blacke and the red, saying that they do resemble halberds
or axeheads. And by his saying, the blacke, |65| such especially as
bee round withall, are endued with this vertue, that by the meanes
of them, cities may be forced, and whole navies at sea discomfited;
and these (forsooth) be called[261] Betuli, whereas the long ones be
named properly Cerauniæ.” Pliny goes on to say, “that there is one
more Ceraunia yet, but very geason[262] it is, and hard to be found,
which the Parthian magicians set much store by, and they only can find
it, for that it is no where to bee had than in a place which hath
been shot with a thunderbolt.” There is a very remarkable passage in
Suetonius[263] illustrative of this belief among the Romans. After
relating one prodigy, which was interpreted as significant of the
accession of Galba to the purple, he records that, “shortly afterwards
lightning fell in a lake in Cantabria and twelve axes were found, a
by no means ambiguous omen of Empire.” The twelve axes were regarded
as referring to those of the twelve lictors, and were therefore
portentous; but their being found where the lightning fell would seem
to have been considered a natural occurrence, except so far as related
to the number. It appears by no means improbable that if the lake could
be now identified, some ancient pile settlement might be found to have
existed on its shores.

The exact period when Sotacus, the most ancient of these authorities,
wrote is not known, but he was among the earliest of Greek authors who
treated of stones, and is cited by Apollonius Dyscolus, and Solinus,
as well as by Pliny. We cannot be far wrong in assigning him to an age
at least two thousand years before our time, and yet at that remote
period the use of these stone “halberds or axeheads” had so long ceased
in Greece, that when found they were regarded as of superhuman origin
and invested with magical virtues. We have already seen that flint
arrow-heads were mounted, probably as charms, in Etruscan necklaces,
and we shall subsequently see that superstitions, almost similar to
those relating to celts, have been attached to stone arrow-heads in
various countries.

To return from the superstitious veneration attaching to them, to
the objects themselves. The materials[264] of which celts in Great
Britain are usually formed are flint, chert, clay-slate, porphyry, |66|
quartzite, felstone, serpentine, and various kinds of greenstone,
and of metamorphic rocks. M. A. Damour,[265] in his “Essays on the
Composition of Stone Hatchets, Ancient and Modern,” gives the following
list of materials: quartz, agate, flint, jasper, obsidian, fibrolite,
jade, jadeite, chloromelanite, amphibolite, aphanite, diorite,
saussurite, and staurotide; but even to these many other varieties of
rock might be added.

The material most commonly in use in the southern and eastern parts of
Britain was flint derived from the chalk; in the north and west, on the
contrary, owing to the scarcity of flint, different hard metamorphic
and eruptive rocks were more frequently employed, not on account of any
superior qualities, but simply from being more accessible. So far as
general character is concerned, stone celts or hatchets may be divided
into three classes, which I propose to treat separately, as follows:—

1. Those merely chipped out in a more or less careful manner, and not
ground or polished;

2. Those which, after being fashioned by chipping, have been ground or
polished at the edge only; and

3. Those which are more or less ground or polished, not only at the
edge, but over the whole surface.

In describing them I propose to term the end opposite to the cutting
edge, the butt-end; the two principal surfaces, which are usually
convex, I shall speak of as the faces. These are either bounded by, or
merge in, what I shall call the sides, according as these sides are
sharp, rounded, or flat. In the figures the celts are all engraved on
the scale of half an inch to the inch, or half linear measure, and are
presented in front and side-view, with a section beneath.




Celts which have been merely chipped into form, and left unground,
even at the edge, are of frequent occurrence in England, especially in
those counties where flint is abundant. They are not, however, nearly
so common in collections of antiquities as those which have been ground
either wholly or in part; and this, no doubt, arises from the fact that
many of them are so rudely chipped out, that it requires a practised
eye to recognize them, when associated, as they usually are, with
numerous other flints of natural and accidental forms. No doubt many
of these chipped celts, especially where, from the numbers discovered,
there appears to have been a manufactory on the spot, were intended to
be eventually ground; but there are some which are roughly chipped, and
which may possibly have been used as agricultural implements without
further preparation; and others, the edges of which are so minutely
and symmetrically chipped, that they appear to be adapted for use as
hatchets or cutting-tools without requiring to be farther sharpened by
grinding. There are others again, as already mentioned at page 32, the
edges of which have been produced by the intersection of two facets
only, and are yet so symmetrical and sharp, that whetting their edge on
a grindstone would be superfluous.

       *       *       *       *       *

Of this character I possess several specimens from Suffolk, of which
one from Mildenhall is engraved in Fig. 12. As will be observed, the
edge is nearly semicircular, but it is nevertheless formed merely by
the intersection of two facets, each resulting from a single chip or
flake of flint having been removed. I have in my collection another
hatchet from the same place, which is so curiously similar to this in
all respects, that it was probably made by the same hand. I am not,
however, aware whether the two were found together.

There is in these implements a peculiar curvature on one face, as
shown in the side view, which, I think, must be connected with the
method by which they were attached to their handles. From the form,
|68| it seems probable that they were mounted as adzes, with the edge
transversely to the line of the handle, and not as axes. I have a more
roughly-chipped specimen of the same type, found near Wanlud’s Bank,
Luton, Beds, by Mr. W. Whitaker, F.R.S., in which the same curvature of
one of the faces is observable. It is not so conspicuous in a larger
implement of the same class, also from Mildenhall (Fig. 13), but this
likewise is slightly curved longitudinally. In the Christy Collection
is another, found at Burwell, Cambridgeshire, of the same type. It
is rounded at the butt, but nearly square at the cutting edge, which
is formed by the junction of two facets, from which flakes have been
struck off. I have seen others of the same character from near the
Bartlow Hills, Cambs, and from Sussex. Others, from 4 3∕4 to 6 inches
in length, from Burwell, Wicken, and Bottisham Fens, are preserved
in the museum of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society, and in my own
collection. In the Greenwell collection is a specimen 7 3∕4 inches
long, from Burnt Fen. I have also a French implement of this kind from
the neighbourhood of Abbeville.

[Illustration: Fig. 12.—Near Mildenhall. 1∕2]

[Illustration: Fig. 13.—Near Mildenhall. 1∕2]

Implements with this peculiar edge, are found in Denmark. Indeed, the
edges of the common form of Kjökken-mödding axes[266] are usually
produced in the same manner, by the intersection of two facets, each
formed by a single blow, though the resulting edge is generally almost

Closely approaching this Danish form, is that of a celt of brown |69|
flint, shown in Fig. 14, and found near Thetford by the late Mr. J.
W. Flower, F.G.S., with one face nearly flat, and the edge formed by a
single transverse facet. The implements, however, of this type, with
the chisel edge, are rarely met with in this country; and, generally
speaking, axes similar to those which occur in such numbers in the
Danish Kjökken-möddings and Coast-finds are of very rare occurrence
elsewhere. I have, however, a small nearly-triangular hatchet of the
Danish type, and with the sides bruised in the same manner (probably
with a view of preventing their cutting the ligaments by which the
instruments were attached to their handles, or, possibly, to prevent
their cutting the hand when held), which I found in the circular
encampment known as Maiden Bower, near Dunstable.

[Illustration: Fig. 14.—Near Thetford. 1∕2]

Hatchets of this type have also been found in some numbers in the
valley of the Somme, at Montiers, near Amiens, as well as in the
neighbourhood of Pontlevoy (Loir et Cher), in the Camp de Catenoy
(Oise), and in Champagne.[267] I have also specimens from the
neighbourhood of Pressigny-le-Grand and of Châtellerault. It would
therefore appear that this form of implement is not confined to
maritime districts, and that it can hardly be regarded as merely a
weight for a fishing-line,[268] as has been suggested by Professor

A few of the large Polynesian adzes of basalt have their edges produced
by a similar method of chipping and are left unground.

Capt. G. V. Smith[270] has experimented in Jutland with the
Kjökken-mödding axes, and has cut down fir-trees of seven inches
diameter with them. The trees for Mr. Sehested’s[271] wooden hut were
cut down and trimmed with stone hatchets ground at the edge.

In the British Museum are several roughly-chipped flints that seem
to present a peculiar type. They are from about 4 to 6 inches long,
nearly flat on one face, coarsely worked to an almost semicircular
bevel edge at one end, and with a broad rounded notch on each side, as
if to enable them to be secured to a handle, possibly as agricultural
implements. They formed part of the Durden collection, and were found
in the neighbourhood of Blandford.

Another and more common form of roughly-chipped celt is that of which
an example is given in Fig. 15, from my own collection. It was found at
Oving, near Chichester, and was given me by Professor W. Boyd Dawkins,
F.R.S. The edge, in this instance, is formed in the same manner, by the
intersection of two facets, but the section is nearly |70| triangular.
If attached to a handle it was probably after the manner of an adze
rather than of an axe. I have a smaller specimen of the same type, and
another, flatter and more neatly chipped, 7 3∕4 inches long, from the
Cambridge Fens.

I have seen implements of much the same form which have been found
at Bemerton, near Salisbury (Blackmore Museum); at St. Mary Bourne,
Andover; at Santon Downham, near Thetford; at Little Dunham, Norfolk;
near Ware; and near Canterbury; but the edge is sometimes formed by
several chips, in the same manner as the sides, and not merely by the
junction of two planes of fracture.

There are also smaller rough celts with the subtriangular section,
of which I have a good example, 4 1∕2 inches long, found by Mr. W.
Whitaker, F.R.S., near Maiden Castle, Dorsetshire. It is curiously
similar to one that I found near Store Lyngby, in Denmark.

The same form occurs in France.

[Illustration: Fig. 15.—Oving, near Chichester. 1∕2]

Other roughly-chipped implements are to be found in various parts of
Britain, lying scattered over the fields, some of them so rude that
they may be regarded as merely flints chipped into form, to serve some
temporary purpose; as wasters thrown away as useless by those who were
trying to manufacture stone implements which were eventually destined
to be ground; or as the rude implements of the merest savage. Certainly
some of the stone hatchets of the Australian natives are quite as rude
or ruder, and yet we find them carefully provided with handles. In
Hertfordshire, I have myself picked up several such implements; and
they have been found in considerable numbers in the neighbourhood of
Icklingham in Suffolk, near Andover, and in other places. An adze-like
celt of this kind (4 1∕2 inches) is recorded from Wishmoor,[272]
Surrey. Were proper search made for them, there are probably not many
districts where it would be fruitless. In Ireland they appear to be
rare; but numerous roughly-shaped |71| implements of this class have
been found in Poitou and in other parts of France. They are also met
with in Belgium and Denmark.

As has already been suggested, it is by no means improbable that some
of these ruder unpolished implements were employed in agriculture, like
the so-called shovels and hoes of flint of North America, described by
Professor Rau. I have a flat celt-like implement about 6 1∕2 inches
long and 3 inches broad, found in Cayuga County, New York, which,
though unground, has its broad end beautifully polished on both faces,
apparently by friction of the silty soil in which it has been used
as a hoe. It is, as Professor Rau has pointed out in other cases,
slightly striated in the direction in which the implement penetrated
the ground.[273] I have also an Egyptian chipped flint hoe from Qûrnah,
polished in a precisely similar manner. It is doubtful whether many of
the rough implements from the neighbourhood of Thebes are Neolithic or

[Illustration: Fig. 16.—Near Newhaven. 1∕2]

The implement represented in Fig. 16, rude as it is, is more
symmetrical and more carefully chipped than many of this class. I
found it, with several other worked flints, on the surface of the
soil in a field between Newhaven and Telscombe, Sussex, where had
formerly stood a barrow, one of a group of four, the positions of
which are shown on the Ordnance Map, though they are now all levelled
to the ground. It is, of course, possible that such an implement may
have been merely blocked out, with the intention of finishing it by
subsequent chipping and grinding, and that it was not intended for use
in its present condition; or it may possibly have been deposited in
the tumulus as a votive offering, or in compliance with some ancient
custom, as suggested hereafter. (See p. 282.) It will be observed
that the original crust of the block of flint from which it was
fashioned is left at the butt end. A somewhat similar specimen, from
the neighbourhood of Hastings, and another from a tumulus at Seaford
are figured in the _Sussex Archæological Collections_[275]; and I have
one from the Thames at Battersea, and others from Suffolk and from the
Cambridge Fens. The late Sir Joseph Prestwich, F.R.S., found one of
the same character at Shoreham, near Sevenoaks, and the late Mr. J. F.
Lucas had |72| another, 4 inches long, from Arbor Low, Derbyshire. A
small chipped celt was found in a barrow at Pelynt,[276] Cornwall.

[Illustration: Fig. 17.—Near Dunstable. 1∕2]

[Illustration: Fig. 18.—Burwell Fen. 1∕2]

Fig. 17 shows an implement found by my eldest son, at the foot of the
Downs, near Dunstable. It has been chipped from a piece of tabular
flint, and can hardly have been intended to be ground or polished. It
is more than usually oval in form, and in general character approaches
very closely to the ovate implements from the River gravels; from the
manner in which it is fashioned, and from its being found in company
with worked flints unquestionably belonging to the Surface Period, I
regard it, however, as of Neolithic and not of Palæolithic age.[277]
Another implement of much the same form, found near Grime’s Graves,
in Norfolk,[278] has been figured by Canon Greenwell, F.R.S. Others
were found at Cissbury,[279] Sussex, and at Dunmer,[280] and near
Ellisfield Camp, Hants. Mr. C. Monkman had another, 5 3∕4 inches long,
and rather narrower in its proportions, found at Bempton, Yorkshire. I
have implements of much the same shape, though larger, from some of the
ancient flint-implement manufactories of Belgium.

The next specimen (Fig. 18) is from Burwell Fen, Cambridge, and
|73| is in my own collection. It is of beautiful workmanship, most
skilfully and symmetrically chipped, and thinner than is usual with
implements of this class. The edge is perfectly regular, and has been
formed by delicate secondary chipping. So sharp is it, that I should
almost doubt its ever having been intended to be ground or polished.
That a sufficient edge for cutting purposes could be obtained by
careful chipping without grinding, seems to be evinced by the fact that
some stone celts, the whole body of which has been polished, are found
with the edge merely chipped and not ground. No doubt when these blades
were new, they were polished all over; but as the edge became broken
away by wear, it would appear as if the owners had contented themselves
by chipping out a fresh edge, without taking the trouble of grinding
it. Still it must be borne in mind, that a vast amount of labour in
grinding was saved by the implement being brought as nearly to the
required shape as possible by chipping only, so that the circumstance
of polished celts having unground edges may be due to merely accidental

[Illustration: Fig. 19.—Mildenhall. 1∕2]

These neatly-chipped flint celts are found also in Ireland. I have one
of the same section as Fig. 18, but longer and narrower. It was found
in Ulster. I have also specimens from Poitou.

They are of occasional but rare occurrence with this section in Denmark.

A neatly-chipped flint hatchet of small size and remarkably square at
the edge is shown in Fig. 19. It was found at Mildenhall, Suffolk, and
is in the Greenwell collection, now Dr. Sturge’s. There are traces
of grinding on some portions of the faces. In the same collection is
another hatchet of the same character from Ganton Wold, Yorkshire, the
edge of which is ground. I have an unground example of this type from

[Illustration: Fig. 20.—Bottisham Fen. 1∕2]

The original of Fig. 20 is in the Museum of the Cambridge Antiquarian
Society, and was found in Bottisham Fen. In neatness of workmanship it
much resembles the last; but it is slightly curved longitudinally, and
has the inner face more ridged than the outer. It was probably intended
to be mounted as an adze.

I have a beautiful implement of the same general form, but nearly flat
on one face, found in Burwell Fen. It has been manufactured from a
large flake. |74|

The hatchet engraved as Fig. 21, was found in ploughing near
Bournemouth, and was kindly brought under my notice by the late Mr.
Albert Way, F.S.A. Its principal peculiarity is the inward curvature of
the sides, rendering it somewhat narrower in the middle than at either
end. Its greatest expansion is, however, at what appears to have been
intended for the cutting edge, so that at this end its outline much
resembles that of one of the Scandinavian forms. The sides, however,
instead of being square are sharp. The specimen from Burwell Fen, Fig.
36, exhibits nearly the same form, but has the edge ground. A thinner
specimen, also from Burwell Fen, and in the Museum of the Cambridge
Antiquarian Society, is unground. It is 5 3∕8 inches long, 2 1∕8 inches
broad at one end and 1 1∕2 inches at the other, but only 1 1∕4 inches
broad towards the middle of the blade. Mr. T. Layton, F.S.A., possesses
a celt found in the Thames, that presents this peculiarity in a still
more exaggerated manner. It is 6 3∕4 inches long, 2 3∕4 inches broad at
one end and 2 1∕4 inches at the other, but only 1 1∕2 inches in width
at the middle of the blade.

[Illustration: Fig. 21.—Near Bournemouth. 1∕2]

[Illustration: Fig. 22.—Thetford. 1∕2]

A remarkably elegant specimen of similar character is shown in Fig.
22. It was found on the surface at Thetford Warren, Suffolk, and was
formerly in the collection of Mr. J. W. Flower, F.G.S., but |75| now
in mine. It is of grey flint, and has been formed from a large flake, a
considerable portion of the flat face of which has been left untouched
by the subsequent working. All along the sides, however, as well as at
the ends, it has been chipped on both faces to a symmetrical form. The
outer surface of the original flake has almost entirely disappeared
during the process of manufacturing the adze, for such it appears to
have been rather than an axe. The form is suggestive of the tool having
been copied from one in metal, and is very like that of the flat bronze
celts. It may belong to the transitional period, when bronze was coming
into use, but was still too scarce to have superseded flint.

The commonest form of the symmetrically-chipped but unground celts is
that shown in Fig. 23. The particular specimen engraved is in my own
collection; and, like so many other antiquities of this class, came
from the Fen district, having been found in Reach Fen in 1852.

It is equally convex on both faces, and, from its close resemblance in
form to so many of the polished celts, it was probably destined for
grinding. I have another of the same form, 6 1∕2 inches long, from the
neighbourhood of Thetford.

A magnificent specimen of this class, but wider in proportion to its
length, found near Mildenhall, is preserved in the Christy Collection.

[Illustration: Fig. 23.—Reach Fen, Cambridge. 1∕2]

I have a very fine specimen 9 inches long, from the Thames, and others
6 1∕2 and 5 1∕4 inches long, of a wider form, and delicately chipped
all round, from Burwell Fen. The late Mr. James Carter, of Cambridge,
had one of the narrower kind, 9 inches long, found at Blunt’s Hill,
near Witham, Essex. The same form, with numerous modifications, was
found in the pits at Cissbury,[281] which will shortly be described.
One about 8 1∕4 inches long, in outline like Fig. 20, was found in
Anglesea.[282] Another 9 1∕2 inches long, was found near Farnham,[283]

One of the most remarkable discoveries of celts of this character, is
that of which I have seen a MS. memorandum in the hands of the late
Mrs. Dickinson,[284] of Hurstpierpoint, Sussex, who herself had four of
the |76| implements. According to this account, a man digging flints
on Clayton Hill, on the South Downs, Sussex, in 1803, found near the
windmill, just beneath the sod, and lying side by side, eight celts of
grey flint, chipped into form and not ground. One of these was as much
as 13 inches long. Those in Mrs. Dickinson’s collection were—(1) 11 3∕4
long by 3 1∕2 broad and 2 1∕8 thick, (2) 9 1∕2 by 3 1∕4 by 1 3∕4,
(3) 7 1∕2 by 3 1∕8 by 2 1∕8, and (4) 6 1∕2 by 3 by 1 5∕8. Four such,
7 1∕4 to 9 inches long, chipped only, were found buried in a row at

[Illustration: Fig. 24.—Scamridge, Yorkshire. 1∕2]

These deposits seem to have been intentional. “In the Hervey
Islands[286] it was customary on the eve of battle to bury the stone
adzes of the family in some out-of-the-way place. Beds of these (in
heathen times) priceless treasures are still occasionally discovered.
About a dozen adzes, large and small, were arranged in a circle, the
points being towards the centre. The knowledge of the localities where
to find them was carefully handed down from one generation to another.”
At Northmavine,[287] Orkney, seven celts were found, arranged in a
circle with the points towards the centre. From two to eight flint axes
are sometimes found together in Denmark, and by Dr. Sophus Müller[288]
are regarded as funeral offerings or ex-votos.

[Illustration: Fig. 25.—Forest of Bere, near Horndean. 1∕2]

Such roughly-chipped celts have been found in immense numbers in the
neighbourhood of Eastbourne. A large collection of them is in the
Museum at Lewes. I have seen a large celt of this section, but with
flatter edge[289] and straighter sides, which was found in peat at
Thatcham, near Newbury, Berks. Of the same class is a celt |77| found
near Norwich, engraved in the _Geologist_.[290] I have seen several
other specimens from Norfolk, as well as from Wilts, Cambridgeshire,
Dorsetshire, and other counties. Some specimens from the neighbourhood
of Grime’s Graves, Norfolk, have been figured.[291] Flint celts of this
class are occasionally found in Yorkshire, but the edge is usually
less round in outline than Fig. 23. In some cases it is straight, like
Fig. 19. Some of those from Yorkshire are extremely small, as will be
seen by Fig. 24, from Scamridge, in the North Riding. I have other
specimens, 2 and 2 1∕2 inches long and about 1 1∕2 inches broad, from
the Yorkshire Wolds. I have also one of the ordinary form from Lough
Neagh, Ireland; but it has been slightly ground near the edge.

Though rare in Ireland, flint celts of this form and character are of
common occurrence in France[292] and Belgium. Many such have been found
at Spiennes, near Mons, where there appears to have been a manufactory,
as already mentioned; and I have specimens from Amiens (including one
from Montiers, 10 inches), from various parts of Poitou, and from
the Seine, at Paris. A broad, thin instrument of this class, made of
Silurian schist, and found in the dolmen of Bernac, Charente,[293] is
engraved by De Rochebrune.

[Illustration: Fig. 25A.—Isle of Wight. 1∕2]

They occur also in Denmark and Sweden in considerable numbers.

A slightly different and narrower form of implement is shown in Fig.
25, which first appeared in the _Archæological Journal_, vol. xx., p.
371. The original is of yellow flint, and was found in the Forest of
Bere, Hampshire. I may add that I have picked up several in the |78|
parish of Abbot’s Langley, Herts. One like Fig. 25, but smaller, found
at Bedmond,[294] has been figured. A narrow specimen (6 inches, like
Fig. 25) from Aldbourne, Hungerford, is in the collection of Mr. J. W.
Brooke, of Marlborough.

Many of the other forms of polished celts occur in the unground
condition, of the same shape, for instance, as Fig. 35. It is needless
to multiply illustrations, though I must mention a remarkable
instrument of this character preserved in the Greenwell collection. It
is of flint 6 1∕4 inches long, and in outline closely resembling Fig.
35. It is, however, much curved longitudinally, the curve being more
rapid towards the butt-end, which is also somewhat thickened. The chord
of the rather irregular arc thus produced is 1∕2 an inch. Such a tool
can only have been mounted as an adze or hoe with the concave face
towards the helve. It was found at Kenny Hill, Mildenhall.

A singular instrument chipped out of flint, like three celts conjoined
into one, so as to form a sort of tribrach, is said to have been found
in the Isle of Wight. It is shown in Fig. 25A, kindly lent by the
Society of Antiquaries.[295] In form it is of much the same character
as some of the implements from Yucatan,[296] and from Vladimir,[297]
Russia. It may be compared with some examples of strange forms from

       *       *       *       *       *

I have already spoken of the method in which these and other allied
forms of stone implements were manufactured; but, before quitting the
subject of chipped or rough-hewn celts, I must devote a little space to
the interesting discovery made by General Pitt Rivers, F.R.S., on the
site of an ancient manufactory of flint implements, among which celts
predominated, within the entrenchment known as Cissbury, near Worthing,
where Colonel Ayre, R.A.,[299] found, some years ago, a very perfect
flint celt. The entrenchment has now been proved to be of more recent
date than the pits shortly to be mentioned.

Accounts of the investigations of General Pitt Rivers and of some
subsequently carried on by Mr. Ernest Willett are given in the
_Archæologia_,[300] from which most of the following particulars are
abstracted. Canon Greenwell, F.R.S., also assisted at a part of the
exploration, and some of my illustrations are taken from specimens in
his collection. The earthwork, of irregularly oval form, surrounds
the summit of a chalk hill, near Worthing, in Sussex, on the western
slope of which, within the rampart, are some fifty funnel or cup-shaped
depressions, some of small size, but others about seventy feet in
diameter and twelve feet in depth. At the base of these there seem to
have been originally shafts |79| sunk into the chalk, and similar
shafts have now been found beneath the rampart. Many of these were
opened, and were found to contain, amongst the rubble with which
they were partially filled, well-chipped celts and ruder implements,
quantities of splinters and minute chippings of flint; flakes, some
worked on one or both faces; some few boring-tools and scrapers; and
many stones that had been used as hammers. Most of the flints had
become quite white on the surface, as is often the case when they rest
in a porous soil. Parts of antlers of red deer, remains of horse,
goat, boar, and ox (_Bos longifrons_), oyster and a few other marine
shells and snail-shells, as well as fragments of charcoal and rude
pottery, were also found. At the base of one of the pits explored by
Mr. Willett, galleries were found of precisely the same character as
those at Grime’s Graves, near Brandon, and at Spiennes, near Mons,
in Belgium, which I have already described, and it is evident that
they were excavated for the purpose of procuring flint, to be chipped
into the form of implements upon the spot. It does not appear certain
that the portions of antler which were found had been used, as in
the other cases, as picks for digging in the chalk; but, possibly,
some of the roughly-chipped flints, adapted for being held in the
hand,[301] and not unlike in form to the chopper-like flints from the
far older deposit in the cave of Le Moustier, Dordogne,[302] may have
been thus used, or as wedges to split the chalk. This is by no means
inconsistent with their having been originally flints partially trimmed
into shape, in order to be made into celts, and used for a secondary
purpose when it was found that they were not adapted for what they
were at first intended to be. In chipping them out, the part of the
nodule best suited for being held in the hand would be thus grasped,
and the opposite edge be trimmed by the hammer, and in this manner the
semblance of a chopper would be produced in what was merely an inchoate
celt. I have found flints on the Sussex Downs, with one side trimmed in
much the same manner as the Cissbury specimens, but which, from their
form, can hardly have been intended for “choppers.”

Looking at a series of the worked flints from Cissbury, exclusive of
flakes and mere rough blocks, the general _facies_ is such as to show
that the ordinary forms of celts, or hatchets, were those at which,
in the main, the workmen aimed. A small proportion of them are highly
finished specimens, not improbably hidden |80| away in the loose chalk
when chipped out and accidentally left there. Others are broken; not,
I think, in use, but in the process of manufacture. A great proportion
are very rude, and ill-adapted for being ground. They are, in fact,
such as may be regarded, if not as wasters, yet, at all events, as
unmarketable; for it seems probable that at Cissbury, as well as at
other manufactories of flint implements, they were produced, not for
immediate use by those who made them, but to be bartered away for
some other commodities. In Central America,[303] at the present day,
the natives use cutting instruments of flint, which must, apparently,
have been brought from a distance of four hundred miles; while, among
the aborigines of Australia,[304] flints were articles of barter
between distant tribes; and some of the chalcedony implements in the
early Belgian caves are made of material presumed to have come from
the south of France. Mr. W. H. Holmes,[305] has described an ancient
quarry in the Indian territory, Missouri, from which chert was obtained
and roughed out on the spot. Some of the rude forms exactly resemble
the “turtle backs” of Trenton, by many regarded as palæolithic. The
antiquity of the quarry does not, however, exceed two hundred years.
Only a single fragment of a polished celt was found by General Pitt
Rivers within the inclosure; though another was found by Lord Northesk
in a pit that he subsequently opened. They are equally rare in
proportion at Spiennes. This fact, and the absence of grinding-stones,
also seem to show that the process of grinding was carried on
elsewhere, in cases where a ground edge was required.

General Pitt Rivers suggests a question, whether the implements found
at Cissbury belong to the Neolithic or Palæolithic age, and seems
almost to regard the distinction between the implements of those
two ages as founded merely on the minor point of whether they are
chipped simply, or also polished. The associated fauna in this case
is however purely Neolithic or, as Professor Boyd Dawkins would call
it, Pre-historic; and whatever may be the case with a few of the
specimens which resemble in form implements from the River Drift, the
greater number are unmistakeably of forms such as are constantly found
polished, and are undoubtedly Neolithic. Indeed, as already stated, a
portion of at all events one polished specimen has been found in one of
the |81| pits. I need not, however, dwell longer on the circumstances
of this discovery, nor on the speculations to which it may give
rise, but will proceed to give illustrations of a few of the forms
of implements found at Cissbury, referring for others to the memoirs
already cited. A fine series of the implements has been presented to
the Christy Collection, now in the British Museum.

       *       *       *       *       *

One of the most highly-finished forms, of which, in all, a considerable
number were found, is a long, narrow instrument, as shown in Fig.
26. So narrow and pointed are they, that General Pitt Rivers thought
that they may have been intended to be used with the pointed end as
spear-heads. Such instruments, however, are occasionally found with
the broad end ground to an edge. It is also to be observed that this
circular edge is generally more carefully chipped into form than the
pointed butt, and was therefore considered of more importance.

[Illustration: Fig. 26.—Cissbury. 1∕2]

[Illustration: Fig. 27.—Cissbury. 1∕2]

Another specimen is figured in the _Archæologia_;[306] and a narrow
flint celt of this character, 5 1∕4 inches long, found with a larger
celt in a barrow in Hampshire,[307] is in the British Museum.

Another rough-hewn celt is shown in Fig. 27. Like several others, both
from Cissbury and Spiennes, the two ends are almost similar in form,
so that it is difficult to say at which extremity the cutting edge was
intended to be. Possibly it was found convenient to fashion some of
the |82| implements, in the first instance, into this comparatively
regular oval contour, and subsequently to chip an edge at whichever
end seemed best adapted for the purpose. This instrument is not unlike
that from the Forest of Bere, Fig. 25. Another from Cissbury, with more
parallel sides, has been figured.[308] Others from the same place are
like Figs. 16, 17, and 23, and like Fig. 35, though not ground at the

[Illustration: Fig. 28.—Cissbury. 1∕2]

[Illustration: Fig. 29.—Cissbury. 1∕2]

Others, again, but much fewer in number, are of a wedge-shaped form,
with the thin end rounded. The specimen of this kind shown in Fig. 28
is in the Greenwell Collection, and is very symmetrical. The butt-end
is considerably battered at one part, but not at its extremity; so
that this bruising may possibly have been on the block of flint before
the implement was chipped out. A less symmetrical specimen is figured
by General Pitt Rivers, having the butt formed of the natural crust
of the flint. That here engraved appears well adapted for holding in
the hand, so as to be used as a kind of chopper: but the rounded edge
is uninjured. Can it have been used as a wedge for splitting open the
chalk? or is it to be regarded as a special form of implement? If
so, it seems singular that, if such a form was in use in Britain, no
specimens have hitherto been met with having the edge ground. I should
be more satisfied as to the form being intentional and for a certain
purpose, had it occurred elsewhere than among what is evidently the
refuse of a manufactory; and yet a somewhat similar hand-tool is in use
among the natives of Australia. A polished implement of analogous form
is moreover shown in Fig. 83A. Two or three pointed implements, in form
like Fig. 417, were found at Cissbury. Judging from shape alone, they
might be regarded as being of Palæolithic age, but their surroundings
prove them to be Neolithic. |83|

Fig. 29 also forms part of the Greenwell Collection, and presents a
very remarkable form, which, at first sight, has the appearance of
being a chisel or hatchet, with a large tang, intended for insertion
in a socket. The lower part is symmetrically chipped, like the cutting
end of a narrow celt, with sharp sides, such as Fig. 26; but at a point
a little more than half way along the blade, it rapidly expands, so
as to have an almost circular section. Much as I am tempted to regard
this as presenting a special type, I am almost convinced that the form
is due rather to accident than design. It appears to me, that a piece
of flint, partially chipped into shape for a larger and thicker celt,
had been broken in the process of manufacture, and a second attempt had
been made to convert it into a celt, this time of smaller size. The
lower part of this was successfully chipped out, but on arriving at
that portion of the blade where the section was nearly circular, the
flint was either so refractory, or the projections on which blows could
be administered to detach splinters were so small, that the manufacture
was abandoned, not, however, before many blows had been fruitlessly
struck, as the sides and projections of the face of the celt at this
part are considerably battered.

       *       *       *       *       *

Dr. C. B. Plowright has described a number of rough-hewn instruments
of flint from what seems to have been the site of an ancient flint
manufactory on Massingham Heath, in West Norfolk. He has figured
several, including a wedge-formed implement like Fig. 28, and one of
shoe-shape, not unlike a palæolithic form.[309]

An interesting instance of the discovery of a flint celt, merely
chipped out, but associated with polished celts, and other objects, is
that recorded in the _Archæologia_,[310] and Hoare’s “Wiltshire.”[311]
In a barrow opened by Mr. W. Cunnington, in 1802, was a grave of oval
form, containing a large skeleton lying on its back, and slightly on
one side, and above it a smaller skeleton in a contracted posture. At
the feet of the larger skeleton were more than three dozen perforated
pins and other instruments of bone, and three celts of white flint,
two of which were neatly polished, with a fine circular edge; and
the third was “only chipped to the intended form and size.” With
these lay what was apparently a grinding stone to polish the celts
or similar implements; and some grooved sandstones, like Fig. 185.
About the legs were several boars’ teeth perforated, and some cups
made of hollow flints; near the breast was a flat circular stone, and
a perforated stone axe, shown in Fig. 141, and two dozen more of the
bone instruments. Some jet or cannel-coal beads and a ring of the same
substance were also |84| found, as well as a small bronze awl; but it
is doubtful to which of the bodies this belonged.

It will subsequently be seen that perforated axes similar to that in
this barrow are frequently associated with bronze daggers, so that we
seem to have, in this instance, evidence of the contemporaneous use of
unground, polished, and perforated stone axes at a period when bronze
was at all events not unknown in this country.

If the chipped celt is to be regarded as unfinished, it may be
that the survivors, in burying it, together with the grinding and
polishing stones, in company with the original occupant of the barrow,
entertained a belief that in some future state of existence he might be
at leisure to complete the process of polishing.

Very roughly-chipped pieces of flint, apparently blocked-out celts, are
occasionally found in barrows. Two such, 8 inches by 3 1∕2, and 7 by
3 1∕2, from a barrow near Alfriston, Sussex, examined by Dr. Mantell,
are in the British Museum. They may have been deposited under a similar
belief, or as votive offerings. Possibly this custom of placing
roughly-chipped implements, like, for instance, Fig. 16, in graves, may
be a “survival” from the times when warriors or hunters were buried
with the arms or weapons they had worn when living, and the burials
which they accompany may belong to a late part of the stone period. It
is worthy of notice that in the cemetery of Hallstatt, which belongs to
a date when iron was just coming into use, many of the ornaments appear
to have been manufactured expressly for funereal purposes, being like
the gold wreaths in Etruscan tombs, almost too light and fragile to be
worn by the living. In Denmark, however, the weapons of flint which
accompanied interments seem usually to have been highly finished and

Celts, merely chipped into form and unground, occur also in other kinds
of stone. They are, however, much rarer than those of flint. One of
iron-stone, from Sussex, 8 inches long and 3 1∕4 wide at the broad
end, is in the Blackmore Museum. A very fine specimen from Anglesey,
formed of felstone, is preserved in the Museum of Economic Geology, in
Jermyn Street. I have a fragment of one in greenstone, found by Mr. R.
D. Darbishire, F.G.S., at Dwygyfylchi, Carnarvonshire, and another of
felstone, extremely rude, found by him on Pen-maen-mawr. Some rough
celts of greenstone, found in barrows near St. Just, Cornwall, are in
the Truro Museum.

In Ireland, where flint celts are comparatively rare, those in |85|
the unpolished condition appear to be relatively more abundant in that
material than in other rocks. In the large collection of the Royal
Irish Academy there are but few of either class, and I certainly have
seen some hundreds of Irish stone celts with the edges ground, for one
in which it had been left as originally chipped out.

In France the chipped celts of flint are not uncommon, but those of
other materials are extremely rare.

In Denmark, and Sweden also, the unpolished celts of flint are
abundant, but principally of a class not found in Britain, with square
sides and neatly worked wavy angles. Some of the other forms, however,
also occur, as has been already mentioned. In other materials than
flint they are almost unknown.

In North America the roughly-chipped hatchets are scarce, but are more
common in flint or horn-stone than in other materials.

In Western Australia, where the hatchets are made of rough splinters
of basalt and of silicious rocks, grinding seems but little practised.
Hatchets ground at the edge seem more common in Northern Australia. It
is, however, by no means improbable that in many countries the ruder
forms of stone implements have to a great extent escaped observation. I
much doubt whether the stone blades of the Australian hatchets, one of
which is engraved in Fig. 106, would, if detached from their handles,
be thought worthy of notice by the large majority of travellers, or
even be regarded as of human workmanship.

However this may be, it appears that in Western Europe the practice
of grinding the edges of hatchets and adzes was more universal in the
case of those formed of other stones than flint, than with those of
purely silicious material. This circumstance rather strengthens the
probability of some of the flint implements which are found in the
unground condition, having been destined for use in that state, as was
the case with the North American hoe-like implements already mentioned.

It seems almost demonstrable that some at least of these unpolished
celts must be among the earliest of the Neolithic implements of
this country; for though, in Neolithic times, some naturally-shaped
stones have been sharpened for use by grinding only, yet the art of
chipping stone into shape must in all probability have preceded that
of grinding or polishing its edges. So far as at present ascertained,
the practice of sharpening stone tools on the grindstone was unknown in
Palæolithic times; and, |86| assuming the occupation of this country
to have been continuous, into Neolithic times the transition from one
stage of civilization to the other has still to be traced. Under any
circumstances, we have as yet, in Britain, no means at command for
assigning with certainty any of these roughly-chipped forms to an
antiquity more remote than that of the carefully finished celts with
their edges sharpened by grinding, though in all probability some of
them must date back to a far remoter period.

We have, on the contrary, good evidence that whatever may have been
the date when the roughly-chipped implements of this form were first
manufactured, they continued to be chipped out in much the same manner
at a time when the practice of sharpening by grinding was well known.
Though some may have been used without being ground, they bear, for the
most part, the same relation to the finished forms, as the blade of
steel rough from the forge bears to the polished knife.




The implements belonging to this class testify to a greater amount of
pains having been bestowed upon them than on those which have been
chipped only; yet the labour in grinding them has been far less than
with those which are polished over their entire surface. There are some
which occupy an intermediate position between those ground at the edge
only, and those which are polished all over; inasmuch as not only has
their edge been sharpened by grinding, but the principal asperities
both of the sides and faces have been removed in a similar manner,
yet without polishing anything like the entire surface. These may be
classed among polished celts; and, indeed, any distinction that can be
drawn between celts partly and wholly polished is imaginary rather than
real, as it is only a difference in degree. The specimens of this class
which I have selected for engraving present, as a rule, some slight
peculiarity either in form or in other respects.

       *       *       *       *       *

The first of these, Fig. 30, is remarkable for the extremely rude
manner in which it is chipped out, and for the small portion of
its surface which is polished. So rude, indeed, is it, that an
inexperienced eye would hardly accept it as being of human workmanship.
The edge, however, has unmistakeably been ground. Possibly the
implement may have been chipped out from a fragment of a larger
polished celt, of which the edge had been preserved. It is of flint,
quite whitened by exposure, and was found by myself upon the Downs,
near Eastbourne, on September 12th, 1852, being the first stone
implement I ever discovered. I have since found a similar but larger
celt in a field of my own at Abbot’s Langley, Herts. It is 4 1∕2 inches
long, and the edge has been intentionally blunted by grinding, so that
it was possibly a battle-axe. I have some other specimens which appear
to have been made from fragments of larger polished celts. One of
these, found near Icklingham, 2 1∕4 inches wide and 2 3∕4 inches long,
is almost pear-shaped in outline, but truncated at the butt, where it
is about an inch wide. I have several similar implements from France
and Belgium, the butt-ends of which are battered, as if they had been
used as wedges. |88|

[Illustration: Fig. 30.—Downs near Eastbourne. 1∕2]

[Illustration: Fig. 31.—Culford, Suffolk. 1∕2]

The original of Fig. 31 is curious in another aspect, it having been
shaped, with the exception of the edge, entirely by nature, and not
by art. The tendency of certain kinds of flint to split up into more
or less regular prisms by assuming a sort of columnar structure, much
like that which is exhibited by starch in drying, is well known. The
maker of this implement has judiciously selected one of these prisms,
which required no more than a moderate amount of grinding at one end
to convert it into a neat and useful tool. It was found at Culford, in
Suffolk, and formerly belonged to Mr. Warren, of Ixworth, but is now in
my own collection.

[Illustration: Fig. 32.—Near Mildenhall, Suffolk. 1∕2]

The celt represented in Fig. 32 is also mine, and was found in the same
neighbourhood, near Mildenhall. It is pointed and entirely unpolished
at the butt-end, which, had that part only been preserved, would have
had all the appearance of being the point of an implement of the
Palæolithic period. It is, however, ground to a thin circular edge at
the broad end. Another, nearly similar, from Burwell Fen, is in the
Museum of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society. I have another, rather
straighter at the edge, but even more sharply pointed at the butt, from
Reach Fen, and several others from the Eastern Counties. One[312] of
the three celts found in the Upton Lovel Barrow was of much the same
shape, only larger and more rudely chipped. It had also apparently
more of its surface polished. General Pitt Rivers has a large Indian
celt of this character, but broader in its |89| proportions, found in
Bundelcund. It is not of flint. I have smaller specimens from Madras,
but more like Fig. 33.

[Illustration: Fig. 33.—Sawdon, North Yorkshire. 1∕2]

Approaching to the form of Fig. 32, but rather broader at the edge
and more truncated at the butt, where a cavity in the flint has
interfered with the symmetry, is another celt in my own collection,
found at Sawdon, in the North Riding of Yorkshire, and engraved as
Fig. 33. It has been skilfully rubbed to a sharp segmental edge, but
no labour has been wasted in grinding any portion of the face beyond
what was necessary to produce the edge. Towards the butt-end some
few of the facets and projections are, however, highly polished,
but by friction only, as the surface is still uneven and not ground
down. These polished patches, as has been pointed out by Professor
Steenstrup, are probably significant of the blade having been mounted
in a horn or wooden socket, though not so firmly but that there was
some little motion in it, so that the resulting friction produced
the polish. A celt of this class, formed of ochreous flint, with a
semicircular edge, the sides straight, and partly ground away, is in
the Fitch Collection at Norwich. It is 6 1∕2 inches long, and was
found at Martlesham Hill, Suffolk. A good example found in 1880 at
Hinchcombe,[313] Gloucestershire has been figured. Another, about 9
inches long, rounded at the sides, and partly ground on the faces,
was found in a barrow at Hartland, Devon, and is preserved in the
museum at Truro. One of black flint, 4 1∕8 inches long, was found at
Pen-y-bonc,[314] Holyhead Island, in 1873. It is curved, and may have
been used as an adze. Small specimens of this form are occasionally
found in Suffolk. In Yorkshire, they occur of still smaller size. In
the Greenwell Collection is one from Willerby Wold, 2 inches long
and nearly triangular in outline; and another with an oblique edge
from Helperthorpe, 2 1∕8 inches long. One from Ganton Wold, 2 3∕4
inches long, has a straight edge. I have a very rude specimen from the
Yorkshire Wolds about 1 3∕4 inches long, 1 3∕4 inches wide at the edge,
and 1 inch at the butt. They occur also in Scotland. The late Dr. John
Stuart showed me a sketch of a flint celt of this type, 4 3∕4 inches
long, from Bogingarry, Old Deer, Aberdeenshire. Another, 1 5∕8 inches
by 1 inch, was found near Dundee.[315] One very like |90| the figure
was found at Urquhart,[316] Elgin. I have a celt of this character (4
inches), from the neighbourhood of Mons, in Belgium.

Another much more elongated form, but still belonging to the same class
of implements, is that represented by Fig. 34. The original is of grey
flint, and was found at Weston, Norfolk. The grinding is continued
farther along the body of the implement than in the former examples,
especially on one of the faces, and the asperities of the sides have
in places been removed by the same process. About half-way along the
blade, some of the facets have been polished by friction.

[Illustration: Fig. 34.—Weston, Norfolk. 1∕2]

In the Greenwell Collection is a beautiful specimen, 8 1∕4 inches
long, 2 inches broad at edge, and 3∕4 inch at butt, and nowhere more
than 5∕8 inch thick. It is most skilfully chipped, and the grinding
extends only 1∕2 inch back from the edge. The sides have been made
straight by |91| grinding, and are slightly rounded. It was found at
Kinlochew, Ross-shire. Another in the same collection, 9 1∕4 inches
long, was found at Kilham, in the East Riding of Yorkshire. I have seen
one 8 inches long from Leighton Buzzard. One of the same length from
Fordoun,[317] Kincardineshire, has been figured.

I have two shorter specimens, about the same breadth as Fig. 34 at
the cutting edge, from the neighbourhood of Bury St. Edmunds and
Mildenhall. They do not, however, present any of the polished marks.
The sides of both have to a certain extent been made straight by
grinding. One of these with the natural crust of the flint still left
at the butt-end is shown in Fig. 35. I have several others from the
Eastern Counties, and two of much the same form from Carnaby Moor and
King’s Field, near Bridlington. The Greenwell Collection has specimens
found at Woodhall, near Harbottle, Northumberland, and at Stanford,
Norfolk. The latter is sharp at the butt. Others have been found in
the Thames, and are now in the British Museum. I have a note of one 6
inches long from the Priory Valley, Dover.

Others from Debenham, Suffolk, from Dunham, Norfolk, and from Thorpe,
are in the Norwich Museum.

One of white flint 4 1∕2 inches long, with square butt, made straight
by grinding, and with the faces chipped in such a manner as to form
a central ridge, so that the grinding at the edge shows an almost
triangular facet, was found at Kirby Underdale, and is in the Greenwell
Collection. The sides in this specimen curve slightly inward.

The two celts found by the late Mr. Bateman, in Liff’s Low,[318] near
Biggin, in company with a curious cup, a stag’s horn hammer, and
numerous worked flints, including two flakes ground at the edge, were
of this form and character. The larger of the two is about 7 inches

[Illustration: Fig. 35.—Mildenhall. 1∕2]

Mr. Cunnington, F.G.S., has a small celt of this kind from Morton, near
Dorchester. Messrs. Mortimer, of Driffield, have specimens of the same
class. One of these (4 3∕4 inches) is from Garton, Yorkshire; another
similar, but less taper (4 3∕8 inches), is from Lady Graves, near
Fimber, where also a ruder celt of the same character was found. I have
a small celt 3 inches long of the same class, from Seamer, Yorkshire.
One of dark flint, slightly curved (5 1∕4 inches), found at South
Slipperfield, West Linton, Peeblesshire, is preserved in the National
Museum at Edinburgh.[319]

It was the cutting end of a celt of this class, sharp at the sides,
and |92| ground at the edge only, which is said to have been found
embedded in the skull of a _Bos primigenius_,[320] in a fen near
Cambridge. The skull and implement are in the Woodwardian Museum. In
the Fitch Collection is a small flint adze of this character, but
rather narrower, and very much thinner in proportion. It is 4 1∕2
inches long, about 1 3∕8 inches broad, and only 1∕4 inch thick. It is
considerably curved in the direction of its length, and bears only
slight traces of grinding at the edge, which is segmental. It was found
at Santon Downham, Suffolk. I have two such thin adzes nearly flat
(4 3∕4 and 4 1∕4 inches) from West Stow, Suffolk, and Thetford. They
are both ground to a sharp edge.

A celt, in form like Fig. 35, found with flint knives and other
implements in some beds of sand near York, has been figured by Mr. C.
Monkman.[321] Similar implements are found in Ireland. I have two such,
almost identical in form with those from Suffolk. They are both from
Ulster. The same form occurs in Belgium.

One of these more adze-like implements with a considerable part of the
convex face polished, was found in Reach Fen, and is shown in Fig. 35A.
Fig. 84A, which is polished all over, belongs to the same class.

I have a fine bowed narrow adze (7 inches) ground at the edge only,
from Hampshire.

[Illustration: Fig. 35A.—Reach Fen. 1∕2]

The celt represented in Fig. 36 is of remarkable form, inasmuch as,
like the unground specimen, Fig. 21, the sides expand at the butt-end.
It was found in Burwell Fen, and is in the collection of the Cambridge
Antiquarian Society. It is formed of chalcedonic flint, and the sharp
sides are partially smoothed by grinding. It is slightly curved in the
direction of its length, and may have been used as an adze. I have one
of the same character (5 5∕8 inches) from Swaffham, Cambs, and another
(4 3∕4 inches) from Oldbury, Ightham, given me by Mr. B. Harrison,
in which the narrowing in the middle of the blade is even more
conspicuous. One much like the figure, but with shorter sides (5 7∕8
inches) was found near Dundee.[322] Another smaller, and somewhat
similar implement, but expanding more towards the edge and less at the
butt, was found at Bridge Farm, near North Tawton, Devon, and was in
the possession of Mr. W. Vicary, F.G.S., of Exeter.

A few celts expanding at the edge, and polished all over, will be
subsequently described. |93|

In Fig. 37 is shown a flint celt, found near Thetford, and formerly in
the collection of Mr. J. W. Flower, F.G.S. It is partially ground at
the edge and on the projecting portion of one face, which is curved
lengthwise. The other face is rather ogival, and much resembles that of
the chipped celt from Mildenhall, Fig. 12. I have a shorter specimen of
the same character from Icklingham.

[Illustration: Fig. 36.—Burwell Fen. 1∕2]

[Illustration: Fig. 37.—Thetford. 1∕2]

Flint celts of the form of Fig. 23, but having the edge ground,
frequently occur. I have specimens from Burwell Fen, Icklingham, and
other places in the Eastern Counties. One was found at Stifford,
near Gray’s Thurrock, Essex, 6 1∕2 inches long.[323] The late Mrs.
Dickinson, of Hurstpierpoint, had another, 6 inches long, found at
Pycombe Hill, Sussex. The late Mr. Durden, of Blandford, had one, now
in the British Museum, from the encampment on Hod Hill, Dorsetshire.
I have one or two such from the site of the ancient manufactory at
Spiennes, near Mons, and others from the North of France.

The next specimen, Fig. 38, I have engraved on account of the
peculiarity in its form. The butt-end, for nearly 2 1∕2 inches along
it, has the sides nearly parallel, the blade then suddenly expands
with a rounded shoulder, and terminates in a semicircular edge, which
is neatly |94| ground, the rest of the celt being left in the state
in which it was chipped out. From the form, it would appear as if this
implement had been intended to be mounted by the insertion of the
butt-end in a socket, like that shown in Fig. 98, so that it could be
used as an axe. The axis of the butt is not quite in the same line as
that of the rest of the blade. It was found at Undley Common, near
Lakenheath, and is in the Greenwell Collection.

[Illustration: Fig. 38.—Undley Common, Lakenheath. 1∕2]

A remarkable specimen of an allied kind is shown in Fig. 38A. The edge
only is ground and a flat surface has been left at the butt-end, which
is almost circular. It was found on Ringwood Gore Farm, East Dean,
Sussex, and was given to me by Mr. R. Hilton.

Another form, apparently intended for use as an adze, is also of
rare occurrence. The specimen shown in Fig. 39 was found at Ganton,
Yorkshire, and is in my own collection. It is very much more convex on
one face than the other, which, indeed, is nearly flat. The grinding is
confined to the edge, but some parts of the flat face are polished as
if by friction.

The late Dr. John Stuart, F.S.A.Scot., showed me a sketch of a large
implement of this type, and considerably bowed longitudinally, found at
Bogingarry, Old Deer, Aberdeenshire. It is of flint, 4 1∕2 inches long,
and 2 inches wide. |95|

[Illustration: Fig. 38A.—East Dean. 1∕2]

[Illustration: Fig. 39.—Ganton. 1∕2]

[Illustration: Fig. 40.—Swaffham Fen. 1∕2]

Another form of adze, if such it be, remarkably flat on one face and
narrow at the butt, is shown in Fig. 40. This specimen was found in
Swaffham Fen, Cambridge, and is in my own collection. The flat face has
been produced at a single blow, and has been left almost untouched,
except where trimmed by chipping to form the edge, which, however,
|96| has been rendered blunt by grinding. The sides are very minutely
chipped along the angles, and there seems some possibility of the
instrument having been used as a rimer or boring tool.

The celts of other materials than flint, and ground only at the edge,
are of rarer occurrence than those in flint. That engraved as Fig. 41
was found at Grindale, near Bridlington. It is of felstone, and is
remarkable as being so much curved in the direction of its length. I
have another smaller specimen from the same place, but the blade is
straight. The edge, however, is slightly gouge-like.

Mr. J. W. Brooke has a small adze of flint (2 1∕4 inches) in outline
almost identical with Fig. 41. It came from near Aldbourne, Wilts.

[Illustration: Fig. 41.—Grindale, Bridlington. 1∕2]

[Illustration: Fig. 42.—North Burton. 1∕2]

Another of these instruments expanding towards the edge, and apparently
adapted for insertion in a socket, is shown in Fig. 42. It is made
of hone-stone, and the flat butt is the result of a natural joint
in the stone. It was found at North Burton, in the East Riding of
Yorkshire, and is in the Greenwell Collection, where is also a celt of
greenstone much like Fig. 41, found in a barrow with a burnt interment
on Seamer Moor, Yorkshire; and another of the same class, 3 3∕4 inches
long and 2 3∕4 inches wide, also from Seamer Moor. A third specimen,
rather smaller, was found in a barrow at Uncleby, Yorkshire. One of
greenstone, 2 1∕2 inches long, and nearly triangular in outline, was
found near Keswick, and is in the Blackmore Museum. A longer adze of
greenstone, considerably curved in the blade, lay in company with
various implements of flint in some sand-beds near York.[324] In the
Mayer Collection at Liverpool is a celt of clay-slate, 4 inches long
and ground at the edge, found at Toxteth. In the collection of the late
Mr. J. F. Lucas, of Fenny Bentley Hall, near Ashbourne, were two celts
(5 1∕2 and 7 inches) of the same type as Fig. 35, but more adze-like in
character, and formed of felstone. They were found on Middleton Moor,
and at Wormhill, near Buxton, Derbyshire.

In my own collection, is a greenstone celt with the sides sharp and
nearly parallel, 7 1∕2 inches long and nearly 3 inches broad, with
a semicircular edge partly ground, found at Shrub Hill, Feltwell,
Norfolk. |97|

I have also a large specimen in form more resembling Fig. 23, six
inches long. It is ground at the edge, which is nearly semicircular,
and along the sides. It was found at Thurston, Suffolk, and is formed
of a piece of tough mica-schist, with garnets[325] in it, a material,
no doubt, derived from the Glacial beds of that district. Another from
Troston, in the same neighbourhood, is formed from a rough fragment
of micaceous grit ground to an edge at one end. In Scotland some
wedge-shaped blades of granite, exhibiting traces of a very small
amount of artificial adaptation, have been found. Two such, from
Aberdeenshire, described as axes, have been figured.[326] The small
stone celts found in Orkney,[327] though tolerably sharp at the edge,
are described as rough on the sides.

       *       *       *       *       *

Turning to foreign countries, the discovery of flint instruments of
this class, ground at the edge only, or on some small portions of their
surface, is, as has already been observed, not uncommon in France and
Belgium. In Denmark they are also very abundant, but the most common
Danish form with a thick rectangular section does not appear to occur
in Britain. Among the North American stone hatchets, many present this
feature of being ground at the edge only, and the same is the case with
some of the tools of the native Australians, such as that engraved in
Fig. 105. A rough celt from Borneo, ground at the edge only, has been
engraved by General Pitt Rivers.[328] The type also occurs in India and

In all European countries instruments of this form and character, but
made of other materials than flint, are, like those entirely unground,
of very rare occurrence. This rarity may arise from two causes, the
one, that the tools or weapons made of these materials have not so
sharp a cutting edge produced by chipping only as those formed of
flint; and the second, that being usually somewhat softer than flint it
required less time and trouble to grind them all over.

None of the rough celts, nor those ground at the edge only, seem so
well adapted for use as hand-tools without a haft, as do some of those
which are polished all over. Looking, however, at some of the rough
Australian tools which are hafted with gum in a piece of skin, and thus
used in the hand, it is hardly safe to express a decided opinion. The
majority were, notwithstanding, in all probability, mounted with shafts
after the manner of axes or adzes.




The last of the three classes into which, for the sake of convenience
of arrangement, I have divided these instruments, viz., that comprising
the celts ground or polished, not only at the edge, but over a great
portion, or the whole, of their surface, is also that which is usually
most numerously represented in collections of antiquities. Whether
this excess in number over the other classes arises from the greater
original abundance of these polished implements, or from their being
better calculated to attract observation, and, therefore, more likely
to be collected and preserved than those of a less finished character,
is a difficult question. From my own experience it appears that, so far
as relates to the implements of this character formed of flint, and
still lying unnoticed on the surface of the soil, the proportions which
usually obtain in collections are as nearly as may be reversed, and the
chipped, or but partially polished, celts are in a large majority.

Among the polished celts there is a great range in size, and much
variation in form, though the general character is in the main,
uniform. The readiest method of classification is, I think, in
accordance with the section presented by the middle of the blade, and
I, therefore, propose to arrange them as follows:—

1. Those sharp or but slightly rounded at the sides, and presenting a
pointed oval or _vesica piscis_ in section.

2. Those with flat sides.

3. Those with an oval section.

4. Those presenting abnormal peculiarities.

In each subdivision there will, of course, be several varieties,
according as the sides are more or less parallel, the blade thicker
or thinner, the butt-end more or less pointed, and the edge flat,
segmental, or oblique. There are also intermediate forms between these
merely arbitrary classes. |99|

[Illustration: Fig. 43.—Santon Downham, Suffolk. 1∕2]

       *       *       *       *       *

I commence with those of the first sub-division, in flint. The first
specimen I have engraved, Fig. 43, is a representative of a common
type, and was found at Santon Downham, between Brandon and Thetford,
on the borders of Norfolk and Suffolk, where, also, implements
belonging to the Palæolithic Period have been discovered. The sides
were originally sharp, but have been slightly rounded by grinding. The
faces still show, in many places, the surface originally produced by
chipping, but all projections have been ground away. |100|

I have also a larger specimen, 9 1∕2 inches long, from the same spot,
and found, I believe, at the same time.

This form is of common occurrence in the Eastern Counties. I have
specimens from Hilgay Fen, Norfolk (8 1∕2 inches), and Botesdale (7
inches), Hepworth (6 1∕4 inches), Undley Hall, near Lakenheath (5 3∕4
inches), in Suffolk. Some of these are ground over almost the entire
face. A fine specimen (10 inches) is in the Woodwardian Museum, at
Cambridge. In the Fitch Collection is a fine series of them. One of
these, 9 3∕4 inches long, 3 1∕2 inches broad, and 2 1∕2 inches thick,
weighing 3 lbs. 6 1∕2 ozs., was found at Narborough, near Swaffham.
Another (9 1∕2 inches), weighing 3 3∕4 lbs., was found near Ipswich.
A third (8 3∕4 inches) was discovered at Bolton, near Great Yarmouth.
Others from 5 3∕4 inches to 7 1∕4 inches long, are from Beachamwell,
Elsing, Grundisburgh, Aylsham, and Breccles, in the counties of Suffolk
and Norfolk. That from the last-named locality has one face flatter
than the other.

There are others in the Norwich Museum, including one from Blofield,
8 1∕2 inches long.

There are numerous specimens of this type in the British Museum. One
from Barton Bendish, Norfolk, is 7 3∕4 inches long; another from
Oxburgh, in the same county, 6 3∕4 inches. Others, 6 1∕2 inches and
5 1∕2 inches long, are from Market Weston and Kesgrave, Suffolk. The
former is semicircular at both ends.

Mr. A. C. Savin has a well-finished example (6 1∕2 inches) from
Trimingham, five miles south of Cromer.

The Rev. S. Banks, of Cottenham, had a fine specimen, of white flint,
8 1∕2 inches long, found at Stow Heath, Suffolk.

Several celts of this form found in the Fen district are in the Museum
of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society. I have some from the same
neighbourhood, of which two are unusually wide in proportion to their
length, and in outline much resemble Fig. 48, though the edge is more
semicircular. One of these is 7 inches long, 3 1∕4 inches wide, and
1 3∕4 inches thick; the other 5 1∕2 inches long, 2 3∕4 inches wide, and
1 3∕8 inches thick.

I have seen a celt presenting a narrow variety of this form, which was
found at Albury, near Bishop’s Stortford. It is 6 3∕4 inches long, and
1 5∕8 inches wide, and polished all over.

The ordinary form, though apparently of most frequent occurrence in the
East Anglian counties, is not by any means confined to that district.
One, 8 1∕2 inches long, the sides very slightly flattened; and three
others, 6 inches and 5 inches long, with the sides more rounded, all
found in the Thames, at London, are in the British Museum. I have one
from the Thames, at Teddington (6 inches), and three, 5 1∕4 to 6 inches
long, found together in[329] Temple Mills Lane, Stratford, Essex, in
1882. In the Greenwell Collection is one 7 1∕2 inches long, found at
Holme, on Spalding Moor, Yorkshire.

A flint celt of this form (6 1∕2 inches), from Reigate,[330] is
in the British Museum, as well as another (6 1∕4 inches), rather
oblique at the edge, found in a barrow in Hampshire, engraved in the
_Archæologia_.[331] |101| Another, 7 inches long, was found near
Egham,[332] Surrey. Two from Ash[333] near Farnham, and Wisley in the
same county have been figured. I have a short, thick specimen (4 1∕2
inches) found at Eynsham, Oxfordshire. It sometimes happens that celts
of this general character have one side much curved while the other is
nearly straight, so that in outline they resemble Fig. 86. One such,
5 inches long and 2 inches broad in the middle, found at Bishopstow,
is in the Blackmore Museum. Another (6 1∕2 inches) with the sides
less curved, from Stanton Fitzwarren, Wilts, has been engraved by the
Archæological Institute.[334] Two, 7 1∕4 and 5 1∕4 inches long, were
found at Jarrow.[335]

The same type as Fig. 43 occasionally occurs in other materials than
flint. The late Mr. James Wyatt, F.G.S., had a celt of greenstone
9 3∕4 inches long, 3 1∕2 inches wide at the edge, which is slightly
oblique, found many years ago in Miller’s Bog, Pavenham, Beds. There is
an engraving of it, on which it is described as of flint, but such is
not the fact. The form is also sometimes found in France and Belgium.
I have specimens from both countries; and one from Périgord, 8 inches
long, is in the Museum at Le Puy.

[Illustration: Fig. 44.—Coton, Cambridge. 1∕2]

Allied to this form, but usually more rounded at the sides, and flatter
on the faces, are the implements of which an example is given in Fig.
44. The original was found at Coton, Cambridgeshire, in 1863. The type
is the same as that of Fig. 35; but in this case the celt is polished
all over. The butt-end is ground to a semicircular outline, but is,
like the sides, rounded. The same is the case with some of the thicker
celts of the form last described. A celt of much the same character,
but with the sides apparently rather flatter (7 1∕3 inches), was found
at Panshanger, Herts.[336] One (5 inches), from the Isle of Wight, is
in the British Museum. The edge is oblique, as is that of another of
the same length found on the South Downs, and now in the Museum at
Lewes. Another of grey flint, 7 inches long, tapering from 2 inches
at edge to 1 inch at butt, 7∕8 inch thick, semicircular at the butt
and edge, the faces polished nearly all over, but the sides sharp and
left unground, was found during the Main Drainage Works for London,
and is also in the British Museum. Others have been described from
Playford,[337] Suffolk (6 7∕8 inches) and Chalvey Grove,[338] Eton
Wick, Bucks (7 3∕8 inches), and part of one from Croydon.[339] |102|

I have seen specimens of the same kind, with the sides straight
and sharp though slightly rounded, tapering towards the butt which
is semicircular, and varying in length from 5 1∕4 inches to 7 1∕4
inches, found at Alderton, Suffolk; Thorn Marsh, Yorkshire; Norton,
near Malton; Westacre Hall, Norfolk; and elsewhere. The late Mr. J.
Brent, F.S.A., showed me a drawing of one about 7 inches long, found at
Bigborough Wood, Tunford, Canterbury.

[Illustration: Fig. 45.—Reach Fen, Cambridge. 1∕2]

[Illustration: Fig. 46—Great Bedwin, Wilts. 1∕2]

The celt shown in Fig. 45 belongs to the same class, though it is
rather flatter at the sides. It is polished over the greater part of
its surface, but is on one face quite unpolished at the edge. I have
engraved it as an example of the manner in which, after the edge of
a hatchet of this kind had become damaged by use, a fresh edge was
obtained by chipping, which, in some instances, the owner of the
implement was not at the pains to sharpen by grinding.

Fig. 46 gives another variety of the flint celts with sharp or slightly
rounded sides. It is slightly ridged along each face, and the faces
instead of being uniformly convex to the edge have at the lower part a
nearly flat facet of triangular form, the base of which forms the edge.
This specimen was found at Great Bedwin, Wilts, and is in the Greenwell

I have a nearly similar specimen (6 1∕4 inches) from Northwood,
Harefield, Middlesex, and another of the same length, found at
Hepworth, |103| Suffolk, but the facet at the edge is not quite so
distinct. A third from Abingdon is only 4 1∕2 inches long.

A long narrow chisel-like celt of this pointed oval section (8
inches) from Aberdeenshire[340] has been figured. A flint celt from
Chiriqui,[341] found with a sort of flint punch and some burnishing
pebbles in a grave, presumed to be that of one of the native workers in
gold, is remarkably like Fig. 46 in form.

[Illustration: Fig. 47.—Burradon, Northumberland. 1∕2]

In the Fitch Collection is a large thick specimen (9 5∕8 inches) found
at Heckingham Common, Norfolk, and a shorter, broader one with a
faceted edge, from Pentney. Another of flint (6 1∕2 inches) with the
sides much rounded, but with a similar facet at the edge, was found at
Histon, Cambs, and belonged to the late Rev. S. Banks.

It seems probable that these instruments when first made did not
exhibit the facet at the edge, but that it has resulted from repeated
grinding as the edge became injured by wear.

A celt, apparently of this section, but more truncated at the butt, and
with a narrow facet running along the centre of the face, was found in
Llangwyllog,[342] Anglesey. It is not of flint but of “white magnesian

Fig. 47 exhibits a beautiful implement of a different character, and
of a very rare form, inasmuch as it expands towards the edge. It is
of ochreous-coloured flint polished all over, and is in the Greenwell
Collection. It was found at Burradon, Northumberland, and in outline
much resembles that from Gilmerton, Fig. 76, but this latter has the
sides flat and a cutting edge at each end.

A celt of similar form, but only 6 1∕2 inches long, found at Cliff
Hill, is in the Museum at Leicester. Four flint hatchets, found at
Bexley, Kent, seem from the description given of them to be nearly of
this type.[343] |104|

A few specimens of this form, both unground and ground merely at the
edge, have already been mentioned, and specimens engraved, as Figs.
21 and 36. Hatchets expanding towards the edge are of more common
occurrence in Denmark than in this country, though even there they are
rather rare when the expansion is well-defined.

In the British Museum is a magnificent celt of this section, but
in outline like Fig. 77. It is ground over nearly the whole of its
surface, but the edge at each end has only been chipped out. It is made
of some felspathic rock, and is no less than 14 5∕8 inches in length.
It was found near Conishead Priory, Lancashire.

The next specimens that I shall describe are also principally made of
other materials than flint.

Fig. 48, in my own collection, is of porphyritic greenstone, and was
found at Coton, Cambridgeshire. It is polished all over, equally convex
on both faces, and has the sides rather more rounded than most of those
of nearly similar section in flint. The butt is rather sharper than the
sides. I have an analogous implement, found at Nunnington, Yorkshire,
but with the sides straighter and rather more converging towards the
butt. Others have been found in the same district.

[Illustration: Fig. 48.—Coton, Cambridge. 1∕2]

Other specimens made of greenstone have been found in the Fens, some of
which are in the Museum of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society.

Some “stone” celts from Kate’s Bridge[344] and Digby Fen have been
figured in Miller and Skertchly’s “Fenland.” One (7 inches) of
greenstone, and apparently of this type, was found at Hartford,[345]
Hunts, and is now in the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford.

In the Newcastle Museum is a compact greenstone celt of this character
(5 3∕4 inches) with the edge slightly oblique, found at Penrith Beacon,
Cumberland. Some celts of the same general character have been found in

Implements of this class are frequently more tapering at the butt than
the one shown in the figure. I have several such from the Cambridge
Fens, and have seen an example from Towcester. One of flint (4 inches),
so much rounded at the edge as to be almost oval in outline, found near
Mildenhall, is in the Christy Collection. One of greenstone (4 1∕4
inches) was found at Wormhill, Buxton, Derbyshire.

Fig. 49, of dark-grey whin-stone, is of much the same character, but
has an oblique cutting edge. The butt-end is ground to a blunted |105|
curve. The original is in the Greenwell Collection, and was dug up in
draining at Ponteland, Northumberland. Another, in the same collection,
similar, but much rougher (6 inches) was found at Halton Chesters, in
the same county. I have one of the same kind (6 5∕8 inches) found near
Raby Castle, Durham.

A flint hatchet of nearly the same form, 4 1∕2 inches long, was found
at Kempston, near Bedford. The Earl of Ducie, F.R.S., has another of
flint (5 inches) from Bembridge, Isle of Wight. A celt, from Andalusia,
of this character, but with the edge straighter, has been figured.[346]

[Illustration: Fig. 49.—Ponteland, Northumberland. 1∕2]

[Illustration: Fig. 50.—Fridaythorpe, Yorkshire. 1∕2]

The celt engraved in Fig. 50 is likewise in the Greenwell Collection,
and was found at Fridaythorpe, in the East Riding of Yorkshire. It is
formed of green hone-stone. Another, similar but thicker, and having
the sides more convergent and the edge less oblique, was found at
the same place and is in the same collection, in which also is the
fragment of a larger implement of the same class from Amotherby, near
Malton, Yorkshire. With these is another (4 3∕4 inches) which was found
in a barrow with a burnt interment on Seamer Moor, Yorkshire. It is
apparently of clay-slate which has become red by burning with the body.

Messrs. Mortimer have one of this form in greenstone (5 3∕8 inches)
found near Malton, and also one in flint (4 1∕8 inches) found near
Fimber. |106|

I have a well-finished celt of hone-stone, rather thicker
proportionally than that figured (5 5∕8 inches), probably found in
Cumberland, it having formed part of the Crosthwaite Collection
at Keswick. In the Greenwell Collection is another of basalt,
with straight sides, tapering from 2 3∕4 inches at edge to 1 3∕4
at butt, 9 1∕2 in length, and 1 3∕4 thick, from a peat moss at
Cowshill-in-Weardale, Durham.

A thin, flat form of celt, still presenting the same character of
section, is represented in Fig. 51. The original is formed of a hard,
nearly black clay-slate, and was found at Oulston, in the North Riding
of Yorkshire. Like many others which I have described, it is in the
Greenwell Collection.

[Illustration: Fig. 51.—Oulston. 1∕2]

One of flint like Fig. 51 (5 inches) was found at Shelley,[347] Suffolk.

A celt of greenstone (4 3∕4 inches), of the same character but
thicker and with straighter sides, from Newton, Aberdeenshire, is in
the National Museum at Edinburgh, where is also another, in outline
more like the figure, but broader at the butt-end, and with one side
somewhat flattened. It is 4 3∕8 long, and was found at Redhall, near

Some Irish celts, formed of different metamorphic rocks, present the
same forms as those of Figs. 48 to 51. As a rule, however, the sides of
Irish specimens are more rounded.

Fig. 52 represents an exquisitely polished celt, of a mottled, pale
|107| green colour, found in Burwell Fen, Cambridge, and, through
the kindness of Mr. Marlborough Pryor, now in my own collection. The
material appears to be a very hard diorite; and as both faces are
highly polished all over, the labour bestowed in the manufacture of
such an instrument must have been immense. It is somewhat curved
lengthways, and on the inner face is a slight depression, as if, in
chipping it out, one of the lines of fracture had run in too far; but
even this depression is polished, and no trace of the original chipped
surface remains. The point is quite sharp, and the sides are only in
the slightest degree rounded.

[Illustration: Fig. 52.—Burwell Fen. 1∕2]

A beautiful example of the kind is said to have been found in a barrow
near Stonehenge.[348] Another of a green-grey colour (6 1∕2 inches) was
found at Lopham Ford, near the source of the Waveney, and was submitted
to me in 1884, by the late Mr. T. E. Amyot, of Diss.

The late Mr. J. W. Flower, F.G.S., bequeathed to me a somewhat larger
specimen of the same character, found at Daviot, Inverness. It is
slightly broken at the pointed butt, but must have been about 8 inches
long and 3 5∕8 broad. The material may be a diorite, but perhaps more
nearly approaches what the French term jadeite. In the Truro Museum is
another highly polished celt of the same form, and similar material,
found near Falmouth.

Mr. J. W. Brooke has a beautifully polished specimen, made of a green
transparent stone, from Breamore, Salisbury. It has lost a small piece
at the butt-end, but is still 8 inches long. It is only 2 5∕8 inches
broad at the cutting end.

Another celt, 7 3∕4 inches long, “the edges thin, rising gradually to
about the thickness of half an inch in the middle,” was found in 1791
near Hopton, Derbyshire.[349] The material is described as appearing
“to be marble, of a light colour tinged with yellow, and a mixture of
pale red and green veins.”

In the collection of the late Mr. J. F. Lucas was a celt of this type
|108| 5 1∕2 inches long, slightly unsymmetrical in outline, owing to
the cleavage of the stone. It is said to have been found near Brierlow,
Buxton. The material is a green jade-like stone, but so fibrous in
appearance as to resemble fibrolite.

Another, of “a fine granite stone, highly polished, 9 inches long,
4 1∕4 broad at one end, tapering to the other, its thickness in the
middle 3∕4 of an inch, and quite sharp at the edges all round,” was
found at Mains,[350] near Dumfries, in 1779. It was discovered in
blowing up some large stones, possibly those of a dolmen, and is now in
the possession of Sir R. S. Riddell, Bart., of Strontian.

[Illustration: Fig. 52A.—Berwickshire. 1∕2]

Several other specimens have been found in Scotland. A beautiful celt
from Berwickshire[351] is, through the kindness of the Society of |109|
Antiquaries of Scotland, shown in Fig. 52A. It is made of green quartz
and has the edge intentionally blunted. A smaller celt (7 1∕2 inches)
was found at Cunzierton near Jedburgh[352]; another (8 inches) at
Rattray,[353] Perthshire; another (8 1∕4 inches), only 3∕4 inch thick
at most, near Glenluce,[354] Wigtownshire; and others (8 inches) at
Aberfeldy,[355] Perthshire, and Dunfermline.[356]

Several of these highly polished jadeite celts have been found in
dolmens in Brittany and there are some fine specimens in the museum
at Vannes. Some of them[357] have small holes bored through them.
The various types of Brittany celts have been classified by the
Société Polymathique du Morbihan.[358] In the Musée de St. Germain
is a specimen (unbored) 9 inches long, found near Paris,[359] as
also a hoard of fifteen, originally seventeen, mostly of jadeite and
fibrolite, some perforated, found at Bernon,[360] near Arzon, Morbihan,
in 1893. I have one 7 1∕2 inches long from St. Jean, Châteaudun, and
others 5 3∕8 to 7 inches in length, of beautiful varieties of jade-like
stone, found at Eu (Seine Inférieure), Miannay, near Abbeville (Somme),
and Breteuil (Oise). The two latter are rounded and not sharp at the
sides. One about 6 1∕2 inches long, from the environs of Soissons, is
in the museum at Lyons.

One of jade, of analogous form to these, and found near Brussels, is
engraved by Le Hon.[361] Another was found at Maffles.[362]

Five specimens of the same character, of different sizes, the longest
about 9 1∕2 inches in length, and the shortest about 4 inches,
are said to have been found with Roman remains at Kästrich, near
Gonsenheim,[363] and are preserved in the museum at Mainz. The smallest
is of greenstone, and the others of chloritic albite. They are said to
have been buried in a sort of leather case, arranged alternately with
the pointed and broad ends downwards, and in accordance with their size.

Eight specimens from museums at Weimar, Rudolstadt, and Leipzig were
exhibited at Berlin.[364] in 1880. One from Wesseling,[365] on the
Rhine (8 inches), is thought to have been associated with Roman remains.

Both with the English and Continental specimens, there appears to be
considerable doubt as to the exact localities whence the materials were
derived from which these celts are formed.

Instruments for which such beautiful and intractable materials
were selected, can hardly have been in common use; but we have not
sufficient ground for arriving at any trustworthy conclusion as
to the purpose for which they were intended. I have, however, a
short celt, 3 1∕2 inches long, from Burwell Fen, and made of this
jade-like material, which has evidently been much in use, and was once
considerably longer. It appears, indeed, to be the butt-end of an
instrument like Fig. 52.

A detailed account of the jade and jadeite celts in the British Museum
is given in the _Zeitschrift für Ethnologie_.[366] |110|

It was formerly supposed that the jade of which many hatchets found in
Switzerland and other European countries are made, came of necessity
from the East, and theories as to the early migrations of mankind have
been based upon this supposition. As a fact, jade has now been found
in Europe, and notably in Styria[367] and Silesia.[368] Below[369] are
given some references to comments on the sources of jade. An account of
the method of working jade in Western Yun-nan is given in Anderson’s
Report[370] on the Expedition to that country; and a complete and
well-illustrated catalogue of objects in jade and nephrite, by Dr. A.
B. Meyer, forms part of the publications of the Royal Ethnographical
Museum, at Dresden, for 1883.

       *       *       *       *       *

I now come to the second of the subdivisions under which I have
arranged this class of implements, viz., those having the sides
flattened. The flat sides, of course, taper away to a point at the
cutting edge of the celts, and usually diminish much in width toward
the butt-end, which is commonly ground to a semicircular blunted edge.
The implements of this kind are generally very symmetrical in form.

       *       *       *       *       *

I have selected a large specimen for engraving in Fig. 53. It is of
grey mottled flint, ground all over to such an extent, that hardly any
traces of the original chipping remain. It was found at Botesdale,
Suffolk, and was formerly in the collection of Mr. Warren, of Ixworth,
but is now in my own. I have another (4 3∕4 inches) from Redgrave,
Suffolk, and a third (5 1∕2 inches) from Bottisham Lode, Cambs.

One of the same form, found near Stowmarket, is engraved in the
_Archæologia_.[371] If the account there given be correct, it was
12 3∕4 inches long. A specimen from Cardiff, now in the British Museum
(4 1∕2 inches), has lost a considerable portion of its original length
by use, and is ground so that the edge bounds a facet on the face. The
sides at the butt-end are somewhat rounded, but near the edge they are
flat and 1∕4 inch wide.

A fine specimen of this character, formed of ochreous flint (9 inches),
found in Swaffham Fen, Cambridgeshire, is in the Christy Collection, as
well as one from Mildenhall (5 1∕2 inches), the butt-end of which is
sharper than is usual.

In the Fitch Collection is a flint celt of this type, 7 1∕2 inches
long and 2 1∕2 broad at the edge, which however, has been broken off.
It is said to have been found in a tumulus at Swannington, Norfolk, in
1855. In the Northampton Museum is a specimen (6 inches) of ochreous
flint, found at Gilsborough, Northamptonshire. The late Mr. James
Wyatt, F.G.S., had a beautiful implement of this type, but narrower in
proportion to its length, being 7 inches long and only 1 3∕4 wide at
the edge, found in the Thames at Coway Stakes, near Egham. I have one
(6 inches) from the Thames at Hampton Court. A fine specimen, 9 1∕2
inches long, and 3 wide at the edge, with the sides quite flat, but
|111| less than 1∕4 inch wide, of ochreous flint, polished all over,
was found at Crudwell, Wilts.

[Illustration: Fig. 53.—Botesdale, Suffolk. 1∕2]

Others, in flint, have been found at Sutton, Suffolk (8 inches);
Wishford, Great Bedwin, Wilts[372] (7 inches); Portsmouth;[373]
Cherbury Camp, Pusey, Faringdon[374] (5 1∕2 inches long, edge faceted),
and Rampton, Cambridge.[375] I have seen one (5 1∕2 inches) that was
found near Loughborough. Mr. G. F. Lawrence has a fine specimen (7 5∕8
inches) from the Lea Marshes. |112|

In the National Museum at Edinburgh is one of white flint (10 inches)
from Fochabers,[376] Elginshire, and another from the same place (7 1∕4
inches). They are in shape much like Fig. 61. There is another of grey
flint, from Skye (7 1∕2 inches). One 5 1∕2 inches long, in the same
museum, from Roxburghshire, has the middle part of the faces ground
flat, so that the section is a sort of compressed octagon; the edge is
nearly straight.

[Illustration: Fig. 54.—Lackford, Suffolk. 1∕2]

Much the same form occurs in other materials than flint. I have a
specimen, formed of flinty clay-slate, with one side less flat than the
other, 10 1∕4 inches long, 3 wide, and 1 5∕8 thick, said to have been
found with four others in a cairn on Druim-a-shi, Culloden, Inverness.
I have another of whin-stone (9 1∕4 inches) from Kirkcaldy, Fife.

The fine celt from Gilmerton, Fig. 76, is of the same class, but has
a cutting edge at each end. Some Cumberland and Westmorland specimens
partake much of this character. |113|

Implements of nearly similar form to that last described, but having
the edge oblique, are also met with. That engraved in Fig. 54 was found
at Lackford, Suffolk, and was formerly in the collection of Mr. Warren,
of Ixworth, but is now in mine. It is of grey flint. I have another,
of white flint, of the same length but a trifle narrower, and with the
grinding for the edge forming more of a facet with the body of the
celt. It was found in the Isle of Portland. The obliquity of the edge
was no doubt intentional, and may have originated in the manner in
which these hatchets were mounted with hafts. Professor Nilsson[377]
has suggested that the obliquity is due to the front part of the blade
being worn away in use more quickly than the back.

[Illustration: Fig. 55.—Dalmeny, Linlithgow. 1∕2]

To this class, though very different in appearance, belongs a
beautifully made celt of grey flint, in the British Museum. It is
probably of English origin, though the place of finding is unknown. The
sides are straight and flat, but only about 1∕16 of an inch wide, the
faces equally convex and polished all over. It is 9 inches long, and
tapers from 1 1∕2 inches wide at the edge, which is broken, to 5∕8 at
the butt. Its greatest thickness is 1∕2 an inch. It is engraved in the
_Archæological Journal_.[378]

Flint celts of the type of both Fig. 53 and 54 are not uncommon in
France and Belgium. They are also found, though rarely, in Ireland.

The cutting end of one formed of nearly transparent quartz, and found
in Egypt, is in the Museum at Geneva.

Celts with the sides flattened are of not unfrequent occurrence
in other materials than flint. That figured as No. 55 is of
ochreous-coloured quartzite, and was found at Dalmeny, Linlithgow.
It is preserved in the National Museum at Edinburgh. The form is
remarkable, as being so broad in proportion to the length. The sides
are flat, but the angles they make with the faces are slightly rounded.
The butt-end is rounded in both directions, and appears to have been
worked with a pointed tool or pick.

Another celt, of greenstone, of much the same form but with the |114|
sides more tapering, 6 inches long and 3 1∕4 wide, which was found
in Lochleven[379] in 1860, is in the same museum. This latter more
nearly resembles Fig. 51 in outline. A small highly-polished celt of
flinty slate (2 5∕8 inches), found near Dundee,[380] has been figured.
Another, more triangular in outline, 6 1∕2 inches long, was found at
Barugh, Yorkshire, and is in the Greenwell Collection. I have a celt of
rather narrower proportions that was found between Hitchin and Pirton,
Herts. It is made of a kind of _lapis lydius_.

Many of the Danish greenstone celts, which are perforated at the butt,
present much the same outline and section.

[Illustration: Fig. 56.—Sprouston, near Kelso. 1∕2]

Stone hatchets of this character occur, though rarely, in France. I
have seen one in the collection of the late M. Aymard, at Le Puy.
Dr. Finlay, of Athens, had a thin, flat hatchet of this form made of
heliotrope, 3 1∕2 inches long, with flat sides, found in Greece. The
form occurs also in Sicily.[381]

Several celts of this type have been brought from different parts
of Asia. One, of basalt, 2 inches long, wedge-shaped, found at
Muquier,[382] in Southern Babylonia, is in the British Museum; and
several of jade, 3 to 4 inches long, procured by Major Sladen from the
province of Yun-nan in Southern China, are in the Christy Collection.
By Major Sladen’s kindness, I have also a specimen. Mr. Joseph Edkins
has published some notes on “Stone Hatchets in China.”[383] Others from
Perak[384] have also been described.

The same form, also in jade, has been found in Assam.[385] Some from
Java, in the museum at Leyden, formed of flint, present the same
section, but the sides expand towards the edge. A nearly similar form
occurs in Japan.[386]

Fig. 56 is of the same character as Fig. 55, but narrower at the |115|
butt-end. The original is in the Greenwell Collection, and is formed
of Lydian stone. It was found at Sprouston, near Kelso, Roxburghshire.
Though flat at the sides along most of the blade, the section becomes
oval near the butt-end.

I have a smaller example of this type in clay-slate, 3 1∕2 inches long
and 1 3∕4 wide at the edge, found at Carnaby, near Bridlington. The
butt-end is in this case rectangular in section. It closely resembles
the flat-sided hatchets so commonly found in France. I have an Irish
celt of the same form found near Armagh, and made of clay-slate.
Flat-sided celts are, however, rare in Ireland.

[Illustration: Fig. 57.—Nunnington, Yorkshire. 1∕2]

A celt of grey flint, 4 1∕2 inches long, of much the same outline,
but having the sides rounded and not flat, and the butt brought to
a straight sharp edge, was found in Burwell Fen, and is now in the
Christy Collection.

A celt of the same section, but of peculiar form, with the sides curved
slightly inwards, and tapering considerably to the butt, is shown in
Fig. 57. The sides are flat, but have the angles slightly rounded; a
narrow flattened face is carried round the butt-end. It would appear to
have been made from a calcareous nodule found in some argillaceous bed,
like the septaria in the London clay. Both of |116| its faces present
a series of diverging cracks, of slight depth, apparently resulting
from the dissolution of calcareous veins in the stone. It was found at
Nunnington, Yorkshire, and now forms part of the Greenwell Collection.

The original of Fig. 58 was discovered at Burradon, Northumberland,
where also the fine flint celt, Fig. 47, was found. This likewise
is in the Greenwell Collection. It is of porphyritic stone, and has
the angles of the flat sides slightly rounded. Another, in the same
collection, 4 inches long, from Doddington, in the same county, is of
similar character. Celts of much the same shape and size have been
found in the Shetland Isles; one of these, 5 1∕2 inches long, from
West Burrafirth, is in the British Museum. A similar form is found in

[Illustration: Fig. 58.—Burradon, Northumberland. 1∕2]

[Illustration: Fig. 59.—Livermere, Suffolk. 1∕2]

Fig. 59 shows a celt of much the same kind, found at Livermere, near
Bury St. Edmunds. It is formed of a close-grained greenstone, and is
in my own collection. The angles at the sides are slightly rounded.
I have others of nearly the same size and of similar material, found
near Cirencester, and at Soham and Bottisham, Cambs. Greenstone celts
of about this size, and with the sides more or less flat, so as to
range between Figs. 48 and 58, are of not uncommon occurrence in the
Fen country. Mr. Fisher, of Ely, has one, found near Manea, and several
from Bottisham. I have one, of felstone, 3 1∕2 inches long, found at
Coton, Cambs., one side of which presents a flat surface 3∕8 inch wide,
while the other is but slightly flattened. One (4 3∕10 inches) was
found near Torquay, Devon.[388]

A still more triangular form, more convex on the faces, and
having |117| the flat sides much narrower, is shown in Fig. 60,
from a specimen in the Greenwell Collection, found at Ilderton,
Northumberland. It is formed of a hard, slaty rock or hone-stone. The
angles of the sides are rounded.

In the National Museum at Edinburgh are two implements of greenstone
(2 3∕4 and 3 inches) of nearly similar form to Fig. 60, but having the
sides sharp. They were found in the Isle of Skye.[389]

[Illustration: Fig. 60.—Ilderton, Northumberland.]

A smaller celt of the same character, 2 1∕2 inches long, found in a
cairn at Brindy Hill, Aberdeenshire,[390] is in the British Museum.

One 2 5∕8 inches long, from Sardis,[391] in Lydia, and in the same
collection, is of much the same form, but rounder at the sides and less
pointed at the butt.

Implements of the form represented in Fig. 61 occur most frequently in
the northern part of Britain, especially in Cumberland and Westmorland,
in consequence, it may be supposed, of the felspathic rocks, of
which they are usually formed, being there found in the greatest
abundance. That here figured is in the British Museum. It is of mottled
close-grained stone, beautifully finished, and was found in a turf pit
on Windy Harbour Farm, near Pendle, Lancashire.[392] It is more slender
than the generality of the implements of this class, which in outline
usually more closely resemble Fig. 77, which, however, has a cutting
edge at each end. They sometimes slightly expand towards the butt-end.

I have a more roughly-finished implement of this class, with the two
faces faceted longitudinally, found near Wigton, Cumberland, and
formerly in the Crosthwaite Museum, at Keswick. It is of felspathic
ash, much decomposed on the surface, and 9 inches long. I have also a
small example of the type (7 1∕2 inches) made of whin-stone, and found
by Mr. W. Whitaker, F.R.S., near Sudbury, Suffolk, in 1873. Some larger
specimens of similar character are in the Christy Collection. One of
them is 13 3∕4 inches in length.

In the Greenwell Collection is an implement of this type, but with the
sides straighter, and the angles rounded, found at Holme, on Spalding
Moor, Yorkshire. It is of hone-stone, 7 inches long, 2 1∕2 inches broad
at the edge, but tapering to 1 1∕4 inches at the butt. There is also
another of felstone, 12 3∕4 long, found at Great Salkeld, Cumberland.

There is a celt of this type in the Blackmore Museum (13 1∕8 inches),
the butt-end round and sharpened, though the edge has been removed by
grinding. It is said to have been found, 5 or 6 feet deep in gravel,
|118| at Shaw Hall,[393] near Flixton, Lancashire. Another, in the
same collection (8 inches), was found near Keswick.

[Illustration: Fig. 61.—Near Pendle, Lancashire. 1∕2]

What from the engraving would appear to be a large implement of
this kind, has been described by Mr. Cuming[394] as a club. “It is
wrought of fawn-coloured hone-slate, much like that obtained in the
neighbourhood of Snowdon. It weighs 6 1∕4 pounds, and measures 17 5∕8
inches in length, nearly 3 3∕4 inches across its greatest breadth, and
nearly 2 1∕8 inches in its greatest thickness. The faces are convex,
the edges blunt and thinning off at both of the rounded extremities.”
It was found near Newton, Lancashire. Another so-called club is
mentioned as having been found near Keswick.[395]

Clumsy and unwieldy as implements of such a length appear to be if
mounted as axes, there can be no doubt of their having been intended
for use as cutting tools; and though, from their size, they might be
considered to be clubs, yet their form is but ill-adapted for such a
weapon, even if we assume that, as is said to be the case with the
New Zealand _mere_, they were sometimes employed for thrusting as
well as for striking, and, therefore, had the broad end sharpened.
The Stirlingshire specimen, Fig. 77, which is 13 1∕4 inches long, is,
however, sharp at both ends. There have been, moreover, discovered in
Denmark what are indubitably celts, longer than the Newton so-called
club. They are sometimes more than 18 inches long, and I have myself
such an implement from Jutland, of ochreous flint, 16 inches long and 3
inches broad at the edge, which is carefully sharpened. I have another
roughly-chipped Danish celt of flint, 14 1∕2 inches long, which weighs
6 lbs. 14 oz., or more than that from Newton. |119|

The celt found in Solway Moss, with its handle still preserved, as
will subsequently be mentioned, is of the form of Fig. 61. It is of
felspathic rock, 9 1∕2 inches long and 2 1∕4 inches broad, the edge
slightly oblique.

[Illustration: Fig. 62.—Ness. 1∕2]

One of felstone (15 1∕2 inches), was found at Drumour,[396] in
Glenshee, Forfarshire, with another 13 inches long. This latter widens
out suddenly at the butt. The larger of these two presents on its
surface a transverse mark, not unlike that on the Solway Moss specimen,
such as may have resulted from that portion of the surface having been
protected for a time by a wooden handle, which eventually decayed and

Another from Lempitlaw, in the Kelso Museum, is 13 inches long.

The flattening of the sides and faces of celts is sometimes, though
rarely, carried to such an extent that they become almost rectangular
in section.

That shown in Fig. 62 was found near the Rye bank, at Ness,[397] in the
North Riding of Yorkshire, and is formed of a dark, much altered slaty
rock, containing a good deal of iron. The butt-end, though brought to
an edge, is not so sharp as the broader or cutting end. The surface is
somewhat decomposed. It is in the Greenwell Collection, in which also
is the somewhat analogous implement shown in Fig. 63.

This also is from the same part of Yorkshire, having been found, in
1868, at Gilling,[398] in the Vale of Mowbray, 4 ft. deep in peaty
clay. It |120| is formed of clay iron-stone, and has the angles
somewhat rounded. The edge is oblique and slightly chipped away.
Another celt of close-grained schist (5 3∕4 inches), found in the same
parish, and preserved in the same collection, more resembles in outline
that from Ness, though not sharp at the butt, and having an oblique
edge. In the Greenwell Collection is a thinner celt of the same type,
found at Heslerton Carr.

[Illustration: Fig. 63.—Gilling. 1∕2]

I have a specimen (5 1∕4 inches) of hone-stone, rather flatter on one
face than the other, from Kirkcaldy, Fife.

An Italian celt, of much the same character as Fig. 62, but of
greenstone, has been figured by Gastaldi.[399]

The next celt which I have to describe is even more chisel-like in
|121| appearance, both the faces and sides being almost flat and
nearly parallel. This peculiarity of form is no doubt mainly due to
the schistose character of the rock from which the implement is made;
which, in the case of the original of Fig. 64, is a close-grained slate
or hone-stone. It was found at Swinton, near Malton, Yorkshire, and
was given to me by the late Mr. C. Monkman. The angles are slightly
rounded, and the butt-end is tapered off as if to an edge, which,
however, is now broken away.

Long, narrow celts of this rectangular section are of very rare
occurrence both in Britain and Ireland, and, so far as I am aware,
have never been found of flint. In Denmark, on the contrary, they are
common in flint, but generally of a larger size than the specimen here
engraved. The faces also are usually rather more convex.

[Illustration: Fig. 64.—Swinton, near Malton. 1∕2]

[Illustration: Fig. 65.—Scamridge Dykes, Yorkshire. 1∕2]

They are to be found among the North American[400] forms, sometimes
with a hole towards the butt-end, as if for suspension.

Somewhat the same form occurs in Siam and in the Malay Peninsula.

The next specimen, shown in Fig. 65, is of the same material as the
last, and was found in the same neighbourhood, at the Dykes, Scamridge,
in the North Riding of Yorkshire. Owing to the irregular fissure of
the stone, it is considerably thicker at one side than the other. The
broader side is flat with the angles chamfered, and the narrower side
is rounded. The faces taper at the butt-end, which is ground to a |122|
regular curve and blunted. This also was given to me by the late Mr.
C. Monkman, of Malton.

[Illustration: Fig. 66.—Whitwell, Yorkshire. 1∕2]

A curious variety of celt is shown in Fig. 66, the original of which
was found at Whitwell, in the North Riding of Yorkshire, and forms part
of the Greenwell Collection. It is made of a hard, shelly limestone,
apparently of Oolitic age, the surface of which has been partially
eroded. It is nearly flat on one face, and seems to have been intended
for mounting as an adze. Other celts of similar material have been
found in the same district, and Canon Greenwell has kindly presented
me with one of much the same character as this, though far broader in
proportion to its thickness. This specimen, which was found at Osgodby,
closely resembles in section that from Truro, Fig. 84.

A specimen of the type of Fig. 66 (7 1∕4 inches) is in the British
Museum. It was found at Creekmoor, near Poole, Dorset.

Some of the large celts from the Shetland Isles present the same
peculiarity of being flat on one face, but, as the sides are much
rounded, I shall include them among those of oval section.

       *       *       *       *       *

These, of oval section, form the third subdivision of polished celts,
which I now proceed to describe.

       *       *       *       *       *

It will be observed that implements of this character, formed of flint,
are extremely rare. The reason for this appears to be, that from the
method in which, in this country, flint celts were chipped out, the
sides were in all cases originally sharp, and they had a pointed oval,
or _vesica piscis_, section. In polishing, this form was to a great
extent preserved, though the edges were, as has been seen, sometimes
ground flat and sometimes rounded. It rarely happens, however, that the
rounding is carried to so great an extent as to produce such a contour
that it is impossible to say within a little where the faces end and
the sides begin; though this is often the case with celts of greenstone
and other materials, which were shaped out in a somewhat different
manner, and in the formation of which grinding played a more important
part. It is almost needless to say that I use the word oval in its
popular sense, and not as significant of a mathematically true ellipse.
At the part where the edge of the celts commences, the section is of
course a _vesica piscis_.

The first specimen engraved, Fig. 67, is in my own collection, and was
found in the Thames at London. It is of dark greenstone, and, owing
to a defect in the piece of stone of which it was made, there is a
hollow place in one of the faces. General Pitt Rivers has a similar
but more symmetrical celt, of the same material, also found in the
Thames. Another, smaller, from the same source, is in the British |123|
Museum; and another (8 inches) from the collection of the late Rev.
T. Hugo, F.S.A.,[401] is now mine. Its edge is rather oblique. I have
another from the Thames (7 1∕2 inches) with a symmetrical edge.

[Illustration: Fig. 67.—Thames, London. 1∕2]

Large implements of this form are of not uncommon occurrence in
Scotland and in the Shetland Isles. There are several in the National
Museum at Edinburgh, and also in the British Museum, and in that of
Newcastle. The butt-end is occasionally pointed, and the faces in broad
specimens, flatter than in Fig. 67. Several of these celts |124| in
the British Museum were found in the middle of the last century, in
Shetland. The largest is 11 inches long, 3 inches wide at the edge,
and 1 3∕4 inches thick. It was found in Selter,[402] parish of Walls.
Others are from 8 inches to 9 inches long. In the case of one, 12
inches long, from Shetland, and in the Edinburgh Museum, the edge is

[Illustration: Fig. 68.—Near Bridlington. 1∕2]

Mr. J. W. Cursiter, of Kirkwall, has a beautiful, long, narrow celt of
oval section, from Lunnasting, Shetland. It is formed of spherulitic
felstone, and is 9 1∕4 inches long, but only 2 1∕8 inches wide at the
broadest part. Another, 12 inches long, from Trondra, is of felstone,
and slightly curved longitudinally, so that it was probably an adze.

Others[403] (14, 11, 10 1∕2, and 9 inches) have been figured.

In the Greenwell Collection is a celt of this kind formed of
porphyritic greenstone, 13 inches long, from Sandsting, Shetland.

A celt of greenstone (8 inches), in outline much resembling Fig. 72,
was found, in 1758, at Tresta, in the parish of Aithsting, Shetland,
and is now in the British Museum. It is flat on one face, the other
being convex, so that the section is an oval with a segment removed.
Such an instrument must, in all probability, have been mounted as an
adze, though the flat face may have originally been due to the cleavage
of the material, which is a porphyritic greenstone.

Another celt (6 1∕4 inches), flat on one face, so that the section
presents little more than half an oval, was found in the island of
Yell, and is now in the Newcastle Museum.

I have a large heavy celt less tapering at the butt than Fig. 67, 8 1∕2
inches long, 3 1∕2 inches wide, and 2 1∕4 inches thick, said to have
been found at Spalding, Lincolnshire. One of flint (7 inches) nearly
oval in section, and found at Northampton, is in the museum at that

Celts of the same form and character as Fig. 67 are found both in
Ireland and in France.

Fig. 68 shows another variety of this type, which becomes almost
conical at the butt. The original was found near Bridlington, and is
|125| now in my own collection. The material is greenstone. Implements
of this form, but rarely expanding at the edge, are of common
occurrence in that part of Yorkshire. Some of them have been made of
a variety of greenstone liable to decomposition from atmospheric or
other causes, and the celts when found present a surface so excessively
eroded that their form can with difficulty be recognized. In the
Greenwell Collection are celts of the type of Fig. 68, from Willerby,
in the East Riding (6 1∕4 inches and 5 1∕2 inches), and Crambe, in
the North Riding of Yorkshire (6 1∕4 inches), as well as another
(5 3∕4 inches) from Sherburn, Durham. I have one nearly 8 inches long,
from Speeton, near Bridlington, and several (5 1∕2 to 6 inches) from
the Cambridge Fens. The surface of one of them is for the most part
decomposed, but along a vein of harder material the original polish is

Mr. F. Spalding has found one (8 inches), with a sideways curve, on the
shore at Walton-on-the-Naze.

[Illustration: Fig. 69.—Lakenheath, Suffolk. 1∕2]

A greenstone celt of this form (8 1∕2 inches) was found at Minley
Manor,[404] Blackwater, Hants.

In the Fitch Collection is one of serpentine (6 1∕4 inches), from
Dull’s Lane, near Loddon, Norfolk, and the late Mr. J. W. Flower had
one of greenstone (4 1∕4 inches), found at Melyn Works, Neath. The
greenstone celt found in Grime’s Graves,[405] Norfolk, was of this
form, but rather longer in its proportions, being 7 1∕2 inches long
and 2 1∕4 inches broad at the edge, which is oblique. The late Mr. H.
Durden, of Blandford, had a greenstone celt of this type (5 inches),
found at Langton, near Blandford, the butt-end of which is roughened
by picking, probably for insertion in a socket; and the late Rev. E.
Duke, of Lake, near Salisbury, had a celt of this character, found in a
tumulus in that parish. I have both French and Danish specimens of the
same form at the butt, though narrower at the edge.

Another variety, in which the butt-end is less pointed and more oval,
is given in Fig. 69. The original is of dark green hornblende schist,
and was found at Lakenheath, Suffolk. I have a large implement of
similar form and material (5 1∕2 inches), with the edge slightly
oblique, from Swaffham, Cambridgeshire; another of serpentine (3 1∕4
inches), from Coldham’s Common, Cambridge; others of greenstone (4
and 3 3∕4 inches), from Kempston, Bedford, and Burwell Fen, Cambs.;
as well as one of greenstone (4 3∕8 inches), from Standlake, Oxon. A
celt of this type, of porphyritic stone (5 1∕2 inches), found |126|
at Branton, Northumberland, is in the Greenwell Collection. It is
slightly oblique at the edge. Another of the same character, of
greenstone (6 3∕4 inches), found at Sproughton, Suffolk, is in the
Fitch Collection. Another, 5 inches long, found at Kingston-on-Thames,
is in the Museum of the Society of Antiquaries.

Another of green serpentine, faceted to form the edge, and rounded
at butt, 4 inches long, was found in a cairn in Fifeshire, and is
preserved in the National Museum at Edinburgh.

In the Blackmore Museum is a celt of granite tapering to the rounded
point at the butt, 6 1∕2 inches long, which has been roughened at the
upper end, and is polished towards the edge. It was found in the River
Lambourn, Berks.

I have seen another of this form, but of flint (4 1∕2 inches), with the
sides much rounded, so as to be almost oval, found near Eastbourne,
where also this form has occurred in greenstone. The late Mr. H.
Durden, of Blandford, had a celt of greenstone of this form 4 3∕8
inches long, found at Tarrant Launceston, Dorset. Many of the celts
found in India are of this type.

[Illustration: Fig. 70.—Seamer, Yorkshire. 1∕2]

A shorter form, which also seems to be most prevalent in Yorkshire,
is represented in Fig. 70. The specimen figured is from Seamer,
formed of greenstone, and belongs to the Greenwell Collection. In the
same collection is another (4 inches), rather larger and thicker,
from Scampston. Another of quartzite (5 inches), polished all over,
but showing traces of having been worked with a pick, was found at
Birdsall, near Malton, and is in the collection of Messrs. Mortimer, of
Driffield. I have one of greenstone (4 1∕2 inches), also from Seamer.

A celt of greenstone, of the same section, but broader and more
truncated at the butt, 3 inches long, and found near Bellingham, North
Tyne, is in the Newcastle Museum. Another (4 inches), in outline more
like Fig. 60, was found in a sepulchral cave at Rhos Digre,[406]

Some of the stone celts from Italy, Greece, Asia Minor[407] and
India, are of much the same form, but usually rather longer in their
proportions. I have some Greek specimens more like Fig. 71—kindly given
to me by Captain H. Thurburn, F.G.S. Celts of this character are said
to have been in use among the North American Indians[408] as fleshing
|127| instruments, employed by the women in the preparation of skins.
They were not hafted, but held in the hand like chisels. I have a celt
almost identical in form and material with Fig. 70, but from Central

[Illustration: Fig. 71.—Guernsey. 1∕2]

The form shown in Fig. 71 is inserted among those of Britain, though
geographically it may be regarded as French rather than British, having
been found in Guernsey. I have engraved it from a cast presented to the
Society of Antiquaries by the late Mr. F. C. Lukis, F.S.A. The form
occurs in various materials—rarely flint—and is common through the
whole of France. A specimen from Surrey is in the British Museum. I
have seen one which was said to have been found in the neighbourhood of
London, but it was not improbably an imported specimen.

Should authenticated instances of the finding of celts of this class in
our southern counties be adduced, they will be of interest as affording
_primâ facie_ evidence of intercourse with the Continent at an early

Small hatchets, both oval and circular in section, have been found at
Accra,[409] West Africa, and others, larger, on the Gold Coast.[410]
The same form is not uncommon in Greece and Asia Minor.

[Illustration: Fig. 72.—Wareham. 1∕2]

Major Sladen brought several small jade celts of this form, but flatter
at the sides, from Yun-nan, in Southern China. Through his liberality
several are in the Christy Collection, and one in my own. Some hæmatite
celts found in North America[411] are of much the same size and form.

The specimen engraved as Fig. 72 was found in the neighbourhood of
Wareham, Dorsetshire, and is in my own collection. It is formed of
syenite, and, unlike the instruments previously described, is narrower
at the edge than in the middle of the blade; the section shows that
the faces are nearly flat. I have another celt, in which these
peculiarities are exaggerated, the |128| faces being flatter, the
blade thinner, and also wider in the middle in proportion to the edge,
it being 5 1∕2 inches long, 2 1∕4 inches wide in the middle, and 1 1∕2
inches at the edge, and rather less than an inch in thickness. The
material is a _Serpula_ limestone, and the celt was no doubt formed
from a travelled block, as it was found in a Boulder-clay district at
Troston, near Bury St. Edmunds. I have a much heavier implement from
the same locality, and formed of the same kind of stone. It is 10
inches long, and rather wider in proportion than Fig. 72. It does not
narrow towards the edge, but in section and general form may be classed
with the specimen there figured.

A large celt, 10 inches long, of the same section, but thinner
proportionally, and with straighter and more parallel sides, in
outline more like Fig. 79, was found at Pilmoor, in the North Riding
of Yorkshire, and forms part of the Greenwell Collection. It is of
clay-slate. Another in the same collection, and from North Holme,
in the same Riding (10 inches), is broader and flatter, with the
sides somewhat more square, and the edge more curved. One face is
somewhat hollowed towards one side, possibly to grind out the trace
of a too deep chip. A third is from Barmston, in the East Riding
(10 1∕2 inches), and a beautiful celt of hornblendic serpentine
(10 5∕8 inches), oval in section and pointed at the butt, was found at
Cunningsburgh,[412] Shetland, and another of diorite (10 1∕8 inches),
rather broader in its proportions than Fig. 72, on Ambrisbeg Hill,[413]
Island of Bute. An analogous form from Japan is in the museum at Leyden.

[Illustration: Fig. 73.—Forfarshire. 1∕2]

A long narrow chisel-like celt, with an oval section, is given in Fig.
73. The original is of dark greenstone, and was found in Forfarshire.
It is in the National Museum at Edinburgh. I have a larger celt of the
same form (5 1∕2 inches), formed of a close-grained grit, and found at
Sherburn, Yorkshire. Messrs. Mortimer have another of schist (4 1∕2
inches), from Thixendale, Yorkshire. This form occurs, though rarely,
in Ireland.

A much larger celt, of metamorphic rock, 8 1∕2 inches long, 3 inches
broad at the edge, and 1 3∕4 inches at the butt, 1 3∕8 inches thick,
was found on Throckley Fell, Northumberland, and is in the Museum at

Fig. 74 gives a shorter form of implement truncated at the butt. The
original, which is in my own collection, is formed of greenstone,
and was found at Easton, near Bridlington. It is carefully polished
towards the edge, but at the butt it is roughened, apparently with
the intention of rendering it more capable of adhesion to its socket.
The celt from Malton, Fig. 81, is roughened in a similar manner,
and the same is the case with many of the hatchets from the Swiss
lake-dwellings, which have been frequently found still fixed in their
sockets of stag’s horn. |129|

I have another specimen, from South Back Lane, Bridlington, which,
however, is not roughened at the butt, and the sides of which have had
a narrow flat facet ground along them. It is 6 inches long, and 3 1∕2
inches wide at the edge. Mr. W. Tucker has shown me a broken specimen
like Fig. 74, found near Loughborough.

[Illustration: Fig. 74.—Bridlington. 1∕2]

[Illustration: Fig. 75.—Caithness. 1∕2]

Another form presents a rather pointed, and unusually elongated
oval in section, and is pointed at the butt. Fig. 75 represents a
highly-finished celt of this kind made of light green, almost jade-like
stone, preserved in the National Museum at Edinburgh, and said to
have been found in Caithness. It is so thoroughly Carib in character,
and so closely resembles specimens I possess from the West Indian
Islands, that for some time I hesitated to engrave it. There are,
however, sufficiently numerous instances of other implements of the
same form having been found in this country for the type to be accepted
as British. The celt found at Glasgow,[414] in a canoe at a depth of
twenty-five feet below the surface, was of this kind. In the Greenwell
Collection is one of porphyritic greenstone (7 inches), and of nearly
this form, found at Grantchester, Cambridge. Two celts of this
character, the one from Jamaica and the other from the North of Italy,
are engraved in the _Archæologia_.[415] Both are in the British Museum.

A celt like Fig. 75 (4 1∕2 inches), of a material like jadeite, is said
to |130| have been found about 60 years ago at King’s Sutton,[416]
Northamptonshire. It has much the appearance of being Carib.

Four greenstone celts of this type, one of them rather crooked
laterally, were found in 1869 at Bochym,[417] Cury, Cornwall.

Another of aphanite (11 1∕2 inches) from Cornwall[418] is in the
Edinburgh Museum, where is also one of the same material and form
(10 1∕2 inches) from Berwickshire,[419] two others of grey porphyritic
stone (9 inches) from Aberdeenshire,[420] and another of porphyrite (10
inches) found near Lerwick,[421] Shetland.

I have specimens of the same type from various parts of France. In the
Greenwell Collection is a Spanish celt of the same form found near

The bulk of the celts found in Ireland, and formed of other materials
than flint, approximate in form to Figs. 69 to 75, though usually
rather thinner in their proportion. They range, however, widely in
shape, and vary much in their degree of finish.

       *       *       *       *       *

I now come to the fourth of the subdivisions under which, mainly for
the sake of having some basis for classification, I have arranged the
polished celts. In it, I have placed those which present any abnormal
peculiarities; and the first of these which I shall notice are such as
do not materially affect the outline of the celts; as, for instance,
the existence of a second cutting edge at the butt-end, at a part
where, though the blade is usually tapered away and ground, yet it
very rarely happens that it has been left sharp. Indeed, in almost all
cases, if in shaping and polishing the celt the butt-end has at one
time been sharpened, the edge has been afterwards carefully removed by
grinding it away.

       *       *       *       *       *

The beautifully-formed implement of ochreously-stained flint
represented in Fig. 76, was found at Gilmerton, in East Lothian,
and is preserved in the National Museum at Edinburgh. The sides are
flat with the angles rounded off, and the blade expands slightly at
the ends, both of which are sharpened. It is carefully polished all
over, so as to show no traces of its having been chipped out, except
a slight depression on one face, and this is polished like the rest
of the blade. It is upwards of a century since this instrument was
turned up by the plough, as described in the _Minutes of the Society of
Antiquaries of Scotland_[422] for April 2, 1782, where it is mentioned
as the “head of a hatchet of polished yellow marble, sharpened at both

Another from Shetland[423] (11 1∕2 inches) is made of serpentine and
has both ends “formed to a rounded cutting edge.” |131|

A celt from Kirklauchline, Wigtownshire, mentioned at page 135, is
much like Fig. 76 in outline.

[Illustration: Fig. 76.—Gilmerton, East Lothian]

A somewhat similar instrument, but narrower at the butt, formed of jade
(?) and 11 inches long, found at Nougaroulet, is engraved in the _Revue
de Gascogne_.[424]

[Illustration: Fig. 77.—Stirlingshire. 1∕2]

Fig. 77 represents another celt, in the Edinburgh Museum, of similar
section, but expanding only at the butt-end, which is sharpened, |133|
and contracting from the middle towards the broader end, which, as
usual, seems to have been the principal cutting end. It is formed of
compact greenstone, and was found in Stirlingshire. In general outline,
it closely resembles a common Cumberland form, of which, however, the
butt is not sharp. Several such were found in Ehenside Tarn,[425]
Cumberland, varying in length from 6 to 14 1∕2 inches. One of them was
in its original haft. The whole are now in the British Museum. Another
celt (10 3∕4 inches), made of a fine volcanic ash, was found in 1873
near Loughrigg Tarn,[426] Westmorland. Two celts of much the same form
from Drumour,[427] Glenshee, Forfarshire, in 1870, are mentioned on
page 119.

Celts with an edge at each end are rare on the Continent, though they
are of more frequent occurrence in Ireland. One of this character,
found in Dauphiné, France,[428] has been engraved by M. Chantre.

Another from Portugal[429] has been described by myself elsewhere.

[Illustration: Fig. 78.—Harome. 1∕2]

A celt of shorter proportions, but also provided with a cutting edge at
each end, is shown in Fig. 78. It is in the Greenwell Collection, and
was found at Harome, in the North Riding of Yorkshire, where several
stone implements of rare form have been discovered. The material is a
hard clay-slate. The tool seems quite as well adapted for being used in
the hand without any mounting, as for attachment to a haft. |135|

[Illustration: Fig. 79.—Daviot, near Inverness.]

Another of these implements, with a cutting edge at either end, is
shown in Fig. 79.

As will be observed, it is curved longitudinally, so that if attached
to a handle, it must have been after the manner of an adze and not
of an axe. The sides curve slightly inwards, which would render any
attachment to a handle more secure.

The material of which it is formed is a dark green porphyry. It was
found in a cairn at Daviot,[430] near Inverness, in company with a
celt of oval section, and pointed at the butt (9 1∕2 inches); and
also with a greenstone pestle (?) (10 1∕4 inches), rounded at each
end. This latter was probably formed from a long pebble. They are all
preserved in the National Museum at Edinburgh. A curved celt of this
character but pointed at the butt-end (14 inches), formed of indurated
clay-stone, was found in Shetland.[431] A straighter celt of felstone
(13 inches), blunt at the butt-end, was found at Kirklauchline,[432]

The next peculiarity which I have to notice, is that of the tapering
sides of the celt being curved inwards, as if for the purpose of being
more securely fixed either to a handle or in a socket. In the last
implement described, the reduction in width towards the middle of
the blade would appear to have been intended to assist in fastening
it at the end of a handle, as an adze cutting at each end. In Fig.
80 the reduction in width is more abrupt, and the blade would appear
to have been mounted as an axe. It is formed of a compact light grey
metamorphic rock, and was formerly in the collection of the Rev. S.
Banks, of Cottenham, Cambridgeshire. I have a greenstone celt found
at Carnac, Brittany, with shoulders of the same character about the
middle of the blade. A form of celt expanding into a kind of knob at
the butt-end is peculiar to the Lower Loire.[433] It is known as the
“_hâche à bouton_,” or “_hâche à tête_.”

[Illustration: Fig. 80.—Near Cottenham. 1∕2]

[Illustration: Fig. 81.—Near Malton. 1∕2]

The original of Fig. 81 was found in a gravel-pit near Malton,
Yorkshire. It was at first supposed to have been found in undisturbed
|136| drift, and some correspondence upon the subject appeared in
the Times newspaper.[434] The gravel, however, in which it was found
seems to belong to the series of Glacial deposits, and if so, is of
considerably greater antiquity than any of the old River-gravels, in
which the unpolished flint implements have been discovered. This celt
is of greenstone, carefully polished at the edge, and towards the butt
slightly roughened by being picked with a sharp pointed tool. This
roughening is in character similar to that which has been observed on
many of the celts from the Swiss Lake-dwellings and from France,[435]
and was no doubt intended in their case to make the stone adhere
more firmly in the socket of stag’s horn in which it was inserted.
The object in this case would appear to be the same; and, like other
polished celts, it belongs to the Neolithic Period. The expansion of
the blade towards the edge is very remarkable.

A celt of the same type as that from Malton, but somewhat oblique at
the edge, and formed of quartz containing pyrites, found at Soden, is
in the Museum at Bonn.

A flat form of stone hatchet, expanding rapidly from a slightly
tapering butt about half the entire length of the blade, so as to form
a semicircular cutting-edge, has been found in South Carolina.[436]
There is a small perforation in the centre, as if for a pin, to assist
in securing it in its handle.

Another form, with the blade reduced for about half its length, so as
to form a sort of tang, is engraved by Squier and Davis.[437]

[Illustration: Fig. 82.—Mennithorpe, Yorkshire. 1∕2]

The celt engraved in Fig. 82 presents an abrupt shoulder on one side
only, which, however, is in this case probably due to the form of the
pebble from which it was made, a portion of which had split off along
a line of natural cleavage. It is formed of a reddish, close-grained
porphyritic rock, and is subquadrate in section at the butt. It was
found at Mennithorpe, Yorkshire, and is in the Greenwell Collection. In
the same collection is a thin celt of clay-slate, 4 3∕4 inches long,
of much the same form, but rounded at the shoulder. It was found at
Ryedale, in the North Riding of Yorkshire.

Some of the shouldered implements may have been intended for use
in the hand, without hafting. This appears to be the case with the
greenstone celt shown in Fig. 83. It was found on Middleton Moor,
Derbyshire, and was in the collection of the late Mr. J. F. Lucas.
The shallow grooves at the sides seem intended to receive the fingers
much in the same manner as the grooves in the handles of some of |137|
the tools of the Eskimos or the handles of the bronze sickles of the
Swiss Lake-dwellers.[438] An Irish celt, 8 inches long, and now in the
Blackmore Museum, has two notches on one side only, and more distinctly
formed, “seemingly to receive the fingers and give a firmer hold when
used in the hand without a haft.”

Another peculiar instrument adapted for being held in the hand is shown
in Fig. 83A. It was found at Keystone, Huntingdonshire,[439] and is now
in the British Museum. It is made of greenstone, and in form resembles
the sharp end of a celt with flat sides let into a spherical handle.
Some hand-hatchets from Australia are of much the same character, but
in their case the knob is distinct from the blade, and formed of hard
_xanthorrhæa_ gum. |138|

[Illustration: Fig. 83.—Middleton Moor.]

[Illustration: Fig. 83A.—Keystone. 1∕2]

The original of Fig. 84 is in the Greenwell Collection, and was found
near Truro. It is of serpentine, with an oblique edge, and seems to
have been formed from a pebble with little labour beyond that of
sharpening one end. Though much flatter on one face than the other, it
would appear, from the slanting edge, to have been used as an axe and
not as an adze, unless indeed it were a hand-tool.

A beautiful adze formed of chalcedonic flint is shown in Fig. 84A.
kindly lent by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. The original was
found at Fernie Brae,[440] Slains, Aberdeenshire. It is 7 inches long,
and of nearly triangular section. A somewhat similar adze of greenstone
was found at Little Barras,[441] Drumlithie, Kincardineshire. I have a
flint adze (5 inches) of much the same character, but not so flat and
blunt at the butt-end, and ground at the edge only, which was found in
Reach Fen, Cambs. It is shown in Fig. 35A at page 92.

[Illustration: Fig. 84.—Near Truro.]

[Illustration: Fig. 84A.—Slains (7 inches long).]

Another peculiarity of form is where the edge, instead of being as
usual nearly in the centre of the blade, is almost in the same plane as
one of the faces, like that of a joiner’s chisel. An implement of this
character, from a “Pict’s castle,” Clickemin, near Lerwick, Shetland,
is shown in Fig. 85.

It was presented to me by the late Rev. Dr. Knowles, F.S.A. The
material appears to be a hard clay-slate. The form is well adapted for
being mounted as an adze, much in the same manner as the nearly similar
implements in use by the South Sea Islanders. A New Zealand[442] adze
of precisely the same character has been figured.

Sometimes the edge of a celt, instead of being sharp, has been
carefully removed by grinding, so as to present a flat or rounded
surface. |139| In Fig. 86 is represented a singular implement of this
kind in flint. It is polished all over; one side is straight, and the
other curved; both ends are curved, but one is rounded at the edge
and the other flat. It is difficult to understand for what purpose
such an instrument can have been intended. There is no reason for
supposing that the grinding at the ends was later in date than the
formation of the other parts. I have others like Fig. 30 with the edge
also flattened, one of these I found, as already mentioned, at Abbot’s
Langley; and I have seen another flint celt of much the same form,
found at Chesterford, Cambs., with a somewhat flat edge, but rounded
and worn away, as if by scraping some soft substance. Small transverse
_striæ_, such as might have been caused by particles of sand, are
visible on the worn edge. In the Greenwell Collection is a portion of a
celt of greenstone, the fractured face ground flat and a portion of the
edge also ground away.

[Illustration: Fig. 85.—Near Lerwick. 1∕2]

[Illustration: Fig. 86.—Weston, Norfolk. 1∕2]

A small flint celt, with a round polished edge instead of a cutting one
as usual, was found, with other objects, in a barrow on Elton Moor,
Derbyshire.[443] I have seen a small flint celt like Fig. 33, with
the edge perfectly rounded by grinding. It was found between Deal and
Dover, near Kingsdown, by Mr. Hazzeldine Warren, of Waltham Cross.

It is hard to say for what purpose the edge was thus made blunt. In
some cases, however, the instruments may have been used as battle-axes,
the edges of which when of the perforated forms are usually flattened
or rounded, probably with the view of preventing accidental injury
to those who carried them. In some celts, however, the broad end is
so much rounded that they can hardly be said to have an edge, and
they have more the appearance of having-been burnishing or |140|
calendering tools. I have observed this rounding of the end in some
Irish and French specimens, not made of flint, as well as in one from

Occasionally, but very seldom, a circular concave recess is worked on
each face of the celt, apparently for the purpose of preventing it from
slipping when held in the hand and used either as a chopping or cutting
instrument. That engraved as Fig. 87 was kindly lent me by Mr. J. R.
Mortimer, who found it on Acklam Wold, Yorkshire. It is of greenstone,
and has been polished over almost the entire surface. The butt-end
is nearly flat transversely, and ground in the other direction to a
sweep, so as to fit beneath the forefinger, when held by the thumb and
middle-finger placed in the recesses on the faces. Such recesses are
by no means uncommon on the stones intended for use as hammers, and
farther on (p. 242) I have engraved a hammer-stone of this class which
would seem to have been originally a celt such as this, but which has
entirely lost any approach to an edge by continual battering. In Mr.
Mortimer’s specimen the edge is fairly sharp, though it has lost some
splinters from it in ancient times.

[Illustration: Fig. 87.—Acklam Wold. 1∕2]

[Illustration: Fig. 88.—Fimber. 1∕2]

In the same collection is another specimen, found near Fimber, formed
of a green metamorphic rock. The butt-end is ground flat, and the sides
nearly so. There is a slight depression worked on each face. The edge
is slightly rounded, and shows longitudinal _striæ_. By the owner’s
kindness I am able to engrave it as Fig. 88.

In General Pitt Rivers’s Collection is a celt from Hindostan, with
a cup-shaped depression on one of its faces. A celt of basalt from
Portugal[444] has such a depression on each face.

In the fine and extensive Greenwell Collection, so often referred to,
is another remarkable celt, Fig. 89, which, though entirely different
in character from those last described, may also have been intended
for holding in the hand. It is of greenstone, the surface of which is
considerably decomposed, and was found at Duggleby, in the East Riding
of Yorkshire. On each side is an elongated concavity, well adapted
for receiving the end of the forefinger when the instrument is held
in the hand with the thumb on one face and the middle finger on the
other. At first sight it might appear that the depressions had been
made |141| with the view of perforating the blade, so as to make it
like Fig. 133. It is, however, too thin for such a purpose, and as the
depressions can hardly be connected with any method of hafting, it
appears probable that they are merely for the purpose of giving the
hand a secure grip, when using the instrument as a cutting tool. This
form is not uncommon in India.

Some of the stone hatchets from British Guiana[445] have a notch on
either side, apparently to assist in fastening them to their haft. A
form with projecting lugs half-way down the blade has been found in

[Illustration: Fig. 89.—Duggleby. 1∕2]

[Illustration: Fig. 90.—Guernsey. 1∕2]

The last peculiarity I have to notice is when the blade of the
celt assumes an ornamental character, by being fluted or otherwise
ornamented. That represented in Fig. 90 is deeply fluted on either
face. I have engraved the figure from a cast in the Museum of the
Society of Antiquaries, the original of which was in the possession of
F. C. Lukis, Esq., M.D. It was found at St. Sampson, Guernsey. Assuming
the figure given by M. Brouillet to be correct, a somewhat similar
celt of red flint was found with skeletons in the Tombelle de Brioux,
Poitou.[447] Another with three hollow facets on the lower parts of
one face was found in Finistère.[448] I have a small celt of nearly
similar form, but not so hollow on the faces, from Costa Rica. Such
specimens are extremely rare, and I cannot at present point to any
other examples. Indeed, it may be questioned how far the implements
found in the Channel Islands come within the scope of the present work.
The |142| grooves in the faces of the celt found at Trinity, near
Edinburgh,[449] can hardly have been intended for ornament.

A kind of celt, not uncommon in Denmark, like Fig. 55, but with a small
hole drilled through it at the butt-end, as if for suspension, like
a sailor’s knife, has very rarely been found in England, but I have
a broken specimen from Cavenham, Suffolk, formed of greenstone. When
perfect the celt must have been in outline like Fig. 69, but thinner.

[Illustration: Fig. 90A.—Wereham. 1∕2]

A perfect example is shown in Fig. 90A. It is formed of whin-stone and
was found in 1896 at Wereham, near Stoke Ferry, Norfolk. It is in the
collection of Mr. E. M. Beloe, F.S.A., who has kindly permitted me to
figure it. It is curiously striated towards the butt-end, possibly
from friction in a socket. One from Thetford, perforated through the
centre of the face, is in the National Museum at Edinburgh. Another
of felstone (11 1∕4 inches), oval in section, found at Melness,
Sutherlandshire, was exhibited to the Society of Antiquaries of
Scotland in March, 1897. Bored celts, though rare in Britain, occur in
Brittany[450] and other parts of France, as well as in Italy.[451] A
few have also been found in Ireland.[452] A stone hatchet from Quito
in the Christy Collection, though of somewhat different form, is
perforated at the end in this manner.

A vastly greater number of instances of the discovery in Britain of
stone hatchets or celts might have been cited; but inasmuch as in most
cases where mention is made of celts, no particulars are given of their
form, and as they occur in all parts of the country, it seems needless
to encumber my pages with references. As an instance of |143| their
abundance, I may mention that the late Mr. Bateman[453] records the
discovery of upwards of thirty, at fourteen different localities within
a small district of Derbyshire. Numerous discoveries in Yorkshire are
cited by Mr. C. Monkman.[454]

Dr. Joseph Stevens has recorded several from the Thames near
Reading,[455] and a very large number of those in my own and various
public collections I have had to leave unnoticed for want of space.

       *       *       *       *       *

The circumstances under which stone celts of various forms have been
discovered must now be considered, with a view of throwing some light
on their antiquity, and the length of time they have remained in
use. And it must at the outset be confessed that we have but little
to guide us on these points. We have already seen that they have
been found with objects of bronze; for in the barrow on Upton Lovel
Down,[456] examined by Sir R. Colt Hoare, flint celts, both rough and
polished, were discovered in company with a perforated stone axe, and
a bronze pin, though in this instance there were two interments. The
Ravenhill tumulus, near Scarborough,[457] is more conclusive; for
in it was an urn containing burnt bones, a broken flint celt, flint
arrow-heads, and a beautiful bronze pin one and a-half inches long.
The evidence of other recorded cases is but weak. Near Tynewydd, in
the parish of Llansilin, Denbighshire,[458] a greenstone celt and a
bronze socketed celt were found together in moving an accumulation of
stones, which did not, however, appear to have been a cairn. In another
instance,[459] three stone celts, one roughly chipped, the others
polished, are stated to have been found with a bronze socketed celt in
the parish of Southend, Kintyre, Argyllshire. At Campbelton, in the
same district,[460] were found two polished stone celts, and with them,
on the same spot, two stone moulds for casting looped spear-heads of

       *       *       *       *       *

Though there may be doubts as to the true association of stone celts
with instruments of bronze in some of these cases, the presumptive
evidence is strong of their having remained in use, as might indeed
have been reasonably expected, after the introduction of bronze for
cutting-tools. By the time bronze knife-daggers had become common,
perforated battle-axes had also come to form part of a warrior’s
ordinary equipment. These are often found with the daggers in graves,
and there can be no doubt of the ordinary form of stone hatchet having
preceded that with a shaft-hole. There are, however, a number of facts
in connection with the occurrence of the ordinary |144| stone celt
that must not be passed over, inasmuch as at first sight they tend
to raise a presumption of celts having remained in use even during
the period of the Roman occupation of this country. I will shortly
recapitulate the principal facts to which I allude.

In excavating a Roman building at Ickleton,[461] Cambs., the late
Lord Braybrooke found a greenstone celt; and another is said to have
been found with Roman remains at Alchester, Oxfordshire.[462] A flint
celt is also described as having been found with Roman antiquities at

Among the relics discovered by Samuel Lysons, F.R.S., in the Roman
villa at Great Witcombe,[464] Gloucestershire, is described “a British
hatchet of flint.” Another flint celt was found close by a Roman
villa at Titsey.[465] Flint celts and scrapers were found in the
Romano-British village in Woodcuts Common,[466] Dorset, by General Pitt

A stone celt, like Fig. 70, has been engraved by Artis[467] as a
polishing stone used in the manufactory of Roman earthen vessels, but
no evidence is given as to the cause of its being thus regarded.

At Leicester, a fragment of a flint celt was found at a depth of twelve
feet from the surface on an old “ground line,” and accompanied by bone
objects which Sir Wollaston Franks assigned to a late Roman or even
possibly to an early Saxon period.[468]

In the Saxon burial-place at Ash, in Kent, were found a polished flint
celt, “a circular flint stone,” and a Roman fibula.[469]

In 1868, a fibrolite hatchet was found within a building at Mont
Beuvray, the ancient Bibracte,[470] with three Gaulish coins of the
time of Augustus.

Others of flint were found in a Merovingian cemetery at Labruyère, in
the Côte d’Or.[471]

The occurrence at Gonsenheim, near Mainz, of a series of thin polished
celts with remains presumably Roman, has already been mentioned. In
two, if not more, instances in Denmark,[472] fragments of iron have
been found in tumuli, and apparently in association with polished
hatchets and other instruments of flint and stone. It seems doubtful,
however, whether in these cases the iron was not subsequently

       *       *       *       *       *

The association of these stone implements with Roman, and even
Post-Roman, remains in so many different places, would at first
sight appear to argue their contemporaneity; but in the case of the
celts being found on the sites of Roman villas, two things are to
be remarked—First, that sites once occupied may, and constantly do,
continue in occupation for an indefinite length of time, so that the
imperishable relics of one age, such as those in |145| stone, may
become mixed in the soil with those of a long subsequent date; and
second, that had these stone implements been in common use in Roman
times, their presence among Roman remains would have been the rule and
not the exception, and we should have found them mentioned by Latin
authors. Moreover, if their use had survived in this manner into Roman
times, we should expect to find them still more abundantly associated
with tools of the Bronze Age. We have, however, seen how rarely this
class of stone instruments is found with bronze.

As to the stone celt discovered at Ash, Mr. Douglas remarks it may
not “be improbable that this stone instrument was deposited with the
dead, as an amulet; and which the owner had found and preserved with
a superstitious reverence.” In a tumulus in Flanders,[473] six celts
were found placed upright in a circle round the interment, but from
the difference in the condition of their surface they appeared to
be of different ages, so that it has been suggested that they also
were gathered from the surface of the soil and placed in the tomb
as amulets. We shall subsequently see that flint arrow-heads were
frequently thus preserved in Merovingian cemeteries.

In many cases in Germany,[474] stone axes, for the most part
perforated, are said to have been found in association with objects
of iron; but the proofs of the contemporaneity of the two classes of
objects are not satisfactory. The religious veneration attaching to the
Thor’s hammers may, however, have had to do with their interment in
graves, at a time when they had ceased to be in ordinary use. Moreover,
the axes may have been preserved to ward off lightning.

Another argument in favour of these instruments having remained in use
in Britain until a comparatively late period, has been derived from
the circumstance of the words _stan-æx_ and _stan-bill_, occurring in
Ælfric’s Saxon glossary. These words are translated by Lye[475] as
a stone axe, a stone bill—terms which have naturally been regarded
as referring to axes and bills made of stone, which, therefore, it
might be reasonably inferred were in use at the time when the glossary
was written, or about A.D. 1000. On examination, however, it appears
that no such inference is warranted. The glossary is Latin with the
Saxon equivalents annexed to each word, and the two words referred to
are |146| _Bipennis_, rendered _twibille_ and _stan-æx_; and Marra,
rendered _stan-bill_. Now _Bipennis_ is an axe cutting at either end,
and the word is accurately rendered by “twibille;”[476]—the axe having
“bill” or steel at its two edges. But a double-cutting axe in stone is
a form of very rare occurrence, and this alone raises a presumption of
the _stan_ in _stan-æx_ referring to stone in some other manner than
as the material of which the axe was made. The second word, _Marra_,
seems to clear up the question, for this was a mattock or pick-axe, or
some such tool, and this is rendered _stan-bill_,—the steel for use on
or among stones. The stone axe may be one for cutting stones, like the
mill-bill of the present day, which is used for dressing mill-stones,
and this being usually sharp at each end, might not inaptly be regarded
as the equivalent of the ancient _bipennis_. An axe is still a
bricklayer’s tool, and is also occasionally used by stone-cutters. It
seems, then, that the “_stan_” in these two Saxon words refers, not to
the material of which the axes or bills were made, but to the stones on
or among which they were used. In Halliwell’s “Dictionary of Archaic
and Provincial Words,”[477] the interpretation of Stone-axe is given as
“A stone-worker’s axe,” but it is not stated where the term occurs.

In the “_Matériaux_”[478] M. Soreil has called attention to a very
early German poem, possibly of the fifth century, in which the heroes
are described as contending with stone axes. The subject has been
discussed by Dr. Much,[479] who suggests that the name survived long
after the actual use of the weapons, and points out that the modern
word Hellebarde (halberd) has the same meaning, _hella_ in Old German
signifying “stone,” and _barte_ being still used to signify an “axe” or
“chopper.” He also hints at a connection between the _scrama-seax_ or
large knife, with _saxum_. The whole paper is worth reading.

In the Song of Hildebrand and Hadubrand, probably of the eighth
century, stone hammers, _staim-borts_, are also mentioned.

 “Do stoptun tosamane staimbort chludun
 Hewun harmlicco huitte scilti.”[480]

The passage in “William of Poitiers,”[481]—“Jactant cuspides ac |147|
diversorum generum tela, sævissimas quasque secures ac lignis imposita
saxa,”—which has been cited as proving that some of the Anglo-Saxons
fought with weapons of stone at the battle of Hastings, seems only
to refer to stone missiles probably discharged from some engines of
war, and serving the same purpose as the stone cannon-balls of more
recent times. Professor Nilsson[482] has pointed out that _jactare_
often signifies to brandish, and argues that the large stone axes were
too heavy either for brandishing or throwing as weapons. It seems to
me, however, that _jactare_ in this passage is used in the sense of
throwing, the same as in Virgil,[483]—

 “Deucalion vacuum lapides jactavit in orbem,
 Unde homines nati, durum genus.”

If it be uncertain to how late a period these Neolithic implements
remained in use in this country, it is still more uncertain to how
early a period their introduction may be referred. If we take the
possible limits in either direction, the date at which they fell into
disuse becomes approximately fixed as compared with that at which they
may first have come into use in Britain. For we may safely say that
the use of bronze must have been known in this country 500 or 600
years B.C., and, therefore, that at that time cutting tools of stone
began to be superseded; while by A.D. 1100, it will be agreed on all
hands that they were no longer in use. We can, therefore, absolutely
fix the date of their desuetude within at the outside two thousand
years; but who can tell within any such limits the time when a people
acquainted with the use of polished stone implements first settled in
this island, or when the process of grinding them may have been first
developed among native tribes? The long duration of the period which
intervened between the deposit of the River-gravels (containing, so
far as at present known, implements chipped only and not polished),
and the first appearance of polished hatchets, is not in this country
so well illustrated as in France; but even there, all that can be said
as to the introduction of polished stone hatchets, is that it took
place subsequently to the accumulation in the caves of the south of
France, of the deposits belonging to an age when reindeer constituted
one of the principal articles of food of the cave-dwellers. As to the
date at which those cave-deposits were formed, history and tradition
are silent, and at present even Geology affords but little aid in
determining the question. |148|

But though we cannot fix the range in time of these implements, it
will be well to notice some of the circumstances under which they have
been found, if only as illustrative of the habits and customs of the
ancient people who used them. Of course the most instructive cases are
those in which they have occurred with interments, and some of these I
have already incidentally mentioned; as, for instance, the discovery
in a barrow on Upton Lovel Down of a roughly chipped celt, with others
polished at the edge, and other objects; and that of two very roughly
chipped flint celts found by Dr. Mantell, in a barrow at Alfriston,

       *       *       *       *       *

A celt of greenstone, ground at the edge only, was found in a barrow
with a burnt body on Seamer Moor, Yorkshire, by the Rev. F. Porter; and
in another[484] barrow on the same moor, Canon Greenwell found a celt
of clay-slate, like Fig. 50, burnt red, in association with a deposit
of burnt bones. In a third tumulus on the same moor, opened by the late
Lord Londesborough, there were numerous interments, but one of these
consisted of a small portion of human bones,[485] four flint celts,
five beautifully formed arrow-heads of flint, two rude spear-heads of
flint, two well-formed knives and spear-heads of flint, two very large
tusks of the wild boar, and a piece of deer-horn, perforated at the end
and drilled through, which was thought to be the handle for one of the

In these three instances the polished celts accompany interments by
cremation, and probably belong to a late period of the Stone Age in
Britain. They have, however, been frequently found with the remains
of unburnt bodies. In one of the banks of an ancient settlement near
Knook Castle, Upton Lovel, Sir R. Colt Hoare[486] discovered a skeleton
with its head towards the north and at its feet a fine black celt.
In a barrow about seven miles east of Pickering,[487] besides other
interments is said to have been one of a skeleton with the head towards
the south, and a “beautiful stone adze or celt, 3 1∕2 inches long,
wrought in green basalt, and a very elaborately chipped spear of flint,
near four inches long, near its right hand.”

In another barrow in the same district[488] the skeleton was
accompanied by “a very small celt or chisel of grey flint, smoothly
rubbed, and a plain spear-head of the same material.”

In another barrow on Elton Moor, Derbyshire,[489] there lay behind the
skeleton a neatly ornamented “drinking cup,” containing three pebbles
of quartz, a flat piece of polished iron ore, a small celt of flint,
with a rounded instead of a cutting edge, a beautifully chipped cutting
tool, twenty-one circular-ended instruments, and seventeen rude pieces
of flint.

In Liffs Low, near Biggin,[490] Mr. Bateman found a skeleton in the
|149| contracted position, and with it two flint celts beautifully
chipped and polished at the cutting edges; two flint arrow-heads
delicately chipped, two flint knives polished on the edge, and one of
them serrated on the back to serve as a saw; numerous other objects of
flint, some red ochre, a small earthenware cup, and a hammer-head of
stag’s horn.

In Cross Low, near Parwich,[491] a fragment of a celt and a small piece
of chipped flint were with a human skeleton in a cist; and a kind of
flint axe or tomahawk is reported to have been similarly found in a
barrow near Pickering.[492]

In the Gospel Hillock barrow, near Buxton, Captain Lukis, F.S.A., found
near the shoulder of a contracted skeleton, a polished flint celt, of
which an engraving is given in the _Reliquary_.[493]

In what appears to have been a tumulus at Seaford,[494] Sussex, celts
both whole and broken, and other forms of worked flint, were found, but
the account given of the exploration is rather confused.

It will be observed that in these cases stone celts accompany the
earliest form of interment with which we are acquainted, that in which
the body is deposited in the contracted position. The reason why
bodies were interred in that posture appears to be that it was in all
probability the usual attitude of sleep, at a period when the small
cloak of the day must generally have served as the only covering at

In Scotland stone celts seem to be of frequent occurrence in cairns. I
have one, already mentioned,[495] which is said to have been found with
four others in a cairn on Druim-a-shi, near Culloden.

Three others, of which two have been already described,[496] were
discovered in a cairn in Daviot parish, Inverness, together with a
cylindrical implement, possibly a pestle, and are now in the National
Museum at Edinburgh. Not improbably my specimen came from the same

Another[497] was found in the Cat’s Cairn, Cromartyshire. A
second,[498] pointed at the butt, is said to have been found in a
“Druidical circle,” Aberdeenshire. A third,[499] of black flint, from
the parish of Cruden, Aberdeenshire, would seem to have accompanied an
interment, as with it was found a necklace of large oblong beads of
jet, and rudely shaped pieces of amber.

None, however, of these instances afford any absolute testimony as to
their exact or even approximate age, unless, indeed, the jet and amber,
if they really accompanied the flint celt, point in that case to a date
at all events not far removed from that of the bronze objects with
which such necklaces have frequently been found.

In the other cases of interments in barrows, however ancient they may
be, it seems probable that they are not those of the earliest occupants
of this country, by whom polished stone celts, or those of the same
character rough hewn only, were in use. The labour bestowed in the
formation of the graves and the erection of the barrows must |150|
have been immense, and could hardly have been undertaken until a stage
of civilization had been reached higher than that of some of the ruder
savage races of the present day.

It may be mentioned that stone celts are not unfrequently found in the
soil of which barrows are composed, but in no way connected with the
interments in the barrow.

There are a few instances of the finding of these instruments, not in
association with interments, where the circumstances under which they
have been discovered testify to a great, though still indeterminate
antiquity. One, for instance, of greenstone, in the Museum of the
Society of Antiquaries, is stated to have been “found deep in the clay
whilst digging the Chelsea Waterworks at Kingston.”[500] Others in a
sand-bed near York[501] were 6 or 7 feet below the surface, and nearly
a quarter of a mile from the river which is thought to have deposited
the sand.

In Wilson’s “Prehistoric Annals of Scotland”[502] is recorded the
finding of a greenstone celt in a primitive canoe, formed of a hollowed
trunk of oak, at a depth of 25 feet from the surface, at Glasgow; and
in the Norwich Museum is one of brown flint, ground all over, 4 1∕4
inches long, similar to Fig. 54, but with facets towards the edge, as
if from repeated grinding, which is stated to have been found fixed
in a tree in the submarine forest at Hunstanton, by the Rev. George
Mumford, of East Winch, in the year 1829.

       *       *       *       *       *

On the whole evidence it would appear, from the number of implements
of this class which has been discovered, from the various characters
of the interments with which they are associated, and from the
circumstances under which they have been found, that these stone celts
must have been in use in this country during a long period of years;
though we still revert to our first confession, that it is impossible
to determine at how early a date this period commenced, or to how late
a date it may have extended. If, however, the occupation of this part
of the globe by man was continuous from the period of the deposit of
the old River-gravels unto the present day, it seems probable that some
of these implements may claim an almost fabulous antiquity, while in
certain remote districts of Britain into which civilization made but a
tardy approach, it is possible that their use may have lingered on to a
time when in other parts of the country, owing to the superiority and
abundance of metallic tools, these stone hatchets had long fallen into

Instances of this comparatively late use of stone celts appear to be
afforded by some of the discoveries made in the Orkney and Shetland
Isles; and it is doubtful whether in Ireland the use of |151| stone
implements did not survive in some parts of the country to a far more
recent date than would at first sight appear probable. I have, however,
remarked on this subject elsewhere.[503] Sir Arthur Mitchell’s book,
“The Past in the Present,” may also be consulted.

The methods in which these instruments were used and mounted must to
some extent have varied in accordance with the purposes to which they
were applied. In describing the forms, I have pointed out that in some
cases they were used as axes or hatchets, and in other cases as adzes,
and that there are some celts which not improbably were used in the
hand without any handle at all, or else were mounted in short handles,
and used after the manner of chisels or knives.

The instances of their being found in this country still attached
to their handles are rare. In the case of the celt found near
Tranmere,[504] Cheshire, and now in the Mayer Museum at Liverpool, “the
greater part of the wood had perished, but enough remained to show that
the handle had passed in a slightly diagonal direction towards the
upper end of the stone.” In the Christy Collection is a large felstone
celt 12 1∕4 inches long and 3 1∕4 inches broad, of the same section
as Fig. 43, slightly flattened at the sides, on the face of which the
mark of the handle is still visible, crossing it obliquely near the
middle. This specimen was found at Pentney, Norfolk. Similar marks may
not improbably be observed on other specimens, like that from Drumour
already mentioned at page 119.

[Illustration: Fig. 91.—Solway Moss.]

In the Solway Moss, near Longtown, a hafted hatchet was found by a
labourer digging peat, at the depth of rather more than six feet, but
the handle appears to have been broken, even at the time when the
sketch was made from which the woodcut |152| given in the _Proceedings
of the Society of Antiquaries_[505] was engraved, which is, by
permission, here reproduced. The instrument is now in the British
Museum, but the haft, in drying, has, unfortunately, quite lost its
form, and is still further broken. The process of preserving wood when
in the tender condition in which it is found after long burial in peat
was probably not known at the time. It has been adopted with great
success by Mr. Engelhardt in preserving the wooden antiquities from the
Danish peat bogs, and consists in keeping the objects moist until they
have been well steeped, or even boiled, in a strong solution of alum,
after which they are allowed to dry gradually, and are found to retain
their form in a remarkable manner.

It is probably owing to the broken and distorted condition of the wood
that the sketch was inaccurate as to the position of the blade with
regard to the handle, for the mark of the wood where it was in contact
with the stone is still visible, and proves that the central line of
the blade was inclined outwards at an angle of about 100° to the haft,
instead of being nearly vertical, as shown. The edge of the hatchet is
oblique to nearly the same extent as the inclination of the blade to
the haft. It would seem from this, that the obliquity of the edge was
in some cases connected with the method of hafting, and not always, as
suggested by Nilsson,[506] the result of the blade being most worn away
in the part farthest from the hand holding the shaft.

The preservation of the wooden handle has been more successfully
effected in the case of the celt shown in Fig. 92, engraved from a
photograph kindly supplied me by Mr. R. D. Darbishire, F.G.S. It is
figured on a larger scale in the _Archæologia_,[507] where all the
circumstances of the discovery are set forth in detail. The axe was
found, in the year 1871, in peat which had once formed the bed of a
small lake, known as Ehenside Tarn, near Egremont, in Cumberland,
which has now been drained. With it were found another haft of the
same character, and several stone celts, one of them 14 1∕2 inches
in length, with the sides but slightly curved, and almost equally
broad at each end. Some wooden paddles and clubs formed of beech
and oak, pottery and other objects, were also found. The farmer who
cultivates the former bed of the lake had previously discovered some
stone antiquities which were brought under the notice of Sir Wollaston
Franks, |153| who induced Mr. Darbishire to make the search which was
so amply rewarded. The haft is formed of a hard root of beech-wood,
and has been most carefully carved, the surface exhibiting alternate
cuts and ridges forming small concave facets about 1∕8-inch apart, and
arranged spirally. The other haft for a celt is of oak-wood, and is not
so well preserved. It will be noticed that the end of the beech-wood
handle has originally been recurved, possibly with a view of steadying
the butt-end of the celt.

[Illustration: Fig. 92.—Cumberland. 1∕4]

Curiously enough, in the outline of a celt in its handle, carved on
the under side of the roof-stone of a dolmen, known as La Table des
Marchands, near Locmariaker, Brittany,[508] the end of the handle seems
also to be curved back beyond the socket for the blade, which however
it does not touch. At the other end of the handle there is a loop like
a sword guard, for the insertion of the hand. There is some little
difficulty in determining the exact form of this incised carving, as
the lines are shallow, and the light does not fall upon them. I speak
from a sketch I made on the spot in 1863. Other such representations
occur in Brittany.[509]

In a paper[510] on a neolithic flint weapon in a wooden haft, Mr.
C. Dawson has given an account of a discovery made by Mr. Stephen
Blackmore, a shepherd of East Dean, near Eastbourne, of a flint hatchet
at Mitchdean. It was lying in its wooden haft which was perfectly
carbonized, but Mr. Blackmore made a |154| drawing of it, apparently
from memory. He describes the blade, which seems to have been unground,
as lying in a horizontal groove cut in one side of the shaft, which
was 2 feet 6 inches long. At one end of the shaft were two projections
supposed to serve for holding the ligatures by which the blade was
attached, and nearer the hand were a number of grooves running round
the haft. Neither the description nor the drawings of this and other
objects found with it are such as to inspire complete confidence.

About 1822, in sinking a well at Ferry Harty, Isle of Sheppey,[511]
there were found, according to newspaper reports, the remains of a hut,
two skeletons, and “flints and hard stones, apparently intended for
axes and cutting implements, with handles of wood quite complete and in
good preservation.” Nothing farther seems to be known of this discovery.

At Ervie,[512] near Glenluce, Wigtownshire, a celt of indurated
clay-stone in form like Fig. 77 (8 inches) was found, which shows a
band of dark colour about 1 1∕2 inch wide and about 2 inches from the
butt-end, crossing it at an angle of about 20°. This band probably
shows the position of the haft in which the blade was fixed. Another
celt from Glenshee, Forfarshire, likewise in the Edinburgh Museum,
shows a fainter mark of the kind. On a third from Dolphinton,[513]
Lanarkshire, the mark is very distinct and at a right angle to the axis
of the blade. Montelius[514] mentions a Swedish specimen, and A. de
Mortillet[515] a French one of flint similarly marked.

[Illustration: Fig. 93.—Monaghan.]

In the Museum of the Royal Irish Academy[516] is a drawing of a celt
in its handle (which is apparently of pine) found in the county of
Monaghan. This handle was 13 1∕2 inches long, and more clumsy at the
socketed end than that from Solway Moss. The woodcut given by Sir W.
Wilde is here, by permission, reproduced as Fig. 93.

Another nearly similar specimen was discovered near |155|
Cookstown,[517] in the county of Tyrone. What may be the haft of a
stone hatchet was found in another Irish crannog.[518] Another is in
the collection of General Pitt Rivers, F.R.S. Some of the hatchets
from the Swiss Lake-dwellings were hafted in a similar manner. In one
such haft, formed of ash, from Robenhausen,[519] the blade is inclined
towards the hand; in another, also of ash, the blade is at right angles
to the shaft.[520] Some of these club-like hafts resemble in character
those in use for iron blades in Southern and Central Africa.[521] The
copper or bronze axes of the Mexicans[522] were hafted in the same

A method of hafting, which implies fixity of residence, is said to
have been in use among the Caribs[523] of Guadaloupe. The blade of the
axe had a groove round it at the butt-end, and a deep hole having been
cut in the branch of a growing tree, this end of the blade was placed
in it, and as the branch grew became firmly embedded in it, the wood
which grasped it having formed a collar that filled the groove. The
Hurons[524] are said to have adopted the same plan.

[Illustration: Fig. 94.—Axe from the Rio Frio. 1∕6]

I have engraved in Fig. 94, an extremely rude example of hafting by
fitting the blade into a socket, from an original kindly lent me by the
late Mr. Thomas Belt, F.G.S., who procured it among the Indians of the
Rio Frio, a tributary of the San Juan del Norte in Nicaragua. The blade
is of trachyte entirely unground and most rudely chipped. The club-like
haft is formed of some endogenous wood, and has evidently been chopped
into shape by means of stone tools.

[Illustration: Fig. 95.—War-axe—Gaveoë Indians, Brazil.]

In these instances Clavigero’s[525] remark with regard to the copper
|156| or bronze axes of the Mexicans holds good; they are like
“those of modern times, except that we put the handle in an eye of
the axe while they put the axe in an eye of the handle.” A similarly
hafted hatchet with the blade ground is in use among the Botocudo
Indians. In the Island of New Hanover[526] the axe blade is inserted
about the middle of the club-like haft. Some hatchets from the
Admiralty Islands[527] are curiously like those from the Swiss |157|
Lake-dwellings. Excessively long hafts in which the blades are let
into a socket are occasionally in use among the Chamacocos[528] of
south-east Bolivia.

Many stone and metallic axes in use among other modern savages are
hafted in much the same manner by insertion in a socket. In some
instances it would appear as if the hole for receiving the stone did
not extend through the haft, but was merely a shallow depression—even a
notch. Such seems to be the case with a war-axe of the Gaveoë Indians
of Brazil in the British Museum, figured in the _Proceedings of the
Society of Antiquaries_,[529] and here, by permission, reproduced, as
Fig. 95. Some of their axes have longer hafts. In the Over Yssel Museum
is a Brazilian stone axe with a blade of this kind, which is said to
have been used in an insurrection at Deventer[530] in 1787.

[Illustration: Fig. 96.—Axe of Montezuma II.]

The “securis lapidea in sacrificiis Indorum usitata,” engraved by
Aldrovandus,[531] seems to have the blade inserted in a socket without
being tied, but in most axes of the same kind the blade is secured in
its place by a plaited binding artistically interlaced. The stone axe
said to be that of Montezuma II., preserved in the Ambras Museum at
Vienna, is a good example of the kind.[532] I have engraved it as Fig.
96, from a sketch I made in 1866.

In some cases the whole handle is covered with the binding. Two such in
the Dresden Historical Museum are engraved by Klemm.[533] Others have
been figured by Prof. Giglioli.[534]

Some of the war-axes (called taawisch or tsuskiah) in use among the
natives of Nootka Sound[535] are mounted in this manner, but the socket
end of the shaft is carved into the form of a grotesque human head, in
the mouth of which the stone blade is |158| secured with cement, as in
Fig. 97. In another instance the handle is carved into the form of a
bird[536] and inlaid with mother-of-pearl, or, more properly speaking,
shell of _haliotis_. The blade of basalt projects from the breast of
the bird, the tail of which forms the handle. In some the blade goes
right through the handle, so as to project equally on both sides of it,
and is sharpened at both ends.

[Illustration: Fig. 97.—Axe—Nootka Sound.]

The socket in all these handles is usually at some little distance from
their end, but even with this precaution, the wedge-like form of the
celt must have rendered them very liable to split. It was probably with
a view of avoiding this, that the intermediate socket of stag’s horn,
so common in the Lake-dwellings of Switzerland, was adopted. The stone
was firmly bedded in the horn, the end of which was usually worked
into a square form, but slightly tapering, and with a shoulder all
round to prevent its being driven into the wood. In the annexed woodcut
(Fig. 98) is shown one of these sockets with the hatchet inserted. It
was found at Concise, in the Lake of Neuchâtel. An analogous system
for preventing the stone blade from splitting the haft was adopted
in Burma, Cambodia, |159| and Eastern India, but the shoulders were
there cut in the stone-blades themselves. One of the Swiss instruments
in its complete form is shown in Fig. 99, which I have copied from
Keller.[537] It was found at Robenhausen, and the club-like handle is
of ash. Several other specimens are engraved by the same author and
Professor Desor,[538] and by other more recent writers.

[Illustration: Fig. 98.—Axe in stag’s-horn socket—Concise. 1∕2]

[Illustration: Fig. 99.—Axe—Robenhausen. 1∕1]

In some instances the stone was inserted lengthways[539] into the end
of a tine of a stag’s horn at the part where it had been severed from
the antler, so as to form a sort of chisel.[540] In other cases the
socket was worked through the tine, and the stone blade fixed in it
after the manner of an axe, though the handle was too short for the
tool to be used for chopping. Some wooden handles[541] are also but a
few inches long, so that the celts mounted in them must have been used
for cutting by drawing them along the object to be cut.

Such stag’s-horn sockets have occurred, though rarely, in France. M.
Perrault found some in his researches in the Camp de Chassey, |160|
(Saône et Loire).[542] Some seem to have been found at Vauvray,[543]
in making the railway from Paris to Rouen. Others were discovered in
company with arrow-heads, celts, and trimmed flakes of flint, in the
Dolmen,[544] or _Allée couverte_, of Argenteuil (Seine et Oise). These
are now in the Musée de St. Germain. Others were found in a cavern on
Mont Sargel (Aveyron).[545] They occasionally occur in Germany. One
from Dienheim is in the Central Museum at Mayence.

Discoveries of these stag’s-horn sockets for stone tools in England
seem to be extremely rare. Mr. Albert Way describes one, of which a
woodcut is given in the _Archæological Journal_.[546] It is formed
of the horn of the red deer (which is erroneously described as being
extinct), and is said to have been found with human remains and
pottery of an early character at Cockshott Hill, in Wychwood Forest,
Oxfordshire. It seems better adapted for mounting a small celt as a
chisel, like that of bronze found in a barrow at Everley,[547] than
for forming part of a hatchet. Mr. Way[548] cites several cases of
the discovery of these stag’s-horn sockets in France and elsewhere on
the continent of Europe. I may add, by way of caution, that numerous
forgeries of them have been produced at Amiens. In some of the genuine
specimens from the peat of the valley of the Somme,[549] the stone was
fixed in a socket bored in one end of the piece of stag’s horn, and the
shaft was inserted in another hole bored through the horn. M. Boucher
de Perthes describes the handle of one as made of a branch of oak,
burnt at each end.

An example of this method of mounting is given in Fig. 99A. The
original was found at Penhouet, Saint Nazaire sur Loire,[550] in 1877.
The length of the haft is 19 1∕2 inches. A fine socket with the blade
still in it, but without the shaft, has been figured by the Baron
Joseph de Baye.[551] It was found in La Marne, in which department
funereal grottoes have been discovered, at the entrances of which
similar hafted axes were sculptured.

The socket discovered by the late Lord Londesborough in a barrow,
near Scarborough,[552] appears to have been a hammer, |161| although
he describes it as a piece of deer horn, perforated at the end, and
drilled through, and imagined it to have been the handle for one of
the celts found with it, “much in the manner of that in the museum of
M. de Courvale, at his Castle of Pinon, in France,” of which he sent a
drawing to the Archæological Association. A stag’s-horn socket, with a
transverse hole for the haft, and a circular socket bored in the end,
from which the main body of the horn was cut off, was found in the
Thames, near Kew, and is in the possession of Mr. Thomas Layton, F.S.A.
In the circular socket was a portion of a tine of stag’s horn, so that
it seems rather to have been intended for mounting such tines for use
as picks, than for hafting celts.

[Illustration: Fig. 99A.—Penhouet. 1∕6]

[Illustration: Fig. 99B.—New Guinea.]

A celt, mounted in a socket of stag’s horn, bored through to receive
the wooden shaft, found in the Lake-dwellings at Concise, and in
the collection of Dr. Clément, has been engraved by Desor;[553] and
another, found near Aerschot,[554] in Belgium, by Le Hon. A hatchet,
mounted in a socket of this kind, is figured by Dupont[555] |162| and
Van Overloop.[556] Some of the stag’s-horn sockets are ornamented by
having patterns engraved upon them.[557]

[Illustration: Fig. 99C.—New Guinea Adze.]

In New Guinea and Celebes a plan has been adopted of inserting the
stone blade into the end of a tapering piece of wood, which is
securely bound round to prevent its splitting. The small end of this
fits in a hole in the club-like haft. An example is shown in Fig.
99B,[558] obligingly lent by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.
By turning round the pivot an axe is converted into an adze. In some
New Guinea and New Caledonia adzes and axes the blade is let into a
socket at a nearly right angle to the haft, and either forming part
of it or attached to it. Such an adze is shown in Fig. 99C, kindly
lent by the same Society. A similar method of hafting is in use in the
Entrecasteaux Islands.[559]

Some ingenious suggestions as to the probable method of mounting stone
implements in ancient times have been made by the Vicomte Lepic.[560]
With a polished Danish flint hatchet 8 inches long, hafted in part
of the root of an oak, an oak-tree 8 inches in diameter was cut down
without injury to the blade.

Another method of hafting, adopted by the Swiss Lake-dwellers for their
stone hatchets, is described by Dr. Keller,[561] from whose work I have
copied the annexed woodcut, Fig. 100. |163|

The haft was usually formed of a stem of hazel, “with a root running
from it at right angles. A cleft was then made in this shorter part,
forming a kind of beak in which the celt was fixed with cord and
asphalte.” A woodcut of a handle of the same character, found near
Schraplau, in company with its stone blade, is given by Klemm,[562]
and is here reproduced as Fig. 101. A handle of much the same kind,
consisting of a shaft with a branch at right angles to it, in which was
fixed a flint axe, was found with a skeleton and a wooden shield in a
tumulus near Lang Eichstätt, in Saxony,[563] and has been engraved by
Lindenschmit. Another is said to have been found at Winterswyk.

[Illustration: Fig. 100.—Axe—Robenhausen.]

[Illustration: Fig. 101.—Schraplau.]

The discovery in the district between the Weser and the Elbe of several
stone hatchets mounted in hafts of wood, stag’s-horn, and bone, has
been recorded by Mr. A. Poppe,[564] but the authenticity of the hafting
seems to me open to question. The compound haft of a stone axe, said to
have been found at Berlin,[565] is also not above all suspicion. The
handles of bronze palstaves, found in the salt mines near Salzburg,
Austria, are forked in the same manner as Figs. 100 and 101. One of
them, formerly in the Klemm Collection, is now in the British Museum.

[Illustration: Fig. 102.—Adze—New Caledonia.]

The same system of hafting has been in use among the savages in
recent times, as will be seen from the annexed figure of a stone adze
from New Caledonia,[566] Fig. 102, lent to me by the late Mr. Henry
Christy. Another is engraved in the _Proceedings of the Society of
|164| Antiquaries of Scotland_.[567] Several other varieties of New
Caledonian and Fiji handles have been engraved by M. Chantre.[568] In
some countries, probably in consequence of the difficulty of procuring
forked boughs of trees of the proper kind, the wood which forms the
socket for the blade is bound on at the desired angle to the end of
the wooden handle. An adze of stone from the Caroline Islands, thus
mounted, is engraved in the _Comptes Rendus_;[569] and a |165| handle
of this kind from North America, but with a small iron blade, is
figured by Klemm.[570]

[Illustration: Fig. 103.—Adze—Clalam Indians.]

We are left in a great degree to conjecture as to the other methods of
mounting stone hatchets and adzes on handles in prehistoric times; but
doubtless some besides those already mentioned were practised. A very
common method among existing savages is to bind the blade of stone on
to the face of a branch at the end of the handle, which in some cases
projects upwards, and in others downwards, and is inclined at an angle
more or less perpendicular to the handle.

Figs. 103 and 104 are kindly lent me by the Society of Antiquaries of
Scotland.[571] The short-handled adze, Fig. 103, is one |166| used
by the Schlalum or Clalam Indians, of the Pacific Coast, to the south
of the Straits of De Fuca and on Puget’s Sound, to hollow out their
canoes. The group, Fig. 104, exhibits various methods of attachment of
stone adzes to their handles employed by the South-Sea Islanders.

[Illustration: Fig. 104.—South-Sea Island Axes.]

The Australians occasionally mounted their tomahawks in much the
same manner as that shown in the central figure. An example has been
engraved by the Rev. J. G. Wood.[572] The right-hand figure probably
represents an adze from the Savage Islands. Some Brazilian and Aleutian
Island adzes are mounted in much the same fashion.

The jade adzes of the New Zealanders are hafted in a somewhat similar
manner; but the hafts are often beautifully carved and inlaid. A
fine example is in the Blackmore Museum, and a handle in the Christy
Collection. I have also a haft with the original |167| jade blade,
but the binding has been taken off. One of them is engraved by the
Rev. J. G. Wood.[573] The axe to the left, in Fig. 104, as well as
that in the centre, is from Tahiti. The axes from Mangaia, so common
in collections, exhibit great skill in the mounting and in the carving
of the handles. Some have been engraved by the Rev. J. G. Wood.[574]
A ceremonial stone adze with a very remarkable carved haft from New
Ireland[575] has been figured by Professor Giglioli.

In some instances the ligaments for attaching the stone blade against
the end of the handle pass through a hole towards its end. A North
American adze in the Ethnological Museum, at Copenhagen, is thus
mounted, the cord being apparently of gut.

A similar method of mounting their adzes, by binding them against the
haft, was in use among the Egyptians.[576] Although it is extremely
probable that some of the ancient stone adzes of other countries may
have been mounted in this manner, there have not, so far as I am aware,
been any of the handles of this class discovered. I have, however,
two Swiss celts of Lydian stone, and of rectangular section, found at
Nussdorf and Sipplingen, in the Ueberlinger See, and on the flatter of
the two faces of each, there is a slight hollow worn away apparently
by friction, which was, I think, due to their having been attached
against a handle in this manner. The blade in which the depression is
most evident has lost its edge, seemingly from its having been broken
in use. I have not up to the present time found any similarly worn
surfaces upon British celts.

Another method of hafting adopted by various savage tribes is that of
winding a flexible branch of wood round the stone, and securing the
two ends of the branch by binding them together in such a manner as
tightly to embrace the blade. A stone axe from Northern Australia thus
hafted, is figured in the _Archæologia_,[577] whence I have borrowed
the cut, Fig. 105. Another used by natives on the Murray river[578] has
been figured by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. This method of
hafting has been mentioned by White,[579] who describes the binding as
being effected by strips |168| of bark, and in his figure shows the
two ends of the stick more firmly bound together.

[Illustration: Fig. 105.—Axe—Northern Australia.]

Another example has been engraved by the Rev. J. G. Wood.[580] This
mode is very similar to that in common use among blacksmiths for their
chisels and swages, which are held by means of a withy twisted round
them, and secured in its place by a ring.

It seems extremely probable that so simple a method may have been in
use in early times in this country, though we have no direct evidence
as to the fact. A “fancy sketch” of a celt in a withy handle will be
found in the _Archæologia_.[581] It resembles in a singular manner the
actual implements employed by the Ojibway Indians,[582] of which there
is a specimen in the Christy Collection, engraved by the Rev. J. G.
Wood.[583] Some of the other North American tribes[584] mounted their
hatchets in much the same manner. A hatchet thus hafted is engraved by

In some instances a groove of greater or less depth has been worked
round the axes mounted in this manner, though undoubtedly British
examples are scarce. An axe-hammer of diorite (13 inches), found near
Newburgh,[586] Aberdeenshire, has a groove round it instead of the
usual haft-hole. The blade engraved in the _Archæological Journal_[587]
and found near Coldstream, Northumberland, is probably of Carib origin,
like others which have also been supposed to have been British.
Another from the Liverpool |169| Docks is mentioned by Mr. H. Ecroyd
Smith.[588] In the British Museum are two such axes, and some other
stone implements, found near Alexandria, but which probably are Carib,
as would also seem to be those in the Museum of Douai,[589] on which
are sculptured representations of the human face.

Stone axe-heads with a groove round their middle, for receiving a
handle, have been found in Denmark,[590] but are of rare occurrence.
The form has been found in the salt-mines of Koulpe,[591] Caucasus,
and in Russian Armenia. The large stone mauls found so commonly in
the neighbourhood of ancient copper-mines, in this and many other
countries in both hemispheres, were hafted much in the same manner as
the Australian axe.

In other cases axe-heads are mounted by being fixed in a cleft stick
for a handle, the stick being then lashed round so as to secure the
stone and retain it in its place. This method was employed by some of
the North American Indians,[592] and the aborigines in the colony of
Victoria.[593] In the Blackmore Museum is a stone axe thus mounted,
from British Guiana. There is a small hole through the butt which is
carved into a series of small spikes. Others from Guiana[594] have
notches at the sides to receive a cord which bound the haft in a
groove running along the butt-end. The same form has been found in
Surinam.[595] An Egyptian[596] stone hammer is mounted in much the same
way. The notches practically produce lugs at the butt-end of the blade.
I have an iron hatchet, edged with steel, brought home by the late Mr.
David Forbes, F.R.S., from among the Aymara Indians of Bolivia, which
is mounted in a stick cleft at the end. The blade is T-shaped at the
butt, and is tied in such a manner, by means of a strip of leather,
that the arms of the T rest on two of the coils, so as to prevent its
falling out, while other two coils pass over the butt and prevent its
being driven back, and the whole binds the two sides of the cleft
stick together so as tightly to grasp the blade and prevent lateral or
endways motion. The ancient Egyptian bronze hatchets were merely placed
in a groove and bound to the handle by the lugs, and sometimes by the
cord being passed through holes in the blade. The same shape is |170|
found in flint hatchets ascribed by Professor Flinders Petrie[597] to
the twelfth dynasty. What may be a stone hatchet mounted occurs in a
painting at Medum.[598]

[Illustration: Fig. 106.—Hatchet—Western Australia.]

Another Australian method of mounting implies the possession of some
resinous material susceptible of being softened by heat, and again
becoming hard and tough when cold. This mode is exhibited in Fig. 106,
which represents a rude instrument from Western Australia, now in my
collection, engraved in the _Archæologia_.[599] It is hammer-like at
one end, axe-like at the other, and is formed of either one or two
roughly chipped pieces of basalt-like stone entirely unground, and
secured in a mass of resinous gum, in which the handle is inserted. In
most implements of this kind there appear to be two separate stones
used to form the double blade, and these are sometimes of different
kinds of rock. It would seem that the shaft, either cleft or uncleft,
passed between them, and that the stones, when bound with string to
hold them in their places, were further secured with a mass of the gum
of the _Xanthorrhæa_ or grass-tree.[600]

Such a method of hafting cannot, I think, have been in general use in
this country, for want of the necessary cementing material, though,
from discoveries made in Scandinavia, it would appear that a resinous
pitch was in common use for fixing bronze implements to their handles;
so that the practice may also have applied to those of stone. In the
Swiss Lake-dwellings, bitumen was used as a cement for attaching stone
to wood. In the case of the axes of the Indians on the River Napo,[601]
Ecuador, the binding of |171| the blades, which are formed with
lugs like those of Guiana, is covered with a thick coating formed of
bees-wax and mastic.

Besides those that were hafted as axes or adzes, it seems probable that
not a few of the implements known as celts may have been for use in the
hand as cutting tools, either mounted in short handles or unmounted.
There can be but little doubt that the tools, Fig. 83 and 83A, were
thus used in the hand, as also the implement with a depression on each
face (Fig. 87), and that with the notches at the side (Fig. 89); and
they can hardly have been unique of their kind.

Dr. Lukis,[602] indeed, at one time expressed an opinion that the stone
celt was not intended to be secured “in a handle, but was held in the
hand and applied to particular uses which are not now evident, but to
which neither the hammer nor the hatchet were applicable.” But in the
face of the fact that numerous handles have since been found, such an
opinion is no longer tenable except in a very limited sense.

Among modern savages we have instances of similar tools being used
in the hand without the intervention of any haft, giving a form much
like that of Fig. 83A, though among the Australians the butt-end is
sometimes enveloped in a mass of resinous matter, so as to form a knob
which fits the hand. According to Prinz Neuwied,[603] the Botocudos
used their stone blades both unmounted in the hand and hafted as
hatchets. The South Australians[604] and Tasmanians[605] likewise use
celts in a similar manner.

There are cases in which the hatchet and haft have been formed from
one piece of stone. Such a one, of chloritic stone, found in a mound
in Tennessee,[606] is in outline like Fig. 92, and has a small loop
for suspension at the end of the handle. Mr. Cursiter, of Kirkwall,
has an instrument of the same kind from Orkney, formed of hard slate.
In extreme length it measures 9 3∕4 inches. It cannot, however, be
assigned to a very early date. For a comparison of celts from different
countries Westropp’s “Prehistoric Phases”[607] may be consulted.

With regard to the uses to which these instruments were applied,
they must have been still more varied than the methods of mounting,
which, as we have seen, adapted them for the purposes of hatchets and
adzes; while, mounted in other ways, or |172| unmounted, they may
have served as wedges, chisels, and knives. The purposes which similar
instruments serve among modern savages must be much the same as those
for which the stone celts found in this country were employed by our
barbarian predecessors. An admirable summary of the uses to which stone
hatchets—the “Toki” of the Maori—are, or were applied in New Zealand,
has been given by Dr. W. Lauder Lindsay.[608] They were used chiefly
for cutting down timber, and for scooping canoes[609] out of the trunks
of forest trees; for dressing posts for huts; for grubbing up roots,
and killing animals for food; for preparing firewood; for scraping the
flesh from the bones when eating, and for various other purposes in the
domestic arts. But they were also employed in times of war, as weapons
of offence and defence, as a supplementary kind of tomahawk.

For all these purposes stone celts must also have been employed in
Britain, and some may even have been used in agriculture. We can add to
the list at least one other service to which they were applied, that of
mining in the chalk in pursuit of flint, as the raw material from which
similar instruments might be fashioned.




I now come to several forms of implements which, though approximating
closely to those to which the name of celts has been applied, may
perhaps be regarded with some degree of certainty as forming a separate
class of tools. Among these, the long narrow form to which, for want of
a better name, that of “Picks” has been given, may be first described.
It is, however, hard to draw a line between them and chisels.

[Illustration: Fig. 107.—Great Easton. 1∕2]

       *       *       *       *       *

An idea of the prevailing form will be gathered from Fig. 107, which
represents a specimen in my own collection found at Great Easton, near
Dunmow, Essex, and given me by Colonel A. J. Copeland, F.S.A. Its
surfaces are partially ground, especially towards the upper end, which
appears to have been pointed, though now somewhat broken. The lower
end is chipped to a rounded outline, but this end is not ground, and
the outer or more convex face of the implement, in one part shows the
original crust of the flint.

In the Fitch Collection is a finer and more symmetrical specimen of
the same kind from North Walsham. It is 7 1∕2 inches long, rather more
than 1 inch wide, and 7∕8 inch thick. It is polished nearly all over,
both faces are ridged, so that it is almost rhomboidal in section,
though the angles are rounded; one face is curved lengthways much more
than the other, which is nearly straight. At one end it is ground to
a semicircular edge, but at the other it is merely chipped, and still
shows part of the original crust of the flint. Another implement of
this character, but 11 1∕2 inches long, and 2 7∕8 inches wide in the
broadest part, was found at Melbourn,[610] Cambridgeshire, and was in
the collection of the late Lord Braybrooke. |174|

I have seen another nearly 6 inches long, but little polished, and
almost oval in section, which was found at Melton, near Woodbridge,
Suffolk. This also is blunt at one end, and ground to a semicircular
edge at the other. A fragment of a tool of this class, found near
Maidenhead, is in the Geological Museum in Jermyn Street. Another, more
roughly chipped out and but partially polished, was found on Mount
Harry, near Lewes, and is preserved in the Museum in that town. It is
narrow at one end, where it is ground to a sharp edge.

The late Mr. H. Durden, of Blandford, had another, found on Iwerne
Minster Down, Dorset, 5 1∕2 inches long and 1 1∕4 inches broad, more
celt-like in type. One face is more convex than the other; the sides
are sharp, and one end is squarer than the other, which comes to a
rounded point.

In my own collection is one of oval section (5 inches), polished nearly
all over, from Burwell Fen, Cambridge; another (4 3∕8 inches), much
polished on the surface, is from the Thames at Twickenham. A third,
from Quy Fen, Cambridge (4 7∕8 inches), is rather broader in its
proportions, and of pointed oval section. A fourth, from Bottisham Fen
(4 3∕4 inches), has a narrow segmental edge, and is rounded at the
butt, where it is slightly battered. These may perhaps be regarded as

[Illustration: Fig. 108.—Bury St. Edmunds. 1∕2]

In the Greenwell Collection is what appears to be a fragment of a
chisel, still about 4 inches long, found at Northdale, Bridlington. The
same form of implement is found in France. I have a fragment of one
which was found by M. Dimpre, of Abbeville, in the old encampment known
as the Camp de César, near Pontrémy.

In the case of some very similar implements of flint from Scandinavia
it is the broad end that is usually sharp, though some are entirely

Occasionally these implements occur in this country in the same
unpolished condition, like Fig. 108, from the neighbourhood of Bury
St. Edmunds. This also presents on the more highly ridged face the
same curvature in the direction of its length as is to be observed on
the polished specimens, and the pointed end seems the sharper and the
better adapted for use.

I have a fine unground specimen (6 inches) from Feltwell, Norfolk, and
another (4 1∕2 inches) from Chart Farm, Ightham, Kent, given to me by
Mr. B. Harrison.

Unfortunately there are no indications by which to judge of the method
of hafting such instruments. It appears probable, however, that the
broader end may have been attached at the end of a handle, like those
in Fig. 104, and that the tool was a sort of narrow adze or pick,
adapted for working out cavities in wood, or it may be for |175|
grubbing in the ground. Some rough instruments of this character are
found in Ireland,[611] but are usually more clumsy in their proportions
than the English specimens that I have figured. They are often of a
sub-triangular section, and pointed at one or both ends, though rarely
ground. I have, however, a tapering pointed tool of black chert, and
belonging to the same class of implements, found in Lough Neagh.[612]
It appears adapted for boring holes in leather or other soft substances.

[Illustration: Fig. 109.—Burwell.]

[Illustration: Fig. 110.—Near Bridlington. 1∕2]

A very remarkable implement belonging to the same group is shown in
Fig. 109. It was found in the Fen country near Burwell, Cambridge, and
was given me by the late Mr. J. W. Flower, F.G.S. At the broad end it
is much like the instruments just described. A portion of both faces
has been polished, the sides have been rounded by grinding, and though
it has been chipped to an edge at the broad end, this also has been
rendered blunt in the same manner, possibly with the view of preventing
it from cutting the ligaments by which it was attached to a handle. The
narrow end is ground to a chisel edge, which is at right angles to that
of the broad end. In form and character this chisel end is exactly like
that of a narrow “cold chisel” of steel, in use by engineers. Whether
it was used as a narrow adze or axe, or after the manner of a chisel,
it is difficult to say.

Fig. 110 is still more chisel-like in character. It is of flint
weathered white, but stained in places by iron-mould, from having been
brought |176| in contact with modern agricultural implements, while
lying on the surface of the ground. It was found at Charleston, near
Bridlington. It is unground except at the edge, where it is very sharp,
and at one or two places along the sides, where slight projections have
been removed or rounded off by grinding. The butt-end is truncated, but
is not at all battered, so that if a hammer or mallet was used with
it, without the intervention of a socket or handle, it was probably
of wood. I have another specimen of rather smaller size from the same
locality. It is, however, of porphyritic greenstone, and the butt-end,
instead of being truncated, has been chipped to a comparatively sharp
edge, which has subsequently been partially rounded by grinding. If
used as a chisel at all, this implement must have been inserted in a

Mr. H. Durden had a chisel of the same character found at Hod Hill,
Dorset, 5 1∕2 inches long, and 1 3∕8 inches broad, with the sides
ground straight.

The Greenwell Collection contains a flint chisel of this form 5 inches
long and 1∕2 inch broad, found near Icklingham, Suffolk. It is ground
at the sides as well as at the edge. Another, 4 3∕4 inches long, in
the same collection, was found at North Stow, Suffolk. There is also a
small chisel of hone-stone, 2 7∕8 inches long, found at Rudstone, near
Bridlington, and another 3 3∕4 inches long, of subquadrate section,
found in a barrow at Cowlam,[613] Yorkshire.

The form occurs in France. A beautiful chisel (7 inches), polished all
over, and brought to a narrow edge at either end, was found in the Camp
de Catenoy (Oise).[614] It is nearly round in section. Another, of dark
jade-like material (4 inches), polished all over, was obtained from a
dolmen at Pornic[615] (Loire Inférieure).

There are occasionally found some small chisels apparently intended for
holding in the hand, as if for carving wood. One of these, from Dalton,
on the Yorkshire Wolds, and in the collection of Messrs. Mortimer, is
shown in Fig. 111. It is of grey flint, slightly curved longitudinally,
nearly semicircular in section, with the side angles rounded, the butt
truncated, but all its sharp angles worn or ground away, and with a
circular edge slightly gouge-like in character. It has been ground
transversely or obliquely on both faces, but the _striæ_ from the
grinding are at the edge longitudinal. I have a nearly similar tool
from West Stow, Suffolk (5 1∕4 inches), and one from the neighbourhood
of Bridlington, Yorkshire, but the butt-end is broken.

[Illustration: Fig. 111.—Dalton, Yorkshire. 1∕2]

Another flint chisel, from the same neighbourhood, 3 1∕2 inches long
and 7∕8 inch wide, in my collection, presents the peculiarity of having
the butt-end ground to a sharp narrow semicircular edge, the principal
edge at the other end being broader and less curved. There can be |177|
little doubt of this having been merely a hand tool. A portion of the
edge at the narrow end is worn away as if by scraping bone or something
equally hard. This wearing away does not extend to the end of the tool.
Another specimen from Yorkshire is in the Blackmore Museum.[616]

A chisel from Suffolk,[617] ground at both ends, has been figured.

The implement shown in Fig. 112 appears to belong to this same class
of tools, though closely resembling some of those which will hereafter
be described as “arrow-flakers,” from which it differs only in not
showing any signs of being worn away at the ends. It is of flint neatly
chipped, and was found at Helperthorpe, Yorkshire. I have another of
the same form, but a trifle longer, found by Mr. W. Whitaker, F.R.S.,
near Baldock, Herts. Neither of them shows any traces of grinding.

A similar chisel of flint, square at the edge, and found near
Londinières[618] (Seine Inférieure), is engraved by the Abbé Cochet.

[Illustration: Fig. 112.—Helperthorpe. 1∕2]

Implements, which can without hesitation be classed as chisels, are
rare in Ireland, though long narrow celts approximating to the chisel
form are not uncommon. These are usually of clay-slate, or of some
metamorphic rock. I have, however, specimens of oval section not more
than an inch wide, and as much as 5 inches long, with narrow straight
edges, which seem to be undoubtedly chisels. I do not remember to have
seen a specimen in flint, those described by Sir W. Wilde[619] being
more celt-like in character.

Narrow chisels, occasionally 10 and 12 inches long, and usually square
in section, and either polished all over or merely ground at the
edge, are of common occurrence in Denmark and Sweden.[620] They are
sometimes, but more rarely, oval in section.

In Germany and Switzerland the form is scarce, but one from the
Sigmaringen district is engraved by Lindenschmit,[621] and a Swiss
specimen, in serpentine, by Perrin.[622]

Some of the small celts found in the Swiss lakes appear to have
been rather chisels than hatchets or adzes, as they were mounted in
sockets[623] bored axially in hafts of stag’s horn. In some instances
the hole was bored transversely through the piece of horn, but even
then, the tools are so small that they must have been used rather as
knives or drawing chisels than as hatchets. Chisels made of bone are
abundant in the Swiss Lake-settlements. They are also plentiful in
some of the caverns in the French Pyrenees, which have been inhabited
in Neolithic times. Several have also occurred in the Gibraltar caves.

Among the Maories of New Zealand small hand-chisels of jade are used
for carving wood and for other purposes. They are sometimes attached
to their handles by a curiously intertwined cord,[624] and sometimes
by a more simple binding. For the sketch of that shown in Fig. 113,
I am indebted to the late Mr. Gay. The original is in the British
Museum.[625] It will be observed that the end of the handle, which has
been battered in use, is tied round with a strip of bark to prevent its
splitting. The blade seems to rest against a shoulder in the handle, to
which it is firmly bound by a cord of vegetable fibre. A stone chisel
from S. E. Bolivia[626] is mounted in the same fashion, but the blade
is shorter. The stone chisels in use in ancient times in Britain were,
when hafted at all, probably mounted in a somewhat analogous manner.

[Illustration: Fig. 113.—New Zealand Chisel. 1∕2]

       *       *       *       *       *

Considering the great numbers of gouges or hollow chisels of flint
which have been found in Denmark and Sweden, their extreme rarity
in Britain is remarkable. It seems possible that the celts with an
almost semicircular edge, some of which, when the two faces of the
blade are not equally convex, are of a gouge-like character, may have
answered the same purpose as gouges. It is to be observed that this
class of celts is scarce in Denmark, where gouges are abundant; but
possibly the ancient inhabitants of that country may have been more of
a canoe-forming race than those of Britain, so that, in consequence,
implements for hollowing out the trunks of trees were in greater demand
among them. The best-formed gouges discovered in England, have, so far
as I am aware, been found in the Fen country, where it is probable that
canoes would be in constant use.

       *       *       *       *       *

Two such, found in Burwell Fen, are preserved in the Museum of the
Cambridge Antiquarian Society, one of which is shown in Fig. 114. The
other is rather smaller, being 5 1∕4 inches long and 1 7∕8 inches
broad. They are entirely unpolished, with the sides nearly straight and
sharp, and one face more convex than the other. At the butt-end they
are truncated, or show the natural crust of the flint. The cutting edge
at |179| the other end is approximately at right angles to the blade,
and is chipped hollow, so that the edge is like that of a carpenter’s

In Fig. 114A, is shown a fine gouge of white flint in my own
collection. It was found in 1871 on the Westleton Walks, Suffolk, and
was ceded to me by Mr. F. Spalding. It has been most skilfully and
symmetrically chipped out, but both the surface and the edge are left
entirely unground. What may be termed the front face is flatter than in
the specimens last described. The cutting edge is more rounded.

[Illustration: Fig. 114.—Burwell. 1∕2]

[Illustration: Fig. 114A.—Westleton Walks. 1∕2]

The next specimen, Fig. 115, is less decidedly gouge-like in character.
It is of grey flint, and was in the collection of the late Mr.
Caldecott, of Mead Street, having been found at Eastbourne, Sussex. The
sides are sharp, but rounded towards the butt, which is also round. A
large flake has been taken lengthways off the hollow face, and it may
be mainly to this circumstance rather than to original design, that the
gouge-like character of the implement is due.

Most of the Danish gouges have a rectangular section at the middle of
the blade, and the butt-end is usually truncated, and sometimes |180|
shows marks of having been hammered, so that these implements were
probably used without hafting and in conjunction with a mallet or
hammer of wood or stag’s horn. Another and rarer form of gouge with a
sharp elliptical section, tapers to the butt, and may have been used
for paring away charred surfaces without the aid of a mallet. Some
small examples of this class show, however, polished markings, as if
from having been inserted in handles.

Under the head of gouges I must comprise a few of those celt-like
implements already mentioned, which, without being actually ground
hollow, yet, by having one of their faces much flatter transversely
than the other, present at the edge a gouge-like appearance, somewhat
after the manner of the “round-nosed chisels” of engineers. One of
these was discovered in a barrow on Willerby Wold,[627] Yorkshire, by
Canon Greenwell, F.R.S., though it was not associated with any burial.

[Illustration: Fig. 115.—Eastbourne.]

It is shown in Fig. 116, and is formed of a light green hone-stone,
carefully ground and even polished, and presents a beautifully regular
and sharp cutting edge. It would appear to have been intended for
mounting as a hollow adze rather than as a gouge, and would when thus
mounted have formed a useful tool for hollowing canoes, or for other
similar purposes.

In the Greenwell Collection is also another implement of the same
character and material, but smaller, being 4 inches long and 2 3∕8
inches |181| broad. It was found at Ganthorpe, Yorkshire. The sides in
this case are flat.

The implement shown in Fig. 117 has, when the convex face is seen,
much the same appearance as Fig. 68. The other face, however, is
slightly hollowed towards the middle longitudinally, and is nearly flat
transversely, so that the edge presents a gouge-like appearance. It was
found at Huntow, near Bridlington, and is in my own collection. The
material is greenstone, the surface of which is somewhat decomposed,
and seems in places to have been scratched by the plough or the harrow.

[Illustration: Fig. 116.—Willerby Wold. 1∕2]

[Illustration: Fig. 117.—Bridlington. 1∕2]

A considerable number of gouges of this bastard kind have been found
in Ireland, and I have figured one from Lough Neagh.[628] A few of the
Irish celts are actually hollowed at the edge, so as to become more
truly gouge-like in character.

Besides occurring in abundance in Scandinavia, gouges, properly so
called, are also found in Northern Germany and Lithuania. They also
occur in Russia,[629] Finland, and Western Siberia, and even in Japan
and Cambodia. |182|

One of flint, 5 inches long, from the neighbourhood of Beauvais
(Oise), is in the Blackmore Museum. The same form has also been found
in Portugal[630] and Algeria.[631]

A stone implement,[632] “a square chisel at one end and a gouge at the
other,” was found in one of the Gibraltar caves.

In North America,[633] including Canada and Newfoundland, gouges formed
of other varieties of stone than flint are by no means uncommon, and
among the Caribs of Barbados, where stone was not to be procured, we
find gouge-like instruments formed from the _columella_ of the large
_Strombus gigas_. On the western coast of North America, mussel-shell
adzes are still preferred by the Ahts[634] to the best English chisels,
for canoe-making purposes.

Some narrow bastard gouges, almost semicircular on one face and flat
transversely on the other, but not hollowed, have been found in the
Swiss Lake-settlements. I have one of diorite, 5 3∕4 inches long and 1
inch broad, from Sipplingen. The butt is roughened as if for insertion
in a socket. A similar form is found in Germany. I have a specimen
9 1∕2 inches long found in the neighbourhood of Mainz.

A bastard form of gouge, mounted as an adze, is in use in the Solomon
Islands. One tied to its haft with rattan is in the Christy Collection.




I now come to a very important class of antiquities, the stone axes and
axe-hammers with a hole for the insertion of a shaft, like the ordinary
axes and hammers of the present day. As to the method by which these
shaft-holes were bored, I have already spoken in a previous chapter. I
have also mentioned that many of them appear to belong to a time when
bronze was already in use, at all events for knife-like daggers, and
that they have in many countries shared with the more simply-formed
celts the attribution of a heavenly origin as thunderbolts, together
with the superstitious reverence due to their supernatural descent. I
have, therefore, but little here to add beyond a classification and
description of the various forms; but I may mention that the name by
which such implements were “popularly known in Scotland almost till the
close of last century was that of the Purgatory Hammer,” buried with
its owner that he might have the wherewithal “to thunder at the gates
of Purgatory till the heavenly janitor appeared.”[635]

They are for the most part made from metamorphic or volcanic rocks, and
occasionally from quartzite, but I have never seen a British perforated
axe made from ordinary flint, though hammers of this material are
known. Stukeley,[636] indeed, mentions that in cleansing the moat at
Tabley, near Knutsford, “they found an old British axe, or some such
thing, made of large flint, neatly ground into an edge, with a hole in
the middle to fasten into a handle; it would serve for a battle-axe.”
Stukeley was probably mistaken as to the material; but there are in
the Museum at Copenhagen one or two flint axes ground to an edge,
the |184| shaft-holes in which are natural, and no doubt led to the
stones being selected for the purpose to which they were applied. An
artificially-perforated French specimen will subsequently be mentioned.
Flints both naturally and artificially perforated, have also been
occasionally converted into hammers and maces.

In Scandinavia and Northern Germany, perforated axes and axe-hammers
are frequently known as Thor’s hammers, as already mentioned,[637]
and some authors have maintained that they were in use for warlike
purposes so late as eight or ten centuries after our era. Kruse,[638]
however, has urged that though found in the neighbourhood of graves
of the Iron Age in Livonia and Courland, they are never found in the
graves themselves, and that their use is not mentioned in any ancient

The principal forms may be classified as follows:—

1. Double-edged axes, or those with a cutting, or but slightly blunted
edge at either end.

2. Adzes, or implements with the edge at right angles to the shaft-hole.

3. Axes with the edge at one end only, the hole being near the other
end, which is rounded. These shade off into—

4. Axe-hammers sharp at one end, and more or less hammer-like at the
other, the shaft-hole being usually near the centre.

To the weapons of the first of these classes the name of Amazon Axe
has been applied by Professor Nilsson;[639] but the Scandinavian axes
expanding considerably at the cutting ends, resemble the _Amazonia
securis_ of classical sculpture more than do the English specimens.

       *       *       *       *       *

Fig. 118 represents a beautifully formed axe of the first class, in
my own collection. It is of greenstone, and was found near Hunmanby,
Yorkshire. The two sides are concave longitudinally, so that it expands
towards the edges. They are also slightly concave transversely. The
angles are rounded, and the edges are blunt, especially that at the
shorter end. The shaft-hole is oval, and tapers slightly from each end
towards the middle. It would appear to have been worked out with some
sort of chisel, and to have been afterwards made smoother by grinding.

A broader weapon of granite, expanding more at the ends (5 1∕2 inches)
was found in the Tay,[640] near Newburgh, Fife. A flatter specimen
of porphyritic stone (4 inches) was found on the shore of Cobbinshaw
Loch,[641] West Calder, Midlothian, in 1885. |185|

A specimen of nearly the same type, found near Uelzen, Hanover, is
engraved by von Estorff;[642] another from Sweden, by Sjöborg.[643]

In the Museum at Geneva is a very similar axe of greenstone (5 1∕4
inches), found in the neighbourhood of that town. One of serpentine,
much longer in its proportions (9 1∕4 inches), and with an oval
shaft-hole, is in the Museum at Lausanne. It was found at Agiez, Canton
de Vaud.

[Illustration: Fig. 118.—Hunmanby. 1∕2]

In the _Collections_[644] published by the Sussex Archælogical Society
is a figure, obligingly lent to me, of a beautiful axe-head of this
class (Fig. 119) found with the remains of a skeleton, an amber cup
(Fig. 307), a whetstone (Fig. 186), and a small bronze dagger with two
rivet holes, in an oaken coffin in a barrow at Hove, near Brighton. The
|186| axe-head is said to be formed of some kind of ironstone, and is
5 inches long. The hole is described as neatly drilled. A weapon of
the same kind (3 1∕2 inches) blunter at the ends and described as a
hammer, was found with a deer’s-horn hammer, and a bronze knife in a
barrow at Lambourn, Berks.[645] A small black stone axe-head of nearly
similar form was found near the head of a contracted skeleton at a
depth of 12 feet in a barrow in Rolston Field, Wilts.[646] A somewhat
similar specimen, with the sides faceted and blunt at one end, has
been engraved as having been found in Yorkshire.[647] It is, however,
doubtful whether, like many other objects in the same plate, it is not
foreign. The original is now in the Christy Collection.

A double-edged axe-head of basalt, injured by fire, and 4 1∕2
inches long, was found by the late Mr. Bateman, in a large urn with
calcined bones, bone pins, a tubular bone laterally perforated, a
flint “spear-head,” and a bronze awl, in a barrow near Throwley,
Derbyshire.[648] This was the only instance in which he found a
perforated stone axe accompanying an interment by cremation.

An axe-head of basalt, with a double edge to cut either way, was also
dug up in the neighbourhood of Tideswell, Derbyshire.[649]

[Illustration: Fig. 119.—Hove. 1∕2]

A specimen of this kind (5 inches), edged at both ends, but “the one
end rather blunted and lessened a little by use,” was found near
Grimley, Worcestershire, and is figured by Allies.[650]

I have a specimen (5 1∕8 inches), much weathered, which is said to have
come from Bewdley in that county, but which may be that from Grimley.

An example, 5 inches long, engraved in the Salisbury volume[651] of the
Archæological Institute, from a barrow on Windmill Hill, Abury, Wilts,
is described as double-edged.[652]

The Danish and German axe-heads of this form have usually, but not
always, one edge much more blunted than the other. Occasionally there
is a ridge on each side at the blunt end, which shows that this
thickening was intentional. A fine double-edged axe-head of this
form from Brandenburg is engraved in the “Horæ Ferales.”[653] The
double-edged form is found also in Finland.[654]

The form likewise occurs in France, but the faces are usually flatter.
I have one from the Seine at Paris (5 1∕2 inches). Another from the
|187| department of the Charente is engraved by de Rochebrune;[655]
and a third from the department of Seine et Oise is in the Musée de
St. Germain.[656] A fine example of the same form is in the Museum
at Tours, and another in that of Blois. In the collection of M.
Reboux[657] was a curious implement from the Seine, formed of flint,
pointed at each end, and perforated in the middle. Another, in flint,
from Mesnil en Arronaise[658] (Somme) (8 1∕2 inches), has been figured.
The perforations may be natural, though improved by art. In my own
collection is one of the finest specimens that I have ever seen. It is
also from the Seine at Paris. It is 9 3∕4 inches long, and slightly
curved in the direction of its length; on either side there is a long
sunk lozenge, in the centre of which is the cylindrical shaft-hole,
and the ends expand into flat semicircular blades about 2 1∕4 inches
across. The material is a hard basaltic rock, and the preservation
perfect. It was found in 1876.

A stone axe in the Museum of the Royal Institution at Swansea, and
found at Llanmadock, in Gower, has been kindly lent me for engraving,
and is shown in Fig. 120. It expands at the sharper end much more
suddenly and to a much greater extent than does that from Hunmanby.
The edge at that end, which is almost semicircular in outline, has
suffered from ill-usage since it was discovered; the material of which
it is made being felspathic ash, the surface of which has become soft
by decomposition. The other and narrower end is flattened to about half
an inch in width. The implement has already been engraved on a smaller

In Bartlett’s “History and Antiquities of Manceter, Warwickshire,”[660]
is engraved an axe of the same character as this, but expanding at the
blunter end almost as much, as it does at the edge, which is described
as being very sharp. It is said to have been formed of the hard blue
stone of the country, but “from age or the soil in which it has lain”
to be “now coloured with an elegant olive-coloured patina.” It was
found on Hartshill Common, in 1770, where a small tumulus had been cut
through, “the bottom of which, was paved with brick, which by the heat
of the fire had been nearly vitrified.” There is probably some mistake
as to the bricks.

Another axe-head like Fig. 120, 8 inches in length, and more distinctly
hammer-like at the narrow end, was found in the parish of Abernethy,
Perthshire, and has been engraved by Wilson.[661]

In character these axes with expanded ends more nearly resemble some
of the Scandinavian and North German types than do most of the other
British forms. Broken stone axes expanding at the edge have been found
on the site of Troy.

In the Museum of the Leeds Philosophical Society is a double-edged
axe-head of a larger and coarser kind, which, is said to have been
found near Whitby. Its authenticity was strongly vouched for by the
late Mr. Denny, but I fear that it is a modern fabrication.

An implement of the same form, from Gerdauen, East Prussia, is |188|
preserved in the Berlin Museum; and another of greenstone was found at
Hallstatt.[662] A singular variety from the same spot has the edge at
one end at right angles to that at the other.

[Illustration: Fig. 120.—Llanmadock. 1∕2]

A small sketch of a very remarkable curved blade, pointed at one end
and with an axe-like edge at the other, is given in the _Journal of the
Archæological Association_.[663] It is of greenstone, 11 inches long
and 2 1∕2 inches across, and was found in Guernsey. By the kindness
of the late Rev. W. C. Lukis, F.S.A., of Wath, I am enabled to give
an engraving of the type in Fig. 121. A number of specimens have been
found in the Channel Islands, to which the form seems peculiar.

       *       *       *       *       *

The second class into which I proposed to divide these implements
consists of adzes, or blades having the edge at right angles to the
shaft-hole. Apart from a short notice by Mr. Monkman, I believe that
attention was for the first time called in the former edition of this
book, to the occurrence of this form in Britain. |189|

       *       *       *       *       *

The specimen I have selected for engraving, as Fig. 122, gives a good
idea of the typical character. It is of greenstone, with the shaft-hole
tapering inwards from both faces, one of which is less convex than the
other. It was found at Fireburn Mill, near Coldstream, Berwickshire,
and is in the Greenwell Collection. In the same collection is another
of similar character, but having the butt-end broken off and the edge
more circular, found at Willerby Carr, in the East Riding of Yorkshire.

[Illustration: Fig. 121.—Guernsey. 1∕2]

I have a smaller specimen (4 3∕4 inches), of a hard micaceous grit,
found at Allerston, in the North Riding; as also a remarkably fine and
perfect adze of porphyritic greenstone (6 3∕8 inches), ground to a
|190| rounded edge at the butt, instead of being truncated like Fig.
122. The shaft-hole, like that of all the others, tapers inwards from
both faces, in this instance from 1 3∕8 inch to 7∕8 inch. This specimen
was found at South Dalton, near Beverley. An adze or hoe of the same
kind, found at Wellbury,[664] near Offley, Herts, is in the collection
of Mr. W. Ransom, F.S.A.

[Illustration: Fig. 122.—Fireburn Mill, Coldstream. 1∕2]

Another implement of the same class (9 inches), flat on one face, and
much like Fig. 122, is in the National Museum at Edinburgh. It is of
greenstone, much decomposed, and was found at Ormiston Abdie, Fife.
A shorter specimen (3 3∕4 inches) sharpened at each end, found at
Sandwick, Shetland, is in the fine collection of Mr. J. W. Cursiter, at

Another, in outline more like the celt Fig. 57, though sharp at the
sides, is also in the Greenwell Collection. It is formed of red |191|
micaceous sandstone (6 3∕4 inches), and was found at Seackleton, in
the North Riding of Yorkshire. A rough sketch of it has been published
by Mr. Monkman.[665] In the same collection is another, rather narrower
in its proportions, being 7 1∕2 inches long and 3 inches broad, found
at Pilmoor, as well as one 6 inches long and 2 3∕8 inches broad, found
at Nunnington.

Another, 5 1∕2 inches long, square at both ends, found near Whitby, is
in the Museum at Leeds.

The form is known in Denmark, but is rare. A more celt-shaped specimen
is engraved by Worsaae.[666] He terms it a hoe (_hakke_), and it is, of
course, possible that these instruments may have been used for digging

Two short, broad hoes (_hacken_), of Taunus slate, found near Mainz,
are given by Lindenschmit.[667] Another is in the Museum at Brunswick.

Some hoe-like, perforated stone implements from Mexico, are in the
Ethnological Museum at Copenhagen. The so-called stone hoes of North
America[668] are not perforated, though sometimes notched at the sides.
Dr. Keller[669] has suggested that a circular perforated disc from one
of the Swiss Lake-settlements may have been a hoe.

In the Museum of the Deutsche Gesellschaft at Leipzig, is a greenstone
implement resembling these adzes or hoes at its broader end, but at the
other, instead of being square or rounded, presenting an axe-like edge.

A narrow, thick adze of this character, flat on one face, rounded on
the other, 4 1∕2 inches long, found at Scudnitz, near Schweinitz,
Prussian Saxony, is in the Berlin Museum. A rather similar form has
been found in Bohemia.[670]

An intermediate form between a hammer and an adze will be subsequently
described at p. 231.

A small perforated adze in the Museum of the Cambridge Antiquarian
Society, Fig. 123, is more truly celt-like in character, and appears,
indeed, to have been made from an ordinary celt by boring a shaft-hole
through it. It is formed of a hard, green, slaty rock, and was found in
Burwell Fen. I believe that another, but larger, specimen of the same
type, was found in the same district in Swaffham Fen.

[Illustration: Fig. 123.—Burwell Fen. 1∕2]

The late Mr. G. W. Ormerod, F.G.S., brought under my notice another
|192| specimen found, in 1865, at North Bovey, Devon. It is of
greenstone, about 3 3∕4 inches long. The sides taper towards the
butt-end, which is rounded, and the hole in the middle appears to be
only about 1∕2 inch in diameter, but bell-mouthed at each face. It
is now in the Museum at Exeter. Another (3 7∕8 inches) was found at
Ugborough, Devon.[671]

[Illustration: Fig. 124.—Stourton. 1∕2]

The implement shown in Fig. 124 seems to be an unfinished specimen
belonging to this class. It is formed of greenstone, portions of the
natural joints of which are still visible on its surface. It seems to
have been worked into shape by picking rather than by grinding; but the
hole appears, from the character of the surface, to have been ground.
Had it been continued through the stone, it would probably have been
considerably enlarged in diameter, and if so, the implement would have
been much weakened around the hole. It seems possible that it was on
this account that it was left unfinished. It was found near Stourton,
on the borders of Somerset and Wilts.

       *       *       *       *       *

The third of the classes into which, for the sake of convenience, I
have divided these instruments, consists of axe-heads with a cutting
edge at one end only, the shaft-hole being near the other end, which is

       *       *       *       *       *

Fig. 125 represents an elegant specimen of this class, found at
Bardwell, in Suffolk, and formerly in the collection of Mr. Joseph
Warren, of Ixworth, but now in my own. The material appears to be
felstone. The edge is slightly rounded, the shaft-hole carefully
finished, and the two faces ground hollow, probably in the manner
suggested at p. 43. |193|

I have another made from a quartzite pebble (4 5∕8 inches) with the
sides hollowed transversely, but rounded longitudinally, found with an
urn on Wilton Heath, near Brandon, in 1873. The blunt end is bruised
and flattened by wear. I have a second, also of quartzite (5 3∕8
inches), rounded in all directions, found near Ipswich, in 1865. It
retains much of the form of the original pebble.

[Illustration: Fig. 125.—Bardwell. 1∕2]

In the Museum at Newcastle is preserved a specimen very similar to
Fig. 125, of mottled greenstone, beautifully finished; the sides
are, however, flat and not hollowed. It is 6 1∕2 inches long, the
faces are rounded, and the hole, which is about 7∕8 inch in diameter,
tapers slightly towards the middle. It was found in the River Wear at
Sunderland. Another of the same character, formed from a beautifully
veined stone, accompanied a bronze dagger in a barrow near East Kennet,

I have another axe of the same kind, with both sides flat, 6 1∕8 inches
long, formed of porphyritic greenstone, and found near Colchester.
|194| Another, formed of basalt, 6 1∕4 inches long, the sides slightly
hollowed, from Chesterford, Cambridge,[673] was in the possession of
the late Mr. Joshua Clarke, of Saffron Walden.

Another, 5 inches long, was found in the Thames off Parliament Stairs,
and passed with the Roach Smith Collection into the British Museum.
One, 5 3∕4 inches long, from Cumberland, is in the Christy Collection.

One of sandstone (4 1∕2 inches) was discovered at Northenden,[674]
Cheshire, in 1883.

In the Greenwell Collection is one of greenstone, 6 3∕4 inches long,
found at Millfield, near Sunderland. The hole is somewhat oval, and
tapers inwards from each side. There is also one of basalt, 4 1∕4
inches long, with an oval hole and slightly convex sides, from
Holystone, Northumberland. The edge, as usual, is blunt.

An axe-head of this kind, from a chambered tumulus or dolmen at
Craigengelt, near Stirling, Scotland, is engraved by Bonstetten.[675]

One with flat sides (6 1∕4 inches) was found in the Tay, near Mugdrum
Island, Perth,[676] and another (7 inches) at Sorbie, Wigtownshire.[677]

Implements or weapons of this character occasionally occur in
Ireland,[678] but the sides are usually flat.

The exact form is rare in Denmark and North Germany. Lindenschmit[679]
engraves a thin specimen from Lüneburg. It occurs also in Styria.
A specimen from Lithuania, more square at the butt, is engraved by
Mortillet.[680] I do not remember to have met with it in France.

In one of the barrows on Potter Brompton Wold,[681] Yorkshire, explored
by Canon Greenwell, accompanying an interment by cremation, he found a
beautifully-formed axe-head of serpentine(?) the surface of which was
in places scaling off from decomposition, arising from its having been
partly calcined. A single view of it is given in Fig. 126. The hole is
about 1 1∕4 inches in diameter on each side, but rather smaller in the
middle. The cutting edge has been rounded as well as the angles round
the sides, but this process has been carried to a greater extent on one
than the other; possibly this was the outer side.

[Illustration: Fig. 126.—Potter Brompton Wold. 1∕2]

A somewhat similar, but rather broader, axe-head of basalt, 5 1∕4
inches long, was found by the late Mr. T. Bateman in a barrow called
Carder Low,[682] near Hartington, in company with a small bronze
dagger, and near the elbow of a contracted skeleton. |195|

Another, expanding rather more at the edge, from a barrow in
Devonshire,[683] was in the Meyrick Collection.

A somewhat similar axe-head, more rounded at the butt and rather more
expanded at the cutting edge, was found in Annandale in 1870, and was
described to me by the late Mr. Joseph Clarke, F.S.A.

One of granite, much like Fig. 126, came to light in a cairn at
Breckigoe,[684] Caithness.

[Illustration: Fig. 127.—Rudstone.]

In the same barrow at Rudstone,[685] near Bridlington, as that in which
the block of pyrites and flint scraper, subsequently to be described
(Fig. 223), were found, but with a different interment, Canon Greenwell
discovered the beautifully formed axe-hammer shown in Fig. 127. It
is of very close-grained, slightly micaceous grit, and presents the
peculiarity of having the rounded faces slightly chamfered all round
the flat sides. The edge is carefully rounded, and the broad end
somewhat flattened. It lay behind the shoulders of the skeleton of an
old man lying on his left side, with his right hand on his head, and
his left to his face. Before the face, was a bronze knife 4 inches
long, with a single rivet to fasten it to its handle, and close to
the axe-hammer lay a pointed flint flake re-chipped on both faces. In
a barrow at Sledmere[686] with burnt bones lay a weapon of this kind
battered at the blunt end.

An axe-head (6 1∕4 inches), with convex faces, rounded at the butt, and
with an oval shaft-hole, was dredged from the Thames at London,[687]
and is now in the British Museum.

It seems almost indisputable that these elegantly formed axe-heads
belong to the period when bronze was in use, and from their occurrence
in the graves they appear to have formed part of the equipment of
warriors. |196|

The careful manner in which their edges are blunted shows that they
cannot have been intended for cutting tools, but that they must have
been weapons of war. A blow from a battle-axe with a blunted edge would
be just as fatal as if the edge had been sharp and trenchant, while the
risk of accidental injury to the scantily-clothed warrior who carried
the axe was next to none when the edge of the weapon was thus blunted.
The practice of removing the edge by grinding was, no doubt, introduced
in consequence of some painful experience.

[Illustration: Fig. 128.—Borrowash. 1∕2]

Fig. 128 is of still more ornamental character, having a beaded
moulding towards each edge of the faces and following the curvature
of the sides. The drawing is taken from a cast in the Museum of the
Society of Antiquaries, presented by Sir W. Tite. M.P.[688] The
original is said to have been found near Whitby. A fine axe-head “of
red granite, ornamented with raised mouldings,” was, however, found
with |197| human bones near Borrowash, Derbyshire, in 1841,[689] and
is in the Bateman Collection, now at Sheffield. To judge from the
woodcut in the Catalogue, the cast must have been taken from this

“A very elegant axe-head, 5 inches long, of reddish basalt, beautifully
wrought, with a slight moulding round the angles, and a perforation for
the shaft,” is described by Mr. Bateman[690] as having been found on a
barrow eleven miles E. of Pickering, Yorkshire.

Mouldings of various kinds occur on Danish and German axe-hammers of
the Bronze Age,[691] but this form of small axe with a rounded butt is
of rare occurrence. The longitudinal line in relief which occurs on the
sides of some German battle-axes[692] has been regarded as an imitation
of the mark left on bronze axes by the junction of the two halves of
the mould. The small axe-heads from Germany[693] are wider at the butt,
and more like Figs. 118 and 120 in outline.

[Illustration: Fig. 129.—Crichie, Aberdeenshire.]

The beautiful battle-axe, formed of fine-grained mica schist, found
placed on burnt bones in a “Druidical” circle at Crichie, near
Inverurie, Aberdeenshire,[694] and presented by the Earl of Kintore to
the National Museum at Edinburgh, has deeply-incised lines round the
margins of the hollow sides at the mouth of the shaft-hole. This weapon
is 4 inches in length, and is considerably sharper at the broader end
than at the other, though the edge is well rounded. For the loan of
Fig. 129 I am indebted to the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. In
general character this specimen approximates to a somewhat rare Irish
form, shortly to be mentioned, of which I possess a |198| specimen.
The battle-axe from the barrow at Selwood, Fig. 140, is also slightly
ornamented by lines on the sides, and that from Skelton Moors, Fig.
139, is fluted.

Two axe-hammers of granite and greenstone (4 1∕2 and 5 inches) of
much the same type as Fig. 129, but more elongated, so as in form to
resemble Fig. 136, were found near Ardrossan,[695] Ayrshire.

An unfinished axe-head of the same kind was found at Middleton,[696]
Stevenston, Ayrshire.

An axe-head of porphyritic greenstone (7 3∕4 inches long), from
Stainton Dale, near Scarborough,[697] is said to resemble in form an
Irish axe-head engraved in the _Ulster Journal of Archæology_.[698] If
so, the sides through which the hole is bored were hollow, as in Fig.
129, and there was also a moulding round them. This Irish axe-head is
formed of a kind of pale green hone-stone, and is now in the British
Museum. Instead of incised lines there are raised flanges on each face,
bordering the concave side in which is the shaft-hole. The length is
5 1∕4 inches, and the butt-end is half an oval, just flattened at the
end. It was found in the river Bann.

Axe-heads of a much more clumsy character than any of those last
described are of more frequent occurrence in this country. The
one I have selected for illustration as Fig. 130, is rather small
of its kind. It is made of greenstone, the surface of which has
considerably suffered from weathering, and was found in draining at
Walsgrave-upon-Sowe, near Coventry. It was presented to my collection
by the late Mr. J. S. Whittem, F.G.S. The shaft-hole, as usual, tapers
inwards from both sides; its surface is more polished than that of the
exterior of the implement. A small portion of the end of the butt is
flat, but this appears due to accident rather than design. I have a
rather longer axe-head, of porphyritic greenstone, which was washed
out of the ground by a brook at Ayside, near Newby Bridge, Windermere,
and was given to me by Mr. Harrison, of Manchester. It is considerably
rounded in both directions at the butt, the edge is narrow, and one
side, probably the outer, much more rounded than the other. The edge is
carefully ground, but farther up the face, the surface shows that it
has been picked into form. The shaft-hole is much like that of Fig. 130.

[Illustration: Fig. 130.—Walsgrave-upon-Sowe. 1∕2]

I have another specimen from Plumpton, near Penrith (9 1∕2 inches),
rounded at the butt, but unsymmetrical, owing to a natural plane of
cleavage interfering with the shape, and, as it were, taking off
a slice of the stone. The shaft-hole is oval, the longer diameter
being lengthwise of the blade, and the edge is oblique. The sides
are flatter than those of Fig. 130. In my collection are others
from Mawbray and Inglewood Forest, Cumberland (7 1∕2 and 8 inches),
and one (7 inches) from Cader Idris, Merionethshire. Another (10
inches) was found at Llanfairfechan,[699] Carnarvonshire, another at
Llanidloes,[700] Montgomeryshire, and a third in Anglesey.[701] The
late Mr. Llewellynn Jewitt, F.S.A., had a flatter and longer specimen
of this form (10 inches), found at Winster, Derbyshire. Implements
of this character, but often |199| approximating in shape to Fig.
131, have been found in considerable numbers, though as isolated
specimens, in the North. One found in Aberdeenshire (8 1∕2 inches
long), of this class, but with the butt-end slightly hollowed, and
having a well-marked shoulder on each face, as if by continual
reduction by sharpening at the edge, is engraved in the _Archæological
Journal_.[702] One from Scotland[703] (10 1∕4 inches) was exhibited by
the Marquis of Breadalbane at Edinburgh, in 1856, and one (12 inches)
from Alnwick.[704] Others have been found at Tillicoultry Bridge,[705]
Clackmannan; Kelton,[706] Kircudbrightshire; in Wigtownshire[707];
|200| Silvermine,[708] Torphichen, Linlithgow; and Laurie Street,[709]
Leith; another from the coast of Scotland is engraved in Skelton’s
“Meyrick’s Armour,”[710] but is there regarded as having been
brought over by Danish invaders. Other Scottish[711] specimens are
numerous. There are thirteen in the Grierson Museum, Thornhill,
Dumfriesshire. One of the same form as the figure (9 3∕8 inches) was
found at Dean,[712] near Bolton, Lancashire, and others at Hopwood
and Saddleworth in the same county. One of grit (7 1∕2 inches) was
found at Siddington,[713] near Macclesfield. Another (8 inches), found
at Kirkoswald, Cumberland, is in the museum at Newcastle, together
with a similar specimen from Haydon Bridge; and others have been
found at Thirstone, Shilbottle, Barrasford,[714] and Hipsburn,[715]
Northumberland; and in Yorkshire.[716] One (10 1∕2 inches) was found at
Ehenside Tarn,[717] Cumberland. Others at Rusland, North Lonsdale, and
Troutbeck. A long list of stone-hammers, &c., found in Cumberland and
Westmorland, has been given by Chancellor R. S. Ferguson, F.S.A.,[718]
and a similar list has been compiled for Lancashire and Cheshire.[719]
They occur also in more southern districts. I have seen one (8 inches)
from the neighbourhood of Glastonbury. Another of the same length was
found on Dartmoor, near Burnt Tor. Others (8 1∕2 and 9 inches) from
Ashbury and Holsworthy,[720] Devon, are in the Museum of the Plymouth
Institute. One was found at Withycombe Raleigh,[721] Devon. A fine
specimen (8 inches long), with the sides somewhat hollowed, was found
at Tasburgh, Norfolk. Another of greenstone (5 1∕2 inches), and rather
curved longitudinally, was found in the same parish. Other specimens
from Norfolk are mentioned in the Norwich volume of the Archæological
Institute. I have one of serpentine from Chatteris Fen, which has been
broken diagonally, and had a fresh edge ground quite away from the
middle. The Rev. S. Banks had one of hard sandstone (7 3∕4 inches),
found in Cottenham Fen. Its faces are more parallel, so that the edge
is more obtuse. I have seen one, found near Stourton (9 1∕2 inches),
Somersetshire, straighter at the sides, and having the angles rounded.
They occur in Leicestershire.[722] One (7 inches) from the Cemetery at
Leicester, and one (9 1∕2 inches) from Barrow-on-Soar, are recorded. An
axe of the same kind, but smaller, found near Imola, has been engraved
by Gastaldi.[723]

Perhaps the more common variety, in Cumberland, is that which is
somewhat flattened at the butt, like Fig. 131, and which is, more
|201| properly speaking, an axe-hammer. This specimen was found near
Bed Dial, Wigton, Cumberland, and is in my own collection. The two
sides are nearly flat and parallel, and the edge appears to have been
re-sharpened since the axe-head was first formed, as it is ground away
to a shoulder a little below where it is perforated. It is formed of an
igneous rock. A very symmetrical example, 8 1∕2 inches long, with the
sides nearly flat, from Aikbrae, Culter, Lanarkshire, is engraved in
the _Journal of the Archæological Association_.[724]

[Illustration: Fig. 131.—Wigton. 1∕2]

A very similar specimen, 11 inches long, found in a turf moss near
Haversham, Westmorland, is engraved in the _Archæologia_,[725] as
is |202| another from Furness.[726] Another, with the sides more
parallel, and rounder at the end, 8 inches in length, was found
near Carlisle upwards of a century ago, and forms the subject of an
interesting paper by Bishop Lyttelton.[727] Two also were found at
Scalby,[728] near Scarborough. In the Greenwell Collection are several
implements of this character, obtained in the North of England. They
are 8 to 9 inches long, and 4 to 5 inches broad. One (10 inches) is
from Helton, in the parish of Chalton, Northumberland; and another,
of nearly the same size and form as Fig. 131, from Castle Douglas,
Kircudbrightshire; another of greenstone (6 inches) from Brompton Carr,
Yorkshire; and others, varying in form, from Ousby Moor, Cumberland,
and Heslerton Wold, Yorkshire. A fine example (8 inches), truncated at
the butt, from Dunse Castle,[729] Berwickshire, has been figured.

In the British Museum are several axe-heads of this form. One, 9 inches
long, of a porphyritic rock, is said to have been found in a barrow on
Salisbury Plain. One, 12 inches long, is from Stone, Staffordshire, as
well as another in which the boring is incomplete, there being only a
conical depression on each side. A third, thinner (8 inches), was found
near Hull. A fourth, of compact felspathic material, 8 1∕4 inches long,
is from the parish of Balmerino, Fife. A fifth, of similar material, 8
inches long, is from Llanbrynmair, Montgomeryshire.[730] It is worked
to a flat oval at the butt-end, but with the angles rounded. The hole,
as usual, tapers inwards from each side, but is not at right angles to
the central line of the axe. I have a fine implement of this class, but
larger and narrower than the figure, and concave on the sides, so that
the edge is wider than the butt. It is of basalt, much eroded on the
surface, and was found at Hardwick, near Bishop’s Castle, Shropshire.
It is 10 1∕2 inches long, about 4 1∕4 inches wide at the butt, where it
is 3 inches thick. The shaft-hole is nearly 2 inches in diameter, and
almost parallel; the weight, 8 1∕2 lbs.

One (9 1∕2 inches) was found at Grimley,[731] Worcestershire. Another,
of porphyry, nearly triangular in outline (7 inches), from Necton,
Norfolk, is in the Norwich Museum. The shaft-hole, in this case, is
parallel, but in most, it tapers both ways, contracting from about
1 3∕4 or 2 inches on each face to about 1 1∕4 inches in diameter in the
middle. One of greenstone (6 inches), found near Ely, has an oval hole.

[Illustration: Fig. 132.—Wollaton Park. 1∕2]

The late Mr. Llewellynn Jewitt, F.S.A., had an axe-hammer of this
class (7 1∕2 inches), but still more flattened at one end, found in
Cambridgeshire. At the edge the faces form an angle of 45° to each
other, and there is little doubt that the implement has lost much of
its original length through continual sharpening. He also kindly lent
me for engraving the curious axe-hammer shown in Fig. 132, and has
made use of my wood-cut in his “Grave Mounds and their Contents.”[732]
It is formed of a very fine-grained, hard, and slightly micaceous
grit, and its weight exceeds 7 3∕4 lbs. It is somewhat rounded at the
hammer-end, which appears to have lost some splinters by use, though
the broken surface has since been partially re-ground. The blade is
slightly curved longitudinally, and both the |203| outer and inner
sides have been hollowed from the point, as far as the perforation. The
faces have each four parallel grooves worked in them, so that they are,
as it were, corrugated into five ribs, extending from near the edge to
opposite the centre of the hole. The hollows on the sides also show two
slight ribs parallel with the faces of the blade, the angles of which
are rounded. The shaft-hole tapers slightly in both directions towards
the centre, where it is about 1 3∕8 inch in diameter. |204| The
grooves seem to have been produced by picking, but have subsequently
been made smoother by grinding. It was found at a spot known as the
Sand Hills, in Lord Middleton’s Park,[733] near Wollaton, Notts. The
Rev. W. C. Lukis, F.S.A., had a closely similar specimen (10 inches),
found at Jervaux, near Bedale, Yorkshire. It is not, however, fluted on
the faces.

[Illustration: Fig. 133.—Buckthorpe. 1∕2]

Some of these instruments are so heavy that they can hardly have
been wielded in the ordinary manner as axes, though they may have
served for splitting wood, either by direct blows or by being used as
wedges. Bishop Lyttelton thought they might have been battle-axes, but
Pegge[734] pointed out that they were too heavy for such a purpose or
for use as missiles, and came to the conclusion “that these perforated
stones were not originally applied to any warlike purpose, but rather
to some domestic service, either as a hammer or beetle for common
use.” Professor Nilsson,[735] at a later date, has arrived at the same
conclusion, and considers them most suitable for being held in the left
hand by a short handle, and driven into wood by blows from a |205|
club held in the right hand. He has suggested for them the name of
“handled wedges.” In some parts of France I have seen extremely heavy
iron axes, much resembling these stone implements in form, used for
splitting wood. It seems possible that in old times these heavy stone
implements may also have been employed in agriculture.

Axes of this character, usually formed of greenstone, are very common
in Denmark and Northern Germany. They are much rarer in France, partly,
no doubt, in consequence of the less abundance of suitable material.
They also occur in Russia[736] and in Italy.[737]

A small specimen of the same form but rather more square at the butt
than Fig. 131, made of dark serpentine, and only 3 5∕8 inches long, was
found at Tanagra, in Bœotia, and was formerly in the collection of Dr.
G. Finlay,[738] of Athens.

       *       *       *       *       *

Some of the forms last described, having square butt-ends, might,
perhaps, with greater propriety, have been included in the fourth
class into which I have proposed to divide these instruments, viz.,
axe-hammers, sharpened at one end and more or less hammer-like at the
other, and with the shaft-hole usually about the centre.

       *       *       *       *       *

One of the simplest, and at the same time the rarest varieties of this
class, is where an implement of the form of an ordinary celt, like Fig.
69, has been bored through in the same direction as the edge. Fig. 133
represents such a specimen, in the collection of Messrs. Mortimer, of
Driffield. It was found at Buckthorpe, Yorkshire, and is formed of
close-grained greenstone. The butt-end is circular and flat, and the
shaft-hole, which is oval, tapers considerably both ways.

An axe-hammer of diorite, of nearly similar form, found at Groningen,
in the Netherlands, is in the museum at Leyden.

[Illustration: Fig. 134.—Aldro’. 1∕2]

Another simple form is that exhibited in Fig. 134, taken from a
specimen in greenstone found at Aldro’, near Malton, Yorkshire, and
in the possession of Mr. Hartley, of Malton. Its principal interest
consists in its having been left in the unfinished state, previous to
its perforation. We thus learn that the same practice of working the
axe-heads into shape before proceeding to bore the shaft-hole, |206|
prevailed here as in Denmark. In that country numerous specimens
have been found, finished in all respects except the boring, and in
many instances this has been commenced though not completed. It would
appear from this circumstance that the process of boring was one
which required a considerable amount of time, but that it was most
satisfactorily performed after the instrument had been brought into
shape; the position of the hole being adjusted to the form of the
implement, and not the latter to the hole. In the extensive Greenwell
Collection is the cutting end of an axe which has been broken half-way
across the hole, which, though commenced on both faces, was never
finished. The conical, cup-shaped depressions produced by the boring
instrument, extend to some depth in the stone, but are still 1∕4 inch
from meeting. The fragment is 3 1∕8 inches long, and was found at
Sprouston, near Kelso.

In the same collection is a small unfinished axe-head of greenstone, 4
inches long, in which the hole has not been commenced. It was found at
Coxwold, in the North Riding of Yorkshire.

An unpierced axe-head of greenstone, 4 inches long, in form much like
Fig. 136, but with the hollowed face shorter, was found in a grave in
Stronsay, one of the Orkney islands, and is now in the National Museum
at Edinburgh. There are slight recesses on each face, showing the spots
at which the perforation was to have been commenced.

[Illustration: Fig. 135.—Cowlam. 1∕2]

A perforated axe of serpentine, of the same character as Fig. 134, but
wider at the butt, was found in the Thames, and is now in the British
Museum. It is 4 inches long and has the peculiarity of being much
thicker at the cutting end than at the butt; the two sides tapering
from 1 1∕2 inch at the edge to 3∕4 inch at the butt.

A similar feature is to be observed in another axe of hornblende schist
(5 3∕4 inches), and of rather more elongated form than Fig. 134, found
at Cawton, in the North Riding of Yorkshire, and in the Greenwell

A partially-finished axe-head, with one side and about two-thirds of
the width of the faces worked into form, is engraved in the “Horæ
Ferales.”[739] It is not a British specimen, but its place of finding
is unknown. Perforated hammers, in form much like Fig. 134 and 135,
occurred among the early remains at Troy.[740]

A rather more elaborate form, having the two sides curved |207|
longitudinally inwards, and the edge broader than the hammer-end,
is shown in Fig. 135. The cutting edge is carefully removed, so that
it was probably a battle-axe. The original, which is of porphyritic
greenstone, was discovered by Canon Greenwell, in a barrow at
Cowlam,[741] near Weaverthorpe, Yorkshire. It lay in front of the face
of a contracted skeleton, the edge towards the face, and the remains of
the wooden handle still grasped by the right hand. Connected with this
grave was that of a woman with two bronze ear-rings at her head.

[Illustration: Fig. 136.—Seghill. 1∕2]

Another of much the same form, but of coarser work and heavier, was
found near Pickering, and is preserved in the Museum at Scarborough.

I have seen a small axe of similar type, but with the edge almost
semicircular, and the hole nearer the butt, found at Felixstowe,
Suffolk. It is of quartzite, 4 1∕2 inches long. The hole, though 1 3∕4
inch in diameter |208| at the sides, diminishes to 1∕2 an inch in the
centre. In this respect it resembles some of the hammer-stones shortly
to be described.

Fig. 136 presents a rather more elaborate form, which is, however,
partly due to that of the flat oval quartzite pebble from which this
axe-hammer was made. The hammer-end seems to preserve the form of
the pebble almost intact; it is, however, slightly flattened at the
extremity. The original is preserved in the Greenwell Collection, and
was found in a cist at Seghill,[742] near Newcastle, in 1866. The
bones, by which it was no doubt originally accompanied, had entirely
gone to decay. A Scotch example, made of basalt, the sides of which are
much more concave, is shown in Fig. 136A, kindly lent by the Society of
Antiquaries of Scotland. It was found at Wick,[743] Caithness.

[Illustration: Fig. 136A.—Wick, Caithness. 1∕2]

It was an axe-head somewhat of the character of Fig. 136, but sharper
at the hammer-end, that was found in an urn, near Broughton in Craven,
in 1675, and with it a small bronze dagger (with a tang and single
rivet hole) and a hone. It is described and figured by Thoresby.[744]
Hearne[745] regarded it as Danish. It is described as of speckled
marble polished, 6 inches long and 3 1∕2 inches broad, with the edge
at one end blunted by use. A nearly similar form (4 1∕2 inches) has
occurred in Shetland.[746] What appears to be an unbored axe of this
kind is in the Powysland Museum.[747] |209|

A still greater elaboration of form is exhibited in Fig. 137, from
an implement found at Kirklington, Yorkshire, and in the Greenwell
Collection. It is of basalt, worked to a flat oval at the hammer-end,
and to a curved cutting edge at the other. The two sides are ground
concave, and the shaft-hole is nearly parallel. This axe-hammer is of
larger size than usual when of this form, being 8 inches in length.

[Illustration: Fig. 137.—Kirklington. 1∕2]

Nearly similar weapons have been frequently found in barrows. |210|
One such, of greenstone, about 4 inches long, was found by the late
Mr. Charles Warne, F.S.A., in a barrow at Winterbourn Steepleton, near
Dorchester, associated with burnt bones. He has given a figure[748] of
it, which, by his kindness, I here reproduce, as Fig. 138. Another (4
inches) was found in a barrow at Trevelgue,[749] Cornwall, in 1872.

An extremely similar specimen, found near Claughton Hall, Garstang,
Lancashire, has been figured.[750] It is said to have been found, in
cutting through a tumulus in 1822, in a wooden case, together with
an iron axe, spear-head, sword, and hammer. There must, however, be
an error in this account; and as an urn, containing burnt bones, was
found in the same tumulus with the Saxon or Danish interment, it seems
probable that the objects belonging to different burials, primary and
secondary in the barrow, became mixed during the twenty-seven years
that elapsed between their discovery and the communication to the
Archæological Institute. Another weapon of much the same shape, but
4 3∕4 inches long, and formed of dark greenstone, is in the British
Museum. It was found in the Thames, at London. The process by which
these hollow sides appear to have been ground will be described at page

[Illustration: Fig. 138.—Winterbourn Steepleton. 1∕2]

Sir R. Colt Hoare has engraved two axe-hammers of this form, but
slightly varying in size and details, from barrows in the Ashton
Valley.[751] In both cases they accompanied interments of burnt bones,
in one instance placed beneath an inverted urn; in the other there was
no urn, but an arrow-head of bone lay with the axe.

An axe (5 1∕4 inches), of nearly the same form, but having a small oval
projection on each face opposite the shaft-hole, was found in the bed
of the Severn, at Ribbesford, Worcestershire, and is now in the Museum
of the Society of Antiquaries. It has been somewhat incorrectly figured
by Allies,[752] and rather better by Wright.[753]

An axe-head (5 4∕10 inches), of the same character as Fig. 138, but
in outline more nearly resembling Fig. 137, found near Stanwick,
Yorkshire, is in the British Museum.[754] The cutting end of such
a weapon was dredged with gravel from the Trent, at Beeston, near
Nottingham, in 1862. |211|

Another axe-hammer of greenstone, with projections on the faces
opposite the centre of the hole, and with a hollow fluting near each
margin, that is carried round on the sides below the holes, is shown
in Fig. 139. The original was found by the Rev. J. C. Atkinson, who
kindly lent it me for engraving. It lay in an urn about 17 inches high,
containing burnt bones and some fragments of burnt flint, in a large
barrow on the Skelton Moors, Yorkshire. In the same barrow were found
eight other urns, all containing secondary interments. In another
barrow, on Westerdale Moors, Mr. Atkinson found a second axe-hammer of
nearly the same size and form, but more hammer-like at the end. This
also has the channels on the faces. It is of fine-grained granite,
and lay in an urn with burnt bones, a small “incense-cup,” and a sort
of long bone bead, having a spiral pattern upon it and a transverse
orifice into the perforation, about the centre. In this case, also, the
interment was not that over which the barrow was originally raised.
In another barrow, on Danby North Moors, also opened by Mr. Atkinson,
a rather larger axe-hammer of much the same outline, lay with the
hole in a vertical position, about 15 inches above a deposit of burnt
bones. It is of basalt much decayed. An axe-hammer from Inveraray,[755]
Argyllshire (5 3∕4 inches), in outline rather like Fig. 143, has small
projections on each face opposite to the centre of the shaft-hole.

[Illustration: Fig. 139.—Skelton Moors. 1∕2]

[Illustration: Fig. 140.—Selwood Barrow. 1∕2]

A longer and more slender form has also occasionally been found in
tumuli. Sir R. Colt Hoare has given an engraving of a beautiful
specimen from the Selwood Barrow,[756] near Stourton, which is here
reproduced as Fig. 140. The axe is of syenite, 5 1∕2 inches long,
and lay in a cist, in company with burnt bones and a small bronze
dagger, which in the description is erroneously termed a lance-head.
Parallel with each side, there appears to be a small groove worked
on the face of the weapon. A very pretty example of the same form
|212| accompanied an interment in a barrow at Snowshill,[757]
Gloucestershire. With it were associated two bronze daggers and a
bronze pin.

In the Christy Collection is a similar but larger specimen, 7 inches
long, formed of dark greenstone. It also has the grooves along the
margin of the faces, and has an oval flat face about 1 inch by 7∕8 inch
at the hammer-end. The hole, which is 1 1∕8 inch full in diameter at
one side, contracts rather suddenly to 1 inch at the other. This weapon
was formerly in the Leverian Museum, and is said to have been found
in a barrow near Stonehenge, which, from its similarity to Sir R. C.
Hoare’s specimen, there seems no reason to doubt.

[Illustration: Fig. 140A.—Longniddry. 1∕2]

An axe-hammer of clay-stone porphyry, 4 3∕4 inches long, and in form
the same as those last described—except that there appears to be more
of a shoulder at the hammer-end—was found in a barrow at Winwick,[758]
near Warrington, Lancashire. It was broken clean across the hole, and
had been buried in an urn with burnt bones. With them was also a bronze
dagger with a tang, and one rivet hole to secure it in the handle.

An axe-hammer of much the same proportions, but more square at the
hammer-end, was discovered in a dolmen near Carnac,[759] in Brittany. A
beautiful axe of the same character with ornamental grooves and |213|
mouldings is in the Museum at Edinburgh, and is here, by favour of the
Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, shown as Fig. 140A. The original is
of diorite, and was dug up in 1800 at Longniddry,[760] East Lothian.

[Illustration: Fig. 141.—Upton Lovel. 1∕2]

Another variety of form is shown in Fig. 141, reduced from Sir R. Colt
Hoare’s great work.[761] In this case the hammer-end would appear to be
lozenge-shaped, as there is a central ridge shown on the face. It was
found in the Upton Lovel barrow, on the breast of the larger skeleton,
near the feet of which the flint celts, polished and unpolished, and
various other objects in bone and stone, were found, as previously
mentioned.[762] The engraving of this weapon in the _Archæologia_
differs considerably from that given by Sir R. C. Hoare.

[Illustration: Fig. 142.—Thames, London. 1∕2]

In Fig. 142 is shown another form, in which the hammer-end, though flat
in one direction, forms a semicircular sweep, answering in form to
the cutting edge at the other end. The two faces are ornamented with
a slight groove, extending across them parallel to the centre of the
shaft-hole. The material of which this axe-hammer is made appears to
be serpentine. It was found in the Thames, at London, and is in the
British Museum. A “hammer” from a barrow at Wilsford,[763] Wilts, which
was associated with a flat bronze celt and other articles of bronze,
was of the same type as Fig. 142, but without the grooves.

The very neatly formed instrument represented in Fig. 143, seems
to occupy an intermediate place between a battle-axe and a mace or
fighting hammer. It is rounded in both directions at the butt-end, but
instead of having a sharp edge at the other end it is brought to a
somewhat rounded point. The inner side is concave, though hardly to the
extent shown by the dotted line in the cut. The shaft-hole is nearly
parallel, though somewhat expanding at each end. The |214| material is
greenstone. This weapon was found in the middle of a barrow, or rather
cairn, formed of stones, in the parish of Pelynt, Cornwall.[764] It lay
among a considerable quantity of black ashes, which had evidently been
burnt on the natural surface of the ground at the spot. There was no
urn, nor any other work of art in company with it. In another barrow,
in the same field, was a bronze dagger with two rivets. I have never
seen any other stone hammer of this form found in Britain, nor can I
call to mind any such in continental museums. The nearest approach to
it is to be observed in some of the Scandinavian weapons, in which the
outer side is much more rounded than the inner, but in these there is
usually an axe-like edge, though very narrow. A shuttle-shaped weapon
of porphyritic stone, found in Upper Egypt,[765] is not unlike it, but
is equally pointed at both ends. The perforation narrows from 3∕4 inch
to 1∕4. The concave side of the Pelynt weapon is so much like that of
some of the battle-axes, such as Fig. 137, as to suggest the idea that
originally it may have been of this form, but having in some manner
been damaged, it has been re-worked into its present exceptional shape.

[Illustration: Fig. 143.—Pelynt, Cornwall. 1∕2]

It will have been observed that instruments, such as most of those
engraved, have accompanied interments both by cremation and inhumation,
and have, in some cases, been found in association with small daggers,
celts, and pins or awls of bronze. Other instances may be adduced from
the writings of the late Mr. T. Bateman, though sometimes the exact
form of the weapons is not recorded. In the Parcelly Hay Barrow,[766]
near Hartington, an axe-head of granite, with a hole for the shaft, and
a bronze dagger, with three rivets for fastening the handle, had been
buried with a contracted body, above the covering stones of the primary
interment.[767] Another, of basalt, apparently like Fig. 126, broken in
the middle, is said to have lain between two skeletons at full length,
placed side by side in a barrow at Kens Low Farm.[768] On the breast
of one lay a circular brooch of copper or bronze. With the axe was a
polished porphyry-slate pebble, the ends of which were ground flat.

       *       *       *       *       *

Looking at the whole series, it seems probable that they were
intended to serve more than one purpose, and that while the adze-like
instruments may have been tools either for agriculture or for
carpentry, and the large heavy axe-hammers also served some analogous
purposes, the smaller class of instruments, whether sharpened at both
ends or at one only, may with some degree of certainty be regarded as
weapons. That the perforated form of axe was of later invention than
the solid stone hatchet is almost self-evident; and that many of the
battle-axe class belong to a period when bronze was coming into use
is well established. That all instruments of this form belong to so
late a period there is no evidence to prove; but in other countries
where perforated axes are common, as in Scandinavia and Switzerland,
those who have most carefully studied the antiquities, find reason for
assigning a considerable number to a period when the use of bronze
was unknown. On the other hand, it is possible that in some instances
the large heavy axe-hammer may have remained in use even in the days
when bronze and iron were well known. Sir W. Wilde mentions one in the
museum of the Royal Irish Academy, 10 3∕4 inches long, which is said to
have been recently in use. Canon Greenwell had another which was used
for felling pigs in Yorkshire. Such, however, may be but instances of
adapting ancient implements, accidentally met with, to modern uses.

I have already, in the description of the various figures, mentioned
when analogous forms were found in other parts of Western Europe, so
that it is needless again to cite instances of discoveries on the
Continent. I may, however, notice a curious series from Northern Russia
and Finland.[769] They are for the most part pointed at one end, the
other being sometimes carved to represent the head of an animal. Some
are pointed at each end. In several there is a projection on both sides
of the shaft-hole, designed to add strength to a weak part, but at the
same time made ornamental. The animal’s head occurs also on bronze axes.

Out of Europe this class of perforated instruments is almost unknown.

Turning to modern savages, the comparative absence of perforated
axes is striking. In North America, it is true that some specimens
occur, but the material is usually too soft for cutting purposes, and
the haft-holes are so small that the handles would |216| be liable
to break. It has therefore been inferred that they were probably
used as weapons of parade. They are, however, occasionally formed
of quartz.[770] Schoolcraft,[771] moreover, regards the semilunar
perforated maces as actual weapons of war. One of them, pointed at each
end, he describes as being 8 inches long, and weighing half a pound.
The more hatchet-like forms he considers to be tomahawks. In some
instances[772] the hole does not extend through the blade.

In Central America, Southern Africa, and New Zealand, where the art of
drilling holes through stone is, or was, well known, perforated axes
appear to be absent. I have, however, heard of an instrument of the
kind having been discovered in New Zealand, but have not seen either
the original or a sketch. Some perforated hoe-like implements have been
found in Mexico.

The nearest approach to such instruments is perhaps afforded by
the sharp-rimmed perforated discs of stone, mounted on shafts so
as to present an edge all round, which are in use, apparently as
weapons, in the Southern part of New Guinea, and Torres Straits. Some
perforated sharp-rimmed discs of flint and serpentine, have been
found in France.[773] They are probably heads of war-maces. In New
Caledonia,[774] flat discs of jade, ground to a sharp edge all round,
are mounted as axes, being let into a notch at the end of the haft and
secured by a lashing that passes through two small holes in the edge of
the blade.

The cause of this scarcity of perforated weapons appears to be, that
though it might involve rather more trouble and skill to attach a
solid hatchet to its shaft, yet this was more than compensated by the
smaller amount of labour involved in making that kind of blade, than
in fashioning and boring the perforated kind. These latter, moreover,
would be more liable to break in use. Looking at our own stone axes
from this point of view, it seems that with the very large implements
the shaft-hole became almost a necessity; while with those used for
warlike purposes, where the contingencies of wear and breakage were
but small, it seems probable that the possession of a weapon, on the
production of which a more than ordinary amount of labour had been
bestowed, was regarded as a mark of distinction, as is the case among
some savages of the present day.




Closely allied to the axe-hammers, so closely indeed that the forms
seem to merge in each other, are the perforated hammer-heads of stone,
which are found of various shapes, and are formed of several different
kinds of rocks. In many instances, the whole of the external surface
has been carefully fashioned and ground into shape, but it is at least
as commonly the case that a symmetrical oval pebble has been selected
for the hammer-head, and has been thus used without any labour being
bestowed upon it, beyond that necessary for boring the shaft-hole.
By some antiquaries, these perforated pebbles have been regarded as
weights, for sinking nets, or for some such purpose; but in most cases
this is, I think, an erroneous view—firstly, because the majority of
these implements show traces, at their extremities, of having been used
as hammers; and, secondly, because if wanted as weights, there can be
no doubt that the softer kinds of stone, easily susceptible of being
pierced, would be selected; whereas these perforated pebbles are almost
invariably of quartzite or some equally hard and tough material.

There are some instances, indeed, in which the perforation would
appear to be almost too small for a shaft of sufficient strength to
wield the hammer, if such it were; but even in such cases, where hard
silicious pebbles have been used, they must, in all probability, have
been intended for other purposes than for weights. I am inclined to
think that some means of hafting, not now in use, may have been adopted
in such cases, and that possibly the handles may have been formed
of twisted hide or sinews, passed through the hole in a wet state,
secured by knots on either side, and then allowed to harden by drying.
Such hafts would be more elastic and tough than any of the same size
in wood; but it must be confessed that there is no evidence of their
having been actually employed, though there is of the stones having
been in use |218| as hammers. I have an Irish specimen, 3 3∕4 inches
long, with the perforation tapering from about 1 3∕4 inch diameter on
either side, to less than 1∕2 an inch in the middle, and yet each end
of the stone is worn away by use, to the extent of 1∕4 inch below the
original oval contour. It is possible that these deep cavities may
have been intended to assist in keeping a firm hold of the stone when
used in the hand as a hammer without any shaft, in the same manner as
did the shallow indentations, which occasionally occur on the faces
of pebbles which thus served; but this is hardly probable when the
cavities meet in the centre to form a hole exactly like the ordinary
shaft-holes, except in its disproportionately small size. It is worthy
of notice, that even in axe-hammers the shaft-hole appears to be
sometimes absurdly small for the size of the implement. I have a Danish
specimen of greenstone, carefully finished, 6 3∕4 inches long, and
weighing 1 lb. 15 ozs. avoirdupois, and yet the shaft-hole is only 3∕4
inch in diameter on either side, and but 1∕2 an inch in the centre. The
axe from Felixstowe, already mentioned, presents the same peculiarity.

It has been suggested that one of the methods of hafting these
implements with the double bell-mouthed perforations, was by placing
them over a branch of a tree, and leaving them there until secured in
their position by the natural growth of the wood, the branch being then
cut off at the proper places, and serving as a handle. I have, however,
found by experience that even with a fast-growing tree, such a process
requires two or three years at the least, and that when removed, the
shrinkage of the branch in drying, leaves the hammer-head loose on
its haft. Such a system of hafting would, moreover, imply a fixity
of residence on the part of the savage owners of the tools, which
appears hardly compatible with the stage of civilization to which such
instruments are probably to be referred.

At the same time, it must be remembered that the Caribs of Guadaloupe
and the Hurons are, as has been mentioned at page 155, credited with an
analogous system of hafting imperforate hatchets.

It has also been suggested that some of these pierced stones were
offensive weapons, having been attached by a thong of leather to a
handle,[775] and used as “flail-stones,” after the manner of the
“morning-stars” of the middle ages. Such a method of mounting, though
possible, appears to me by no means probable in the |219| majority
of cases, though among the Eskimos[776] a weapon has been in use,
consisting of a stone ball with a drilled hole, through which a strip
of raw hide is passed to serve as a handle.

       *       *       *       *       *

The first specimen that I have selected for illustration, Fig. 144,
might, with almost equal propriety, have been placed among the
perforated axes, though it has three blunt edges instead of one or
two. It was found at Balmaclellan, in New Galloway, and is now in
the National Museum at Edinburgh. It is of very peculiar triangular
form, 1 1∕2 inches in thickness, and with a perforation expanding
from an inch in diameter in the centre, to 1 3∕4 inches on each side.
An engraving of it is given in the _Proceedings of the Society of
Antiquaries of Scotland_.[777] This I have here reproduced on a larger
scale, so as to correspond in its proportions with the other woodcuts.

[Illustration: Fig. 144.—Balmaclellan.]

A curious hammer, of brown hæmatite, not quite so equilateral as the
Scotch specimen, and much thicker in proportion, found in Alabama, has
been engraved by Schoolcraft.[778] The holes, from each side, do not
meet in the middle.

[Illustration: Fig. 145.—Thames, London. 1∕2]

The specimen shown in Fig. 145 was found in the Thames, at London,
and is now in the British Museum. In form it is curiously like |220|
a metallic hammer, swelling out around the shaft-hole, and tapering
down to a round flat face at each extremity. So far as I know, it is
unique of its kind in this country. It is more probably the head of a
war mace than that of an ordinary hammer. A somewhat similar hammer, of
porphyry, is in the museum of the Deutsche Gesellschaft at Leipzig. It
is, however, shorter in its proportions.

[Illustration: Fig. 145A.—Kirkinner. 1∕2]

A stone hammer found at Claycrop, Kirkinner,[779] Wigtownshire, is, by
the courtesy of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, shown in Fig.
145A. In form, it is very like Fig. 136A from Wick, but blunter at the

The instrument shown in Fig. 146 is perhaps more like a blunted
axe-hammer than a simple hammer. It has at one end a much-rounded
point, and at the other is nearly straight across, though rounded in
the other direction. It would appear to be a weapon |221| rather than
a tool. It is formed of greenstone, and was found near Scarborough,
being now in the museum at the Leeds Philosophical Hall. A similar form
has been found in Italy.[780]

[Illustration: Fig. 146.—Scarborough. 1∕2]

[Illustration: Fig. 147.—Shetland. 1∕2]

A beautifully finished hammer-head, cross-paned at both ends, and with
a parallel polished shaft-hole, is shown in Fig. 147. It is of pale
mottled green gneissose rock, with veins of transparent pale green,
like jade, and was found in a barrow in Shetland. It is preserved
in the National Museum at Edinburgh, where is also another of the
same form, but broader and much more weathered, which was found at
Scarpiegarth,[781] also in Shetland. Mr. J. W. Cursiter has another
of these ruder examples (3 1∕2 inches) from Firth. He has also a very
highly polished specimen made of serpentine (4 inches) subquadrate
in section, and with hemispherical ends, from Lingrow, Orkney. The
perforation is conical, being 1 inch in diameter on one face and only
1∕2 inch on the other. A remarkably elegant instrument of this kind,
formed of a quartzose metamorphic rock, striped green and white, and
evidently selected for its beauty, is in the well-known Greenwell
Collection. It was found in Caithness. It is polished all over, and
4 1∕4 inches long, of oval section, with the ends slightly rounded.
The shaft-hole is parallel, 1∕2 inch in diameter, and about 3∕4
inch nearer to one end than to the other. In the same collection is
another specimen, rather more elongated in form, and of more ordinary
material, found near Harome, in Yorkshire, in a district where a
number of stone implements of rare types have been discovered. It is
of clay-slate, 5 1∕4 inches long, and of oval section. The shaft-hole
tapers from 1 inch at the faces to 9∕16 inch in the centre. A shorter
hammer, of gneiss, 3 3∕4 inches long, and of similar section, |222|
with a parallel shaft-hole 5∕8 inch in diameter, was found near
Blair-Drummond, and is now in the National Museum at Edinburgh. It has
a thin rounded edge at one end, and is obtuse at the other, as if it
had been broken and subsequently rounded over. The form occasionally
occurs in the South of England. In the British Museum is a beautiful
specimen (4 1∕4 inches) from Twickenham, and another of more ordinary
stone from the Thames, which was formerly in the Roots Collection.

Another polished hammer (of grey granite) with curved sides,
and narrower at one end than the other, was found in a cairn in
Caithness,[782] in company with a flint flake ground at the edge, some
arrow-heads, and scrapers. By permission of the Society of Antiquaries
of Scotland, it is shown in Fig. 148. A somewhat similar form of hammer
has been obtained in Denmark.[783]

[Illustration: Fig. 148.—Caithness. 1∕2]

[Illustration: Fig. 149.—Leeds. 1∕2]

The hammer-head shown in Fig. 149 resembles the Shetland implements
in character, though, besides being far less highly finished, it is
shorter and broader, and shows more wear at the end. The hole, also,
is not parallel, but tapers from both faces. It is stated to have been
found 12 feet deep in gravel, while sinking for foundations for the
works of the North-Eastern Railway in Neville Street, Leeds. It is
formed of greenstone, and has all the appearance of having been made
out of a portion of a celt.

I have a somewhat smaller hammer-head, of much the same form, from
Reach Fen, Cambridge, which also seems to have been made from a
fragment of a broken celt. I have seen one of the same kind, found near
Brixham, in Devonshire.

I have another specimen, from Orwell, Wimpole, Cambs., in which a
portion of an implement of larger size has also been utilized for |223|
a fresh purpose. In this case the sharper end of a large axe-head
of stone, probably much like Fig. 131, having been broken off, the
wedge-shaped fragment, which is about 3 inches long and 2 inches broad,
has been bored through in a direction at right angles to the edge,
and probably to the original shaft-hole, and a somewhat adze-like
hammer-head has been the result, what was formerly the edge of the axe
being rounded and battered.

Fragments of celts which, when the edge was lost, subsequently served
as hammers, but without any perforation, have not unfrequently been
found, both here and on the Continent. The Eskimo hammer, already
mentioned, has much the same appearance and character as if it had been
made from a portion of a jade celt.

The form of hammer shown in Fig. 150, may be described as a frustum of
a cone with convex ends. The specimen here figured is of quartzite,
and was found near Rockland, Norfolk. It is preserved in the Norwich
Museum. The hole, as usual with this type, is nearly parallel. The
lower half of a similar hammer, but of flint, 2 inches in diameter, and
showing one-half of the shaft-hole, which is 5∕8 inch in diameter, is
in the British Museum. It came from Grundisburgh, Suffolk.

A more conical specimen, tapering from 2 3∕8 inches to 1 7∕8 inches
in diameter, and 3 inches long, with a shaft-hole 7∕8 inch in
diameter within 3∕4 inch of the top, is in the Greenwell Collection.
It is of basalt, and was found at Twisel, in the parish of Norham,

[Illustration: Fig. 150.—Rockland. 1∕2]

Some rather larger and more cylindrical instruments of analogous
form have been obtained in Yorkshire. One such, about 4 inches long,
and with a small parallel shaft-hole about 3∕4 inch in diameter, was
found with an urn in a barrow at Weapon Ness, and is in the museum at
Scarborough. With it was a flint spear-head or javelin-head. It is
described as rather kidney-shaped in the _Archæologia_.[784] I have the
half of another, made of compact sandstone, and found on the Yorkshire

The same form occurs in Ireland, but the sides curve inwards and the
section is somewhat oval. Sir W. Wilde[785] describes two such of
polished gneiss, and a third is engraved in Shirley’s “Account of
Farney.”[786] Sir William suggests that such implements were, in all
probability, used in metal working, especially in the manufacture
of gold and silver. Certainly, in most cases, they can hardly have
been destined for any ordinary purposes of savage life, as the labour
involved in boring such shaft-holes in quartzite, and especially in
|224| flint, must have been immense. It seems quite as probable that
these were weapons as tools, and, in that case, we can understand an
amount of time and care being bestowed on their preparation such as
in modern days we find savages so often lavishing on their warlike
accoutrements. Another argument in favour of these being weapons, may
be derived from the beauty of the material of which they are sometimes
composed. That from Farney is of a light green colour and nicely
polished, and one in my own collection, found near Tullamore, King’s
County, is formed of a piece of black and white gneissose rock, which
must have been selected for its beauty. One in the British Museum from
Lough Gur is of black hornblende.

The type with the oval section is not, however, confined to Ireland. In
the Greenwell Collection is a beautiful hammer of this class, which is
represented in Fig. 151. It is made of a veined quartzose gneiss, and
was found on Heslerton Wold, Yorkshire. As will be seen, it is somewhat
oval in section. The sides are straight, but the faces from which the
hole is bored are somewhat hollow. I have a specimen of the same form,
but made of greenstone (3 inches), from the neighbourhood of Sutton
Coldfield,[787] Warwickshire.

A barrel-shaped hammer (3 3∕4 inches) was found on the hill of
Ashogall,[788] Turriff, Aberdeenshire, and a rude triangular hammer on
the Gallow Hill of Turriff.

[Illustration: Fig. 151.—Heslerton Wold. 1∕2]

A smaller hammer-head, curiously like those from Farney and Tullamore,
both in form and material, was found with a small “food vessel”
accompanying an interment near Doune,[789] Perthshire. It is 2 5∕8
inches long, with a parallel shaft-hole 5∕8 inch in diameter.

Another, of small-grained black porphyry, neatly polished, and about
3 1∕4 inches long, similar in outline to Fig. 150, but of oval section,
and little more than an inch in thickness, was dredged up in the Tidal
Basin, at Montrose, and is preserved in the local museum.

A cylindrical hammer of grey granite (2 3∕4 inches) only partially
bored from both faces, was found in the parish of Glammis,[790]
Forfarshire. Mr. J. W. Cursiter, of Kirkwall, has a beautiful specimen
formed of striped gneiss (3 1∕4 inches) with well-rounded ends, and the
sides much curved inwards. It was found at Whiteness, Shetland. Another
of his hammers (2 3∕4 inches) with a parallel hole (7∕8 inch) has the
sides straight and is of oval section. It is of beautifully mottled

Another variety, allied to the last, has an egg-shaped instead of a
quasi-conical form; the shaft-hole being towards the small end of the
egg. The specimen here engraved, Fig. 152, is apparently of serpentine,
and was found at Hallgaard Farm, near Birdoswald, Cumberland. It is in
the Greenwell Collection.

I have a smaller but nearly similar specimen in greenstone, from |225|
the neighbourhood of Flamborough, Yorkshire. The hole in this is more
bell-mouthed than in the other specimen, and a little nearer the centre
of the stone.

One of nearly similar form, but rather flatter on one face,
3 1∕4 inches long, found in Newport, Lincoln, is engraved in the
_Archæological Journal_.[791]

Another in size and shape, much like Fig. 152, was dug up at
Llanrhaiadr-yn-Mochnant, Montgomeryshire.[792] Another in the British
Museum came from the neighbourhood of Keswick.

An egg-shaped hammer, 3 inches long, of mica schist, and found in
the Isle of Arran,[793] is in the National Museum at Edinburgh. The
shaft-hole is in the centre.

[Illustration: Fig. 152.—Birdoswald. 1∕2]

Sometimes these hammer-heads are, in outline, of an intermediate form
between Figs. 151 and 152, being oval in section, and more rounded
at the smaller end than the larger, which is somewhat flattened. One
such, in the Christy Collection, is formed of granite, and was found at
Burns, near Keswick, Cumberland. Another, of quartzite, 3 1∕4 inches
long, found on Breadsale Moor, is in the Museum at Derby. Neither
of them presents the same high degree of finish as Fig. 151. They
seem, indeed, to have been made from pebbles, which were but slightly
modified in form by their conversion into hammer-heads.

Occasionally, though rarely, flint pebbles naturally perforated have
been used as hammers. In excavating a barrow at Thorverton,[794] near
Exeter, the Rev. R. Kirwan discovered a flint pebble about 3 3∕4
inches long, with a natural perforation rather nearer one end than the
other, but which on each face has been artificially enlarged. Each
end of the pebble is considerably abraded by use. No other relics,
with the |226| exception of charcoal, were found in the barrow. Mr.
Kirwan suggests that the stone may have been used by placing the thumb
and forefinger in each orifice of the aperture; but not improbably
it may have been hafted. In the Museum at Copenhagen are one or two
axes of flint, ground at the edge, but with the shaft-holes formed
by natural perforations of the stone. And in M. Boucher de Perthes’
Collection[795] were two hammer-heads, with central holes of the same

[Illustration: Fig. 153.—Maesmore, Corwen.]

The beautiful and elaborately finished hammer-head found at Maesmore,
near Corwen, Merionethshire, and now in the National Museum at
Edinburgh, is to some extent connected in form with those like Fig.
152. It is shown in Fig. 153, on the scale of 1∕2 linear, but a full
size representation of it is given elsewhere.[796] It is of dusky
white chalcedony, or of very compact quartzite, and weighs 10 1∕2
ounces. “The reticulated ornamentation is worked with great precision,
and must have cost great labour. The perforation for the haft is
formed with singular symmetry and perfection; the lozengy grooved
decoration covering the entire surface is remarkably symmetrical and
skilfully finished.” The Rev. E. L. Barnwell,[797] who presented it
to the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, has observed that “the
enormous amount of labour that must have been bestowed on cutting and
polishing, would indicate that it was not intended for ordinary use
as a common hammer.” “Some have considered it as the war implement of
a distinguished chief; others, that it was intended for sacrificial
or other religious purpose, or as a badge of high office.” Other
conjectures are mentioned which it is needless to repeat. My own
opinion is in favour of regarding it as a weapon of war, such as, like
the jade _mere_ of the New Zealander, implied a sort of chieftainship
in its possessor. At the time of its discovery it was unique of its
kind. But since then a second example has been found, though in an
unfinished condition,[798] at Urquhart, near Elgin, and has also been
placed in the museum at Edinburgh. It is rather smaller, but of similar
type and material to the Welsh specimen. The shaft-hole is finished,
but the boring process has not been skilfully carried out, the meeting
at the centre of the holes bored from either face not having |227|
been perfect; and though the hole has been made straight by subsequent
grinding out, there is still a lateral cavity left. The faceted pattern
is complete at the small end, and commenced on both sides. Along the
edge of the face small notches are ground, showing the manner in which
the pattern was laid out before grinding the hollow facets.

A third but ruder example of the same kind was found in the Thames, at
Windsor,[799] and was exhibited to the Society of Antiquaries in 1895
by Mr. F. Tress Barry, F.S.A., who has kindly presented it to me. It is
of nearly the same size as the others, but the perforation is natural,
and there is no attempt at ornamentation, though much of the surface
has been ground in irregular facets.

The end of a naturally perforated flint nodule from Aldbourne, Wilts,
in the collection of Mr. J. W. Brooke, seems to be part of a hammer. It
is neatly faceted like the nucleus, Fig. 189, and has been rounded by
grinding. The hole has been partially ground.

[Illustration: Fig. 154.—Normanton, Wilts. 1∕2]

A very peculiar hammer, discovered by Sir Richard Colt Hoare,[800] in
Bush barrow, near Normanton, Wilts, is reproduced in Fig. 154. It lay
on the right side of a skeleton, which was accompanied by a bronze
celt without side flanges, a magnificent bronze dagger, the handle
of which was ornamented with gold, a lance-head of bronze, and a
large lozenge-shaped plate of gold. The hammer-head is “made out of a
fossil mass of _tubularia_, and polished, rather of an egg form,” or
“resembling the top of a large gimlet. It had a wooden handle, which
was fixed into the perforation in the centre, and encircled by a neat
ornament of brass, part of which still adheres to the stone.” As it
bore no marks of wear or attrition, Sir Richard hardly considered
it to have been used as a domestic implement, and thought that the
stone as containing a mass of _serpularia_, or little serpents, might
have been held in great veneration, and therefore have been deposited
with the other valuable relics in the grave. Judging from the other
objects accompanying this interment, it seems more probable that this
hammer was a weapon of offence, though whether the material of which
it was formed were selected from any superstitious motive, rather than
for the beauty of the stone, may be an open question. I have already
mentioned instances of _serpula_[801] limestone having been employed
as a material for celts of the ordinary character. The hole in this
instrument appears to be parallel, and may possibly have been bored
with a metallic tool. The occurrence of this hammer in association with
such highly-finished and |228| tastefully-decorated objects of bronze
and gold, shows conclusively that stone remained in use for certain
purposes, long after the knowledge of some of the metals had been

The hammer-heads of the next form to be noticed are of a simpler
character, being made from ovoid pebbles, usually of quartzite, by
boring shaft-holes through their centres. The specimen I have selected
for illustration, Fig. 155, is in my own collection, and was found in
Redgrave Park, Suffolk. It is said to have been exhumed ten feet below
the surface, by men digging stone in Deer’s Hill. The pebble is of
quartzite, probably from one of the conglomerates of the Trias, but
more immediately derived from the gravels of the Glacial Period, which
abound in the Eastern Counties. The hole as usual tapers towards the
middle of the stone. The pebble is battered at both ends, and slightly
worn away by use. I have a rather smaller, and more kidney-shaped
hammer, also slightly worn away at the ends, found at Willerby Carr, in
the East Riding of Yorkshire, and one (4 inches), that is considerably
worn at both ends, from Stanifield, Bury St. Edmunds. An example was
found at Normandy,[802] near Wanborough, Surrey. I have seen one formed
from a sandstone pebble (4 1∕2 inches) found near Ware.

[Illustration: Fig. 155.—Redgrave Park. 1∕2]

In the Greenwell Collection is a large specimen, made from a flat
pebble (7 1∕2 inches) obtained at Salton, York, N.R.

[Illustration: Fig. 156.—Redmore Fen. 1∕2]

Fig. 156 shows a smaller variety of the same type, but rather square in
outline, and with the shaft-hole much more bell-mouthed. The original
is in my own collection, and was found in Redmore Fen, near Littleport,
Cambridgeshire. I have others from Icklingham (2 3∕8 inches) and
Harleston, Norfolk (3 1∕4 inches). Hammers of this and the preceding
type are by no means |229| uncommon. Mr. Joshua W. Brooke has one
(3 1∕4 inches) from Liddington, Wilts. One of quartzite, 5 inches
long, was found in a vallum of Clare Castle, Suffolk,[803] and is in
the Museum of the Society of Antiquaries; another (4 1∕2 inches) at
Sunninghill, Berks;[804] another (2 1∕2 inches) near Reigate.[805] One,
in form like Fig. 156 (4 1∕4 inches), was discovered in Furness.[806]
Others were found at Pallingham Quay,[807] and St. Leonard’s
Forest,[808] Horsham (5 inches), both in Sussex. What seems to be a
broken hammer (2 3∕8 inches) and not a spindle-whorl was obtained at
Mount Caburn,[809] Lewes. Another, circular in outline, and 3 inches
in diameter, was found at Stifford,[810] near Grays Thurrock, and is
engraved in the _Archæological Journal_.[811] I have here reproduced
the figure (Fig. 157), though the scale is somewhat larger than that of
my other illustrations.

In the British Museum is a specimen, originally about 3 1∕2 inches by
2 1∕4 inches, and 3∕4 inch thick, with the end battered, which was
found in a tumulus at Cliffe, near Lewes. Another, 3 3∕4 inches in
diameter, from the Thames; a subtriangular example from Marlborough
(4 1∕4 inches); and an oval one (3 7∕8 inches) from Sandridge, Herts,
are in the same collection.

[Illustration: Fig. 157.—Stifford.]

A longer form (6 1∕4 inches by 3 1∕8) was found at Epping Uplands,
Essex,[812] and another about 5 inches, rather hoe-like in form, in the
Lea, at Waltham. Another (4 1∕2 inches) was found in London.[813]

In the Norwich Museum are two hammer-heads of this type, one from
Sporle, near Swaffham (3 1∕8 inches), of quartzite; and the other of
jasper, from Eye, Suffolk, 5 inches by 2 3∕4 inches. In the Fitch
Collection are also specimens from Yarmouth (3 1∕2 inches), from Lyng
(5 inches), and Congham, Norfolk (6 inches), as well as a fragment of
one found at Caistor.

The late Mr. Warren, of Ixworth, had one from Great Wratting, near
Haverhill (4 inches), and the late Mr. James Carter, of Cambridge, one
3 1∕4 inches in diameter, from Chesterton.

In the Museum of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society is one of irregular
form, found near Newmarket. A thin perforated stone, 6 inches by 3
inches, from Luton,[814] in Bedfordshire, may belong to this class,
though it was regarded as an unfinished axe-head.

In the collection formed by Canon Greenwell is one found at Coves
Houses, Wolsingham, Durham (3 1∕2 inches), and another of quartzite
(4 1∕2 inches), with both ends battered, from Mildenhall Fen. He
discovered another of small size, only 2 1∕4 inches in length, with the
perforation not |230| more than 7∕16 inch in diameter in the centre,
in the soil of a barrow at Rudstone,[815] near Bridlington.

The late Mr. H. Durden, of Blandford, had two fragments of these
hammers, made from quartzite pebbles, one of them from Hod Hill,
Dorset, and the other from the same neighbourhood. A perforated oval
boulder of chert was also found near Marlborough.[816]

Both round and oval hammer-stones are in the Leicester Museum.[817]
One (6 1∕2 inches) was found at Doddenham, Worcestershire, and
others (3 3∕8 inches) at Silverdale,[818] Torver,[819] and elsewhere
in Lancashire.[820] A large specimen (8 inches) was found at Abbey
Cwm Hir,[821] Radnorshire, and a small one near Rhayader,[822]
Montgomeryshire. A circular example (4 1∕4 inches), with a very small
central hole, was discovered in Pembrokeshire.[823] Quartzite pebbles
converted into hammer-heads occur also in Scotland. The hole in one
from Pitlochrie[824] is only 1∕8 inch in diameter at its centre. In one
from Ythanside, Gight,[825] Aberdeenshire (4 3∕4 inches), it is only
1∕4 inch.

Besides quartzite and silicious pebbles, these hammer-heads were made
from fragments of several other rocks. The Rev. S. Banks had one of
greenstone, 5 3∕4 inches by 3 1∕4 inches, found at Mildenhall. A
disc of dolerite[826] (4 inches) with convex faces and perforated
in the centre in the usual manner, was found at Caer Leb, in the
parish of Llanidan, Anglesea. Several hammer-stones of this kind were
obtained by the late Hon. W. O. Stanley, M.P., in his researches in
the Island of Holyhead.[827] One of them, now in the British Museum,
is of trap, 4 1∕2 inches long and 3 inches broad, somewhat square at
the ends; another is of schist, 3 3∕8 inches long, and much thinner
in proportion. Both were found at Pen-y-Bonc. A fragment of a third,
formed of granite (?), was found at Ty Mawr, in the same island. One
of granite (?)[828] was found at Titsey Park, Surrey. A small one
of “light grey burr stone,” 2 3∕8 inches in diameter, was found at
Haydock,[829] near Newton, Lancashire. I have a subquadrate example (4
inches) of felsite, from Belper, Derbyshire. The Scottish specimens are
often of other materials than quartzite. A circular “flailstone,” found
at Culter, Lanarkshire, has been figured,[830] but the material is not
stated. The same is the case with an oval one, 4 inches long, found
near Longman,[831] Macduff, Banff; another from Forfarshire;[832] and a
third, 4 inches by 3 inches, from Alloa.[833]

Others from Portpatrick[834] (6 3∕4 inches), and from a cist at
Cleugh,[835] Glenbervie, Kincardineshire, have been figured. I have a
disc (3 inches), nearly flat round the circumference like a Danish
“child’s |231| wheel” from Ballachulish, Inverness. It is formed
of hornblendic gneiss. A hammer-stone of this kind from Poyanne,
Landes,[836] has been recorded.

Some of these circular pebbles may have formed the heads of war-maces,
such as seem to have been in use in Denmark in ancient times and in a
modified form, among various savage tribes in recent days.

A curious variety of this type, flat on one face and convex on the
other, is shown in Fig. 158. It is made from a quartzite pebble,
that has in some manner been split, and was found at Sutton, near
Woodbridge. It is now in the collection of General Pitt Rivers, F.R.S.

[Illustration: Fig. 158.—Sutton. 1∕2]

In the Christy Collection is another implement of much the same size,
material, and character, which was found at Narford, Norfolk. The ends
are somewhat hollowed after the manner of a gouge, but the edges are
rounded. It seems to occupy a sort of intermediate position between a
hammer and an adze.

One of similar, but more elongated form, found at Auquemesnil[837]
(Seine Inférieure), has been figured by the Abbé Cochet.

It is difficult to say for what purpose hammers of this perforated
kind were destined. I can hardly think that such an enormous amount of
labour would have been bestowed in piercing them, if they had merely
been intended to serve in the manufacture of other stone implements,
a service in which they would certainly be soon broken. If they were
not intended for weapons of war or the chase, they were probably used
for lighter work than chipping other stones; and yet the bruising at
the ends, so apparent on many of them, betokens their having seen hard
service. We have little, in the customs of modern savages, to guide us
as to their probable uses, as perforated hammers are almost unknown
among them. The perforated spheroidal stones of Southern Africa[838]
act merely as weights to give impetus to the digging sticks, and such
stones are said to have been in use in Chili[839] and California.[840]
The perforated discs of North America appear to be the fly-wheels of
drilling sticks. Some quartz pebbles perforated with small central
holes, and brought from the African Gold Coast,[841] seem to have been
worn as charms. |232|

In Ireland, perforated hammer-stones are much more abundant than in
England. They are usually formed of some igneous or metamorphic rock,
and vary considerably in size, some being as much as 10 or 12 inches in
length. Sir W. Wilde observes that stone hammers, and not unfrequently
stone anvils, have been employed by smiths and tinkers in some of the
remote country districts until a comparatively recent period. If,
however, these hammers were perforated, there can be but little doubt
that they must have been ancient tools again brought into use, as the
labour in manufacturing a stone hammer of this kind would be greater
than that of making one in iron, which would, moreover, be ten times as
serviceable. If, however, the stone hammers came to hand ready made,
they might claim a preference. For heavy work, where iron was scarce,
large mauls, such as those shortly to be described, might have been in
use rather than iron sledges; but the more usual form of stone hammer
would probably be a pebble held in the hand, as is constantly the case
with the workers in iron of Southern Africa. Even in Peru and Bolivia,
the late Mr. David Forbes, F.R.S., informed me that the masons skilful
in working hard stone with steel chisels, make use of no other mallet
or hammer than a stone pebble held in the hand. The anvils and hammers
used in Patagonia[842] in working silver are generally of stone, but
the latter are not perforated.

In Germany, as already[843] incidentally remarked, anvils formed of
basalt were in frequent use in the sixteenth century.

In Scandinavia and Germany the same forms of hammers as those found in
the British Isles occur, both in quartzite and in other kinds of stone.
They are not, however, abundant. Worsaae does not give the type in his
“Nordiske Oldsager,” and Nilsson gives but a single instance.[844]
Lindenschmit[845] engraves a specimen from Oldenstadt, Lüneburg, and
another from Gelderland.[846]

In Switzerland they are extremely rare. In the Neuchâtel Museum,
however, is a perforated hammer, formed from an oval pebble, and found
in the Lake-habitations at Concise; another, 2 inches in diameter, with
a small perforation deeply countersunk on each face, has been regarded
by M. de Mortillet[847] as a sink-stone for a net.

I have a lenticular mace-head, 3 inches in diameter and 2 inches thick,
formed of a silicious breccia from Pergamum. The hole tapers from 3∕4
inch to 1∕2 inch.

The half of a small perforated hammer made of greenstone and polished
is recorded to have been found at Arconum,[848] west of Madras. A
perforated stone, possibly a hammer, was found in the Jubbulpore
district, Central India;[849] and a fine example from the Central
Provinces,[850] rather more oval than Fig. 157, has been figured by the
late Mr. V. Ball.

In the British Museum is a perforated ball of hard red stone of a
different type from any of those which I have described, which came
from Peru. It is about 3 inches in diameter, with a parallel hole an
inch across. Around the outside are engraved four human faces, each
surmounted by a sort of mitre. It may be the head of a mace. |233|

Spherical mace-heads of marble and of harder rocks occur among
Egyptian antiquities. They are sometimes decorated by carving.

       *       *       *       *       *

In this place perhaps it will be well to mention a class of large
hammer-stones, or mauls, as they have been termed, which, though
belonging to a period when metal was in use, are in all probability
of a high degree of antiquity. They consist, as a rule, of large oval
pebbles or boulders, usually of some tough form of greenstone or grit,
around which, somewhere about the middle of their length, a shallow
groove has been chipped or “picked,” from 3∕4 inch to 1 inch in width.
On the two opposite sides of the pebble, and intersecting this groove,
two flat or slightly hollowed faces have often been worked, the purpose
of which is doubtless connected with the method of hafting the stones
for use as hammers. This was evidently by means of a withe twisted
round them, much in the same manner as a blacksmith’s chisel is mounted
at the present day. In the case of the mauls, however, the withe
appears to have been secured by tying, like the haft of one form of
Australian stone hatchets (Fig. 105), and then to have been tightened
around the stone by means of wedges driven in between the withe loop
and the flat faces before mentioned.

A[851] German stone axe seems to have been fastened to its haft in the
same manner.

       *       *       *       *       *

In many of the Welsh specimens about to be mentioned, the flat faces
are absent, and the notch or groove does not extend all round the
stone, but exists only on the two sides through which the longer
transverse axis of the pebble passes. In this case the wedges, if any,
were probably driven in on the flatter side of the boulder.

The ends of the pebbles are usually much worn and broken by hammering,
and not unfrequently the stone has been split by the violence of
the blows that it has administered. It is uncertain whether they
were merely used for crushing and pounding metallic ores, or also in
mining operations; but with very few exceptions they occur in the
neighbourhood of old mines, principally copper-mines.

In some copper mines at Llandudno,[852] near the great Orme’s Head,
Carnarvonshire, an old working was broken into about sixty years ago,
and in it were found a broken stag’s horn, and parts of what were
regarded as of two mining implements or picks of bronze, one about 3
inches and the other about 1 inch in length. In 1850, another ancient
working was found, and on the floor a number of these stone mauls,
described as weighing from about 2 lbs. to 40 lbs. each. They had been
formed from water-worn boulders, probably selected from |234| the
beach at Pen-maen-mawr. One of the mauls in the Warrington Museum[853]
is 6 5∕8 inches long, and weighs 3 lbs. 14 ozs. One of basalt,
measuring nearly a foot in length, was found in ancient workings at
Amlwch Parys Mine,[854] in Anglesea. Others have been discovered
in old workings in Llangynfelin Mine,[855] Cardiganshire, and at
Llanidan,[856] Anglesea.

A ponderous ball of stone, about 5 inches in diameter, probably used
in crushing and pounding the ore, a portion of stag’s horn, fashioned
so as to be suited for the handle of some implement, and an _iron_
pick-axe, were found in some old workings in the Snow Brook Lead Mines,
Plinlimmon, Montgomeryshire.[857]

Two of these hammer-stones, 4 1∕2 and 5 inches in length, were obtained
by the late Hon. W. O. Stanley, within hut circles, possibly the
remains of the habitations of copper miners in ancient times, at Ty
Mawr, in the Island of Holyhead. Some of these mauls are figured in the
_Archæological Journal_,[858] and are of much the same form as Fig.
159, the original of which probably served another purpose. Others of
the same character, formed of quartzite, were found at Pen-y-Bonc,[859]
Holyhead, and Old Geir,[860] Anglesea. They have also been found at
Alderley Edge,[861] Cheshire.

A boulder, like those from Llandudno, but found at Long Low, near
Wetton, Staffordshire, is in the Bateman Collection.[862] One from
Wigtownshire[863] has been regarded as a weight.

They are of not uncommon occurrence in the south of Ireland,[864]
especially in the neighbourhood of Killarney, where, as also in Cork,
many of them have been found in ancient mines. They have, in Ireland,
been denominated miners’ hammers. One of them is engraved in “Flint
Chips.”[865] I have seen an example from Shetland.

They have also been found in ancient copper mines in the province of
Cordova,[866] at Cerro Muriano, Villanueva del Rey,[867] and Milagro,
in Spain; in those of Ruy Gomes,[868] in Alemtejo, Portugal; and at the
salt mines of Hallstatt,[869] in the Salzkammergut of Austria, and at
Mitterberg,[870] near Bischofshofen.

A large hammer of the same class, but with a deeper groove all round,
has been recorded from Savoy.[871]

They are not, however, confined to European countries, for similar
stone hammers were found by Mr. Bauerman in the old mines of Wady
Maghara,[872] which were worked for turquoises (if not also for
|235| copper ore) by the ancient Egyptians, so early as the third
Manethonian Dynasty. It is hard to say whether the grooved stone found
by Schliemann at Troy[873] was used as a hammer or a weight.

What is more remarkable still, in the New World similar stone hammers
are found in the ancient copper mines near Lake Superior.[874] As
described by Sir Daniel Wilson,[875] “many of these mauls are mere
water-worn oblong boulders of greenstone or porphyry, roughly chipped
in the centre, so as to admit of their being secured by a withe around
them.” They weigh from 10 to 40 lbs., and are found in enormous
numbers. M. Marcou[876] has given an account of the discovery of some
of those mauls in the Mine de la Compagnie du Nord-Ouest, at Point
Kievenau, Lake Superior. He describes them as formed of leptynite
(quartz and felspar), quartz, and porphyry, and weighing from 5 to 8
lbs. each; and mentions having seen one of quartz weighing about 5
lbs., which was in the possession of some Kioway Indians, and was bound
to a handle with a strip of bison skin.

This similarity or identity in form of implements used in countries
so wide apart, and at such different ages, does not, I think, point
of necessity to any common origin, nor to any so-called “continuity
of form,” but appears to offer another instance of similar wants
with similar means at command, resulting in similar implements for
fulfilling those wants. Grooved hammers for other purposes, as evinced
by their smaller size, and a few grooved axes, occur in Scandinavia.
An example among one of the lower races in modern times is afforded by
a large crystal of quartz, with its terminal planes preserved at both
ends, which has been slightly grooved at the sides for the purpose of
attaching it to a handle, and was brought by Captain Cook, from St.
George’s Sound, where it appears to have been used as a hammer or pick.
It is now in the British Museum, and has been described by Dr. Henry

Even in Britain the hammer-stones of this form are not absolutely
confined to mining districts. Canon Greenwell, in one of the barrows at
Rudstone,[878] near Bridlington, found on the lid of a stone-cist two
large greenstone pebbles 8 and 9 3∕4 inches long, each with a sort of
“waist” chipped in it, as if to receive a withe, and having marks at
the ends of having been in use as hammers.

Closely connected in form and character with the mining hammers,
though as a rule much smaller in size, and in all probability intended
for a totally different purpose, is the class of stone objects of
one of which Fig. 159 gives a representation, reproduced from the
_Archæological Journal_.[879] This was found in company with two others
at Burns, near Ambleside, Westmorland; and another, almost precisely
similar in size and form, was found at Percy’s Leap, and is preserved
at Alnwick Castle. Another, from Westmorland, is in the Liverpool
Museum, and they have, I believe, been observed in some numbers in that
district. A stone of the same character, but more elaborately worked,
|236| having somewhat acorn-shaped ends, was found by the late Hon. W.
O. Stanley, at Old Geir,[880] Anglesea. Others from Anglesea,[881] one
of them ornamented, have been figured. They were originally regarded as
hammer-stones, but such as I have examined are made of a softer stone
than those usually employed for hammers, and they are not battered or
worn at the ends. It is, therefore, probable that they were used as
sinkers for nets or lines, for which purpose they are well adapted,
the groove being deep enough to protect small cord around it from wear
by friction. They seem also usually to occur in the neighbourhood
either of lakes, rivers, or the sea. A water-worn nodule of sandstone,
5 inches long, with a deep groove round it, and described as probably
a sinker for a net or line, was found in Aberdeenshire,[882] and is
in the National Museum at Edinburgh; and I have one of soft grit, and
about the same length, given me by Mr. R. D. Darbishire, F.G.S., and
found by him near Nantlle, Carnarvonshire.

[Illustration: Fig. 159.—Ambleside. 1∕2]

Many of these sink-stones are probably of no great antiquity. With two
transverse grooves, they are still in use in Shetland.[883]

The Fishing Indians of Vancouver’s Island[884] go out trolling for
salmon in a fast canoe, towing behind them a long line made of tough
seaweed, to which is attached, by slips of deer hide, an oval piece of
granite perfectly smooth, and the size and shape of a goose’s egg. It
acts as a sinker, and is said to spin the bait. A net-sinker, formed
of a pebble slightly notched or grooved, is among the antiquities from
|237| Lake Erie, engraved by Schoolcraft.[885] Others have been found
in the State of New York.[886] See C. Rau’s “Prehistoric Fishing.”[887]

Sink-stones are by no means rare in Ireland, and continue in use
to the present day. One of the same class as Fig. 159, but grooved
round the long axis of the pebble, is engraved by Sir W. Wilde.[888]
Similar stones occur in Denmark, and were regarded by Worsaae[889] as
sink-stones, though some of them, to judge from the wear at the ends,
and the hardness of the material, were used as hammers. I have seen, in
Sweden, the leg bones of animals used as weights for sinking nets.

Another form of sink-stone, weight, or plummet, was formed by boring a
hole towards one end of a flattish stone. Such a one, weighing 14 1∕4
oz., was dredged from the Thames at Battersea.[890]

Another, of oval form, pierced at one end, from Tyrie,[891]
Aberdeenshire, is in the National Museum at Edinburgh; and a
wedge-shaped perforated stone from Culter, Lanarkshire,[892] was
probably intended for the same purpose. These may have been in use for
stretching the warp in the loom when weaving. They are found of this
form with Roman remains.[893]




Under this head I propose to treat of those implements which have
apparently been used as hammers, but which, for that purpose, were
probably held in the hand alone, and not provided with a shaft, as
the groove or shaft-hole characteristic of the class last described,
is absent. At the same time there are some hammer-stones in which
there are cavities worked on either face, so deep and so identical
in character with those which, in meeting each other, produce the
bell-mouthed perforations commonly present in the hammers intended for
hafting, that at first sight it seems difficult to say whether they
are finished implements, or whether they would have become perforated
hammer-heads had the process of manufacture been completed. Certainly
in some cases the cavities appear to be needlessly deep and conical for
the mere purpose of receiving the finger and thumb, so as to prevent
the stone slipping out of the hand; and yet such apparently unfinished
instruments occur in different countries, in sufficient numbers to
raise a presumption that the form is intentional and complete. There
are some instances where, as was thought to be the case with a quartz
pebble from Firth,[894] in Orkney, the unfinished implements may have
been cast aside owing to the stone having cracked, or to the holes
bored on each face not being quite opposite to each other, so as to
form a proper shaft-hole.

In other instances, as in Figs. 160 and 161, the battering of the
end proves that the stones have been in actual use as hammers. It is
of course possible that these cavities may have been worked for the
purpose of mounting the stones in some other manner than by fixing the
haft in a socket. A split stick may, for instance, have been used, with
a part of the wood on each side of the fissure worked away, so as to
leave projections to fit the |239| cavities, and have then been bound
together so as to securely grasp the pebble. A stone mallet, consisting
of a large pebble mounted between two curved pieces of wood, somewhat
resembling the hames of a horse collar, and firmly bound together at
each end, is still used by the quarrymen of Trichinopoly,[895] in
India. Another method of hafting stones, by tying them on to the side
of a stick with little or no previous preparation, is practised by the
Aymara Indians of Bolivia and Peru.[896] Mr. D. Forbes, F.R.S., in his
interesting account of this people, has engraved a pebble thus mounted,
which was in use as a clod crusher. One of them is preserved in the
Christy Collection. Among the Apaches,[897] in Mexico, hammers are made
of rounded pebbles hafted in twisted withes.

[Illustration: Fig. 160.—Helmsley. 1∕2]

       *       *       *       *       *

A remarkable hammer-head, found at Helmsley, in the North Riding of
Yorkshire, is in the collection formed by Canon Greenwell. It is shown
in Fig. 160, and has been made from a rather coarse-grained quartzite
pebble, both ends of which have, however, been worn away by use to
an extent probably of an inch in each case, or of two inches in the
whole pebble. The worn ends are rounded, but somewhat hollow in the
middle, as if they had at that part been used for striking against some
cylindrical or sharp surface. The funnel-shaped cavities appear almost
too deep and too sharp at their edges to have been intended merely to
assist in holding the hammer in the hand, and it seems possible that
their original purpose may have been in connection with some method
of hafting. The hammer has, however, eventually been used in the hand
alone, for the wear of the ends extends over the face, quite to the
margin of one of the cavities, and at such an angle, that it would have
been almost impossible for any handle to have been present. But if the
stone be held in the hand, with the middle finger in the cavity, the
wear is precisely on that part of the stone which would come in contact
with a flat surface, in hammering upon it. What substance it was used
to pound or crush it is impossible to determine, but not improbably
it may have been animal food; and bones as well as meat may have been
pounded with it.

A quasi-cubical hammer-stone, with recesses on two opposite faces,
found at Moel Fenlli,[898] Ruthin, Denbighshire, has been figured. It
is now in my collection. |240|

The specimen engraved as Fig. 161 has been made from a quartzite
pebble, and has the conical depression deeper on one face than the
other. It was found at Winterbourn Bassett, Wilts, and is now in the
British Museum.

[Illustration: Fig. 161.—Winterbourn Bassett. 1∕2]

In the Norwich Museum is a similar pebble, from Sporle, near Swaffham.
It is 3 3∕4 inches long, recessed on each face, with a conical
depression, the apex rounded. These cavities are about 1 1∕4 inches
diameter on the face of the stone, and about 3∕4 inch in depth. The
Rev. W. C. Lukis, F.S.A., had a hammer-stone of this kind, 3 inches
long, found at Melmerby, Cumberland. One (6 inches) was found at
Langtree,[899] Devon, another (3 1∕8 inches) at Trefeglwys,[900]
Montgomeryshire. I have one (3 inches) from Ryton-on-Dunsmore,
Coventry, and a thinner example, 2 3∕4 inches, much worn at the ends,
from Litlington, Cambs.

A circular rough-grained stone, 3 inches in diameter, with deep
cup-like indentations on each face, found on Goldenoch Moor,
Wigtownshire,[901] is in the National Museum at Edinburgh; where is
also another hammer formed of a greenstone pebble (3 1∕2 inches),
with broad and deep cup-shaped depressions on each face, and much
worn at one end, which came from Dunning, Perthshire. There are other
examples of the same kind in the same museum. Many have, indeed, |241|
been found in Scotland. A good example from Machermore Loch,[902]
Wigtownshire, and several others,[903] have been figured.

[Illustration: Fig. 161A.—Goldenoch. 1∕2]

That from Goldenoch, shown in Fig. 161A,[904] has a deep recess on each
face. Others from Fife[905] have the recess on one face only. In the
case of one from the Island of Coll[906] the recesses are at the sides
instead of on the faces.

In some cases the depressions are shallower, and concave rather than
conical. I have a flat irregular disc of greenstone, about 2 1∕4
inches diameter and 5∕8 inch thick, thinning off to the edges, which
are rounded, and having in the centre of each face a slight cup-like
depression, about 5∕8 inch in diameter. It was found in a trench at
Ganton, Yorkshire. In the Greenwell Collection is a somewhat larger
disc of sandstone, worn on both faces and round the whole edge, and
with a slight central depression. It was found in a cairn at Harbottle
Peels, Northumberland. In form, these instruments are identical with
the _Tilhuggersteene_[907] of the Danish antiquaries, and it is
possible that some of them, especially those of the circular form, may
have been used for the purpose of chipping out other kinds of stone

The type is not of uncommon occurrence in Ireland.[908] It is rare in
France, but a broken example from the neighbourhood of Amiens is in the
Blackmore Museum.

I have a specimen which might be mistaken for Danish or Irish, but
which was brought me from Port Beaufort, Cape of Good Hope, by Captain
H. Thurburn, F.G.S. It must have been in use there at no very remote

An oval stone, with what appears to be a cup-shaped depression on one
face, 3∕8 inch deep, is engraved by Schoolcraft[909] as a relic of
the Congarees. Another, from the Delaware River, of the Danish form,
is described by Nilsson[910] as a tool for making arrow-points. He
also engraves one from Greenland. Other so-called hammer-stones in the
same plate are more probably “strike-a-light” stones, and under any
circumstances belong to the Early Iron Period. Abbott[911] and Rau[912]
also describe Indian hammer-stones, some like Fig. 161.

Highly polished, and deep cup-shaped or conical depressions are
occasionally to be observed occurring on one or both faces of large
pebbles, usually of quartz, and sometimes in two or three places
on |242| the same face. Though very similar to the hollows on the
hammer-stones, they are due to a very different cause, being merely the
results of stone bearings or journals having been employed, instead
of those of brass, for the upright spindles of corn mills. It seems
strange that for such a purpose stone should have gone out of use,
it being retained, and indeed regarded as almost indispensable for
durability, in the case of watches, the pivot-holes of which are so
frequently “jewelled.”

[Illustration: Fig. 162.—St. Botolph’s Priory. 1∕2]

Fig. 162, which I have reproduced from the Sussex Archæological
Collections[913] on the same scale as the other figures, shows a
pivot-stone of quartzite (?) found in the ruins of St. Botolph’s
Priory, Pembrokeshire, a few yards from a pebble (4 1∕2 inches) of
similar material, in which a hole had been bored to the depth of
half an inch apparently by the friction of the pointed end of the
smaller pebble. Another pivot-stone of the same kind was found at
Bochym,[914] Cornwall. Such socket-stones were, until recently, in
use in Scotland[915] and Piedmont[916] for the iron spindles of the
upper mill-stones of small water-mills. Pivot-stones with larger
socket-stones were also used for field-gates. Similar socket-stones
occur in Switzerland,[917] and have puzzled Dr. Keller.

A stone, with a well-polished cavity, found on the site of an old mill
near Carluke, Lanarkshire,[918] was exhibited at Edinburgh in 1856.
Another was found in Argyllshire; and I have seen other specimens
from Ireland. The socket of the hinge of the great gate at Dunnottar
Castle is said to have consisted of a similar stone. Stones with
highly-polished hollows in them, in which apparently the ends of
drill-sticks revolved, are common on the site of ancient Naukratis.[919]

[Illustration: Fig. 163.—Bridlington. 1∕2]

As has already been observed at page 223, it is by no means uncommon
to find portions of polished celts which, after the edge has been by
some means broken away, have been converted into hammers. Very rarely,
there is a cup-like cavity worked on either face in the same manner as
in the celts shown in Figs. 87 and 88. A specimen of this character,
from the neighbourhood of Bridlington, is shown in Fig. 163. It is
of close-grained greenstone, and, to judge from the thickness of the
battered end, the celt, of which this originally formed the butt, must
have been at least half as long again as it is in its present form. The
cavities have been worked out with some kind of pick or pointed tool,
and from their position so near the butt-end, it seems probable that
they did |243| not exist in the original celt, but were subsequently
added when it had lost its cutting edge, and was destined to be turned
into a hammer-stone. In the Greenwell Collection is a similar specimen,
4 inches long, found at Wold Newton, in the East Riding of Yorkshire.
In the celts with cup-shaped depressions on their faces, but still
retaining their edge, the depressions are nearer the centre of the

This hollowing of a portion of the surface is sometimes so slight as
to amount to no more than a roughening of the face, such as would
enable the thumb and fingers to take a sufficiently secure hold of
the stone, to prevent its readily falling out of the hand when not
tightly grasped; a certain looseness of hold being desirable, to
prevent a disagreeable jarring when the blows were struck. If, as seems
probable, many of these hammers or pounders were used for the purpose
of splitting bones, so as to lay bare the marrow, we can understand the
necessity of roughening a portion of the greasy surface of the stone,
to assist the hold.

[Illustration: Fig. 164.—Bridlington. 1∕2]

In Fig. 164 I have represented a large quartz pebble found in Easton
Field, Bridlington, which has the roughened depression on both faces
rather more strongly marked than usual, especially on the face here
shown. It is more battered at one end than the other, and has evidently
been long in use. It shows some traces of grinding at the lower end
in the figure, as if it had been desirable for it to have a sort of
transverse ridge at the end, to adapt it to the purpose for which it
was used.

Canon Greenwell found in a barrow at Weaverthorpe,[920] Yorkshire, a
hammer-stone of this kind, but nearly circular in form. It is a flat
quartz pebble, about 1 3∕4 inches in diameter, battered all round, and
broken at one part, and having the centre of one face artificially

A round hammer (2 1∕2-inches), with depressions on each face, was found
at Gatley,[921] Cheshire. Hammer-stones of the same character occurred
abundantly on the site of ancient Naukratis.[922] The _wallong_,[923]
or stone used by the Australian natives for grinding nardoo seeds on
the _yow wi_, a large flat stone, is curiously like Fig. 164.

[Illustration: Fig. 165.—Bridlington. 1∕2]

To the same class, belongs the hammer-stone shown in Fig. 165, found
at Huntow, near Bridlington. It has been made from a quartz pebble,
of the original surface of which but little remains, and has a |244|
well-marked depression about 1∕8 inch deep in the centre of each face.
The periphery is much worn away by use.

A fine-grained sandstone pebble, in form like a small cheese, about 3
inches in diameter, having the two faces smooth and perfectly flat, was
found at Red Hill,[924] near Reigate, and was regarded as a muller or
pounding-stone used possibly in husking or bruising grain; or even for
chipping flint, its surface bearing the mark of long-continued use as
a pestle or hammer.[925] “Precisely similar objects have been found in
Northumberland, and other parts of England.”

Canon Greenwell informs me that about twenty such, differing in size
and thickness, were found on Corbridge Fell, together with several
stone balls. He thinks they may possibly have been used in some game.
A paper on the stone hammer and its various uses has been published by
Mr. J. D. McGuire.[926]

The circular stone from Upton Lovel Barrow,[927] engraved by Sir R.
Colt Hoare, appears to be a hammer or, more probably, a rubbing-stone,
but it is worn to a ridge all round the periphery. I have a precisely
similar instrument from Ireland. Other mullers from Wiltshire[928]
barrows have been figured by Dr. Thurnam. Several such discoidal
stones, somewhat faceted on their periphery, were found by the late
Hon. W. O. Stanley, in his examination of the ancient circular
habitations in Holyhead Island, and some have been engraved.[929]

An almost spherical stone, but flattened above and below, where
the surface is slightly polished, was found in Whittington Wood,
Gloucestershire, and exhibited to the Society of Antiquaries
in 1866.[930] It is of quartzite, about 3 inches in diameter.
Another, of the same size, of depressed, spherical form, was
found in Denbighshire,[931] and another flat disc of quartz in

Pebbles that have been used in this way, as pounders or mullers, belong
to various ages and different degrees of civilization. Some well worn
have been found in Yorkshire[933] barrows and elsewhere.[934] One from
Philiphaugh,[935] Selkirkshire, has been figured. I have one such, worn
into an almost cubical form, which was found with Roman remains at
Poitiers, and I have seen several others said to be of Roman date. A
pounding-stone of much the same form as Fig. 165, found on the summit
of the Mont d’Or, Lyonnais,[936] has been engraved by M. Chantre, with
others of the same character. I have seen examples in Germany.

I have a flat granite pebble, about 3 1∕2 inches by 3 inches, the sides
straight, the ends round, and with well-marked circular depressions in
each face, from Cayuga County, New York. It has certainly been used as
a hammer-stone. Such mullers are by no means uncommon in North America.
Some of the American[937] stone discs, which are |245| occasionally
pierced, appear to have been more probably used in certain games.

Cup-shaped cavities occasionally occur on stones which have not
apparently been intended for use as hammers. In the soil of one of the
barrows at Rudstone, near Bridlington, Canon Greenwell found a fragment
of a greenstone pebble, nearly flat on one face, in which a concave
depression, about an inch over and 1∕4 inch deep, had been picked. In
the National Museum at Edinburgh is a subquadrate flat piece of grit,
1 inch thick and about 3 1∕2 inches long, on each face of which is
a cup-shaped depression about 1 1∕4 inches in diameter. It does not
appear to have been used as a hammer. Mr. James Wyatt, F.G.S., had a
piece of close-grained grit, in shape somewhat like a thick axe-head,
4 1∕2 inches long, 3 inches wide, and 3 inches thick, with four concave
depressions, one on each face and side, found at Kempston Road, near
Bedford. What purpose these hollows fulfilled, it is difficult to
guess. The stones in which they occur may, however, have been used as
anvils or mortars on which to hammer or pound; or the cavities may have
served to steady objects of bone, stone, or wood in the process of
manufacture. Anvil stones, with pits worn on their faces, probably by
flints having been broken upon them, have been found in Scotland.[938]
A sandstone[939] with a concave depression on each of its six faces
has been regarded by Mortillet as a grindstone for fashioning stone
buttons or the convex ends of other implements. I have seen analogous
cavities produced, on a larger scale, on blocks of granite which have
been used as anvils, on which to break road materials. The cup and
ring cuttings[940] common on ancient stone monuments, especially in
Scotland, do not come within my province. Flat stones, with cup-shaped
markings upon them, sometimes as many as seven on a stone, were found
in considerable abundance in some of the Yorkshire[941] barrows
examined by Canon Greenwell.

The stones with cup-shaped[942] depressions in them, found in the caves
of the Reindeer Period in the south of France, have the hollows, in
nearly all instances, upon one of their faces only, and have therefore
more probably served as mortars than as hammers. The pebbles, from the
same caves, which have been used as knapping or chipping stones, are
usually left in their natural condition on the faces, though worn away
at the edges, sometimes over the whole periphery. A very few of the
hollowed stones show signs of use at the edges.

Stones with cup-shaped[943] depressions, like those from the French
caves, are in use in Siberia for crushing nuts and the seeds of the
Cembro Pine; and among the natives of Australia[944] for pounding a
bulbous root called _bellilah_, and the roasted bark of trees and
shrubs for food. Some Carib examples of the same kind are in the
Ethnological Museum at Copenhagen, as well as some from Africa, used in
the preparation of poison. |246|

Some of the so-called corn-crushers[945] and mealing-stones from the
Swiss Lake-dwellings have shallow depressions on the faces, but for the
most part they belong to the class to be subsequently described. I have
one of granite, from Nussdorf, with a depression on one face, in which
the thumb can be placed, while the forefinger lies in a groove, like
that of a pulley, which extends about half-way round the stone. The
opposite part of the edge is much worn by hammering. It approximates in
form to the pulley-like stones to which the name of sling-stones has
been given, but the use of which is at present a mystery.

A hammer-stone, curiously like that which I have engraved as Fig. 165,
is among those found in the settlements of the Lac du Bourget,[946] by
M. Rabut. This or a similar one is in the British Museum. Another from
Picardy[947] has been figured.

[Illustration: Fig. 166.—Scamridge. 1∕2]

A hammer-stone, if so it may be called, of bronze, is among the
antiquities from Greenland in the Ethnological Museum at Copenhagen.

Occasionally the depression is reduced to a minimum, and consists of
merely a slight notch or roughening on one or both faces of the pebble
which has served as a hammer or pounding-stone.

The irregular, flat greenstone pebble, worn away at both ends, shown
in Fig. 166, has on one face only a notch, apparently intended to
receive the thumb. It was found at Scamridge, Yorkshire, and is in
the Greenwell Collection. It will be observed that it is worn into a
curved ridge at one end. In the same collection is an oval quartzite
pebble (4 1∕2 inches), battered at both ends, and with a slight
diagonal ridge at that most worn away. This was found in a barrow at
Weaverthorpe,[948] with an unburnt body. I have a flat greenstone
pebble from |247| Scamridge, Yorkshire, worn away at one end to a
curved ridge somewhat oblique to the faces of the pebble, one of
which is slightly polished as if by constant rubbing. There is in the
Greenwell Collection a granite pebble (3 1∕2 inches), from the same
place, battered at one end, and the other much worn away by use, which
also has one face flat and slightly polished. In the camp at Little
Solsbury Hill,[949] near Bath, I found two quartzite implements of
rudely quadrangular prismatic form, each having one end worn away to
a ridge. Another quartzite pebble, rubbed to an obtuse edge at one
end, was found by General Pitt Rivers, F.R.S.,[950] within an ancient
earthwork at Dorchester, Oxfordshire.

A hammer-stone of close-grained grit, having a ridge all round
the periphery, was found in Anglesea.[951] Others with ridged
ends have occurred in crannogs at Lochlee,[952] Ayrshire, and in
Wigtownshire.[953] Some of them seem to belong to the Iron Age.

Among the specimens just described, there are three peculiarities
which, though not occurring together on all, are worthy of notice—the
notch on the face, the ridge at the end, and the polished face.

There can be no doubt of the notch on the face being, like the
cup-shaped depressions, merely intended as an aid in holding the stone.
On the hammer-stones discovered by the late Mr. J. W. Flower, F.G.S.,
in a post-Roman kjökken-mödding, in the island of Herm,[954] there were
usually one or two rough notches or indentations on each face, exactly
adapted to receive the ends of the thumb and some of the fingers; and,
curiously enough, I have a pebble notched in precisely the same manner
from Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania, and no doubt intended for a
hand-hammer or pounder.

In the same kjökken-mödding at Herm were several[955] celt-like
implements of porphyry and greenstone which, instead of an edge, had
the end blunt, but with a ridge obliquely across it, as on these
pebbles. Somewhat similar pounding-stones have been found by the late
Hon. W. O. Stanley, at Pen-y-Bonc,[956] Holyhead, in some instances
provided with a depression fitting the thumb or finger, and several
having the ridge at the end.

The same sort of ridge occurs on pounding-stones from Denmark,
Portugal,[957] Spain,[958] Ireland, and elsewhere, and occasionally
extends all round the stone when it happens to be disc-shaped, like
those already mentioned from Upton Lovel and elsewhere. Hammer-stones
worn to a ridge are also found in Egypt.[959] It would appear that
the face of the hammer was ground away, either by a rocking motion
on a flat stone, or by the blows given with it being administered
alternately from the right and from the left, so as to keep any matter
that was being pounded with it from being driven out of position. |248|

I have, lastly, to notice the more or less polished condition of one
of the faces of these stones, which may be due to their being used for
grinding the material already pounded by their edges to a finer powder
on the slab, which served instead of a mortar. One of the flat pebbles
found in the Cave of La Madelaine, Dordogne, appears to have served as
a muller for grinding the hæmatite used as paint.

Sometimes these hammer-stones are mere pebbles without any previous
preparation, and indeed it is but natural that such should have been
the case. Canon Greenwell has found pebbles of quartz and greenstone,
worn and battered at the ends, accompanying interments on the Yorkshire
Wolds, and such are also occasionally present on the surface, though
they are, of course, liable to escape observation. A quartzite pebble
that has served as a hammer-stone, and is much worn and fractured
by use, was found at Ty Mawr, and is figured in the _Archæological
Journal_,[960] as are also several from hut-circles in Holyhead and
Anglesea.[961] A large sarsen-stone pebble, weighing 4 3∕4 lbs., and
which had obviously been used as a hammer, was found in the Long
Barrow, at West Kennet,[962] Wiltshire. A large conical sort of muller
of sarsen-stone,[963] weighing 12 1∕2 lbs., was discovered with
twenty-two skeletons, various animal remains, and pottery, in a large
cist, in a barrow near Avebury. Mr. G. Clinch has a hammer from West
Wickham, made from a nearly cylindrical quartz pebble, much worn at
both ends, one of which is more rounded than the other.

[Illustration: Figs. 167 and 168.—Yorkshire Wolds. 1∕2]

On the Downs of Sussex, in the pits of Cissbury, in Yorkshire, Suffolk,
Dorsetshire, and other counties, hammer-stones of flint, apparently
used for chipping other flints, have been found, but from their
rudeness it seems hardly worth while to engrave any specimens. At
Grime’s Graves the hammer-stones consisted principally of quartzite
pebbles, though some were of flint. In many instances the hammers
made of flint seem to be cores from which flakes have been struck,
but which, proving to be of refractory stone, have been found more
serviceable as hammers. Some of the cores found at Spiennes, near
Mons, have been thus used, as well as fragments of celts. Some of the
hammer-stones from the French caves consist also of such cores. Stone
mullers are in common use in most countries at the present day, for
grinding paint and similar purposes. They occur at the Cape of Good
Hope,[964] but were there, no doubt, originally intended for other uses.

The general character of the chipped flint hammer-stones will be
gathered from Figs. 167 and 168, both from the Yorkshire Wolds. |249|
Neither of them shows any trace of the original surface or crust of the
flint from which it has been fashioned. The larger one has been chipped
with numerous facets somewhat into the shape of a broad bivalve shell,
and is much battered round the margin. Fig. 168 is much smaller than
usual, and is more disc-like in character.

[Illustration: Fig. 168A.—Culbin Sands. 1∕2]

A large number of discoidal stones, formed from flattish quartzite
pebbles, have been found on the Culbin Sands,[965] Elginshire. By the
kindness of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, one of them is
shown in Fig. 168A. They may be hammer-stones, but show no traces of

[Illustration: Fig. 169—Bridlington. 1∕2]

More commonly, perhaps, the form is approximately spherical. Fig.
169 is, however, a more symmetrical specimen than usual. It was
found by Mr. E. Tindall at Grindale, near Bridlington, and its
surface is battered all over by continual pounding. I have others of
similar character from Icklingham, Suffolk; Jordan Hill, Weymouth;
and elsewhere. Two from Old Geir, Anglesea, are engraved in the
_Archæological Journal_.[966]

Others were found in a tumulus at Seaford,[967] and at Mount
Caburn,[968] Sussex.

Numerous rude hammer-stones have been found at Carnac,[969] Brittany.

One of chert, 3 inches in diameter, was found in the Isle of
Portland,[970] and several have been found in Dorsetshire[971] which
were supposed to have been used in fashioning flint implements; and
balls of chert, 2 1∕2 inches and 2 1∕4 inches in diameter, found
at West Coker, Somersetshire,[972] and another from Comb-Pyne,
Devonshire,[973] have been thought to have been “intended for the
sling, or else to be tied up in a leather thong attached to a staff,
and employed as a sort of mace.” |250|

A globular nodule of flint, one pound in weight, and chipped all
over, found with numerous flint flakes in the long-chambered barrow
at West Kennet,[974] appeared to Dr. Thurnam to have been used in
their production. Several others found together in the parish of
Benlochy,[975] near Blairgowrie, were regarded as sling-stones. A
lump of red flint found in a barrow near Pickering,[976] in company
with a flint spear-head and two arrow-heads at the right hand of a
skeleton, was considered by Mr. Bateman to have been used as a hammer
for chipping other flints. A more highly-decorated class of stone balls
will be described at a subsequent page. Stone balls, such as were in
common use for cannon in the Middle Ages, and those thrown by catapults
and other military engines, do not come within my province.

       *       *       *       *       *

Judging from the battered surface of the spherical stones now under
consideration, there can be no doubt of their having been in use
as hammers or pounders; but they were probably not in all cases
used merely for fashioning other implements of stone, but also for
triturating grain, roots, and other substances for food, in the same
manner as round pebbles are still used by the native Australians.[977]
One such root, abundant in this country, is a principal article of food
consumed by the Ahts[978] of North America, among whom “the roots of
the common fern or bracken are much used as a regular meal. They are
simply washed and boiled, or beaten with a stone till they become soft,
and are then roasted.” In New Zealand also fern roots are pounded for
food, with pestles of basalt. The corn-crushers and mealing-stones
found in the Swiss Lake-dwellings have evidently been intended for
the purposes which their names denote; and at the present day among
many savage tribes, the only form of mill that is known is that of
a flat or slightly concave bed-stone, with a stone rolling-pin or
muller. Among the Kaffirs[979] and in West Africa the mill is of this
character, the bed-stone being large and heavy, slightly hollowed on
its upper surface; the muller, a large oval pebble which is used with
a peculiar rocking and grinding motion. The corn (maize or millet)
is often boiled before grinding. In Abyssinia[980] the bed-stone of
gneiss or granite is about 2 feet in length and 14 inches in width.
The face of this is roughened by beating it with a sharp-pointed
piece of harder stone, such as quartz or hornblende, and the grain is
reduced to flour by repeated grinding or rubbing |251| with a stone
rolling-pin. Such mealing-stones are also in use in South America.[981]
They have been occasionally found in Britain, and the annexed figure
shows a pair found in a hut-circle at Ty Mawr,[982] in the island of
Holyhead. Others have been found in Anglesea.[983] Similar specimens
have been obtained in Cambridgeshire and Cornwall, and Mr. Tindall had
a pair found near Bridlington. A mealing-stone with the muller was
found in Ehenside Tarn,[984] Cumberland. I have myself found a muller
at Osbaston, Leicestershire. A pair of stones from the Fens[985] is in
the museum of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society. Some large blocks of
flint, having a flat face bruised all over by hammering, have also been
found in the Fens, and may have served as mealing-stones.

[Illustration: Fig. 170.—Holyhead.]

The same form of mill is found also in Ireland,[986] and not improbably
remained in occasional use until a comparatively late period. Fynes
Moryson[987] mentions having seen in Cork “young maides, stark naked,
grinding corne with certaine stones, to make cakes thereof;” and the
form of the expression seems to point to something different from a
hand-mill or quern, which at that time was in common use in England.
The name of saddle-quern has been given to this form of grinding
apparatus. In the Blackmore Museum is one from the pit-dwellings at
Highfield,[988] near Salisbury, which are not improbably of post-Roman
date; and in the British Museum is one found near Macclesfield. |252|

They are also known in Scotland. One of granite, found near Wick,[989]
is in the National Museum at Edinburgh; as is also another, 20 inches
by 12 inches, with a rubber 12 inches by 8 inches, found in a cave near
Cullen, Banffshire.[990]

They likewise occur in Shetland.[991] Mr. J. W. Cursiter has a long
narrow muller with a curved back, in which are five grooves to receive
the fingers, so as to give it the appearance of being a fragment of an

Saddle-querns of the same character occur also in France.[992] I have a
small example from Chateaudun. One from Chassemy[993] (Aisne) has been

Some were likewise found in the Genista Cave at Gibraltar.[994] They
are common in West Prussia and in the Island of Rügen, as well as in
Scandinavia generally.

A German saddle-quern, from the ancient cemetery at Monsheim, has been
engraved by Lindenschmit.[995] Others are mentioned by Klemm.[996] MM.
Siret have also found them in their explorations in Spain.

It will have been observed, in the instances I have cited, that the
movable muller or grinding-stone is not spherical, but elongated; but
what is possibly the more ancient form approached more closely to a
pestle and mortar in character, and consisted of a bed-stone with
a slight concavity in it, and a more or less spherical stone for a

       *       *       *       *       *

A grinding-stone of granite, with a cavity, apparently for bruising
grain by a globular stone, was found in Cornwall,[997] and undressed
slabs with concavities of the size and shape of an ordinary soup-plate,
are of frequent occurrence in the Hebrides.[998] Others have been found
in company with stone balls, in the ancient habitations in Anglesea.

Fig. 171 shows a trough of stone, found at Ty Mawr,[999] Holyhead, by
the late Hon. W. O. Stanley, who kindly lent me the wood-cuts of Figs.
170 and 171. The cylindrical grinding-stone or muller was found within
it, and has a central cavity on each face, to give the hand a better
hold in grinding. A similar appliance was found at Pen-y-Bonc[1000] in
the same island.

A triturating trough from Cleveland[1001] has been figured. |253|

They have been found in Cornwall[1002] and in Ireland.[1003]

Others have been discovered in Brittany.

Hand-mills of granite formed in much the same manner have been in use
until lately in Brandenburg. The lower stones are described as from 2
feet to 4 feet long, and nearly as wide, with channels, after long use,
as much as 6 inches deep; the mullers are either spherical or oval, and
of such a size that they can be held in the hand.[1004]

A large sandstone, with a small bowl-shaped concavity worked in it, was
found near burnt bones, in a barrow at Elkstone,[1005] Staffordshire;
and two others in barrows near Sheen.[1006] Another, with a cup-shaped
concavity, 2 1∕2 inches in diameter, occurred in a barrow near
Pickering;[1007] and in other barrows were found sandstone balls
roughly chipped all over, from 4 inches to 1 inch in diameter, in one
instance associated with a bronze dagger. A ball of sandstone, 2 1∕2
inches in diameter, was found with flint instruments accompanying a
contracted skeleton in a barrow near Middleton.[1008] A round stone
like a cannon-ball was also found in a barrow near Cromer,[1009] and
three balls of stone, from 2 1∕4 inches to 1 3∕4 inches in diameter,
were picked up in a camp at Weetwood,[1010] Northumberland.

[Illustration: Fig. 171.—Ty Mawr.]

Mealing-stones, both flat and hollowed, were found in
Schliemann’s[1011] excavations at Troy.

In grinding and pounding a considerable amount of grit must have been
worn off the stones and been mixed with the meal. The usual worn
condition of the teeth in the skulls from ancient barrows may be
connected with this attrition. Mr. Charters-White,[1012] by examination
of |254| some teeth from a long barrow at Heytesbury, Wilts, was able
to show the presence of grains of sand of different kinds in the dental

       *       *       *       *       *

There are two other forms of grinding apparatus still in use—the pestle
and mortar, and the rotatory mill—both of which date back to an early
period, and concerning which it will be well to say a few words in this
place. The ordinary form of pestle—a frustum of a very elongated cone
with the ends rounded, is so well known that it appears needless to
engrave a specimen on the same scale as the other objects. In Fig. 172
is shown one of a more than usually club-shaped form, 11 inches long,
found in Holyhead Island.[1013]

[Illustration: Fig. 172.—Holyhead.]

[Illustration: Fig. 173.—Pulborough.]

       *       *       *       *       *

This cut originally appeared in illustration of an interesting paper
by Mr. Albert Way, F.S.A., on some relics found in and near ancient
circular dwellings in Holyhead Island, in which paper some of the
other discoveries about to be mentioned are also cited. A pestle like
a small club, 9 1∕4 inches long, was found in a gravel-pit near Audley
End,[1014] with a Roman cinerary urn. Another, of grey granite, more
cylindrical in form, and flatter at one end, 11 1∕2 inches long and
2 inches in diameter, was found at Pulborough,[1015] Sussex, and is
engraved in Fig. 173. A limestone pestle of the same character, 12
inches long and 2 1∕2 inches in diameter, found at Cliff Hill, is in
the museum at Leicester. A fine pestle of granite or gneiss (12 5∕8
inches) from Epping Forest[1016] has been figured, as has been a
shorter one from a barrow at Collingbourn Ducis,[1017] Wilts. Another
of greenstone, probably a naturally-formed pebble, 10 1∕4 inches long
and 2 1∕2 inches in diameter, rounded at both ends, was found with
three porphyry celts in a cairn at Daviot,[1018] near Inverness. It is
now in the National Museum at |255| Edinburgh. Another of greenstone,
16 inches long, was found near Carlisle[1019]; and the late Mr. J. W.
Flower, F.G.S., had one of the same material 10 inches long, tapering
from 2 inches in diameter to 1 1∕4 inches, found in Hilgay Fen,
Norfolk. A similar pestle-like stone, 6 inches long, found in Styria,
is engraved by Professor Unger.[1020] Another of the same length was
among the objects found in the Casa da Moura,[1021] Portugal. Many
pestles, more or less well finished in form, have been discovered by
the late Dr. Hunt, Dr. Mitchell, Mr. Petrie, Mr. Long, and others in
the Orkney and Shetland Isles, and in different parts of Scotland.

Those who wish to make themselves thoroughly acquainted with the
different circumstances of these discoveries, and with the various
forms of rough implements brought to light, will have to consult the
original memoirs[1022] which have been written concerning them. Both in
cists or graves, and in the remains of ancient circular habitations,
have numerous hammer-stones and pestles been found, associated with
various other articles manufactured from stone and bone. Some of
these are extremely rude, and appear hardly deserving of the names
of spear-heads, knives, chisels, battle-axes, &c., which have been
bestowed upon them. There can, however, be no doubt of their being
of human manufacture, whatever purpose they may have served. A few
well-formed and polished stone celts were found in company with the
objects of this class in the “Underground House of Skaill,” Orkney,
which, however, was not, strictly speaking, subterranean. In the
building, and in the midden around it, were very great numbers of oval
sandstone pounding-stones and of large sandstone flakes, probably
knives of a rude kind, a pebble with a groove round it like a ship’s
block, and a few celts. In Shetland these rude stone implements have
been found with human skeletons interred in cists, sometimes with
polished weapons.[1023] A very curious implement, somewhat T-shaped,
with pointed extremities, and grooves round the transverse part, was
found in the broch of Quoyness,[1024] Sanday, Orkney, and has been

Many of the pestle-like stones are merely chipped into a somewhat
cylindrical form, but others have been picked or ground all over, so as
to give them a circular or oval section. The ends in many instances are
more or less splintered, as if by hammering some hard substance rather
than by pounding, and the exact purpose to which they were applied it
is extremely difficult to divine.

Four of them are shown, on a small scale, in Figs. 174 to 177.

[Illustration: Fig. 174.—Shetland. 20 1∕2 in.]

[Illustration: Fig. 175.—Shetland. 19 in.]

[Illustration: Fig. 176.—Shetland.]

[Illustration: Fig. 177.—Shetland.]

[Illustration: Fig. 178.—Shetland. 21 in.]

Some are more club-like[1025] in character, as in Fig. 178, and
are even occasionally wrought to a handle at one end, as was the
case |256| with one found in the heart of a burnt stone tumulus at
Bressay[1026] (Fig. 179), so as to give them much of the appearance
of the short batlet or batting-staff used in the primitive mode of
washing linen, such as is still so commonly practised in many parts
of the Continent. Nearly similar rough instruments have been found
at Baldoon,[1027] Wigtownshire. Is it possible that these stone bats
can have served a similar purpose? In the Northern counties[1028] a
large smooth-faced stone, set in a sloping position by the side of a
stream, on which washerwomen |257| beat their linen, is still called
a battling-stone,[1029] and the club is called a batter, batlet,
battledore, or battling-staff. Such clubs may also have been used in
the preparation of hemp and flax.

[Illustration: Fig. 179.—Shetland.]

A stone club, from St. Isabel,[1030] Bahia, Brazil, is described as
13 3∕8 inches long, 2 1∕2 inches wide, and 1 1∕4 inch thick. It may,
however, be a celt, like the supposed clubs from Lancashire[1031] and

There can be no doubt of several of the pestles, though probably not
all, belonging to the same period as stone implements of other forms.
The mortars in which they were used, were probably merely depressions
in blocks of stone, or even of wood. Some rude mortars have, as already
mentioned, been found in Holyhead Island, and Anglesea, but it is
uncertain to what age they belong. A portion of a mortar of granite,
with a channelled lip, found with fragments of urns and calcined bones
in a grave at Kerris Vaen, Cornwall, is engraved in the _Archæologia

Very similar stone pestles to those from Orkney were in use among the
North American Indians[1033] for pounding maize, and some are engraved
by Squier and Davis.[1034]

They also employed[1035] a small form of mortar for pounding quartz,
felspar, or shell, with which to temper the clay for pottery. Stone
mortars and pestles were in use among the Toltecs and Aztecs in making
tortillas, and are found in South Carolina,[1036] and elsewhere in
the United States. Among the ancient Pennacooks[1037] of the Merrimac
valley, the heavy stone pestle was suspended from the elastic bough
of a tree, which relieved the operator in her work; and among the
Tahitians[1038] the pestle of stone, used for pounding the bread fruit
on a wooden block, is provided with a crutch-like handle.

Some large circular discs of stone, apparently used for grinding, and
others with deep cup-shaped depressions in them, found on Dartmoor,
and probably connected with some ancient metallurgical operations on
the spot, have been engraved and described in the _Transactions of the
Devonshire Association_.[1039] |258|

The hand-mill formed with an upper rotatory stone is a mere
modification of the pestle and mortar, and dates back to a very early
period, though it has continued in use in some parts of the British
Isles even unto our own day. The name quern, by which such mills are
usually known, occurs in closely similar forms, in all the Teutonic
dialects. In Anglo-Saxon it appears under the form Cweorn or Cwyrn, and
in modern Danish as Qværn. An excellent example of this instrument,
which had been, up to 1850, in use in the cabin of a Kilkenny peasant,
was presented by the Rev. J. Graves to the Archæological Institute, and
is described and engraved in their Journal.[1040] The upper stone is of
granite, the lower of millstone grit. The lower stone is recessed to
receive the upper, and has a central depression, in which a small block
of oak is fixed, from which projects a small pin—also of oak—to carry
the upper stone. This is about 2 feet in diameter, and is perforated at
its centre with a hopper-like hole, across the bottom of which a small
bar of oak is secured, having a recess in it to receive the pin, but
only of such a depth as to keep the upper stone at a slight distance
from the lower. Through the upper stone, and near its verge, a vertical
hole is drilled to receive a peg, which forms the handle for turning
it. When in use it is worked, as in ancient times among the Jews, by
two women seated opposite each other, who alternately seize and propel
the handle, so as to drive the stone at considerable speed. The corn,
highly dried, is fed by handfuls into the hopper in the runner or upper
stone, and the meal passes out by a notch in the rim of the nether
stone. Pennant,[1041] in his “Tour in Scotland,” describes querns as
still in use in the Hebrides in 1772. They were said to cost about
fourteen shillings, and to grind a bushel of corn in four hours, with
two pair of hands. He gives a representation of a quern at work, with
a long stick, hanging from the branch of a tree, inserted in the hole
in the runner, so as to form the handle. A somewhat similar method
of driving the hand-mill indoors, taken from a German MS. of the
fourteenth century, has been reproduced from a work by Drs. Von Hefner
and Wolf in the _Archæological Journal_.[1042]

A sketch of a hand-mill in use at the present day, at Abbeville, is
given in C. Roach Smith’s “Collectanea Antiqua.”[1043]

Even in the neighbourhood of water-mills, when the charge for grinding
was at all high, we find these hand-mills in use in mediæval times.
Such use, by the townsmen of St. Albans, was, in the beginning of
the fourteenth century, a fruitful source of litigation between
them and the abbots, who claimed the monopoly of grinding for their
tenants.[1044] Thirteen of these, however, maintained their right
of using hand-mills, as having been enjoyed of old, and some claims
were raised to the privilege of grinding oat-meal only, by means of a

It seems probable that these mediæval hand-mills were of large size,
and with a comparatively flat upper stone, like the modern Irish
form, which is sometimes 3 feet 6 inches in diameter. One, 3 feet in
diameter, found near Hollingbourne,[1045] Kent, was probably of no
great antiquity. |259| The same may be said of a six-sided quern,
with an iron pivot, found in Edinburgh.[1046] A quern, found at West
Coker,[1047] Somerset, with a fleur-de-lis over the passage by which
the meal escaped, has been assigned to the thirteenth century. The
lower stone of a quern accompanied an apparently Saxon interment at
Winster,[1048] Derbyshire. It was of the beehive[1049] shape, and made
of millstone grit. Similar querns, with iron pins, have been found at
Breedon,[1050] Leicestershire, as well as others with the upper stone
more conical. One of this class was also found near Rugby.[1051] They
frequently accompany Roman[1052] remains, but these are generally of
smaller size, and of a more hemispherical form, the favourite material
being the Lower Tertiary conglomerate, or Hertfordshire pudding-stone.
Those of Andernach lava, from the Rhine, are usually flat.

A complete quern was found at Ehenside Tarn,[1053] Cumberland. The
upper half of another was in a post-Roman circular dwelling, near
Birtley,[1054] Northumberland.

Querns of various forms are of frequent occurrence in Wales, especially
in Anglesea. An upper stone from Lampeter,[1055] Cardiganshire, has a
semicircular projection at the margin round the hole for the handle.
In some districts[1056] they have been in use until quite recent

In Scotland, querns are of frequent occurrence in the ancient brochs
and hill forts. In one of the former, at Kettleburn,[1058] Caithness,
a stone in preparation for a quern was found; in another, in
Aberdeenshire, an upper stone, 18 inches in diameter, was discovered.
Another stone of the same size, surrounded by four border stones to
prevent the scattering of the grain in grinding, was discovered in
a subterranean chamber in a hill fort at Dunsinane,[1059] Perth. A
curious pot-quern, the lower stone decorated with a carved human face,
was found in East Lothian, and is engraved by Wilson.[1060]

Some interesting notices of Scottish querns have been given by Sir
Arthur Mitchell.[1061]

The upper stone, ornamented with raised lines, shown in Fig. 180, from
a cut kindly lent me by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, was
found in trenching a moss in the parish of Balmaclellan, New Galloway,
with some curious bronze objects of “late-Celtic” workmanship.[1062]

An upper stone (18 inches), ornamented in a nearly similar way, was
found near Stranraer,[1063] Wigtownshire, and another, with a tribrach
instead of a cross, at Roy Bridge,[1064] Inverness-shire. |260|

Some ornamentally carved upper stones of querns, one of them with
spiral and leaf-shaped patterns upon it, much like those on the
bronze ornaments of the “late-Celtic” Period, have been discovered in

[Illustration: Fig. 180.—Balmaclellan.]

Querns of green sandstone are stated, by Sir R. Colt Hoare,[1066] to be
numerous in British villages and pit-dwellings in Wiltshire, as indeed
they are in other counties,[1067] though formed of various kinds of
grit. They rarely occur in barrows, though burnt granite querns have
been found with burnt bones in cromlechs in Jersey.[1068]

Some observations on querns by the Rev. Dr. A. Hume, are published in
the _Archæologia Cambrensis_.[1069] As these utensils belong, for the
most part, to Roman and post-Roman times, I have thought it needless
to enter into any more minute description of their forms, or of the
circumstances under which they have been found.




Before proceeding to the consideration of other forms of implements,
it will be well to say a few words with regard to those which have
served for grinding, polishing, or sharpening tools and weapons, and
more especially such as there is every reason to suppose, were employed
to give an edge or finish to other materials than metal, though the
whetstones of the Bronze Period must not be passed by unnoticed.

I have already mentioned the fact that the grindstones on which stone
celts and axes were polished and sharpened, were not like those of the
present day, revolving discs against the periphery of which the object
to be ground was held; but stationary slabs on which the implements
to be polished or sharpened were rubbed. Considering the numbers of
polished implements that have been discovered in this country, it
appears not a little remarkable that such slabs have not been more
frequently noticed, though not improbably they have, from their
simple character, for the most part escaped observation; and even
if found, there is usually little, unless the circumstances of the
discovery are peculiar, to connect them with any particular stage of
civilization or period of antiquity. In Denmark and Sweden, however,
these grinding-stones, both of the flat and polygonal forms already
described, are of comparatively frequent occurrence. Specimens are
figured by Worsaae,[1070] Sophus Müller, and others, and were also
given by Thomsen,[1071] so long ago as 1832. He states that they have
been found in Scandinavia, in barrows and elsewhere in the ground,
with half-finished stone celts lying with them, so that there can be
no doubt as to the purpose for which they were intended. They are
also described by Nilsson[1072] and Montelius.[1073] |262| Both
slabs and prismatic pieces of sandstone have been found in the Swiss
Lake-dwellings,[1074] several of the former with concavities on one
or both faces, resulting from stone hatchets having been ground upon

       *       *       *       *       *

In France the discovery of numerous ‘_polissoirs_’ has been noticed,
some of them of very large dimensions. They are abundant in the
Departments of la Charente[1076] and la Dordogne,[1077] and some fine
examples are in the Museum of Troyes (Aube). One, nearly 3 feet long,
with hollows of different characters, apparently for grinding different
parts of tools and weapons, is figured by M. Peigné Delacourt;[1078]
an oval concavity upon it is 2 feet 3 inches long by 1 foot wide, and
seems well adapted for grinding the faces of large celts. Another
fine example was in the possession of Dr. Léveillé,[1079] at Grand
Pressigny, and a large specimen, also from Poitou, is in the Musée de
St. Germain. Several have been found in Luxembourg[1080] and Belgium.

Flat grinding-stones of smaller dimensions have been found in the
turbaries of the Somme and in the Camp de Catenoy.[1081] A narrow
sharpening stone 5 inches long is recorded to have been found with
stone hatchets and other implements in the Cueva de los Murciélagos, in
Spain.[1082] _Polissoirs_ have also been observed in India.[1083]

The Carreg y Saelhau,[1084] or Stone of the Arrows, near Aber,
Carnarvonshire, has numerous scorings upon it, a quarter or half an
inch in depth; and, though doubtless used for sharpening tools and
weapons of some kind, it seems to belong to the metallic age. Canon
Greenwell informs me that he observed a rock close to a camp on Lazenby
Fell, Cumberland, with about seventy grooves upon it from 4 to 7
inches long and about 1 inch wide and deep, pointed at either end, as
if from sharp-ended tools or weapons having been ground in them. The
grooves are in various directions, though sometimes in groups of four
or five together, which are parallel with each other. In the course
of his investigations in the barrows on the Yorkshire Wolds[1085] he
has found a few of the flat slabs for grinding or polishing, though
of small size. One of them, formed of a flat piece of red sandstone
about 4 1∕2 inches by 3 1∕2 inches, with both faces bearing marks of
having been in use for grinding, lay close to a deposit of burnt bones.
Another somewhat similar fragment of sandstone (2 3∕4 inches by 2 1∕2
inches), which also bore traces of attrition, was found in a barrow at

In another barrow at Cowlam,[1086] Yorkshire, E. R., was a rough piece
|263| of grit, 2 1∕4 inches long, with one end slightly hollowed,
apparently by grinding celts, and a large flat compact laminated red
sandstone pebble about 8 3∕4 inches by 3 inches, with both faces ground
away, the one being evenly flat and the other uneven. In the same
barrow occurred one of the flint rubbers to be subsequently described,
and also a quartzite pebble (2 1∕2 inches long) that had been used as
a hammer-stone. A portion of a whetstone of Pennant or Coal-measure
sandstone was found in the long barrow at West Kennet, Wiltshire,[1087]
in which also occurred a thin ovoidal knife of flint, ground at the

I have in my own collection a very interesting specimen of this kind
from Burwell Fen, near Cambridge. It is a thin slab of close-grained
micaceous sandstone, about 5 1∕2 by 4 inches, slightly hollowed and
polished on both faces by grinding. With it were found two celts
of flint, 4 1∕2 and 5 inches long, of pointed oval section, one of
them polished all over, and the other at the edge only, which in all
probability had been sharpened on this very stone. In the same place
were two long subangular fragments of greenstone of the right form,
size, and character to be manufactured into celts, and which had no
doubt been selected for that purpose.

A grinding-stone with a celt lying in it, found at Glenluce,[1088]
Wigtownshire, has been figured.

On the Sussex Downs I have found flat pebbles 3 or 4 inches long, which
have evidently been used as hones, but whether for stone or metallic
tools it is impossible to say. Fragments of polished celts and numerous
flakes and “scrapers” of flint were, however, in their immediate
neighbourhood. Among the modern savages of Tahiti[1089] who used
hatchets of basalt, a whetstone and water appear to have been always at
hand, as constant sharpening was necessary. It seems probable therefore
that there must have been a constant demand for such sharpening-stones
in this country, and that many of them ought still to exist. With flint
hatchets, the constant whetting was, however, no doubt less necessary
than with those of the different kinds of basalt. Their edges, if
carefully chipped, will indeed cut wood without being ground at all.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. Bateman mentions “a flat piece of sandstone rubbed hollow at one
side” as having been found in a barrow at Castern, Staffordshire,[1090]
but it is uncertain whether this was a grindstone. It may have been
used only as a mortar, for with it was a round piece of ruddle or
red ochre, “which from its abraded appearance must have been in much
request for colouring the skin of its owner.”[1091] In a barrow on the
West Coast of Kintyre, there also occurred a piece of red Lancashire
or Westmoreland iron-ore or hæmatite worn flat on the side, apparently
by having been rubbed upon some other substance. Nodules of ruddle are
also said to |264| have occurred, interspersed with the charcoal in a
barrow at Broad Down, near Honiton.[1092]

In one of the ancient habitations in Holyhead,[1093] was a large stone
11 inches long, probably used for grinding hæmatite, with which it was
deeply tinged; and a small stone box found with celts and other relics
at Skara, Skaill, Orkney,[1094] contained a red pigment.

[Illustration: Fig. 180A.—Lamberton Moor.]

There can be little doubt of this red pigment having been in use for
what was considered a personal decoration by the early occupants of
Britain. But this use of red paint dates back to a far earlier period,
for pieces of hæmatite with the surface scraped, apparently by means of
flint-flakes, have been found in the French and Belgian caves of the
Reindeer Period, so that this red pigment appears to have been in all
ages a favourite with savage man. The practice of interring war-paint
with the dead is still observed among the North American Indians.[1095]

 “The paints that warriors love to use
   Place here within his hand,
 That he may shine with ruddy hues
   Amidst the spirit land.”

       *       *       *       *       *

Some few of the grinding-stones found in this country resemble those
of polygonal form found in Denmark,[1096] in so far as they are
symmetrically shaped and have been used on all their faces. One 13 1∕2
inches long, found on Lamberton Moor,[1097] Berwickshire, is shown in
Fig. 180A., kindly lent by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

In the Christy Collection is such a sharpening-stone, nearly square in
section, about 9 1∕4 inches long, and of the form shown in Fig. 181.
Both the faces and sides are worn slightly concave, as if from grinding
convex surfaces such as the edges of celts, though it is impossible to
say with any degree of certainty that this was really the purpose to
which it was applied. It is said to have been found near Barcoot, in
the parish of Dorchester, Oxon, in 1835, not far from a spot where a
|265| stone celt had been found a few years previously. In the same
collection is a Danish whetstone of precisely the same character, but
rather broader at one end than at the other.

[Illustration: Fig. 181.—Dorchester. 1∕2]

A grinding-stone, 26 inches long, was found at Ehenside Tarn,[1098]

[Illustration: Fig. 182.—Rudstone. 1∕1]

In Fig. 182 is shown, full size, a very curious object formed of
compact mica-schist, which has the appearance of having served as a
whetstone or hone. It has been ground over its whole surface. The
flatter face is towards the middle somewhat hollowed—rather more so
than is shown in the section—and shows some oblique scratches upon it
as if from rubbing a rather rough object upon it. It was found in 1870
by Canon Greenwell, with other relics accompanying an unburnt body in
a barrow at Rudstone, near Bridlington.[1099] About midway between the
head and the knees was a series of articles in this descending order.
On the top was this whetstone—if such it be—resting on a carved jet
ring, like Fig. 372, which lay on the boss of a large jet button. Below
this was another jet button, like Fig. 371, face downwards. Close by
lay a half-nodule of pyrites and a round-ended flint flake, which will
be subsequently noticed. Nearer the face was a dagger-knife of bronze,
with three rivets through it, and two more for fastening together
the two plates of ox-horn of which the hilt had been composed. The
whetstone may have been that used for sharpening this instrument.

An instrument of slate of nearly the same |266| form was found in a
cairn at Penbeacon,[1100] Dartmoor, and was regarded by Mr. Spence
Bate as a tool used in fashioning clay vessels. Dr. Thurnam[1101] has
suggested that if covered with leather these stones may have served as
bracers or arm-guards for archers.

Two pieces of a dark-coloured slaty kind of stone, of nearly the same
form and size as the Yorkshire specimen, and lying parallel with each
other, were found by Sir R. Colt Hoare[1102] at the feet of a skeleton,
together with a little rude drinking-cup, in a barrow near Winterbourn
Stoke. A stud and ring of jet, probably of the same character as those
from Rudstone, and a piece of flint rudely chipped, as if intended for
a dagger or spear, were also found. No bronze objects were discovered,
but the cist appears to have been imperfectly examined.

[Illustration: Fig. 183.—Fimber. 1∕2]

       *       *       *       *       *

I have already mentioned[1103] that in grinding and polishing the
concave faces of different forms of perforated stone axes, it is
probable that stone rubbers were used in conjunction with sand. Even
the smaller flat and rounded faces may have been wrought by similar
means. That rubbers of some kind must have been used, is, I think,
evident from the character of the surfaces, especially of those which
are hollowed; and the most readily available material for the formation
of such rubbers, was doubtless stone. There is therefore an _à priori_
probability of such stone grinding-tools having been in use; and if
we find specimens which present the conditions which such tools would
exhibit, we are almost justified in assuming them to have served such
purposes. Now in the collection of Messrs. Mortimer, of Driffield,
Yorkshire, are several pieces of flint and portions of pebbles of
schist, flint, and quartz found in that neighbourhood, which are ground
at one end into a more or less rounded form, and exhibit striæ running
along, and not across, the rounded surface. They have, in fact, all
the appearance of having been used with coarse sand for grinding a
concavity in another stone, such, for instance, as the concave face
of the stone axe shown in Fig. 125. I am indebted to their kindness
for the specimen shown in Fig. 183, which consists of a short piece of
a conical nodule of flint, the large end of which has been used for
grinding in ancient times, the striated face being now considerably
weathered. In the Greenwell Collection is a rubber of the same kind
from Weaverthorpe on the Yorkshire Wolds. Mr. H. S. Harland[1104] has
found other specimens in Yorkshire, of which he has kindly given me
several. Polishers[1105] are also found in Scotland. A polisher of
somewhat similar character, but made of serpentine, was found in the
|267| Lago di Varese, near Como, where a number of stone implements
were also discovered.

At a later period larger rubbers of the same kind were used to smooth
the flutings of Doric columns. I have seen some among the ruins of the
temples at Selinunto, in Sicily.

Some long narrow rubbers, apparently intended for grinding out
the shaft-holes of perforated axes, have been found in the Swiss
Lake-dwellings; and I have a slightly conical stone, about an inch in
diameter, from Mainz, which may have been used for the same purpose.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the barrow at Cowlam, already mentioned, besides the grinding-stones
of grit, there was a piece of flint roughly chipped into a cubical
form, and having one face partly ground smooth. It may have been used
for polishing the surfaces of other stone implements, or possibly
merely as a muller. It is shown in Fig. 184. The striæ run diagonally
of the square face.

In the collection formed by Canon Greenwell, is also a sandstone
pebble, 2 1∕2 inches in diameter, which has been “picked” into shape,
and has one face smooth as if used for grinding. It was found in a
barrow on Ganton Wold, East Riding. A roughly conical piece of oolitic
sandstone, 2 1∕2 inches high, in places “picked” on the surface, and
with the base apparently used for grinding, was found with a contracted
body and some flint flakes, in another barrow on Ganton Wold.[1106]

[Illustration: Fig. 184.—Cowlam. 1∕2]

[Illustration: Fig. 185.—Amesbury. 1∕2]

In the Wiltshire barrows several rubbing-stones (or what appear to be
such) of a peculiar form have been found, of which one is shown in Fig.
185. It is of close-grained grit, possibly from the Lower Greensand,
and was discovered with two others in a harrow on Normanton Down, near
Amesbury. Two more were in the collection of the late Rev. Edward
Duke, of Lake, near Salisbury, to whose kindness I am indebted for
the loan of the specimen. Both are now in the British Museum. These
instruments vary but little in shape, size, or character, being usually
of a truncated half-ovoid form, with a rounded groove along the flat
surface, and are formed of sandstone.

One was found in a barrow at Upton Lovel,[1107] with flint celts, a
perforated stone axe-head, various implements of bone, a bronze pin
or |268| awl, and other objects. Another occurred in a barrow at
Everley,[1108] with a bronze chisel, an unused whetstone of freestone,
and a hone of bluish colour; and another with a skeleton, a stone
hammer, a bronze celt, a bone tube, and various other articles in a
barrow at Wilsford.[1109] Two or three of these sharpening stones,
found in a barrow at Roundway, near Devizes, are in the Museum of the
Wilts Archæological Society. One of these has been figured.[1110]
A pebble with shallow grooves on each face found at Mount Caburn,
Lewes,[1111] may possibly belong to this class of implements, though
it may have been a hammer. A rubbing-stone of this kind was found at
Topcliffe,[1112] Yorkshire, but not in a barrow.

Sir R. C. Hoare considered whetstones of this kind to have been used
for sharpening and bringing to a point, pins and other implements of
bone, and they seem well adapted for such a purpose, and are still
so used by the Eskimos. They may also have served for smoothing the
shafts of arrows. Serpentine pebbles with a groove in them are used
for straightening arrow-shafts by the Indians of California,[1113] and
shaft rubbers of sandstone have been found in Pennsylvania.[1114]

The Rev. W. C. Lukis found a similar stone (4 1∕4 inches) in a barrow
in Brittany. It is now in the British Museum. Another from a dolmen
in Lozère[1115] has been thought to be for sharpening the points of
bone instruments. Stones of the same form have been found in Germany;
two from the cemetery near Monsheim[1116] are preserved in the Museum
at Mainz. They are rather more elongated than the English examples.
A specimen very like Fig. 185 has been found in Denmark.[1117] They
seem also to occur in Hungary.[1118] I have a grooved stone of this
kind from the Lago di Varese, Como, where the manufacture of flint
arrow-heads was carried on extensively. An object found with polished
stone instruments in the cave Casa da Moura, Portugal,[1119] not
improbably belongs to this class of grooved sharpening stones.

[Illustration: Fig. 186.—Hove. 1∕2]

From their association with bronze objects, they appear to belong to
the Bronze rather than to the Stone Period; and the same holds good
with the more ordinary form of whetstone, of which an example is given
in Fig. 186. The original was found in the tumulus at Hove,[1120]
near Brighton, which contained the stone axe-head already mentioned,
a beautiful amber cup, and a bronze dagger. Another, of compact
red sandstone, 3 3∕8 inches long, with the perforated end rounded,
was found in a barrow on Bow Hill,[1121] Sussex, and is now in the
British Museum. Another, 3 inches long, bluish grey in |269| colour,
was found with a bronze dagger and a stone axe-hammer in an urn at
Broughton[1122] in Craven, in 1675.

Two perforated whetstones were found with a bronze dagger and pin
in the Silk Hill Barrow,[1123] Wilts. Another, with the perforation
in a sort of loop at the end, was found with two daggers and a
crutched pin of bronze, associated with burnt bones in a barrow at
Normanton.[1124] Whetstones, in some cases not perforated, have
occurred in other Wiltshire barrows, associated with bronze daggers at
Wilsford[1125] and Lake,[1126] and with flint daggers or spear-heads
at Durrington.[1127] The smooth stone found with a flint dagger in a
barrow near Stonehenge,[1128] may also possibly have been a whetstone.
Two from barrows at Knowle,[1129] Dorset, and Camerton, Somerset, have
been figured by Dr. Thurnam. Another of the same kind was found in a
barrow at Tregaseal,[1130] St. Just, Cornwall, and two others with urns
at Brane Common,[1131] in the same neighbourhood. Others not perforated
are recorded from Cottenham,[1132] Cambs. One from Anglesea[1133] has
been figured.

Two of greenish stone (chlorite?) one 2 5∕8 inches long, perforated
at the end, were found at Drewton,[1134] near North Cave, Yorkshire;
and another of similar material, 2 inches long, was found near some
“Picts’ houses,”[1135] Shapinsay, Orkney. Half of a whetstone was
found with a bronze dagger and numerous flint flakes by Mr. Morgan in
a barrow at Penhow,[1136] Monmouthshire; and a much-used whetstone
was found in a barrow near Scarborough,[1137] but the form of neither
is specified. Several, both pierced and otherwise, have been recorded
from Scotland.[1138] One with the boring incomplete was found with a
flint knife in a cist at Stenton,[1139] East Lothian, and another,
perforated, with a thin bronze blade and an urn at Glenluce,[1140]
Wigtownshire. It appears possible that some of the stones found in
Scotland and perforated at one end, described by Wilson[1141] as
flail-stones, may after all be merely whetstones. The perforated
form is common in Ireland, and is usually found in connection with
metal objects.[1142] I have a narrow hone of rag-stone, perforated at
one end, which was found with a remarkable hoard of bronze objects,
including moulds for socketed celts and for a gouge, in the Isle of
Harty, Sheppey. An almost identical whetstone is in the Zurich Museum.

Whetstones, perforated at one end, have occurred in the Swiss
Lake-dwellings.[1143] Most of those found in the ancient cemetery
of Hallstatt,[1144] in the Salzkammergut, were perforated in the
same manner, and in |270| some cases provided with an iron loop for
suspension. They are usually of sandstone, and not formed from slaty

A whetstone, 5 1∕4 inches long, the two flat faces of which had
evidently been used for sharpening flat blades, while in the centre of
each is a deep groove, probably caused by sharpening pointed tools,
such as awls or needles of bronze, was found at Ty Mawr, Anglesea, near
a spot where a number of bronze celts, spear-heads, &c., had previously
been dug up. It has been figured by the late Hon. W. O. Stanley,[1145]
whose cut is here reproduced as Fig. 187. The ends of the stone are
somewhat battered from its having been also used as a hammer.

[Illustration: Fig. 187.—Ty Mawr.]

The same explorer discovered in hut-circles in Holyhead Island[1146]
other whetstones of the same character, in one instance with two
principal grooves and minor scorings crossing each other at an acute
angle, and in another with three parallel grooves in the face of the
stone. There can be little doubt that these sharpening stones belong to
a period when the use of metal for cutting and piercing instruments was
fully established.

       *       *       *       *       *

There are frequently found in Ireland and Scotland flat pebbles of
quartz and quartzite, sometimes ground on the edges or faces, or on
both, and having on each face an indentation running in a somewhat
oblique direction to the longer axis of the pebble. Specimens[1147]
have been figured by Sir William Wilde, who describes them as
sling-stones. The flat faces of some have all the appearance of
having been abraded by a pointed instrument. I have never met with
this form in England, but in the National Museum at Edinburgh is a
grooved pebble exactly like those found in Ireland, from the broch,
at Kintradwell,[1148] Sutherlandshire, and another from that at
Lingrow, Orkney. One from Borness,[1149] |271| Kirkcudbrightshire,
has been figured. Others have been found at Dunino,[1150] Fife, and
Dunnichen,[1151] Forfarshire. This latter has an oval hollow on one
face and a groove on the other.

This pebble variety is rarely found in Scandinavia, but another and
probably rather later form, in which the pebbles have been wrought
into a long shuttle-like shape, is abundant. Some of these are
provided with a groove along the sides, which would admit of a cord
being fastened round them, by which to suspend them from the girdle.
On one or both faces there is often a similar indentation to those
on the Irish specimens, on which, however, it is, as a rule, deeper
than on the Scandinavian. On the latter, the grooves have sometimes
more the appearance of having been produced by repeated slight
blows than by friction. Specimens are engraved by Worsaae[1152] and
Nilsson.[1153] The latter regards them as belonging to the Stone Age.
They occurred, however, with numerous objects of the early Iron Age at
Thorsbjerg,[1154] and have even been found with remains of both bronze
and iron bands around them, instead of any more perishable cord.

These grooved stones are not to be confounded with the ordinary form of
hammer-stone,[1155] but belong to a distinct category. They were, in
all probability, used as a means for obtaining fire, by striking them
with a pointed piece of iron. They constitute, in fact, the “flint”
part of a modification of the ordinary “flint and steel.”

Whetstones are, of course, commonly found with Roman domestic
antiquities; with Saxon, which are usually of a more purely sepulchral
character, they are rarely discovered. Canon Greenwell found, however,
two whetstones, one as much as 24 inches long, in graves of this
period, at Uncleby, Yorkshire.

In one of the German cemeteries on the Rhine, corresponding to ours of
Anglo-Saxon date, a small rubbing or sharpening stone, almost celt-like
in form, was found.[1156]

In Dutch Guiana[1157] a small form of grinding-stone of quartz,
apparently of the same age as the stone hatchets of that country, is
known as a thunderstone, and great medicinal powers are ascribed to it
by the natives. I must, however, return to the sharper forms of stone




The different forms of implements and weapons which have been treated
of in the preceding pages have, for the most part, been fashioned from
larger or smaller blocks of stone, reduced into shape by chipping; the
chips having apparently been mere waste products, while the block from
which they were struck was eventually converted into the tool or weapon
required. With the majority, though by no means all, of the Neolithic
forms which we still have to pass in review, the reverse holds good;
for the raw materials, if I may so term them, from which the bulk of
them were made, were flakes or splinters of flint struck off from
larger blocks, in such a manner that it was the splinters that were
utilized. The block from which they were struck, instead of being the
object of the manufacture, became, when all the available flakes had
been removed from it, mere refuse, to be thrown away as useless.

Before considering any of the various tools and weapons into which
these flakes or splinters were converted by subsequent or secondary
working, it will be well to say a few words about the simpler forms of
flakes, and the cores or _nuclei_ from which they were struck.

I have already, in speaking of the manufacture of stone implements,
described the manner in which flakes or spalls are, at the present day,
struck off by successive blows from the parent block or core, and have
suggested the probable methods employed in ancient times for producing
similar results. Remarks on the method of production of flint flakes
have also been made by Sir W. Wilde,[1158] Sir John Lubbock,[1159] Mr.
S. J. Mackie,[1160] Prof. T. McK. Hughes,[1161] and others. I need not,
therefore, re-open the subject, |273| though it will be well again to
call attention to some of the distinctive marks by which artificially
formed flakes may be distinguished from mere splinters of natural
origin. The formation of these latter is usually due either to the
flint, while still embedded in the chalk, having received some violent
shock from disturbance of the stratum; or to unequal expansion, which
sometimes causes flints to split up into rudely prismatic forms, much
like those assumed by starch in drying, and sometimes causes cracks
on the surface, which enable water and frost to complete the work
of splitting them. Occasionally, nearly flat planes of fissure are
caused by the expansion of some small included particle of a different
mineralogical character from the surrounding flint. In such cases
a series of concentric and more or less circular rings may usually
be traced on the surface surrounding the central particle, which
apparently mark the intervals of repose, when its expansion had ceased
for a time to exert sufficient force to continue the fissure. This kind
of fracture is most prevalent in flints upon or near the surface of the
ground, such as those in drift-deposits.

In hardly any instances of natural fracture does the surface of the
splinter show any trace of its having been produced by a blow, though
the violent impact of one stone upon another, by means of a fall from a
cliff, or of other natural causes, might produce a splinter of the same
form as if it had been struck off by a hammer. There would, however, be
the mark of the blow on one face only of such a splinter, whereas in a
perfectly artificial flake the traces of the blow by which each facet
was produced would be discernible. On the sea-shore, natural splinters
of flint, resulting from the blow of one wave-borne pebble on another,
may occasionally be found, some of them having a kind of secondary
working at the edges, the result of attrition among the pebbles on the

If a blow from a spherical-ended hammer be delivered at right angles
on a large flat surface of flint, the part struck is only a minute
portion of the surface, which may be represented by a circle of very
small diameter. If flint were malleable, instead of being slightly
elastic, a dent would be produced at the spot; but, being elastic, this
small circle is driven slightly inwards into the body of the flint, and
the result is that a circular fissure is produced between that part
of the flint which is condensed for the moment by the blow, and that
part which is left untouched. As each particle in the small circle on
which the hammer impinges may be considered to rest on more than one
other particle, it is |274| evident that the circular fissure, as it
descends into the body of the flint, will have a tendency to enlarge
in diameter, so that the piece of flint it includes will be of conical
form, the small circle struck by the hammer forming the slightly
truncated apex. That this is not mere theory will be seen from the
annexed woodcut, Fig. 188, showing a cone of flint produced by a single
blow of a hammer.[1162]

[Illustration: Fig. 188.—Artificial Cone of Flint.]

Sometimes, as has been shown by Prof. T. McK. Hughes, F.R.S., the sides
of the cone are in steps, the inclination varying from 30° to 110°.
This is probably to some extent due to the character of the blow, and
the form of the hammer.

If the blow be administered near the edge, instead of in the middle of
the surface of the block, a somewhat similar effect will be produced,
but the cone in that case will be imperfect, as a splinter of flint
will be struck off, the fissure probably running along the line of
least resistance; though, owing to the suddenness of the blow, the
conical character of fracture is at first produced at the point of
impact. This fracture will vary to some extent in accordance with the
angle at which the blow is given, and the character of the hammer; but
in all cases where a splinter of flint is struck off by a blow, there
will be a bulb or projection, of a more or less conical form, at the
end where the blow was administered, and a corresponding hollow in the
block from which it was dislodged. This projection is usually known as
the “bulb of percussion,” a term, I believe, first applied to it by the
late Dr. Hugh Falconer, F.R.S.; and on every flake, all the facets of
which are purely artificial, this bulb will be found at the butt-end
of the larger flat face, and the hollow depressions, or portions of
depressions, on all the other facets. If on a splinter of flint such a
bulb occurs, it proves that it must have resulted from a blow, in all
probability, but not of necessity, given by human agency; but where the
bulb is on the principal face, and analogous depressions, or portions
of them, are visible on the several other faces, and at the same end
of a flake, all of them presenting the same character, |275| and in a
definite arrangement, it is in the highest degree probable that such
a combination of blows must be the result of design, and the features
presented are almost as good a warrant for the human origin of the
flake as would be the maker’s name upon it. When, however, several of
such flakes are found together, each bearing these marks of being the
result of several successive blows, all conducing to form a symmetrical
knife-like flake,[1163] it becomes a certainty that they have been the
work of intelligent beings.

In size and proportions flakes vary considerably, the longest English
specimens that I have seen being as much as 8 or 9 inches long, while
some, which still appear to have been made use of as tools, are not
more than an inch in length. Their proportional breadth is almost as

With regard to the classification and nomenclature of these objects,
I would suggest that the name of flake should be limited to such
artificial splinters of flint as, either in their section or outline,
or in both, present a certain amount of symmetry, and appearance of
design; and that the ruder forms, such as would result from chipping
some large object into shape, without any regard to the form of the
parts removed, should be called chips or spalls.[1164] Such as show
no bulb of percussion may be termed splinters. The Scottish name for
flakes is “skelbs.”

The inner, or flat face of a flake, is that produced by the blow which
dislodged it from the parent block, core, or nucleus. The outer, ridged
or convex face comprises the other facets, or, in some instances, the
natural surface of the flint. The base, or butt-end of a flake, is that
at which the blows to form it were administered; the other end is the

Flakes may be subdivided into—

1. External, or those which have been struck off by a single blow
from the outer surface of a nodule of flint. Many of these are as
symmetrical as those resulting from a more complicated process of
manufacture, and they have frequently been utilized, especially for

2. Ridged flakes, or those presenting a triangular section. One face
of these sometimes presents the external crust of the flint, as in
Fig. 190. In others, the ridge has been formed by transverse |276|
chipping, as is the case with the long flakes from Pressigny (Fig. 6),
but this method appears to have been almost unknown in Britain.

3. Flat, where the external face is nearly parallel to the internal,
and the two edges are formed by narrow facets, as in Fig. 200.

4. Polygonal, where the external face consists of many facets, as in
Fig. 192.

These several varieties may be long or short, broad or narrow, straight
or curved, thick or thin, pointed or obtuse. The character of the base
may also vary, being rounded or flat, thick or thin, broad or narrow.

The cores from which flakes have been struck are, of course, of various
forms, some having had only one or two flakes removed from them,
and others several. In the latter case they are often more or less
regularly polygonal, though only few of the facets will be of the full
breadth of the flakes, as the external face of every successive flake
carries off some part of the traces of those previously struck off. Not
unfrequently some of the facets are arrested at a little distance from
the end where the blows were struck, in consequence of the flake having
broken short off, instead of the fissure continuing to the end of the
block. Occasionally, and more especially on the Yorkshire Wolds, the
nuclei are very small, and much resemble in character those found, with
numerous flakes, in India, in the neighbourhood of Jubbulpore.[1165]

It has been suggested[1166] that cores were occasionally made on
purpose for use as tools; but this appears very doubtful. Of course,
if a core were at hand, and seemed capable of serving some special
purpose, it would be utilized.

[Illustration: Fig. 189.—Weaverthorpe. 1∕1]

       *       *       *       *       *

The core here engraved of the full size in Fig. 189 was found by myself
at Weaverthorpe, Yorkshire. I have already suggested that in striking
off such small flakes as those removed from this core, some sort of
punch may have been used, instead of the blows being administered
directly by a hammer. We have no conclusive evidence as to the purpose
to which such minute flakes were applied, but they may have been
fashioned into drills or scraping or boring tools, of very diminutive
size. Such small objects are so liable to escape observation, that
though they may exist in considerable numbers, they are but rarely
found on the |277| surface of the ground. Numerous flakes, however,
quite as minute, with their edges showing evident signs of wear, are
present among the refuse left by the cave-dwellers of the Reindeer
Period of the South of France. As will subsequently be seen, these
minute flakes have been also found in Egypt and in Asia, as well as
in Britain. See Fig. 232 A to 232 F. There is a class of ancient
Scandinavian harpoon-heads, the stems of which are formed of bone with
small flint flakes cemented into a groove on either side so as to form
barbs. Knives of the same kind are subsequently mentioned.

Among the Australians[1167] we find very minute splinters of flint and
quartz secured to wooden handles by “black-boy” gum, and forming the
teeth of rude saws and the barbs of javelins. Some remarkably small
flakes have also been found in the diamond-diggings of South Africa in
company with fragments of ostrich-egg shell, such as with the aid of
the flakes might have been converted into the small perforated discs
still worn as ornaments by the Bushmen.

There are but few published notices of the discovery of English cores
of flint, though they are to be found in numbers over a considerable
tract of country, especially where flint abounds.

I have recorded their finding at Redhill,[1168] near Reigate, and
at Little Solsbury Hill,[1169] near Bath. I also possess numerous
specimens from Herts, Gloucestershire, Sussex, Bedfordshire, Suffolk,
and Yorkshire. In several instances two series of flakes have been
struck off, the one set at right angles to the other. More rarely the
flakes have been obtained from both ends of the block.

A core from the Fens[1170] is in the Museum of the Cambridge
Antiquarian Society, and several were found, with other worked flints,
in the chambered Long Barrow at West Kennet, Wiltshire.

Numerous specimens from Peter’s Finger, near Salisbury, and elsewhere,
are in the Blackmore Museum; and a number were found by General Pitt
Rivers in his researches at Cissbury, Sussex, and by Canon Greenwell
at Grime’s Graves.[1171] Mr. Joseph Stevens has described specimens
from St. Mary Bourne,[1172] Hants. They are recorded also as found with
flakes at Port St. Mary,[1173] Isle of Man.

A long bludgeon-shaped nodule of flint, from one end of which a
succession of flakes had been struck, was found in a grave, with a
contracted skeleton, in a barrow near Winterbourn Stoke,[1174] Wilts.

Illustrations of cores, and of the manner in which flakes have been
struck from them, have been given by various authors.[1175]

The existence of flakes involves the necessity of there having been
cores from which they were struck; and as silicious flakes occur in
almost all known countries, so also do cores. A series of French
_nuclei_ is |278| figured by Mortillet,[1176] and a fine example from
Olonetz,[1177] Russia, by Worsaae. They have also been found in the
Arabian desert.[1178] Those of large size and of regular polygonal form
are rare in Britain and Ireland, and, indeed, generally in Europe.
Some of the largest and most regular occur in Scandinavia. I have also
some good examples from Belgium. Many of the cores from Spiennes, near
Mons, were subsequently utilized as celts; and the same was the case to
some extent at Pressigny, the large cores from which have already been
described. The Mexican[1179] and East Indian[1180] forms, in obsidian
and cherty flint, have also been mentioned. They are unsurpassed for
symmetry and for the skill exhibited in removing flakes from them.

[Illustration: Fig. 190.—Newhaven. 1∕2]

[Illustration: Fig. 191.—Redhill. Reigate. 1∕2]

[Illustration: Fig. 192.—Icklingham. 1∕2]

[Illustration: Fig. 193.—Seaford. 1∕2]

It is worthy of remark that cores and flakes of obsidian, almost
identical in character with those from Mexico, but generally of
small size, have been found in Greece, principally in the island of
Melos.[1181] Specimens are in the Christy Collection, and I possess
several. Obsidian nuclei are also found in Hungary.

Simple flakes and splinters of flint have been found in considerable
numbers over almost the whole of Britain. Of the four here shown,
Fig. 190 was found near Newhaven, Sussex; Fig. 191 near Reigate,
Surrey; Fig. 192 near Icklingham, Suffolk; and Fig. 193 at Seaford,
Sussex. At each of these places they occur in great numbers on the
surface, and near Reigate some thousands were collected nearly forty
years ago by Mr. Shelley,[1182] of whose discoveries I have given an
account elsewhere. The counties in which they principally abound are
perhaps |279| Cornwall,[1183] Devonshire,[1184] Dorsetshire, Wilts,
Hants,[1185] Surrey,[1186] Oxfordshire,[1187] Sussex, Suffolk, Norfolk,
Derbyshire, Lancashire,[1188] and Yorkshire; but they may be said to be
ubiquitous. In some parts of Devonshire, and especially near Croyde,
they occur in great numbers, so great, indeed, as to have led Mr.
Whitley[1189] to suppose them to have been formed by natural causes
rather than by human agency. Far more rational accounts of them have
been given by Mr. Townshend M. Hall,[1190] Mr. H. S. Ellis,[1191] and
Mr. C. Spence Bate.[1192]

Flakes and splinters of flint frequently occur in and around ancient
encampments and settlements, as well as in association with interments
both by cremation and inhumation. Many of the immense number of
“spear-heads” collected by Mr. Bateman in his investigations were
of the simple flake form, and others were flakes with but slight
secondary working at the edges, such as will hereafter be noticed.
Many other instruments which he discovered were merely flakes, such
as the thick-backed cutting instrument of flint three inches long,
with a bronze dagger and two small balls of stone, in a barrow
containing a skeleton near Pickering,[1193] which would appear to
have been of this character. They occurred with burnt bones in
cinerary urns at Broughton,[1194] Lincolnshire, in one case with a
flat bronze arrow-head; at Summer Hill,[1195] near Canterbury; with a
flint arrow-head at Sittingbourne;[1196] with burnt bones and bronze
daggers in a barrow at Teddington,[1197] Middlesex; at Penhow,[1198]
Monmouth; and in the Gristhorpe Barrow,[1199] near Scarborough; with
burnt bones in a circle of stones near Llanaber,[1200] Merionethshire,
where no flint occurs naturally; with burnt bones in an urn beneath
a tumulus at Brynbugeilen,[1201] Llangollen; in a barrow near
Blackbury Castle,[1202] Devon; and in one on Dartmoor;[1203] and
at Hollingsclough and Upper Edge,[1204] Derbyshire. Flakes, not of
flint, but of a hard silicious grit, occurred in a cist with burnt
bones near Harlech;[1205] and of some other hard stone in a cist in
Merionethshire.[1206] Other instances have been cited by General Pitt
Rivers,[1207] who found several rough flakes and splinters of grit
and felspathic ash in cairns near Bangor, North Wales. Some of these
showed signs of rubbing and use on their edges; in some cases they had
the appearance of having been scraped by metal. Whether they were the
weapons and tools of the people buried in the cairns, or |280| merely
votive offerings, appeared to be somewhat doubtful. The urns associated
with them were such as might well belong to the Bronze Period.

Flint flakes are described as found in graves with contracted
interments at Amble,[1208] Northumberland; Driffield,[1209] Yorkshire;
Ballidon Moor,[1210] Derbyshire; Littleton Drew,[1211] and Winterbourn
Stoke,[1212] Wilts. Canon Greenwell[1213] has also found them in
great numbers with interments of different characters. They occurred
with extended burials at Oakley Park,[1214] near Cirencester. In some
of the long barrows they are especially numerous, upwards of three
hundred having been found by Dr. Thurnam at West Kennet,[1215] while
there were three only in that of Rodmarton,[1216] and two were found
at the base of the cairn in the chambered tumulus at Uley,[1217]
Gloucestershire. Another accompanied a skeleton in a long barrow near
Littleton Drew.[1218] Sir Richard Colt Hoare speaks of a great quantity
of chipped flints, prepared for arrows or lances, as having been found
in barrows on Long Street Down,[1219] and at Brigmilston, Wilts;[1220]
but, as a rule, he seems not to have taken much notice of such simple
forms. Others have been discovered with ashes at Helmingham,[1221]

It is, however, needless, to cite more instances of their occurrence
with interments belonging to the Stone and Bronze Ages, as the presence
of flakes and chippings of flint is in such cases the rule rather than
the exception.

In Scotland, where flint is a scarcer natural product, they are also
found. As instances, I may cite one found in an urn within a cist at
Tillicoultry,[1222] Clackmannanshire; and in a cist in Arran.[1223] In
some parts of Aberdeenshire[1224] and Banffshire they are numerous,
and in the Buchan district are associated with shell mounds, or
kjökken-möddings. They occur also in Lanarkshire and Elgin.[1225] In
Orkney[1226] they abound: as also at the Bin of Cullen,[1227] where
a manufactory of arrow-heads seems to have existed. In cists in
Roxburghshire[1228] were sepulchral urns and numerous flint flakes;
and in Argyllshire[1229] there were in a cist with a skeleton flint
flakes in such numbers as to form a heap from eighteen inches to two
feet in height. Some of white quartz have been found associated with
arrow-heads in Banffshire.[1230] Little heaps[1231] of six or eight
were found in each corner of a grave at Clashfarquhar, Aberdeen. They
abound on the sand-hills near Glenluce and on the Culbin Sands.

Of ancient encampments or settlements where flint flakes occur in
|281| numbers, I may mention Maiden Bower, near Dunstable; Pulpit
Wood, near Prince’s Risborough; Cissbury,[1232] Beltout Castle,
and other encampments in Sussex; Little Solsbury Hill, near Bath;
Castle Ring,[1233] Cannock Chase; Avebury,[1234] Wilts; and Callow
Hill,[1235] Oxfordshire. They have been found in wonderful abundance
on the surface in the counties already mentioned, and their occurrence
has been noticed near Bradford Abbas;[1236] near Folkestone;[1237]
at Possingworth Manor,[1238] Uckfield; near Hastings;[1239] at
Stonham[1240] and Icklingham, Suffolk; near Grime’s Graves,
Norfolk;[1241] at St. Mary Bourne,[1242] Hants; and in a turbary
at Heneglwys,[1243] Anglesea, an island in which no flint occurs
naturally. Two from Carno, Montgomeryshire, are engraved in the
_Archæologia Cambrensis_.[1244] They have also been found under a
submerged forest on the coast of West Somerset.[1245] I have seen a few
flakes made from Lower Tertiary conglomerate.

In districts where flint was an imported luxury, other stones, usually
containing a large proportion of silica, and when broken presenting a
conchoidal fracture, served, so far as the material allowed, the same
purposes as flint. Of this a few instances have already been given.
In some cases even laminated sandstones, shales, and slates seem to
have been utilized. Numerous relics of this kind, some so rude that
their purposes may appear doubtful, were found by the late Mr. S.
Laing,[1246] in Caithness. Large oval flakes, made from sandstone
pebbles, occurred in very great numbers in and around the ancient
dwelling at Skaill, Orkney. In form, however, these approximate more
nearly to the Pict’s knives, of which hereafter, than to ordinary
flakes. The method of their manufacture has been described by Mr.

A curious stone knife or dagger, found beside a stone cist in
Perthshire,[1248] is described as a natural formation of mica-schist,
the peculiar shape of which has suggested its adaptation as a rude but
efficient implement.

Some rude spear-heads of flint and greenstone are said to have been
found near Pytchley,[1249] Northamptonshire; and some of Kentish rag at
Maidstone.[1250] I have also seen them made of Oolitic flint.

Flakes of quartzite have been found, together with some of flint and
quartz and with polished celts, in some of the caverns inhabited during
the Neolithic Period in the Pyrenees of the Ariège,[1251] and also in
the Lake Settlement of Greug.[1252]

       *       *       *       *       *

When we consider how well adapted for cutting purposes were |282|
these simple flakes of flint, and how they constituted, as it were,
the raw material for so many of the more finished forms, such as
arrow-heads, of which the consumption in ancient times must have been
enormous; and when, moreover, we take into account that in producing a
well-formed flake many waste flakes and mere splinters must probably
have been struck off, and that in forming the large implements of flint
almost innumerable chips or spalls must have been made, their abundance
on the sites of ancient dwelling-places is by no means surprising,
especially as the material of which they are formed is almost

Such fragments of flint must have been among the daily necessities of
ancient savage life, and we can well understand the feeling which led
the survivors of the departed hunter to place in his grave not only
the finished weapons of the chase, but the material from which to form
them, as a provision for him in “the happy hunting grounds,” the only
entrance to which was through the gate of Death.

The occurrence of flint chips and potsherds in the soil of which
barrows are composed, may in some cases be merely the result of their
being made up of earth gathered from the surface of the ground, which
from previous occupation by man was bestrewn with such remains. It is,
however, often otherwise, especially when the flakes are in immediate
association with the interment. The practice of throwing a stone on
a cairn is no doubt a relic of an ancient custom.[1253] The “shards,
flint, and pebbles” which Ophelia should have had thrown on her in her
grave may, as has been suggested by Canon Greenwell,[1254] point to
a sacred Pagan custom remembered in Christian times, but then deemed
irreligious and unholy.

The presence of flint flakes in ancient graves is not, however,
limited to those of the so-called Stone and Bronze Periods, but they
occur with even more recent interments. For it seems probable that
the flint was in some cases buried as a fire-producing agent, and not
as the material for tools or weapons. In a cist at Lesmurdie,[1255]
Banffshire, apparently of early date, were some chips of flint which
appeared to the discoverer to have been originally accompanied by a
steel or piece of iron and tinder. The oxide of iron may, however,
have been merely the result of |283| the decomposition of a piece
of iron pyrites. At Worle Hill,[1256] Somersetshire, “flint flakes,
prepared for arrow-heads,” were found with iron spear-heads and
other objects, though it is very doubtful whether they were in true
association. In Saxon graves,[1257] however, small nests of chipped
flints are not unfrequent, and the same is the case with Merovingian
and Frankish interments, sometimes accompanied by the steels or
_briquets_,[1258] at other times without them. I have a wrought flint
of this class, curiously like a modern gun-flint, from an early
German grave near Wiesbaden. Occasionally flakes of other materials
than flint occur. Their presence in graves is regarded by M. Baudot
as due to a reminiscence of some ancient rite of sepulchre. In the
Anglo-Saxon burial-ground at Harnham Hill,[1259] near Salisbury, and
at Ozengal, steels were also found. Canon Greenwell found a steel, in
form much like those of modern date, in a Saxon grave at Uncleby in
the East Riding of Yorkshire. As has been pointed out by Mr. Akerman,
Scheffer[1260] informs us that so late as the seventeenth century, the
Lapps were buried with their axe, bow, and arrows, and a flint and
steel, to be used both in a life to come and in finding their way to
the scene of their future existence.

Flakes and rudely chipped pieces of flint are also of very common
occurrence on the sites of Roman occupation, as, for instance, at
Hardham,[1261] Sussex, where Prof. Boyd Dawkins found them associated
with Roman pottery. At Moel Fenlli,[1262] also, in the vale of Clwyd,
there occurred with Roman pottery some flint flakes which have been
figured as arrow-heads, and with them what is termed a stone knife,
but which is, however, more probably a whetstone used to sharpen those
of steel. I have myself noticed flint flakes at Regulbium (Reculver),
Verulamium (St. Alban’s), and on other Roman sites. Many of them were
no doubt used for producing fire, but the more finished flakes may
possibly have served as carpenters’ tools for scraping, in the same way
as fragments of glass are in use at the present day.

There is, however, another cause why rude splinters of flint |284|
should accompany Roman remains, especially in the case of villas
in country districts, for the _tribulum_, or threshing implement
employed both by the Romans and other ancient civilized nations,
was a “sharp threshing instrument having teeth,”[1263] in most
cases of flint. Varro[1264] thus describes the _tribulum_:—“Id fit
e tabulâ lapidibus aut ferro exasperatâ, quæ imposito auriga aut
pondere grandi trahitur jumentis junctis ut discutiat e spicâ grana.”
Another form of the instrument was called _traha_ or _trahea_. In the
East, in Northern Africa, Spain, Portugal, Madeira, Teneriffe, and
probably other parts of the world, threshing implements, which no
doubt closely resemble the original _tribula_, are still in use. The
name is still preserved in the Italian _trebbiatrice_, the Spanish
_trilla_, and the Portuguese _trilho_, but survives, metaphorically
alone, in our English _tribulation_. In Egypt their name is _nureg_,
and in Greece ἁλωνίιστρα, from ἁλωνία, a threshing-floor. Drawings of
various _tribula_ have been given by various travellers,[1265] and
the implements themselves from different countries may be seen in the
Christy Collection and in the Blackmore Museum. They are flat sledges
of wood, five to six feet in length, and two or three in breadth, the
under side pitted with a number of square or lozenge-shaped holes,
mortised a little distance into the wood, and having in each hole a
flake or splinter of stone. I have seen them in Spain mounted with
simple pebbles. In those from Madeira the stone is a volcanic rock,
but in that from Aleppo—preserved in the Christy Collection,[1266]
and shown in Fig. 194—each flake is of cherty flint and has been
artificially shaped. Occasionally there are a few projecting ribs or
runners of iron along part of the machine, but in most instances the
whole of the armature is of stone. As each _trilho_ is provided with
some hundreds of chipped stones, we can readily understand what a
number of rough flakes might be left in the soil at places where they
were long in use, in addition to the flakes and splinters which for
centuries have been used for striking a light.

[Illustration: Fig. 194—Tribulum from Aleppo.]

Flakes and splinters of silicious stone, whether flint, jasper, chert,
iron-stone, quartzite, or obsidian, are to be found in almost all
known countries, and belong to all ages. They are in fact |285| the
most catholic of all stone implements, and have been in use “semper,
ubique, et ab omnibus.” Whether we look in our old River-gravels of the
age of the mammoth, in our old cave-deposits, our ancient encampments,
or our modern gun-flint manufactories, |286| there is the inevitable
flake. And it is almost universally the same in other countries—in
Greenland or South Africa, on the field of Marathon or in the backwoods
of Australia, among the sands of Arabia[1267] or on the plains of
America,—wherever such flakes and splinters are sought for, they are
almost sure to be found, either in use among the savage occupants of
the country at the present day, or among civilized nations, left in the
soil as memorials of their more or less remote barbarian ancestors.

       *       *       *       *       *

Flint flakes are found in great abundance in Ireland, especially in
Ulster, where the raw material occurs in the chalk. At Toome Bridge,
on the shores of Lough Neagh, many thousands have been found, and
they occur in abundance in the valley of the Bann,[1268] and in
slightly raised beaches along the shores of Belfast Lough. They are
rarely more than 4 or 5 inches in length; and symmetrical, flat,
parallel flakes are extremely rare. Many pointed flakes have been
slightly trimmed[1269] at the butt-end, and converted into a sort of
lance-head without further preparation. Such flakes may have pointed
fishing-spears. They are occasionally formed of Lydian stone.

In Scandinavia, the art of flaking flint attained to great perfection,
and flat or ridged symmetrical flakes, as much as 6 inches long, and
not more than 3∕4-inch wide, are by no means uncommon. Occasionally
they are no less than 13 inches long.[1270] Two in the Museum at
Copenhagen[1271] (9 inches) fit the one on the other. The ridge is
sometimes formed by cross-chipping. The bulk of the flakes from the
kjökken-möddings are of a rude character, though very many show traces
of use.

In Germany, long flakes of flint are rare, but one about 6 1∕2 inches
long, found in Rhenish-Hesse, is engraved by Lindenschmit.[1272]

In some parts of France they are extremely plentiful, especially on and
around the sites of ancient flint _ateliers_. Some flakes, like those
produced at Pressigny, were of great length. One not less than 13 1∕4
inches long, and not more than 1 1∕2 inches broad at the butt, found at
Pauilhac, in the Valley of the Gers, has been figured in the _Revue de
Gascogne_.[1273] A flake from Gergovia, 9 inches long, is in the Museum
at Clermont Ferrand.

One 8 3∕4 inches long was found in the Camp de Catenoy[1274] (Oise).

Long flakes found in France have been engraved by numerous
authors,[1275] and some from Belgium by Le Hon.[1276]

Obsidian cores and flakes have been found in Lorraine,[1277] the
material having been brought from Auvergne. |287|

Flakes occur, but not so abundantly, in Spain and Portugal. A
fragment of a ridged flake of jasper, found in the cave of Albuñol in
Spain,[1278] is 1 1∕2 inches long. In one of the Genista Caves[1279] at
Gibraltar there was found one of the long flakes, but of which a part
had been broken off. Another was 6 1∕2 inches long and 5∕8 inch wide.
In Algarve,[1280] Portugal, they have been found up to 15 inches in
length; some of them are beautifully serrated at the edges.

In Italy they are by no means uncommon, sometimes of great length. One,
7 inches long, is figured by Nicolucci.[1281]

Among the Swiss Lake-dwellers considerable use was made of flint
flakes, not only as the material for arrow-heads, but for cutting
tools. So great was the abundance of flint left on the site of some of
their habitations, as at Nussdorf,[1282] that in after ages the spot
was resorted to for generations, in order to procure flints for use
with steel. It was by their being thus known as flint-producing spots
that some of the Lake-dwellings were discovered. A flake nearly 7
inches long, from peat, in the Canton de Vaud, has been engraved by De

A flake 9 inches long from Transcaucasia[1284] has been figured.

In Egypt[1285] flakes of flint have been found in considerable
numbers in certain localities, some of them associated with polished
stone hatchets; others are possibly of no extreme antiquity, though
undoubtedly of artificial origin, and not of merely natural formation,
as has been suggested by Lepsius.[1286] That distinguished antiquary
has, however, found a number of well-formed ridged and polygonal flakes
in Egypt, some of them in a grave which he has reason to assign to
about 2500 B.C.

A vast number of discoveries of flint flakes and other forms of worked
flints has, of late years, been made in Egypt. It will probably be
sufficient to indicate in a note[1287] some of the principal memoirs
relating to the subject. They are found also in the Libyan[1288]
desert. The discoveries at Helouan will be subsequently mentioned.

The presence of numerous flakes, scrapers and other forms of flint
instruments, has also been noticed in Algeria.[1289] They are for the
most part rude and small.

Flint flakes and tools are found on Mount Lebanon,[1290] and on the
Nablus[1291] road from Jerusalem there are mounds entirely composed of
flint chippings. |288|

[Illustration: Fig. 195.—Admiralty Islands.]

In Southern Africa,[1292] near Capetown and Grahamstown, flakes abound
on the surface of the ground, sometimes of chert or flint, but often of
basaltic rock. I have one from Grahamstown 8 inches in length.

Their occurrence in India has already been noticed. The flakes from
Jubbulpore[1293] are for the most part of small size, but some of those
removed from the cores found in the river Indus must have been at least
5 or 6 inches long.

In America, flint, or rather horn-stone flakes, are not uncommon,
though not so often noticed as the more finished forms. Some found in
the mounds of Ohio are of considerable length, one engraved by Squier
and Davis[1294] being 5 1∕2 inches long. Some of the Mexican flakes of
obsidian are fully 6 inches in length.

       *       *       *       *       *

In ancient times the Ichthyophagi are described by Diodorus[1295] as
using antelopes’ horns and stones broken to a sharp edge in their
fishing, “for necessity teaches everything.” Flakes are still in some
cases used without any secondary chipping or working into form.

We find, for instance, flakes of flint or obsidian, and even of glass,
almost in the condition in which they were struck from the parent
block, employed as lance and javelin-heads, among several savage
people, such as the natives of Australia,[1296] and of the Admiralty
Islands.[1297] One of those said to be in use among the latter people
is shown, half-size, in Fig. 195,[1298] and exhibits the method of
attachment to the shaft. The butt-end of the flake is let into a socket
in a short tapering piece of wood, into the other extremity of which
the end of the long |289| light shaft is inserted; both flake and
shaft are next secured by tying, and then the whole of the socket and
ligatures is covered up with a coating of resinous gum, occasionally
decorated with zigzag and other patterns. Some flakes are mounted as

Some of the long parallel flakes also appear to have been hafted.
One such, probably from Mexico, has been engraved by Aldrovandus as
a _culter lapideus_.[1299] A tool in use among the natives of Easter
Island[1300] consisted of a broad flake of obsidian, with a roughly
chipped tang which was inserted in a slit in the handle to which it was
bound, the binding being tightened by means of wooden wedges driven in
under the string.

To return, however, to the flakes of flint which were used in this
country for scraping or cutting purposes, at an early period, when
metal was either unknown or comparatively scarce. Each flake, when
dexterously made, has on either side a cutting edge, so sharp that it
almost might, like the obsidian flakes of Mexico, be used as a razor.
Some flakes indeed seem to have served as surgical instruments, as
the practice of trephining was known in the Stone Period. So long as
the edge is used merely for cutting soft substances it may remain for
some time comparatively uninjured, and even if slightly jagged its
cutting power is not impaired. If long in use, the sides of the blade
become rather polished by wear, and I have specimens, both English
and foreign, on which the polish thus produced can be observed. If
the flake has been used for scraping a surface, say, for instance, of
bone or wood, the edge will be found to wear away, by extremely minute
portions chipping off nearly at right angles to the scraping edge, and
with the lines of fracture running back from it. The coarseness of
these minute chips will vary in accordance with the amount of pressure
used, and the material scraped; but generally speaking, I think that
I am right in saying that they are more delicate and at a more obtuse
angle to the face, than the small chipping produced by the secondary
working of the edge of a flake, of which I shall presently speak. In
all cases where any considerable number of flakes of flint occur, such
as there appears to be good reason for attributing to a remote period,
a greater or less proportion of them will, on examination, be found to
bear these signs of wear upon them, extending over, at all events, some
portion of their edges. |290|

It is, however, difficult if not impossible, always to determine
whether the chipping away of the edge of a flake is merely the result
of use, or whether it is intentional. There can be no doubt that for
many purposes the acute edge of a flake, as originally formed, was too
delicate and brittle, and that it was therefore re-worked by subsequent
chipping, so as to make the angle more obtuse, and thus strengthen
the edge of the tool. It is curious to observe how rarely the edges
of flakes were sharpened by grinding. It was probably considered less
troublesome to form a new flake than to sharpen an old one; in the
same way as it is recorded that the Mexican barbers threw away their
obsidian flakes as soon as they were dull and made use of new ones.
Dr. E. B. Tylor, in the free translation of the passage in Torquemada
relating to these razors, appears, as has been pointed out by Messrs.
Daubrée and Roulin,[1301] to have fallen into a mistake in representing
them to have been sharpened on a hone, the original author having
merely said that the edge of the obsidian flakes was as keen as if they
had been forged in iron, ground on a stone, and finished on a hone.

       *       *       *       *       *

British flakes with ground edges are by no means common. One from
Yorkshire, in my own collection, is a thin, flat, external flake,
having both edges (which are parallel) ground from both faces to an
angle of about 60°. It has, unfortunately, been broken square across,
about 2 inches from the butt-end, and is 1 inch wide at the fracture.
Another, from Bridlington, is an ovate flat external flake, produced,
not by art, but by natural fracture, and having one side brought to a
sharp edge by grinding on both faces. With the exception of its being
partially chipped into shape at both ends, this grinding is all that
has been done to convert a mere splinter of flint into a serviceable
tool. It is an interesting example of the selection of a natural form,
where adapted for a particular purpose, in preference to making the
whole implement by hand. The small celt, Fig. 31, affords an analogous
instance. In the Greenwell Collection are also two or three very rude
flakes from the Yorkshire Wolds, which are ground at some portion of
their edges.

In a barrow on Seamer Moor, Yorkshire, the late Lord
Londesborough[1302] found, with other relics, a delicate knife made
from a flake of flint, 4 1∕4 inches long, and dexterously ground.
A trimmed flake, like Fig. 239, some small celts, and delicate
lozenge-shaped arrow-heads, like Fig. 276, were also present. The whole
are now in the British Museum.

A flake, from Charleston, in the East Riding, presented to me by Canon
Greenwell, is shown in Fig. 196. It is of thin triangular section,
slightly bowed longitudinally, having one edge, which appears to have
|291| been originally blunt, sharpened by secondary working. The other
edge has been sharpened to an angle of about 45° by grinding both on
the inner and outer faces of the flake. The point, which is irregular
in shape, is rounded over either by friction or by grinding. It seems
well adapted for use as a knife when held between the ball of the thumb
and the end of the first finger, without the intervention of any handle.

[Illustration: Fig. 196.—Charleston. 1∕2]

Another specimen, 4 inches long, ground to a sharp edge along one side,
was in the collection of the late Mr. J. W. Flower, F.G.S., and is now
in mine. It was found near Thetford.

Mr. Flower had also a flake from High Street, near Chislet, Kent, with
both edges completely blunted by grinding, perhaps in scraping stone.

I have two trimmed flakes with the edges carefully ground, from the
neighbourhood of Icklingham, Suffolk, and another ridged flake, 2 3∕8
inches long, pointed at one end and rounded at the other, one side of
which has been carefully ground at the edge. I found it in a field
of my own, in the parish of Abbot’s Langley, Herts. Canon Greenwell
obtained another 2 1∕2 inches long, ground on both edges, from
Mildenhall Fen.

I have seen a flake about 3 inches long, with the edge ground, that
had been found on the top of the cliffs at Bournemouth; and another,
from a barrow near Stonehenge, in the possession of the late Mr. Frank

A flat flake, with a semicircular end, and ground at the edges so as
to form “a beautiful thin ovoidal knife three and a half inches long,”
was found by Dr. Thurnam,[1303] with many other worked flints, in the
chambered long barrow at West Kennet, Wilts. Another, carefully ground
at one edge, was found by Sir R. Colt Hoare,[1304] at Everley.

An oval knife, about 2 inches long, ground at the edge and over a great
part of the convex face, found at Micheldean, Gloucestershire, is in
the museum at Truro.

A cutting instrument, with a very keen edge, nicely polished, is
recorded as having been found, with twenty other flint implements or
tools of various shapes, accompanying a skeleton, in a barrow near
Pickering.[1305] A so-called spear-head, neatly chipped and rubbed, was
found with burnt bones in another barrow near the same place.[1306]

A few flat flakes, ground at the edge, have been discovered
in Scotland. One 2 1∕2 inches long was found at Cromar,[1307]
Aberdeenshire; and a portion of another in a cairn in Caithness,[1308]
in company with a polished perforated hammer and other objects.

Irish flakes are rarely sharpened by grinding. I have, however, one of
Lydian stone,[1309] found in Lough Neagh, and ground to an edge at the

In form the Charleston flake, Fig. 196, much resembles some of the
Swiss flakes, which, from examples that have been found in the |292|
Lake-dwellings, are proved to have been mounted in handles. One of
these, from Nussdorf, in the Ueberlinger See,[1310] is in my own
collection, and is shown in Fig. 197. It is fastened into a yew-wood
handle by an apparently bituminous cement. The edge has been formed
by secondary chipping on the ridged face of the flake. I am unable to
say whether the edge of the flake still embedded in the wood is left
as originally produced or no, but several unmounted flakes from the
same locality have been re-chipped on both edges. In some instances,
however, only one edge is thus worked. In the case of many of the small
narrow flakes from the Dordogne caves, one edge is much worn away,
and the other as sharp as ever, as if it had been protected by being
inserted in a wooden handle.

[Illustration: Fig. 197.—Nussdorf. 1∕2]

From the hole in the handle, this form of instrument would appear
to have been carried attached to a string, like a sailor’s knife at
the present day—a similarity probably due to the somewhat analogous
conditions of life of the old Lake-dwellers to those of seamen. In some
French and Swiss flakes[1311] which seem to have been used in a similar
manner, the ends are squared, and a central notch worked in each,
apparently for the reception of a cord. In this case, a loop at the end
of the cord would answer the same purpose as the hole in the handle,
which with these flakes seem to have been needless. They are abundant
at Pressigny.

A pointed flake in the museum at Berne[1312] is hafted like a dagger,
in a wooden handle, which is bound round with a cord made from rushes.

Some of the Swiss handles are not bored, and occasionally they are
prolonged at one end to twice the length of the flint, so as to form
a handle like that of a table-knife, the flint flake, though let in
to a continuation of the handle, projecting and forming the blade. In
some cases there is a handle at each end, like those of a spoke-shave.
The handles are of yew, deal, and more rarely of stags’-horn; and the
implements, though usually termed saws, are not regularly serrated, and
may with equal propriety be termed knives.

The late Sir Edward Belcher showed me an Eskimo “flensing knife,” from
Icy Cape, hafted in much the same manner. The blade is an ovate piece
of slate about 5 inches long, and is let into a handle made of several
pieces of wood, extending along nearly half the circumference, and
secured together by resin. Other specimens of the same kind are in the
British Museum, and in the Ethnological Museum at Copenhagen. The stone
blades are more like the flat Picts’[1313] knives, |293| such as Fig.
263, than ordinary flint flakes. An iron blade, hafted in a closely
analogous manner by the Eskimos, is engraved by Nilsson.[1314]

As already mentioned, some of the Australian savages about King
George’s Sound make knives or saws on a somewhat similar plan; but
instead of one long flake they attach a number of small flakes in a row
in a matrix of hard resin at one end of a stick. Spears are formed in
the same manner.

In other cases, however, flakes are differently hafted. One such is
shown in Fig. 198, from an original in the Christy Collection. One
edge of this flake has been entirely removed by chipping so as to
form a thick, somewhat rounded back, not unlike that of an ordinary
knife-blade, though rather thicker in proportion to the width of the
blade. The butt-end has then had a portion of the hairy skin of some
animal bound over it with a cord, so as to give it a sort of haft, and
effectually protect the hand that held it. The material of the flake
appears to be horn-stone. Another knife of the same character, from
Queensland, is in the Museum of the Hartley Institution at Southampton.

[Illustration: Fig. 198.—Australia. 1∕2]

Another example, from the Murray River,[1315] but without the skin
handle, has been figured.

A friend in Queensland tried to procure one of these knives for me, but
what he obtained was a flake of glass made from a gin bottle, and the
wrapping was of calico instead of kangaroo-skin. Iron blades[1316] are
sometimes hafted in the same way with a piece of skin. Some Australian
jasper or flint knives,[1317] from Carandotta, are hafted with gum, and
provided with sheaths made of sedge. These gum-hafted knives are in use
on the Herbert River[1318] for certain surgical operations.

Some surface-chipped obsidian knives from California are hafted by
having a strip of otter skin wound round them, and Prof. Flinders
Petrie[1319] has found an Egyptian flint knife hafted with fibre lashed
round with a cord.

Occasionally flakes of quartz or other silicious stone were mounted at
the end of short handles by the Australians, so as to form a kind of
dagger or chisel. One such has been engraved by the Rev. J. G. |294|
Wood.[1320] Another is in the Museum of the Hartley Institution at

In the Berlin Museum[1321] is a curious knife, found, I believe,
in Prussia, which shows great skill in the adaptation of flint for
cutting purposes. It consists of a somewhat lanceolate piece of bone,
about 7 1∕4 inches long, and at the utmost 1∕2 inch wide, and 1∕4
inch thick. The section is approximately oval, but along one of the
narrow sides a groove has been worked, and in this are inserted a
series of segments of thin flakes of flint, so carefully chosen as
to be almost of one thickness, and so dexterously fitted together
that their edges constitute one continuous sharp blade, projecting
about three-sixteenths of an inch from the bone. In some examples
from Scandinavia the flint flakes are let in on both edges of the
blade.[1322] The flakes sometimes form barbs, as already mentioned.

The Mexican[1323] swords, formed of flakes of obsidian attached to a
blade of wood, were of somewhat the same character, and remains of what
appears to have been an analogous sword, armed with flint flakes, have
been found in one of the mounds of the Iroquois country.

Another use to which pointed flint flakes have occasionally been
applied is for the formation of fishing-hooks. Such a hook, the stem
formed of bone, and the returning point made of flint bound at an
acute angle to the end of the bone, has been engraved by Klemm.[1324]
It was found in a grave in Greenland. Fishhooks formed entirely of
flint, and found in Sweden, have been engraved by Nilsson,[1325] and
others, presumed to have been found in Holderness, by Mr. T. Wright,
F.S.A.[1326] These latter are, however, in all probability, forgeries.

       *       *       *       *       *

Besides the flakes which may be regarded as merely tools for cutting
or scraping, there are some which may with safety be reckoned as saws,
their edges having been intentionally and regularly serrated, though in
other respects they have been left entirely unaltered in form.

       *       *       *       *       *

A specimen, found in a pit which appeared to have been excavated by
the primitive inhabitants of the district, at Brighthampton, Oxon, has
been figured;[1327] and another oblong flint flake, with a regularly
serrated edge, but the teeth not so deep or well defined as in this
instance, was found by Dr. Thurnam in a chambered long barrow at West
Kennet, Wilts, with numerous flakes and “scrapers.”[1328]

Figs. 199 to 201 represent similar instruments in my own collection
from the Yorkshire Wolds. The largest has been serrated on both edges,
but has had the teeth much broken and worn away on the thinner edge.

[Illustration: Fig. 199.—Willerby Wold. 1∕1]

Fig. 200 is very minutely toothed on both edges, and has a line of
brilliant polish on each margin of its flat face, showing the friction
the saw had undergone in use, not improbably in sawing bone or horn.

[Illustration: Fig. 200.—Yorkshire Wolds. 1∕1]

Fig. 201 is more coarsely serrated, and shows less of this
characteristic polish, which is observable on a large proportion of
these flint saws. The teeth are on many so minute that without careful
examination they may be overlooked. Others, however, are coarsely
toothed. Canon Greenwell has found saws in considerable numbers,
and varying in the fineness of their serration, in the barrows on
the Yorkshire Wolds, near Sherburn and elsewhere. In the soil of
a single barrow at Rudstone there were no less than seventy-eight
of these saws. Some have been found by Mr. E. Tindall in barrows
near Bridlington,[1329] as well as on the surface. Some well-formed
flint saws have also been found near Whitby,[1330] and some of small
size at West Wickham,[1331] Kent. In the Greenwell Collection is a
finely-toothed saw, made from a curved flake, found at Kenny Hill,

Five flint saws, finely serrated, were found in a barrow at
Seaford,[1332] and another on St. Leonard’s Forest,[1333] Horsham. One
was also found in a barrow on Overton Hill,[1334] Wilts. Seven saws,
thirteen scrapers, and other worked flints were among the materials of
another barrow at Rudstone.[1335]

The teeth are usually but not universally worked in the side edges of
the flakes. In Fig. 202 it is the chisel-like broad end of a flake that
has been converted into a saw. This specimen was found by the late
Mr. J. W. Flower, F.G.S., in a barrow at West Cranmore, Somerset, in
company with numerous flint flakes and “scrapers.” A bronze dagger was
found in the same barrow.

Near Newhaven, Sussex, I found on the downs a flat flake, about 2 1∕2
inches long, and slightly curved sideways towards the point. At this
part the inner curve is neatly worked into a saw, and the outer curve
carefully chipped into a rounded edge as a scraping tool.

A flint knife serrated at the back to serve as a saw was found by Mr.
Bateman in Liff’s Low, near Biggin.[1336]

In Scotland several saws have been procured from the Culbin
Sands,[1337] |296| and near Glenluce.[1338] They are also recorded
from Forglen,[1339] near Banff, and Craigsfordmains,[1340]

In Ireland, flakes converted into saws are scarce; they occur
occasionally, though but rarely, with neolithic interments in France.
In the Museum at le Puy is a very good specimen of a flat flake, neatly
serrated with small teeth, found with a skeleton near that town.
Another, found in a dolmen in Poitou,[1341] has been published by M.
de Longuemar. Mortillet[1342] includes several forms under the general
denomination of _scies_.

[Illustration: Fig. 201.—Scamridge. 1∕1]

[Illustration: Fig. 202.—West Cranmore. 1∕1]

Similar saws to those first described, and made from flakes more or
less coarsely toothed, have been found in the cave-deposits of the
Reindeer Period of the South of France, but in some caves, as, for
instance, that at Bruniquel explored by M. V. Brun, they were much more
abundant than in others. In the Vicomte de Lastic’s cave at the same
place but few occurred, and in most of the caves of the Dordogne they
appear to be absent. An irregularly-notched flake was probably almost
as efficient a saw as one more carefully and uniformly toothed.

Flakes of flint, carefully serrated at the edge, have been found in
the Danish kjökken-möddings[1343]; in Posen,[1344] Prussia; and with
relics of the Early Bronze Period in Spain.[1345] One is recorded from
the Algerian Sahara.[1346] It has been suggested that some serrated
flints were potters’ tools, by which parallel mouldings were produced
on vessels.[1347]

Among the more highly finished Scandinavian stone implements there
is some difficulty in determining exactly which have served the
purpose of saws. The flat, straight tapering instrument, with serrated
edges, which, from its many teeth at regular distances from each
other, Nilsson[1348] is disposed to think has probably been a saw,
Worsaae[1349] |297| regards as a lance-point. I am inclined to think
that they were not saws, for on such specimens as I have examined
minutely I find no trace of the teeth being polished by use. They
cannot, however, in all cases have been lance-heads, as I have one of
those serrated instruments, 8 1∕4 inches long, with the sides nearly
parallel and both ends square.

Some of the crescent-shaped[1350] blades have almost similar teeth
on the straighter edge, and some of these are polished on both faces
as if by being worked backwards and forwards in a groove, and have
no polish between the teeth, such as would result from their being
used crossways like combs. From this I infer that such specimens at
all events have been used for cutting purposes, and not, as may have
been the case with others, as instruments[1351] for dressing skins,
or heckling flax or hemp. As has been pointed out by Professor J. J.
Steenstrup, many of these crescent-shaped blades seem to have had
their convex edges inserted in wooden handles, which would render them
convenient for use as saws. Their action on wood, though not rapid,
is effectual, and with the aid of a little water I have with one of
them cut through a stick of dry sycamore seven-eighths of an inch in
diameter in seven minutes. In Thomsen’s[1352] opinion, these implements
with teeth were intended for saws. Nilsson[1353] also regards some of
them in the same light. The form seems to be confined to the North of
Germany and Scandinavia.[1354] They are frequently found in pairs, one
being smaller than the other. Mr. T. Wright,[1355] after engraving one
of these Danish saws as a British specimen, remarks that several have
been found in different parts of England. I believe this statement
to be entirely without foundation, so far as this particular form is

I have left what I originally wrote upon this subject with very little
modification, but Prof. Flinders Petrie’s[1356] discoveries have
thrown a flood of light upon the purposes for which serrated flints
were used. We now know that the Egyptian sickle was formed of a curved
piece of wood in shape much like the jaw-bone of a horse, armed along
the inner edge with a series of serrated flint flakes, cemented into
a groove. Not only are there numerous pictorial representations of
such instruments going back so far as the 4th dynasty, but the sickles
themselves have been found in a complete state, as well as numbers of
the serrated flakes that formed their edge. Similar flakes, which no
doubt served the same purpose, were found by Schliemann on the site of
Troy.[1357] Others have been found at Helouan.[1358] The whole subject
has been treated exhaustively by Mr. Spurrell,[1359] to whose paper the
reader is referred.[1360] Dr. Munro is, however, inclined to regard
most European examples as saws.

I now pass on to an instrument of very frequent occurrence in Britain.




One of the simple forms into which flakes are susceptible of being
readily converted has, in consequence of its similarity in character to
a stone implement in use among the Eskimos for scraping skins and other
purposes, received the name of a “scraper,” or to use the term first
I believe employed by the late M. E. Lartet, a _grattoir_. A typical
scraper may be defined as a broad flake, the end of which has been
chipped to a semicircular bevelled edge round the margin of the inner
face, similar in character to that of a “round-nosed turning chisel.”

[Illustration: Fig. 203.—Eskimo Scraper.]

A very good specimen of an Eskimo scraper of flint, mounted in a handle
of fossil ivory, is in the Christy Collection, and has been engraved
for the “Reliquiæ Aquitanicæ.”[1361] For the loan of the woodcut,
Fig. 203, there given, I am indebted to the |299| representatives of
the late Mr. Christy. Sometimes the hafts are of wood, and they have
frequently indentations intended to receive the ends of the fingers
and thumb, so as to secure a good grasp. In the collection of Sir John
Lubbock is another specimen much like Fig. 203, with a flint blade
almost like a lance-head in character, but with the more pointed end
inserted in the handle; there is also another short straight-sided
blade of jade bound in a wooden haft, which is notched along one side
to receive the fingers, and recessed on the face for the thumb. This
latter seems well adapted for use as a knife or chisel; in fact, Sir
John Lubbock, who has figured the instruments in his “Prehistoric
Times,”[1362] terms them both knives. Another example has been engraved
by the Rev. J. G. Wood.[1363]

These instruments are said to be used for scraping skins,[1364] for
which indeed they seem well suited, if the flat face of the stone
be held vertically to the hide that is to be scraped. The handles,
however, are better adapted for pushing the scrapers forward on a flat
surface, and judging from the wear upon them they must have been so
used. The late Sir Edward Belcher[1365] has described them as Eskimo
planes, for the manufacture of bows and other articles of wood, but in
this respect he may have been mistaken.

The scrapers in use among the Fuegians[1366] are drawn towards the
operator and not pushed. Some North American varieties are mounted
after the manner of adzes.[1367] Mr. Otis T. Mason in his Paper “on
Aboriginal skin-dressing” has exhaustively treated the subject.

A form of Skin-scraper, straight at the edge, was in use among the
Pennacook tribe[1368] of North America, and though some of the Eskimo
instruments may have been used as planes, no doubt many were employed
in dressing hides. A peculiar form in use among the Gallas[1369] of
Southern Shoa has been figured by Giglioli,[1370] who has also recorded
the fact that flat scrapers of stone are still in use in Italy and
France for dressing hides.

Whether the instruments were used vertically as scrapers, or
horizontally as planes, the term “scrapers” seems almost equally |300|
applicable to them; and there appears no valid reason why, for the sake
of convenience, the same term should not be extended to their ancient
analogues, especially as their edges, as will subsequently be seen, are
in many cases worn away in a manner indicative of their having been
used for scraping.

       *       *       *       *       *

The names of “thumb-flints” and “finger-flints” which have sometimes
been applied to the shorter and longer varieties of these instruments,
though colloquially convenient, appear to me not sufficiently definite
in meaning to be worthy of being retained.

Scrapers may be classified and described—firstly, in accordance with
the character of the flakes from which they have been made; and,
secondly, in accordance with the outline of the portion of the margin
which has been chipped into form, and the general contour of the

[Illustration: Fig. 204.—Weaverthorpe.]

Their outline is in some cases horseshoe-shaped or kite-shaped, in
others it is discoidal or nearly circular, and in others again it may
be compared with that of a duck’s bill or of an oyster-shell. To these
may be added side-scrapers, or such as are broader than they are long,
and the hollow scrapers with a rounded notch in them instead of a
semicircular end.

When the flakes have been chipped into the scraper form at both ends
they may be termed double-ended scrapers—to which class circular
scrapers also belong; where a sort of handle has been worked they may
be termed spoon-shaped, and where the butt has been chipped to a sharp
chisel-edge, at right angles to the flat face, they have been called
tanged scrapers.

In speaking of the sides as right or left, I do it with reference to
the flat face of the scraper, as shown in the first of the three views
of Fig. 204.

It will be well to pass some of the forms in review before entering
into any more general considerations.

The figures are all of full size, Fig. 204, from Weaverthorpe, on the
Yorkshire Wolds, is a good example of a symmetrical horseshoe-shaped
scraper. It is made from a broad flat flake, of rather pink |301|
flint, with the point chipped to a neat semicircular bevelled edge,
and one of the sides trimmed so as to correspond with the other. The
bulb of percussion visible on the flat face and side views has been
slightly splintered by the blow. It gives a graceful ogee curve to the
face longitudinally, which brings forward the scraping or cutting edge
at the end. In the centre this is slightly rounded and worn away by use.

I have other specimens almost identical in form from other parts of
the Yorkshire Wolds, from Suffolk, Sussex, and Dorsetshire. They are
abundantly found of smaller dimensions, and occasionally of larger,
sometimes as much as 2 1∕2 inches in diameter.

[Illustration: Fig. 205.—Sussex Downs.]

Fig. 205 shows another horseshoe-shaped scraper, which has become
white and grey by exposure. I picked it up on the Downs near Berling
Gap, on the Sussex coast, a few miles west of Eastbourne; a district
so prolific, that I have there found as many as twenty of these
instruments, of various degrees of perfection, within an hour. In
this case the scraper has been made from a broad ridged flake, and it
will be observed that not only the end but one of the sides has been
carefully trimmed, while the other has been left untouched, and has,
moreover, a flat facet on it, as shown in the side view. It would
appear from this that probably the side as well as the end was used
for scraping purposes, that whoever used it was right-handed and not
left-handed, and, moreover, that it is doubtful whether the implement
was ever inserted in a handle, at all events at the butt-end. I have a
nearly similar specimen, but trimmed at the end only, which I found in
the _vallum_ of the camp of Poundbury, near Dorchester, Dorset. I have
smaller instruments of the same form which I have found on the surface
of the ground at Abbot’s Langley, Herts; at Oundle, Northamptonshire;
and in the ancient encampment of Maiden Bower, near Dunstable. Large
scrapers are abundant in some parts of Suffolk.

The form is of common occurrence in Yorkshire, in all sizes from 2 1∕2
inches to one inch in length. To show the great range in size, and
|302| the variations in the relative thickness of the instruments, I
have engraved, in Fig. 206, a small specimen from the Yorkshire Wolds.

[Illustration: Fig. 206.—Yorkshire.]

[Illustration: Fig. 207—Helperthorpe.]

When the chipping to an edge is continued beyond a semicircle, in the
case of scrapers made from broad short flakes, an almost circular
instrument is the result. These discoidal scrapers are of extremely
common occurrence on the Yorkshire Wolds. Fig. 207 shows a specimen
from Helperthorpe.

They are not unfrequently formed from external flakes or splinters, and
are sometimes made from fragments broken from long flakes, inasmuch as
there is no bulb of percussion on the flat face. In rare cases the flat
face is the result of a natural fracture, and, more rarely still, it is
the external face of a flint nodule.

[Illustration: Fig. 208.—Weaverthorpe.]

When the instrument is broader than it is long, it has been termed a
side scraper. One in what is now white flint, made from a portion of
a flake, and showing no bulb on the flat face, is engraved in Fig.
208. It was found at Weaverthorpe. Occasionally the arc is flatter and
longer in proportion to the height than in this instance.

Fig. 209 may be called a long horseshoe-shaped scraper. It has been
made from a thick flat flake, which there had evidently been |303|
some difficulty in shaping, as at least two blows had failed of their
desired effect before the flake was finally dislodged. The back of the
scraper is disfigured by the marks of the abortive flakes produced by
these two blows. The end, and part of the right side are neatly trimmed
into form. This specimen also I found on the Sussex Downs, near Berling

[Illustration: Fig. 209.—Sussex Downs.]

[Illustration: Fig. 210.—Yorkshire.]

[Illustration: Fig. 211.—Yorkshire Wolds.]

The implements of this form are often neatly chipped along both sides
as well as at the end. An example of the kind is given in Fig. 210, the
original of which is in milky chalcedonic flint, and was found on the
Yorkshire Wolds.

Fig. 211 shows another specimen from the Yorkshire Wolds. It is |304|
made from a flat flake, considerably curved longitudinally, and
trimmed at the end as well as along a small portion of the left side.
Some are more oval in form, and have been chipped along the sides, and
somewhat rounded at the butt. In several instances the chipped edge at
the butt-end is slightly worn away by friction, the edge of the rounded
end being unworn.

[Illustration: Fig. 212.—Yorkshire Wolds.]

[Illustration: Fig. 213.—Sussex Downs.]

Fig. 212 gives a kite-shaped scraper from Yorkshire, also made from a
flat flake, but showing a considerable extent of the original crust
of the flint of which it was made. It comes almost to a point at the
butt-end, and both edges are somewhat chipped away as if the instrument
had at that end been used as a boring tool. The point is somewhat
rounded by friction. Occasionally, scrapers of this form are chipped
on both faces at the pointed base, so as to make them closely resemble
arrow-heads. It seems possible that this pointing was for the purpose
of hafting the tool more readily in wood.

Fig. 213 shows one of what may be termed the duck-bill scrapers. It
is made from a flat flake as usual, somewhat curved, and showing all
along one side the original crust of the flint. It is neatly worked
to a semicircular edge at the end, but the sides are left entirely
untouched. I found it on the Sussex Downs, near Cuckmare Haven.

[Illustration: Fig. 214.—Yorkshire Wolds.]

A smaller analogous instrument, from the Yorkshire Wolds, is shown in
Fig. 214. It is made from an external flake, struck from a nodule of
flint of small diameter. The end alone is trimmed. Scrapers made from
such external flakes and splinters of flint are by no means uncommon.
I have one which appears to have been made |305| from a splinter of a
hammer-stone—a portion of the surface being bruised all over.

In Fig. 215 is shown another duck-bill scraper, with parallel sides,
found by myself on the Sussex Downs, near Berling Gap. It is a thick
instrument, with both sides and end trimmed into form, the flake
from which it is made having in all probability been originally much
broader, and more circular. The bulb of percussion is not in the middle
of the butt, but within three-eighths of an inch of the left side.

[Illustration: Fig. 215.—Sussex Downs.]

Another form of these instruments is not unlike the flat valve of an
oyster shell, being usually somewhat unsymmetrical either to the right
or to the left. A specimen of this class from the Downs, near Berling
Gap, is shown in Fig. 216. The end is neatly chipped to an almost
elliptical sweep, but the sides in this instance are left untrimmed;
the right side shown in the side view being flat and almost square with
the face. In some instances the trimming of the sides extends all the
way round to the butt.

Occasionally, though rarely, one of the sides, either right or left, is
trimmed in such a manner that its more or less straight edge meets the
curved edge of the end at an angle, so as to form an obtuse point. An
example of this kind is shown in Fig. 217, from the Downs, near Berling
Gap. This instrument is made from an external splinter of flint, the
edge at the end and front of one side alone being carefully chipped
into shape. It approaches in form to the _grattoir-bec_[1371] of French

In most scrapers the bulb of percussion of the flake from which they
have been made is, as has already been said, at the opposite end to
that which has been trimmed to form the curved edge; but this is by no
means universally the case, for sometimes the bulb is at the side of
the scraper, and sometimes, though more rarely, it has been at the end
which has been worked to the scraper edge.

[Illustration: Fig. 216.—Sussex Downs.]

[Illustration: Fig. 217.—Sussex Downs.]

It seems needless to engrave examples of these varieties, which are
|306| only indicative of the manufacturers of the implements having
made use of that part of the piece of flint which seemed best adapted
to be chipped into the form they required. For the same reason we find
scrapers of an endless variety of forms, some of them exceedingly
irregular, as any one who has examined a series from the Yorkshire
Wolds will know. I have not, however, thought it necessary to give
|307| representations of all these minor varieties, as even more than
enough are engraved to show the general character of the instruments.
It is perhaps worth mentioning, that the flakes selected for conversion
into scrapers are usually such as expand in width at the point. It
is doubtful whether the long narrow flakes worked to a scraper-like
termination at one or both ends properly come under the category of
scrapers. I shall consequently treat of them under the head of wrought

[Illustration: Fig. 218.—Bridlington.]

[Illustration: Fig. 219.—Bridlington.]

I must now pass on to the consideration of the forms showing a greater
extent of trimming at the edge than those hitherto described. Of these
the double-ended scrapers, or those presenting a semicircular edge
at either end, first demand notice. They are of by no means common
occurrence. Those I have seen have been for the most part found in
Yorkshire and Suffolk. Fig. 218 exhibits a specimen from Bridlington.
As is not unfrequently the case, it is rather thinner at the end
nearest to what was the butt-end of the flake. The sides are left
almost untrimmed, but each end is worked to a nearly semicircular
curve. In the Greenwell Collection is a specimen from one of the
barrows at Rudstone; as well as a large one from Lakenheath, and others
from Suffolk. Occasionally the length and breadth are so nearly the
same, that the scraper assumes the form of a disc, with sharp edges—a
kind of plano-convex lens. A specimen of this form from Bridlington
is shown in Fig. 219. It is, however, exceptionally regular in form.
I have another smaller specimen, not quite so circular or so well
chipped, which I found on the Downs between Newhaven and Brighton, and
I have others from Suffolk. Such a form was probably not intended for
insertion in a haft.

[Illustration: Fig. 220.—Yorkshire Wolds.]

Sometimes, where the scraper has been made from a flat flake, the
trimmed edge curves slightly inwards at one part, so as to produce a
sort of ear-shaped form. I have such, both with the inward curve on the
left side, as shown in Fig. 220, and also with it on the right side.

A deeply-notched tool, to which the name of hollow scraper has been
applied, will be subsequently mentioned.[1372] |308|

There are some scrapers which at the butt-end of the flake are chipped
into what has the appearance of being a kind of handle, somewhat like
that of a short spoon. That engraved in Fig. 221 is from the Yorkshire
Wolds, and is in the collection of Messrs. Mortimer, of Driffield. It
is chipped from both faces to an edge at each side in the handle-like
part. I have an implement of the same character, found at Sewerby, the
handle of which is slighter but less symmetrical. I have from the same
district another large discoidal scraper, 1 3∕4 inches in diameter,
and chipped all round, with a rounded projection, about 3∕4 of an inch
wide, left at the thicker end of the flake.

The Greenwell Collection contains specimens of the same character as
Fig. 221, found near Rudstone.

A nearly similar implement, in the Museum of the Royal Irish Academy,
has been engraved by Sir W. Wilde.[1373]

Some of the large Danish scrapers are provided with a sort of handle,
and have been termed by Worsaae[1374] “skee-formet,” or spoon-shaped.

[Illustration: Fig. 221.—Yorkshire Wolds.]

It will be well now to refer to some of the published notices of the
discovery of these implements, which seem to have met with little
attention from antiquaries until within the last forty years. There is,
however, in the British Museum a fine horseshoe-shaped scraper, which
was found long ago by the late Dr. Mantell, in company with broken urns
and ashes, in a barrow on Windore Hill, near Alfriston. In the same
collection are four or five others of various sizes from barrows on
Lambourn Downs, Berks, as well as those from the Greenwell Collection.
Sir R. Colt Hoare has recorded the discovery of what appear to be two
discoidal scrapers, with a flint spear-head or dagger, a small hone or
whetstone, and a cone and ring of jet, like a pulley, accompanying an
interment, near Durrington Walls.[1375] He terms them little buttons
of chalk or marl; but from the engraving it would seem that they were
scrapers—probably of flint, much weathered, or altered in structure.
It seems likely that many more may have escaped his notice, as they
are of common occurrence in the tumuli in Wiltshire, as well as in the
other parts of Britain. They are also recorded |309| from Morgan’s
Hill[1376] and Winterbourn Stoke. The late Dean Merewether[1377] found
several in barrows on Avebury Down, together with numerous flint flakes.

Some were found with burnt bodies in barrows at Cockmarsh,[1378] Berks,
and others in a barrow at Great Shefford.[1379]

They occurred in barrows at Seaford,[1380] Sussex, and Lichfield,[1381]
Hants, as well as in Devonshire[1382] barrows.

Ten or twelve were also found by Dr. Thurnam in the chambered Long
Barrow, at West Kennet,[1383] with about three hundred flint flakes.
There was no trace of metal, nor of cremation in this barrow.

A neat scraper was found in a hut-circle on Carn Brê,[1384] Cornwall.

In the Yorkshire barrows they abound in company both with burnt and
unburnt bodies,[1385] without any metal being present. Canon Greenwell
has in some cases found them with the edge worn smooth by use.

Mr. Bateman found many in Derbyshire barrows, as, for instance, at
the head of a contracted skeleton on Cronkstone Hill,[1386] and with
another contracted skeleton with two sets of Kimmeridge coal beads, at
Cow Low, Buxton,[1387] and with four skeletons in a cist, in a barrow
near Monsal Dale.[1388]

They not unfrequently occur with interments in association with bronze
weapons. In a barrow on Parwich Moor, Staffordshire,[1389] called
Shuttlestone, Mr. Bateman found a skeleton, with a bronze dagger at the
left arm, and a plain flat bronze celt at the left thigh, and close to
the head a jet bead and a “circular flint.” As before stated, the late
Mr. J. W. Flower, obtained three, and a bronze dagger, from the same
barrow as the saw engraved at p. 266. They were also found with bronze
in barrows in Rushmore Park.[1390]

They are frequently to be seen on the surface of the ground. One
such, found by the late Mr. C. Wykeham Martin, F.S.A., at Leeds
Castle, Kent,[1391] has been figured. Others from the neighbourhood
of Hastings,[1392] the Isle of Thanet,[1393] and Bradford Abbas,
Dorset,[1394] have also been engraved. Many of those from Bradford
are said to have a notch on the left side, but I am doubtful whether
it is intentional. Gen. Pitt Rivers has found them at Callow Hill,
Oxon,[1395] and at Rotherley. They are also recorded from Holyhead
Island,[1396] Anglesea,[1397] |310| Tunbridge,[1398] Milton,[1399]
and West Wickham,[1400] Kent; Stoke Newington,[1401] Middlesex; and
Walton-on-the-Naze,[1402] Essex.

I have found them in considerable numbers in and near ancient
encampments. At Maiden Bower, near Dunstable, a party of three or four
have on more than one occasion picked up upwards of forty specimens.
I have examples from Hod Hill, Badbury Rings, and Poundbury Camp,
Dorsetshire; from Little Solsbury Hill, Bath; Pulpit Wood, near
Wendover, Bucks, and several localities in Suffolk, Cambs, and other
counties. Some are very thick, though quite symmetrical in outline.
On the Yorkshire Wolds, the Sussex Downs,[1403] and in parts of Wilts
and Suffolk, they are extremely numerous; but in any chalk country
where flint is abundant, this form of implement can be found. In other
districts, into which flint has to be imported, they are of course more
scarce. They seem, however, to occur in greater or less abundance over
the whole of England.

They are very numerous in Scotland, and extensive collections of them
from Elgin, Wigtown, and other counties are to be seen in the National
Museum at Edinburgh.

Specimens from a crannog in Ayrshire,[1404] Urquhart, Elgin,[1405] and
Gullane Links,[1406] Haddingtonshire, have been published.

They are found of nearly similar forms in Ireland, but are there rarer
than in England, though fairly numerous in Antrim.[1407]

In France the same form of instrument occurs, and I have a number of
specimens from different parts of Belgium.

A spoon-shaped scraper from Neverstorff,[1408] Schleswig Holstein, is
figured. They are likewise found in South Russia.[1409]

In Denmark scrapers of various forms are found, and are not uncommon in
the kjökken-möddings and coast-finds. Sir John Lubbock[1410] records
having picked up as many as thirty-nine scrapers at a spot on the coast
of Jutland, near Aarhuus.

In the Swiss Lake-dwellings they occasionally occur. I have a fine,
almost kite-shaped, specimen from Auvernier, given me by Professor
Desor, and others from Nussdorf. Some are engraved by Keller. They are
also found in Italy. I have a small specimen from the Isle of Elba.

I possess specimens formed of obsidian, from Mexico; and instruments
of jasper, of scraper-like forms, have been found at the Cape of Good
Hope.[1411] As already mentioned, they are well known in America. Some
are found in Newfoundland.[1412] |311|

Instruments of the same character date back to very remote times, as
numbers have been found in the cave deposits of the Reindeer Period of
the South of France, as well as in a few in our English bone caves, as
will subsequently be mentioned. A somewhat similar form occurs, though
rarely, among the implements found in the ancient River Gravels.

       *       *       *       *       *

Besides being used for scraping hides, and preparing leather, it
has been suggested, by Canon Greenwell,[1413] that they might have
served for making pins and other small articles of bone, and also for
fabricating arrow-heads and knives of flint. As to this latter use I am
doubtful, but before entering into the question of the purposes which
implements of the “scraper” form were in ancient times intended to
serve, it will be well to examine the evidence of wear afforded by the
implements themselves. This evidence is various in its character, and
seems to prove that the implements were employed in more than one kind
of work.

Among some hundreds of scrapers, principally from the Yorkshire Wolds,
I have met with between twenty and thirty which show decided marks of
being worn away along the circular edge, by friction. In some, the edge
is only worn away sufficiently to remove all keenness or asperity,
and to make it feel smooth to the touch, and this perhaps along one
part only of the arc. In others, the whole edge is completely rounded,
and many of the small facets by which it was originally surrounded,
entirely effaced. The small striæ, resulting from the friction which
has rounded the edge, are at right angles to the flat face of the
implement, and the whole edge presents the appearance of having been
worn away by scraping some comparatively soft substance—such, for
instance, as leather. When we consider what an important part the skins
of animals play in the daily life of most savage tribes, and especially
of those exposed to a cold climate; and when we remember the amount of
preparation, in the way of dressing and scraping, the hides require
before they can be available for the purposes of clothing, or even tent
making, it becomes evident that some instruments must have been in use
by the ancient occupants of the country for the purpose of dressing
skins; and the probability of these scrapers having been devoted to
this purpose is strengthened by their being worn in just such a manner
as they would have been, had they been in use for scraping some greasy
dressing off not over-clean leather. The scrapers thus worn away
are for the most part of the horseshoe form. There are some, |312|
however, which have the edge worn away, not at the circular end but
along the edge towards the butt. In this case also they appear to have
been employed for scraping, but the evidence as to the character of the
substance scraped is not so distinct. It is, however, probable that
in the fashioning of perforated axes and other implements, made of
greenstone and other rocks not purely silicious, some scraping as well
as grinding tools may have been employed, and possibly the wear of the
edge of some of these tools may be due to such a cause. Even among the
cave-dwellers of the Dordogne we find scrapers bearing similar marks of
attrition, and we also know that flint flakes were used for scraping
the hard hæmatitic iron ore, to produce the red pigment—the paint with
which the men of those times seem to have adorned themselves.[1414]

It will of course be urged that it is, after all, only a small
proportion of these implements which bear these unmistakeable marks
of wear upon them. It must, however, be remembered, that to produce
much abrasion of the edge of an instrument made of so hard a material
as flint, an enormous amount of wear against so soft a substance as
hide would be necessary. It is indeed possible that the edge would
remain for years comparatively unworn were the substance to be scraped
perfectly free from grit and dirt. If we find identically the same
forms of instruments, both worn and unworn, there is a fair presumption
that both were intended for the same purpose, though the one, from
accidental causes, has escaped the wear and tear visible on the other.

There are, however, circumstances which in this case point to an almost
similar form having served two totally distinct purposes; for besides
those showing the marks of use already described, we find some of these
instruments with the edge battered and bruised to such an extent that
it can hardly have been the result of scraping in the ordinary sense of
the word.

To account for such a character of wear, there seems no need of going
so far afield as among the Eskimos, or any other semi-civilized or
savage people, to seek for analogies on which to base a conclusion—how
far satisfactory it must be left to others to judge. Among the primary
necessities of man (who has been defined as a cooking animal) is that
of fire. It is no doubt a question difficult of solution whether our
primitive predecessors were acquainted with any more ready means of
producing it than |313| by friction of two pieces of wood, especially
at a time when there is reason to suppose they were unacquainted
with the existence of iron as a metal. I have, however, already
mentioned[1415] that for the purpose of producing sparks, pyrites is
as effective as iron, and was indeed in use among the Romans. Now
the lower beds of our English chalk are prolific of pyrites, though
not to the same extent as the upper beds are of flint; and it is not
impossible that the use of a hammer-stone of pyrites, in order to form
some instrument of flint, gave rise to the discovery of that method
of producing fire, the invention of which the old myth attributed to
Pyrodes, the son of Cilix. When exposed upon or near the surface of the
ground, pyrites is very liable to decomposition, and even if occurring
with ancient interments it would be very likely to be disregarded. This
may account for the paucity of the notices of its discovery. Some,
however, exist, and I have already mentioned[1416] instances where
nodules of pyrites have been discovered on the Continent in association
with worked flints, both of Neolithic and Palæolithic age.

There are also instances of its occurrence in British barrows. That
careful observer, the late Mr. Thomas Bateman, found, in the year 1844,
in a barrow on Elton Moor,[1417] near the head of a skeleton, “a piece
of spherical iron pyrites, now for the first time noticed as being
occasionally found with other relics in the British tumuli. Subsequent
discoveries,” he says, “have proved that it was prized by the Britons,
and not unfrequently deposited in the grave, along with the weapons
and ornaments which formed the most valued part of their store.” With
the same skeleton, in a “drinking-cup,” with a small celt and other
objects of flint, was a flat piece of polished iron ore, and twenty-one
“circular instruments.” In another barrow, Green Low,[1418] Mr.
Bateman discovered a contracted skeleton, having behind the shoulders
a drinking-cup, a splendid flint dagger, a piece of spherical pyrites
or iron ore, and a flint instrument of the circular-headed form. Lower
down were barbed flint arrow-heads and some bone instruments. In Dowe
Low,[1419] a skeleton was accompanied by a bronze dagger and an “amulet
or ornament of iron ore,” together with a large flint implement that
had seen a good deal of service. A broken nodule of pyrites showing
signs of friction was found with a bronze dagger in a |314| barrow at
Angrowse[1420] Mullion, Cornwall. In a barrow at Brigmilston,[1421]
between Everley and Amesbury, Sir R. Colt Hoare found, with an urn
containing ashes, “the fragment of a bone article like a whetstone,
some chipped flints prepared for arrow-heads, a long piece of flint and
a _pyrites_, both evidently smoothed by usage.”

A piece of iron pyrites with a groove worn in it and a peculiarly
shaped implement of flint with evident marks of use at the larger end
were found with an interment near Basingstoke Station.[1422] Flint
arrow-heads and flakes were also present.

Nodules of pyrites occurred in such numbers in a barrow on Broad
Down,[1423] near Honiton, as to suggest the idea of their having been
placed there designedly, but none of them are described as abraded.

We have here, at all events, instances of the association of lumps
of iron pyrites with circular-ended flint instruments in ancient
interments. Can they have been in use together for producing fire? In
order to judge of this our best guide will probably be, so far at all
events as the flints are concerned, those in use for the same purpose
in later times, and even at the present day.

In the Abbé Hamard’s researches at Hermes[1424] (Oise), two flint
scrapers mounted in wooden handles round which were iron ferrules are
said to have been discovered in Merovingian graves.

[Illustration: Fig. 222.—French “Strike-a-Light.”]

The Abbé Cochet[1425] describes some of the flints found with
Merovingian interments as resembling gun-flints; one of these was
apparently carried at the waist, in a purse with money and other
necessaries. A steel and a small piece of flint were found in a
Saxon grave at High Down, Ferring,[1426] Sussex. A similar practice
of carrying in the pocket a piece of flint and some prepared tinder
prevails in some parts of Europe to the present day; and, as I have
before remarked, flints for this purpose are articles of sale. Fig.
222 shows one of these modern “strike-a-lights” which I purchased some
years ago at Pontlevoy, in France. It is made of a segment of a flake,
one edge and the sides of which have been trimmed to a scraper-like
edge, and the other merely made straight. The resemblance between
this and |315| some of the ancient “scrapers” is manifest. Another
strike-a-light flint, which I bought at a stall in Trier, is about
2 inches long by 1 3∕8 inches broad, and is made from a flat flake,
trimmed to a nearly square edge at the butt-end, and to a very flat
arc at the point, both the trimmed edges being of precisely the same
character as those of scrapers. I find, moreover, that by working such
a flint and a steel or _briquet_ together, much the same bruising of
the edge is produced as that apparent on some of the old “scrapers.” I
come, therefore, to the conclusion, that a certain proportion of these
instruments were in use, not for scraping hides like the others, but
for scraping iron pyrites, and not improbably, in later days, even
iron or steel for procuring fire. Were they used for such a purpose
we can readily understand why they should so often present a bruising
of the edge and an irregularity of form. We can also find a means of
accounting for their great abundance.

Looking at the question from a slightly different point of view, this
method of solution receives additional support. Everyone will, I
think, readily concede that, putting for the moment pyrites out of the
question, the inhabitants of this country must have been acquainted
with the method of producing fire by means of flint and steel or
iron, at all events so long ago as when their intercourse with the
Romans commenced, if not at an even earlier period. We may, in any
case, assume that flints have been in use as fire-producing agents for
something like 2,000 years, and that consequently the number of them
that have thus served must be enormous. What has become of them all?
They cannot, like some antiquities, be “only now rare because they were
always valueless,” for in their nature they are almost indestructible.
Many, no doubt, were mere irregular lumps of flint, broken from time
to time to produce such an edge as would scrape the steel; but is it
not in the highest degree probable that many were of the same class as
those sold for the same purpose at the present day—flakes chipped into
a more or less scraper-like form at one end?

There is yet another argument. In many instances these circular-ended
flints, when found upon the surface, have a comparatively fresh and
unweathered appearance; and, what is more, have the chipped parts
stained by iron-mould. In some cases there are particles of iron, in
an oxidized condition, still adherent. Such iron marks, especially on
flint which has weathered white, may, and indeed commonly do, arise
from the passage of harrows |316| and other agricultural implements,
and of horses shod with iron, over the fields; but did the marks arise
merely from this cause, it appears hardly probable that in any instance
they should be confined to the chipped edge, and not occur on other
parts of the flint.

[Illustration: Fig. 223.—Rudstone.]

I had written most of the foregoing remarks when, in November, 1870,
an interesting discovery, made by Canon Greenwell, F.R.S., in his
exploration of a barrow[1427] at Rudstone, near Bridlington, in
Yorkshire, came to corroborate my views. I have already described
a whetstone found with one of the interments in this barrow, and
mentioned that between the knees and the head were found, with other
objects, the half of a nodule of iron pyrites, and a long round-ended
flake of flint which lay underneath it. They are both represented full
size in accompanying figure (Fig. 223). A portion of the outside of the
pyrites has been ground smooth, and a projecting knob has been worked
down, so as to bring it to an approximately hemispherical shape, and
adapt it for being comfortably held in the hand. The fractured surface,
where the nodule was broken in two, is somewhat oval, and in the
centre, in the direction of the longer diameter, is worn a wide shallow
groove, of just the same character as would have been produced by
constant sharp scraping blows from a round-ended flake or scraper, such
as that which was found with it. The whole surface is somewhat worn and
striated, in the same direction as the principal central groove; and
the edge of the flat face of the pyrites is more worn away at the top
and bottom of the groove than at the other parts.

The scraper is made from a narrow thick external flake, the end of
which has been trimmed to a semicircular bevelled edge—a |317| portion
of one side has also been trimmed. At the end, and along some parts of
the sides, this edge is worn quite smooth, and rounded by friction, and
there are traces of similar wear at the butt-end. In a second grave
in the same barrow there lay, behind the back, two jet buttons and a
similar pyrites and flint. There can, I think, be no reasonable doubt
of their having been, in these instances, fire-producing implements,
used in the manner indicated in the annexed figure. The finding of the
two materials together, in two separate instances, in both of which
the pyrites and the flint presented the same forms and appearance,
establishes the fact of their connection; and it is hard to imagine
any other purpose for which pyrites could be scraped by flint except
that of producing fire. Moreover, in another barrow on Crosby Garrett
Fell,[1428] Westmoreland, Canon Greenwell found a piece of iron ore
(oxidized pyrites) held in the hand of a skeleton, and a long thick
flake of flint, evidently a “flint and steel.”

[Illustration: Fig. 224.—Method of using Pyrites and “Scraper” for
Striking a Light.]

It cannot have been merely for the purpose of producing a paint or
colour that they were brought together, as though the outer crust of
a nodule of pyrites might, if ground, give a dull red pigment, yet
the inner freshly-broken face would not do so; and, if it would, the
colour would be more readily procured by grinding on a flat stone than
by scraping. It would be interesting to compare these objects with the
pyrites and pebbles in use among the Fuegians[1429], who employ dried
moss or fungus by way of tinder, but appear to find some difficulty in
producing fire. The Eskimos[1430] and some North American tribes also
obtain fire from pyrites.

Sir Wollaston Franks has called my attention to another half |318|
nodule of pyrites preserved in the British Museum, which is somewhat
abraded in the middle of its flat face, though not so much so as that
from Yorkshire. It was discovered with flint flakes in a barrow on
Lambourn Down,[1431] Berkshire, by Mr. E. Martin Atkins, in 1850. In a
barrow at Flowerburn,[1432] Ross-shire, in 1885, a similar half nodule
and a flint scraper were found, and a discovery of the same kind was
made by Lord Northesk, at Teindside,[1433] near Minto, Roxburghshire,
about 1870. A fine piece of pyrites in company with worked flints was
found in 1881, in a ruined dolmen, in the Ile d’Arz,[1434] Brittany,
by the Abbé Luco. A well striated block of pyrites was also found with
numerous objects formed of flint and other kinds of stone, on the
Rocher de Beg-er-Goallenner, Quiberon, by M. F. Gaillard.[1435]

A nodule of pyrites, with a deep scoring upon it, and found in one of
the Belgian bone caves, the _Trou de Chaleux_, has been engraved by Dr.
E. Dupont,[1436] who regards it as having been used as a fire-producing
agent. The flint that produced the scoring appears to have had a
pointed, rather than a rounded end. Possibly the wearing away of the
ends of certain flakes, for which it has been difficult to account, may
be due to their having been used in this manner for striking a light.

There are yet some other long flakes which are trimmed to a
scraper-like edge at one or both ends; but in these cases the trimming
appears to have been rather for the purpose of enabling the flake to be
conveniently held in the hand, so as to make use of its cutting edge,
than with the intention of converting the trimmed end into a scraping
or cutting tool. The ends of some of the hafted knives or saws found in
the Swiss Lake-dwellings are thus trimmed.

On the whole, we may conclude, with some appearance of probability,
that a certain proportion of these instruments, and more especially
those of regular shape, and those of large size, were destined to
be used as scrapers in the process of dressing hides and for other
purposes; that others again, and chiefly those of moderate size with
bruised and battered edges, were used at one period with iron pyrites,
and at a subsequent date with iron or steel, for the |319| production
of fire; and lastly that others have had their ends trimmed into shape,
so as to render them symmetrical in form, or to enable them to be
conveniently handled or hafted.

[Illustration: Fig. 225.—Yorkshire Wolds.]

[Illustration: Fig. 226.—Yorkshire Wolds.]

       *       *       *       *       *

There are still one or two other forms to which, from the character of
their edge, the designation of scraper may be given. The instrument
from the Yorkshire Wolds, shown in Fig. 225, may, for instance, be
called a straight scraper. It is made from a broad flat flake, with a
well-developed bulb of percussion on the face, and the counterpart of
another at the back, so that the section at the base is much curved.
The point of the flake and its left side have been chipped away, so
that they are nearly straight, and form between them an angle of
about 60°. The edge is sharper, and the form, I think, more regular
than if it had been used in conjunction with pyrites or steel, and I
am therefore inclined to regard it as a tool. The late Mr. Charles
Monkman, who gave me this specimen, also gave me another, more
crescent-shaped in form, the base being roughly chipped to a regular
sweep. I have another larger flint, similar to Fig. 225, found by the
late Mr. Whitbourn, F.S.A., in the neighbourhood of Godalming. Before
pronouncing definitely as to the degree of antiquity to be assigned
to such instruments, it will be well to have authenticated instances
of their discovery in association with other remains, and not merely
on the surface. In character, however, they much resemble other flint
instruments of undoubtedly high antiquity, though they present the
peculiarity of having the edge at right angles to the axis of the flake
from which they are made, instead of being parallel to it.

A singular flint instrument of a rudely heart-shaped form, with one
straight serrated edge, is figured with other tools, &c., from the
Culbin Sands.[1437]

To another of these forms, of which a not very first-rate example is
given in Fig. 226, the designation of hollow scraper may be applied,
the scraping edge being concave, instead of as usual, convex. This
specimen also is from the Yorkshire Wolds. I have, however, found
analogous instruments on the Sussex Downs, the hollowed edges of
which appear to have been used for scraping some cylindrical objects.
In |320| Ireland this form not unfrequently occurs. I have several
specimens with the hollow as regular in its sweep as any of the
scrapers of the ordinary form, and I have thought it advisable to
figure a typical example as Fig. 226A. They seem well adapted for
scraping into regular shape the stems of arrows or the shafts of
spears, or for fashioning bone pins. Among modern artificers in wood,
bone, ivory, or metal, scraping tools play a far more important part
than would at first sight appear probable, looking at the abundance
and perfection of our cutting tools and files. The latter, indeed, are
merely compound forms of “scrapers.”

[Illustration: Fig. 226A.—North of Ireland.]

A less symmetrical hollow scraper from the Culbin Sands[1438] has been
engraved; as has been another which Dr. Joseph Anderson[1439] used
in the production of an arrow-shaft, and which he found to be a very
efficient tool. Some writers have regarded these hollow-edged scrapers
as saws[1440], but I think erroneously.

Implements of the same character have been found in Egypt[1441], and in
France, and probably exist in other countries.




Another of the purposes to which flint flakes were applied appears to
have been that of boring holes in various materials. Portions of stags’
horns, destined to serve either as hammers, or as sockets for hatchets
of stone, had either to be perforated or to have recesses bored in
them; and holes in wood were, no doubt, requisite for many purposes,
though in this country we have but few wooden relics dating back to
the time when flint was the principal if not the only material for
boring-tools. To form some idea of the character of the objects in the
preparation of which such tools were necessary, we cannot do better
than refer to the vivid picture of ancient life placed before us by
the discoveries in the Swiss Lake-dwellings. Besides perforated stone
axes and hammers, such as have been already described in these pages,
we find stag’s horn and wooden hafts or helves, with holes and sockets
bored in them, plates of stone, teeth of animals, bone and stag’s horn
instruments, and wooden knife handles pierced for suspension, and
portions of bark perforated, so as to serve like corks for floating

Even in the caverns of the Reindeer Period of the South of France we
find the reindeer horns with holes bored through them in regular rows,
and delicate needles of hard bone with exquisitely formed eyes drilled
through them—one of which has also been found in Kent’s Cavern—as well
as teeth, shells and fossils perforated for suspension as ornaments or
amulets. So beautifully are the eyes in these ancient needles formed,
that I was at one time much inclined to doubt the possibility of their
having been drilled by means of flint flakes; but the late Mons.
E. Lartet demonstrated the feasibility of this process, by himself
drilling the eye of a similar needle with a flint borer, found in one
of the French caves. I have myself bored perfectly round and smooth
holes through both stag’s horn and wood with flint flakes, and when a
|322| little water is used to facilitate the operation, it is almost
surprising to find how quickly it proceeds, and how little the edge of
the flint suffers when once its thinnest part has been worn or chipped
away, so as to leave a sufficient thickness of flint to stand the
strain without being broken off.

[Illustration: Fig. 227.—Yorkshire Wolds. 1∕1]

       *       *       *       *       *

The most common form of boring tool, to which by some writers the name
of awl or drill[1442] has been given, is that shown in Fig. 227, from
the Yorkshire Wolds. It is formed from a flat splinter of flint, and
shows the natural crust of the stone at the broad end. At the other,
each edge has been chipped away from the flat face, so as to reduce
it by a rapid curve on each side to a somewhat tapering blade, with
a sharp point. The section of this portion of the blade is almost of
the form of half a hexagon when divided by a line joining opposite
angles. A borer of this kind makes a very true hole, as whether turned
round continuously or alternately in each direction, it acts as a
half-round broach or rimer, enlarging the mouth of the hole all the
time it is being deepened by the drilling of the point. The broad base
of the flake serves as a handle by which to turn the tool. Several
boring instruments of this form were found in the pits at Grime’s
Graves,[1443] already so often mentioned.

A borer of this kind has been experimentally[1444] tried and found
efficient for drilling a hole in jet.

[Illustration: Fig. 228. Bridlington. 1∕1]

Borers of the same character occur in Ireland[1445] and in
Scotland,[1446] where natural crystals[1447] of quartz seem also
occasionally to have been used as drills. I have also seen several
found near Pontlevoy, France, in the collection of the Abbé Bourgeois.

Similar boring instruments of flint have been found in Denmark, in
company with scrapers and other tools. Two of them have been engraved
by Mr. C. F. Herbst.[1448]

They are common in some parts of North America, and finely chipped
tools of the kind occur in Patagonia.[1449] They are also found in
Natal[1450] and in Japan.

Sometimes the borer consists of merely a long narrow pointed flake,
which has had the point trimmed to a scraping edge on either side. A
specimen of the kind, found near Bridlington, is shown in Fig. 228. The
point, for about a |323| sixteenth of an inch in width, has been ground
to a nearly square edge, so that it acts like a drill. Such a form was
probably attached to a wooden handle for use, but I doubt whether any
mechanical means were used for giving it a rotary motion as a drill,
and regard these borers rather as hand-tools to be used much in the
same way as a broach or rimer.

Some implements from the lake settlement at Meilen, regarded by Dr.
Keller[1451] as awls or piercers, are perforated at one end, and appear
to be ground over their whole surface.

Occasionally some projecting spur at the side of the flake has been
utilized to form the borer, as is the case in Fig. 229, also from the
Yorkshire Wolds. In this instance, the two curved sweeps, by which the
boring part of the tool is formed, have been chipped from the opposite
faces of the flake, so that the cutting edges are at opposite angles
of the blade, which is of rhomboidal section. This is the case with
some of the Scottish specimens,[1452] which closely resemble Fig. 229.
Such a tool seems best adapted for boring by being turned in the hole
continuously in one direction. In some instances the projecting spur
is so short that it can have produced but a very shallow cavity in the
object to be bored.

[Illustration: Fig. 229.—Yorkshire Wolds. 1∕1]

[Illustration: Fig. 230.—Bridlington. 1∕1]

The tools, of which a specimen is shown in Fig. 230, also appear to
have been intended for boring. It is, however, possible that after all
they may have served some other purpose. That here engraved was found
near Bridlington, and is weathered white all over. It is made from a
flake, and the edge of the blade on the left in the figure is formed as
usual by chipping from the flat face. The other edge is more acute, and
has been formed by secondary chipping on both faces. The spur to the
left, which may have served as a handle for turning the tool round when
in use, has originally been longer, but the end has been lost through
an ancient fracture. The edges at the point of the tool are somewhat
worn away by friction.

I am uncertain whether the instruments shown in Figs. 231 and 232
|324| can be with propriety classed among boring tools, as it is
possible that they may have been intended and used for some totally
different purpose, such, for instance, as forming the tips of arrows,
for which, from their symmetrical form, they are not ill adapted.
Though the points of those, like Fig. 231, are much rounded, it
may be that they were mounted like the chisel-edged Egyptian flint
arrow-heads, of which hereafter. A number of instruments of this form
have been found in Derbyshire and Suffolk, but that here figured came
from the Yorkshire Wolds, and has been made from a part of a thin flat
flake, one edge of which forms the base opposite to the semicircular
point. The side edges, which expand with a sweep to the base, are
carefully chipped to a sharp angle with the face of the flake; but in
some instances this secondary working extends over a greater or less
portion of both faces. Some specimens are also much longer in their
proportions. The original edge of the flake, which extends along the
base, is usually unworn by use, so that if these objects were boring
tools this part may have been protected by being inserted in a notch in
a piece of wood, which in such a case would serve as a handle for using
the tool after the manner of an auger. A few examples of this kind have
been found on the Culbin Sands[1453], Elginshire. The same form has
been found in the Camp de Chassey[1454] (Saône et Loire).

[Illustration: Fig. 231.—Yorkshire Wolds. 1∕1]

[Illustration: Fig. 232.—Yorkshire Wolds. 1∕1]

Fig. 232 is also from the Yorkshire Wolds. Though more acutely pointed
than Fig. 231, it seems to have been intended for much the same
purpose, and it has been formed in a similar manner. The secondary
working is principally on the convex face of the flake, but owing to
an irregularity in the surface of the flat face, a portion of it has
been removed by secondary chipping along one edge, so as to bring it as
nearly as possible in the same plane as the other. For whatever purpose
this instrument may have been designed, its symmetry is remarkable.

I have a somewhat similar instrument from Bridlington, but triangular
in form, with the sides curved slightly inwards, and the two most
highly wrought edges produced by chipping almost equally on both faces
of the flake. Such a form approximates most closely to some of those
which there appears reason for regarding as triangular arrow-heads.
In America, some forms which might be taken for arrow-heads have been
regarded as drills.

There is a series of minute tools of flint to which special attention
|325| has been called by Mr. J. Allen Brown, F.G.S., the Rev. Reginald
A. Gatty[1455], and Mr. W. J. Lewis Abbott, F.G.S.[1456] Through the
kindness of the last, specimens from a kjökken mödding at Hastings are
shown in Figs. 232A, 232B, and 232C. They have been made from small
flakes and are of various forms, though I have only selected three for
illustration. In two of these the end of the flake has been chipped
into a straight scraping edge at an acute angle to the body of the
flake, so as to form a tool which can be held in the hand and used for
scraping a flat surface, perhaps of bone. Whether the chipping of the
edge is intentional or the result of wear, or arising partly from both
of these causes, is a question of secondary importance. The oblique
ends resemble those of the flakes from Kent’s Cavern, Figs. 398–400,
and the _selci romboidale_[1457] of Italian antiquaries. In the other
form, one side of a flake has been chipped in a similar manner, so as
to form a segment of a circle, or occasionally an obtuse angle; the
other side being left intact. This may possibly have been inserted
in wood, and the tool thus formed may have been used for scraping or
carving. Mr. Abbott disagrees with this view, and thinks that many of
the flakes may have been utilized in the formation of fish-hooks. Such
tools have been found in Lancashire, far from the sea, and a series
from hills in the eastern part of that county has been presented to the
British Museum by Dr. Colley March. Owing to their diminutive size they
may readily escape observation. Mr. Gatty has found some thousands of
these “Pygmy flints” on the surface in the valley of the Don between
Sheffield and Doncaster. They no doubt exist in many other districts.


 Fig. 232A.  Fig. 232B.  Fig. 232C.  1∕1



 Fig. 232D.  Fig. 232E.  Fig. 232F.    1∕1

Vindhya Hills.]

Curiously enough, identical forms have been found in some abundance
on the Vindhya Hills[1458] and the Banda district, India; at
Helouan,[1459] Egypt, in France, and in the district of the
Meuse,[1460] Belgium. Such an identity of form at places geographically
so remote does not imply any actual communication between those who
made the tools, but merely shows that some of the requirements of daily
life, and the means at command for fulfilling them being the same,
tools of the same character have been developed, irrespective of time
or space.




Besides being converted into round-ended scrapers, and pointed
boring-tools, flint flakes were trimmed on one or both faces into a
variety of forms of cutting, scraping, and piercing tools, and weapons.
In one direction these forms pass through daggers and lance-heads, into
javelin and arrow heads; and in another through cutting tools, wrought
into symmetrical shape, and ground at the edges, into hatchets or celts
adapted for use in the hand without being hafted.

[Illustration: Fig. 233.—Cambridge (1). 1∕2]

The first I shall notice are flakes trimmed into form by secondary
working on both edges, but only on the convex face, the flat face being
left either almost or quite intact. The illustrations of these forms
are no longer full size, but on the scale of one half, linear measure.

       *       *       *       *       *

The simplest form of such instruments is when merely the edge of the
flake is worked, so as to reduce it to a regular leaf-like shape. A
beautiful specimen of this kind is preserved in the Christy Collection,
and is shown in Fig. 233. It was probably found in the neighbourhood
of Cambridge, having formed part of the collection of the late Mr.
Litchfield of that town. It is of grey flint, curved lengthwise, as
is usually the case with flint flakes, and worked to a point at each
end, though rather more rounded at the butt-end of the flake. Such
instruments have sometimes been regarded as poignards, though not
improbably they were used for various cutting and scraping purposes.

They rarely occur in Britain of so great a length as this flake, which
is 5 1∕2 inches long, but those of shorter proportions are not uncommon.

In Ireland also the long flakes are scarce.

In France they are more abundant, though still rare. Some of those
formed from the Pressigny flints were, judging from the cores, as
much |327| as 12 inches long, but none have as yet been found of
this length. One trimmed on both edges, and 8 1∕4 inches long, was
dredged from the bed of the Seine[1461] at Paris, and is now in the
Musée d’Artillerie, with another nearly as long found about the same
time in the same place. Both appear to be of Pressigny flint. Others
have been found in different parts of France.[1462] A beautiful flake,
8 3∕4 inches long, trimmed on its external face, and found near
Soissons,[1463] was in the collection of M. Boucher de Perthes. I have
one of the same character, 8 1∕2 inches long and 1 3∕8 inches broad in
the middle, most symmetrically shaped and perfectly uninjured, which
was formerly in the collection of M. Meillet, of Poitiers. It is said
to have been found at Savanseau, and in places has a red incrustation
upon it, as if it had been embedded in a cave. In the Grotte de St.
Jean d’Alcas,[1464] was found a blade of the same kind, together with
some lance-heads of flint worked on both faces. Occasionally they
are found in the dolmens. The _Allée couverte_[1465] of Argenteuil
furnished one, 7 1∕4 inches long; and one of the dolmens in the
Lozère[1466] another, 8 inches in length. One almost 10 inches long and
1 inch broad, found at Neuilly-sur-Eure,[1467] has on the convex face
the delicate secondary working, like ripple marks, such as is seen in
perfection on some of the Danish and Egyptian blades of flint.

Others have been found in the dolmen at Caranda[1468] (Aisne), du
Charnier[1469] (Ardèche), and in the Grotte Duruthy (Landes).[1470]

Curiously enough, the long flakes found in some abundance in
Scandinavia are rarely, if ever, worked on the convex face alone, but
are either left in their original form, or converted by secondary
working on both faces, into some of the more highly finished tools or

In the Swiss Lake-dwellings flakes trimmed at the edges and ends are of
not unfrequent occurrence. Some of these, as already described, have
been regarded as saws.

Two long trimmed flakes, from Chevroux, tied to wooden handles,
both string and handle partially preserved, are in the Museum at
Lausanne.[1471] There is a small pommel at the end of the handle.

A remarkably fine Italian specimen of a ridged flake, 11 inches in
length, and carefully trimmed along both edges, is in the British
Museum. It is stated to have been found at Telese, near Pæstum.[1472]

Many of these trimmed flakes, as well as in some cases those entirely
untrimmed, have been called by antiquaries spear-heads and lance-heads.
They have frequently been found with interments in barrows.

Not to mention numerous instances recorded by Mr. Bateman, I may
cite a flake found in company with a barbed flint arrow-head at |328|
the foot of a contracted skeleton in a barrow[1473] at Monkton Down,
Avebury, and a “triangular spear-head of stone curiously serrated
at the edges,” found with a flint arrow-head and perforated boar’s
tusk, in an urn at the foot of a skeleton, in a barrow on Ridgeway
Hill,[1474] Dorsetshire.

Among the flint implements occurring on the surface of the Yorkshire
Wolds and elsewhere, flakes trimmed to a greater or less extent along
both edges, and over the convex face, are frequently found. The point
as well as the base is often neatly rounded, though the former is
sometimes chipped to a sharp angle.

There is a considerable difference in the inclination of the edge to
the face, it being sometimes at an angle of 60° or upwards, like the
edge of some scrapers, at other times acute like a knife-edge.

There is so great a range in the dimensions and proportions of this
class of instruments that it is almost impossible to figure all the
varieties. I have, therefore, contented myself with the selection of a
few examples, and will commence with those having the more obtuse edges.

[Illustration: Fig. 234.—Yorkshire Wolds. 1∕2]

Fig. 234, from the Yorkshire Wolds, is an external flat flake,
weathered white, and trimmed all round the face, showing the natural
crust of the flint, to a point in form like a Gothic arch. A part of
the edge is bruised, but it is impossible to say for what weapon such
an instrument was intended. It can hardly have been for a javelin-head,
though from the outline it would seem well adapted for such a weapon;
for in that case the edge would not have become bruised. It may
possibly be an abnormal form of scraper.

A nearly similar specimen, but narrower in proportion, was found by
the late Lord Londesborough[1475] in a barrow near Driffield, and is
described as a spear-head.

[Illustration: Fig. 235.—Yorkshire. 1∕2]

Another form, usually very thick in proportion to its breadth, and
neatly worked over the whole of the convex face, is shown in Fig. 235.
This specimen, also from the Yorkshire Wolds, is in the Greenwell
Collection, now Dr. Sturge’s. I have seen another from a barrow near
Hay, Breconshire; and in the National Museum at Edinburgh is a specimen
found near Urquhart, Elgin. In an implement of the same form in my
own possession some small irregularities on the flat face have been
removed by delicate chipping. I have several examples from Suffolk.
There is nothing to guide us in attempting to determine the use of such
instruments, but if inserted in handles they would be well adapted for
boring holes in wood or other soft substances. The same form occurs in
Ireland. In the Greenwell Collection is an Irish specimen ground all
along the ridge, and over the whole of the butt-end. A pointed flattish
flake (4 1∕2 inches), worked over the whole of the outer face, from
Rousay,[1476] Orkney, has been figured. |329|

Another much coarser but somewhat similar form is shown in Fig. 236.
The instrument in this case is made from a very thick curved flake,
roughly chipped into a boat-like form, and then more carefully trimmed
along the edges. It may possibly have been used as a borer, as the
edges near the point show some signs of attrition. It is of flint
weathered grey, and was found near Bridlington. I have found a similar
scaphoid form in Ireland.[1477]

[Illustration: Fig. 236.—Bridlington. 1∕2]

A rather thick external flake, worked over nearly the whole of its
convex face and reduced to about half its breadth for about a third of
its length from the point, is shown in Fig. 237. The narrower part is
nearly semicircular in section. It is difficult to imagine a purpose
for this reduction in width; and it hardly seems due to wear. I have,
however, another specimen, also from the Yorkshire Wolds, reduced in
the same manner along fully three-quarters of its length.

Some of the worked flakes from the Dordogne Caves[1478] show a somewhat
similar shoulder, but it seems possible that with them the broader part
may have been protected by some sort of handle, as the original edge of
the flake is there preserved.

I now come to the instruments with more acute edges, made by dressing
the convex face of flint flakes. Of these the form shown in Fig.
238 is allied to that of Fig. 235, but is considerably flatter in
section and more distinctly oval in outline. The original was found
near Bridlington. A hard particle of the flint has interfered with
the regular convexity of the worked face, but in some specimens the
form is almost as regular as a slice taken lengthways off a lemon,
though in others the outline presents an irregular curve. The flat
face is generally more or less curved longitudinally, and the ends
are sometimes more pointed than in the specimen engraved. I have
an exquisitely chipped and perfectly symmetrical implement of this
character (3 inches) from the neighbourhood of Icklingham, Suffolk,
in which county the type is not uncommon. The flaking on the convex
surface is very even and regular, and produces a slightly corrugated
surface, with the low ridges following each other like ripple marks on
sand. The edge is minutely and evenly chipped, and is very sharp. The
instrument may perhaps be regarded as a sort of knife.

[Illustration: Fig. 237. 1∕2 Yorkshire.]

[Illustration: Fig. 238. 1∕2 Bridlington.]

[Illustration: Fig. 239. 1∕2 Castle Carrock.]

The form is well known in Ireland, but I do not remember to have seen
it in foreign collections.

The beautifully wrought blade of flint, shown in Fig. 239, presents
|330| a more elongated variety of this form. It was found by Canon
Greenwell, with a burnt body, in a barrow at Castle Carrock,[1479]
Cumberland. Another blade, curiously similar in workmanship and
character, was found by the same explorer in a barrow near Rudstone,
Yorkshire, but in this case the body was unburnt. Another, with
both ends rounded and the edges more serrated, was found in a
barrow at Robin Hood Butts, near Scarborough, and is preserved
in the museum of that town. Mounted with it on the same card are
arrow-heads—leaf-shaped, lozenge-shaped, and stemmed and barbed. Mr.
Carrington[1480] describes a flake flat on one face, and laboriously
chipped to a convex shape on the other, as found with burnt bones in
a barrow at Musdin, Staffordshire. A similar specimen in Ribden Low
accompanied a contracted interment. Mr. Bateman terms them lance-heads.
In the Greenwell Collection is a leaf-shaped blade of this kind, flat
on one face, found in Burnt Fen. A knife of the same kind (2 inches)
was found with an interment at Chollerford,[1481] Northumberland.

[Illustration: Fig. 240.—Ford, Northumberland.]

[Illustration: Fig. 240A.—Etton. 1∕1]

The skilful character of the surface chipping on these blades is
perhaps better shown in Fig. 240, which is drawn full-size from
another specimen, also in Canon Greenwell’s collection, which was
found in a cist with the remains of a burnt body, on Ford Common,
Northumberland.[1482] |331|

Canon Greenwell found other knives in barrows at Sherburn[1483] and
Etton,[1484] Yorkshire. The latter is beautifully serrated and I am
enabled to reproduce his figure of it as Fig. 240A.[1485] He found
another of the same character in a barrow at Bishop’s Burton,[1486]
Yorkshire. Knives not serrated have been found at Carn Brê,[1487]
Cornwall; Chagford,[1488] Devon; and Grovehurst[1489] near Milton, Kent.

[Illustration: Fig. 241.—Weaverthorpe. 1∕2]

A serrated knife was found in a barrow at Dalmore,[1490] Alness,
Ross-shire, and another, less distinctly serrated, at Tarland,[1491]
Aberdeenshire. In some instruments, evidently belonging to the same
class, the secondary flaking does not extend over the whole of the
convex surface of the blade, but some of the facets of the original
flake are still visible, or if it has been an external flake, some
portion of the original crust of the flint remains. This is the case
with the blade engraved in Fig. 241, which was found by Canon Greenwell
in a barrow near Weaverthorpe,[1492] Yorkshire. In another barrow at
Rudstone, Yorkshire, also opened by him, was a rather smaller but
similar instrument, very neatly formed, and somewhat serrated at the
edge. It lay at the feet of a skeleton. General Pitt Rivers found one
nearly similar in a pit in the Isle of Thanet.[1493]

Knives of much the same form, but more rudely chipped, from Udny,
Aberdeenshire, and Urquhart, Elgin, are in the National Museum
at Edinburgh. They have also been found on the Culbin Sands,

[Illustration: Fig. 242.—Wykeham Moor. 1∕2]

Some of these blades are left blunt at the butt-end of the flake, or
else not so carefully worked round at that end, but that the square
end of the original flake may be discerned. A very fine specimen of
this kind was obtained by Canon Greenwell in a barrow on Wykeham Moor,
Yorkshire,[1495] and is shown in Fig. 242. It was found lying side
by side with a fluted bronze dagger, affording, as Canon Greenwell
observes, a valuable illustration of the contemporaneous use of bronze
and stone. He has found others, both with burnt and unburnt bodies,
in barrows in Yorkshire and Northumberland. I have a beautiful blade
of the same general form, but rather more rounded at the point and
curved slightly in the other direction, |332| and but little more
than half the length of this specimen, which was found by Mr. E.
Tindall, with another nearly similar, in a barrow near Bridlington.
Dr. Travis in 1836 described another (2 3∕4 inches) from a barrow near
Scarborough. Another (2 inches) was found with food-vessels in a barrow
at Marton,[1496] Yorkshire, E.R. A knife of the same kind from a cave
at Kozarnia,[1497] Poland, has been figured by Dr. F. Römer.

Among other English examples I may mention a thin flake (4 1∕4 inches),
somewhat curved laterally, and trimmed along both edges and rounded
at the point, found in Burwell Fen, Cambridge. Another from the same
locality (3 3∕4 inches) is even more curved on the concave edge. A
recurved flake or knife of flint, 3 1∕2 inches long, finely chipped
at the sharp convex edge, was found with jet ornaments and an ovoid
instrument of serpentine, accompanying a skeleton, in a barrow near
Avebury, Wilts.[1498] I have several from the surface, Suffolk, and
from the Cambridge Fens. In a larger instrument from Icklingham, both
edges are worn smooth and rounded by use, as if in scraping some soft
but gritty substance, possibly hides in the process of preparation as

In some of these instruments the point is sharp instead of being
rounded. One of them, found by Canon Greenwell in a barrow on Potter
Brompton Wold,[1499] is shown in Fig. 243.

I have a more triangular form of implement, of the same kind, 3 3∕4
inches long, showing the crust of the flint at the base, found near
Icklingham, Suffolk. Another from the same locality is of the same form
as the figure.

Instruments of the same character as these were discovered by the late
Mr. Bateman in many of the Derbyshire Barrows. What appears to be one
of the same kind was found with a flake and burnt bones in an urn at
Broughton, Lincolnshire.[1500] It may, however, have been convex on
both faces. A fragment of another was found at Dorchester Dykes,[1501]
Oxfordshire, by General Pitt Rivers.

[Illustration: Fig. 243.—Potter Brompton Wold. 1∕2]

The sharp-edged instruments of the forms last described seem to have
been intended for use as cutting, or occasionally as scraping tools,
and may not improperly be termed knives, as has been proposed by Canon
Greenwell.[1502] Even the last described, though sharply pointed,
cannot with certainty be accepted as a spear-head. To regarding the
other form, Fig. 242, as such, Canon Greenwell objects that “the people
who fashioned the arrow-heads so beautifully, if they fabricated
a spear-head in flint, would not have made one side straight, the
other curved, and carefully rounded it off at the sharper end.” One
of these pointed instruments (3 inches), trimmed on one face and
slightly curved, was found with an urn and a whetstone in a cairn at
Stenton,[1503] East Lothian. |333|

Sometimes the secondary working extends over part of both faces of the
flake, the central ridge of which is still discernible. Canon Greenwell
found a fine instrument of this kind (3 1∕4 inches), made from a ridged
flake, with neat secondary chipping along both sides, and on both
faces, with a burnt body, in a barrow on Sherburn Wold.[1504] The flint
itself is partially calcined. It is difficult to determine the claims
of such an instrument to be regarded as a knife or as a lance-head.

[Illustration: Fig. 244.—Snainton Moor. 1∕2]

[Illustration: Fig. 245.—Ford. 1∕2]

The pointed instrument from Snainton Moor, Yorkshire, which is shown
in Fig. 244, and was kindly lent to me by the late Mr. C. Monkman, of
Malton, has more the appearance of having been a lance-head. A fragment
of another weapon of this kind was found in Aberdeenshire.[1505] Larger
lance-heads of this form have been found in tumuli in the South of
France.[1506] A closely similar javelin-head, found at Vercelli, has
been engraved by Gastaldi,[1507] as well as another longer and more
distinctly tanged, from Telese.[1508] A third from Tuscany has been
engraved by Cocchi.[1509] A fourth of the same form, but slightly
notched on each side near the base, was found with skeletons in
Andalusia.[1510] In the English specimen the secondary flaking extends
over the whole, or nearly the whole, of both faces of the original
flake; and the same is the case with the other instruments of this
class which I am now about to describe.

Fig. 245 represents an implement of dark grey almost unweathered flint,
found with burnt bones in a barrow at Ford.[1511] Northumberland,
examined by Canon Greenwell. It has been made from an external flake
subsequently brought into shape by working on both faces. Judging
from its form only, it would appear to have been a lance-head; but
there are some signs of wear of the edge at the |334| butt-end, which
seem hardly compatible with this assumption, unless, indeed, like the
natives of Tierra del Fuego,[1512] who are said to make use of their
arrow-heads for cutting purposes, its owner used it also as a sort of
knife. Mr. C. Monkman had a blade of this character (3 3∕8 inches) from
Northdale, Yorkshire. Some lance-heads (3 and 2 1∕2 inches) have been
found at West Wickham,[1513] Kent; and Carn Brê,[1514] Cornwall.

[Illustration: Fig. 246.—Bridlington. 1∕2]

The original of Fig. 246 was found at West Huntow, near Bridlington.
It is boldly chipped on both faces, so that hardly any portion of the
original surface of the flake remains. It has a sharp edge all round,
which is, however, slightly abraded at the blunter end; a small portion
of the point at the other end has been broken off. In character it
so closely resembles a leaf-shaped arrow-head that there seem some
grounds for regarding this form as that of a lance-head, though from
the doubtful character of other specimens of nearby similar form I
have thought it better to place it here. A much larger specimen of
brown flint (3 3∕4 by 2 3∕8 inches), but of nearly the same form and
character, was found by the late Rev. J. C. Clutterbuck, at Hounslow
Heath. In the Greenwell Collection is one of almost the same dimensions
found on Willerby Wold, and others not quite so large from Rudstone,

Some blades, similar in general form, were found, with various other
stone implements, in sand-beds, near York, and have been described by
Mr. C. Monkman.[1515]

I have collected somewhat similar blades to that here engraved,
though of rather smaller dimensions, in the ancient encampment of
Maiden Bower, near Dunstable; and I have several found on the surface
near Lakenheath and Icklingham, Suffolk. I have seen one of the same
character, which was found near Ware, Herts. General Pitt Rivers found
in the Isle of Thanet[1516] two lance-heads, curiously like this and
the preceding figure.

[Illustration: Fig. 247.—Cambridge Fens. 1∕2]

A far more highly-finished blade, but still preserving the same general
character, is shown in Fig. 247. The original, of brown flint, was
found in the Cambridge Fens, and is now in my own collection. Though
ground on some portions of both faces, apparently for the purpose of
removing asperities, the edges are left unground. They are, however,
very carefully and delicately |335| chipped by secondary working to
a regular sweep. I think this instrument must be regarded rather as
a form of knife than as a head for a javelin or lance. In size, and
to some extent in shape, it corresponds with the more crescent-like
or triangular tools described under Fig. 256. I have a rather smaller
example from Bottisham, ground along one side only.

This correspondence is still more evident in a blade now in the
Blackmore Museum, Salisbury, of nearly the same shape but somewhat less
curved on one edge than the other, which has been ground along the more
highly curved edge. It was found at Hamptworth, near Salisbury.

A narrower form of blade is shown in Fig. 248. The original, of flint
weathered nearly white, was found at Scamridge, Yorkshire, and is
preserved in the Greenwell Collection. It is, as will be observed,
slightly unsymmetrical in form, so that it would appear to have been
intended for a knife rather than for a lance-head. A remarkably fine
specimen in the same collection, found at Flixton, Yorkshire[1517]
(5 1∕8 inches), is in form much like that from Scamridge. A part of
the edge towards the point on the flatter side is slightly worn. There
is a considerable diversity of form amongst the instruments of this
character, some having the sides almost symmetrical, while others have
them curved in different degrees, so much so as to make the instrument
resemble in form some of the crescent-shaped Danish blades. In a
specimen which I possess, from Ganton Wold, one side presents the
natural crust of the flint along the greater part of its length, and
has been left unworked; the other side has been chipped to an obtuse
edge, which is considerably bruised and worn. I have others from
Suffolk, sharpened by cross-flaking on one edge only. Some such knives
are rounded at one or both ends instead of being pointed. A blade from
the neighbourhood of Bridlington, in my collection, is pointed at one
end but rounded at the other, where also the edge is completely worn
away by attrition. In the case of another symmetrical and flat blade,
from Icklingham (3 3∕4 inches), rather more convex on one face than the
other, the edge on one side at the more pointed end is also completely
rubbed away. I have as yet been unable to trace on the face of any of
these pointed specimens signs of those polished markings which occur so
frequently at a little distance within the more highly curved margin of
the Danish semi-lunar blades, and from which Professor Steenstrup has
inferred that they were inserted in handles of wood or bone. A specimen
from Craigfordmains,[1518] Roxburghshire, has been figured.

[Illustration: Fig. 248.—Scamridge. 1∕2]

A blade of the same kind as Fig. 248, 3 5∕8 inches long, found in
the Department of the Charente, is engraved by de Rochebrune.[1519]
Others of larger size were found in the Grotto des Morts, Durfort
(Gard).[1520] |336|

The view that many of these blades were used as knives rather than as
lance-heads, seems to be supported by a specimen from Burwell Fen, in
the Museum of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society, and engraved in Fig.
249. This blade is rather more convex on one face than the other, and
shows along half of its flatter face the original inner surface of the
flake from which it was made. One of its side edges has been rounded by
grinding along its entire length, so that it can be conveniently held
in the hand; the other edge is left sharp, and is polished as if by use.

[Illustration: Fig. 249.—Burwell Fen. 1∕2]

[Illustration: Fig. 250.—Saffron Walden. 1∕2]

A remarkably large specimen of this kind, but with no traces of
grinding upon it, was found in digging the foundations of a house
on Windmill Hill, Saffron Walden, and was in the possession of Mr.
William Tuke,[1521] of that town. It is shown in Fig. 250. One face
is somewhat flatter than the other, but both faces are dexterously
and symmetrically chipped over their whole surface. The small flakes
have been taken off so skilfully and at such regular intervals, that,
so far as workmanship is concerned, this instrument approaches in
character the elegant Danish blades. The form seems well adapted for a
lance-head, but on examination the edges appear to be slightly chipped
and worn away, as if by scraping some hard material. It would appear,
then, more probably to have been used in the hand. In the often-cited
Greenwell Collection is a blade of grey flint, also 5 3∕8 inches long,
but rather narrower than the figure, and straighter on one edge than
the other, found in Mildenhall Fen. In the same collection is a large
thin flat |337| blade of flint, 8 3∕8 inches long and 3 inches broad,
more curved on one edge than the other, and rounded at one end. The
straighter edge is also the sharper. It was found at Cross Bank, near
Mildenhall. In general outline it is not unlike some of the Danish
lunate implements. It may, however, be only the result of a somewhat
unskilful attempt to produce a symmetrical dagger or spear-head, such
as Fig. 264. I have several instruments of this kind, found near
Icklingham and at other places in Suffolk.

A lance-head of almost the same size and form as Fig. 250, from the
neighbourhood of Brescia, has been engraved by Gastaldi.[1522] They are
also said to be found in Greece.[1523]

They sometimes occur among American antiquities. One of them, 11 inches
in length, pointed at each end, is engraved by Squier and Davis.[1524]
I have a beautiful blade of pale buff chalcedony, acutely pointed at
one end and rounded at the other, which was found in company with a
second of the same size and character, near Comayagua, in Spanish
Honduras. It is 6 3∕8 inches long and 1 1∕8 inches broad. Other
lance-heads from Honduras have been published.[1525] A flint sword or
spear-head 22 inches long, serrated at the end towards the point, is
said to have been found in Tennessee.[1526] Lance-heads of flint, not
unlike Figs. 249 and 250, are found in South Africa.[1527]

[Illustration: Fig. 251.—Fimber. 1∕2]

Messrs. Mortimer, of Driffield, Yorkshire, have in their collection
a remarkable specimen belonging to this class of instrument, which
instead of being pointed is almost semicircular at both ends. They have
kindly allowed me to engrave it in Fig. 251. It has been neatly chipped
from a piece of tabular flint, and not from a flake, and is equally
convex on both faces; some of the salient parts along both edges are
polished, as if by wear, and on either face are some of the polished
“Steenstrup’s markings,” possibly arising from its having been inserted
in a handle. This form is perhaps more closely connected with some of
those which will shortly follow than with those which precede it. A
somewhat similar oval blade 3 3∕4 inches long and 2 3∕4 inches wide,
found in the Thames at Long Wittenham, and formerly belonging to the
Rev. J. C. Clutterbuck, is ground along both sides, and is now in the
Oxford Museum.

A blade of the same form was found in the Grotte des Morts, Durfort

       *       *       *       *       *

In none of the specimens hitherto figured in this chapter, have the
edges been sharpened by grinding; in the only instances |338| where
that process has been used, it has been for the purpose of removing,
not of sharpening the edge. In the case of the next examples which I
am about to describe, one or both edges, and in some the whole of both
faces, have been ground.

       *       *       *       *       *

I have already mentioned instances of untrimmed flakes of flint having
been ground on the edge, but knives of a similar character made from
carefully chipped blades also occur, though so far as I have at present
observed, principally in Scotland.

[Illustration: Fig. 252.—Argyllshire. 1∕1]

[Illustration: Fig. 253.—Glen Urquhart.]

One of these, carefully worked on both faces, and with one edge
sharpened by grinding, was found at Strachur,[1529] Argyllshire, and
is shown full size in Fig. 252. Another, 2 1∕2 inches long and 7∕8
inch broad, with less grinding on the surface, was found at Cromar,
Aberdeenshire. A third, of almost the same size, with the edge nearly
straight and the back curved, and with neatly chipped faces but little
ground, was found in a chambered cairn at Camster,[1530] Caithness.
A nodule of iron ore was found with it, but whether this was for
fire-producing purposes is not apparent. A fragment of another knife of
the same kind was found, in 1865, by Messrs. Anderson and Shearer in a
cairn at Ormiegill Ulbster, Caithness; and among the numerous articles
of flint found at Urquhart,[1531] Elgin, is a very perfect knife of
this kind, which is shown in Fig. 253. All five specimens are in the
National Museum at |339| Edinburgh. I have two English specimens
of the same kind but pointed at the butt, from the neighbourhood of

The sharpened ends of stone celts, when broken off, have occasionally
been converted into knives. One such, from Gilling, Yorkshire, with the
fractured surface rounded by grinding, is in the Greenwell Collection.

Another form of knife closely allied to the type of Fig. 251, is
broader, and has all its edges sharpened. The instrument shown in Fig.
254 was found near Bridlington. It is made from a large broad flake,
the outer face of which has been re-worked to such an extent that not
more than one-fourth of the original surface remains intact. The inner
face, on the contrary, is left almost untouched, except just at the two
ends. As will be seen from the engraving, a portion of the original
edge has been chipped away, apparently in modern times, by the first
finder having used it as a “strike-a-light” flint. What remains of the
original edge has been carefully sharpened, and the angles between some
of the facets on the convex face have also been removed by grinding.
An example of the same kind from Butterlaw,[1532] near Coldstream, has
been figured.

[Illustration: Fig. 254.—Bridlington. 1∕2]

[Illustration: Fig. 255.—Overton. 1∕2]

Others more or less perfect have been found at Glenluce,[1533]
Earlston, and on the Culbin Sands.[1534]

A nearly similar instrument, from Sweden, has been engraved by
Nilsson,[1535] but its edges are not described as ground.

A more highly finished form of the same implement is shown in Fig.
255. The original was found at Pick Rudge Farm,[1536] Overton, Wilts,
in company with the large barbed arrow or javelin-head, Fig. 305, and
both are now in the Blackmore Museum. Like Fig. 254, it is flatter on
one face than the other; it is, however, polished all over as well as
ground at the edges. These are rather sharper at the two ends than
at the sides. Another specimen of the same form, and of almost |340|
identically the same dimensions, was found at Pentrefoelas,[1537]
Denbighshire. A third specimen, 3 1∕2 inches long and 2 1∕4 inches
wide, was found at Lean Low, near Newhaven, Derbyshire, and is in the
Bateman collection.[1538]

In my own collection are two very fine and perfect specimens of this
class of instrument, both from the neighbourhood of Cambridge. The
larger of these is 4 1∕4 inches long, 2 3∕4 inches broad at one end,
and 2 5∕8 inches at the other. The ends are ground to a regular sweep,
and the sides are somewhat hollowed. It has been made from a very
broad thin flake, and is ground over nearly the whole of the outer and
over part of the inner face, and brought to a sharp edge all round.
It was found in Burwell Fen. The smaller instrument has been even
more highly finished in the same manner, every trace of the original
chipping of the convex face having been removed by grinding. The edge
is sharp all round, but the ends are more highly curved than in the
larger instrument. It is 3 1∕4 inches long, 2 1∕8 inches broad at one
end, and 1 7∕8 inches at the other, and was found in Quy Fen. In the
Greenwell Collection is a portion of what appears to have been another
of these instruments, ground on both faces and sharp at the edges, from

[Illustration: Fig. 256.—Kempston. 1∕2]

I have the half of another, 2 inches wide, found near Bridlington,
and one of the same character, but oval in outline, from the same
place. The latter has lost one of its ends. Its original dimensions
must have been about 3 inches in length by 1 7∕8 inches in extreme
breadth, and 3∕16 inch in thickness. Both faces are coarsely ground,
the striæ running crossways of the blade. The edges appear to have been
sharpened on a finer stone. It has been supposed that these instruments
were intended to serve for dressing[1539] the flesh side of skins,
or for flaying-knives.[1540] Mr. Albert Way has called attention
to the analogy they present to an unique bronze implement found at
Ploucour,[1541] Brittany.

The beautifully-formed instrument shown in Fig. 256 belongs apparently
to the same class. It was found at Kempston, near Bedford, and was
kindly lent to me for engraving by the late Mr. James Wyatt, F.G.S.,
who afterwards presented it to the Blackmore Museum.[1542] It is of
dark flint, the two faces equally convex, and neatly chipped out
but not polished. Regarding it as of triangular form, with the apex
rounded, the edges on what may be described as the two sides in the
|341| [1543] engraving have been carefully sharpened, while that of
the base has been removed by grinding. In the same field was found a
flint lance-head or dagger of fine workmanship, which will subsequently
be mentioned.

Messrs. Mortimer, of Driffield, possess an instrument of the same
character found near Fimber. It is more equilaterally triangular in
form than the Kempston specimen, though the sides are all curved and
the angles rounded. It is polished all over on one face, though some
traces of the original flaking are still apparent. On the other face,
which is rather more convex, the grinding is confined to two sides
of the triangle, which are thus brought to a sharp edge. The edge on
the third side, which is rather straighter than the others, is very
slightly rounded. It seems probable that this blunter edge was next the
hand when the instrument was in use.

[Illustration: Fig.—256A.—Eastbourne. 1∕2]

Another specimen, even more triangular in outline, was found in the
Thames, at Windsor; it is of ochreous flint, and the base, which is
3 3∕8 inches long, exhibits the natural crust of the flint; each of
the other two sides, which are ground to a sharp edge, is about 2 3∕4
inches long. Another from Lakenheath, 3 1∕4 inches long and 3 inches
wide at the unground base, was in the collection of the late Rev. W.
Weller Poley, of Brandon.

I have an implement of this kind, much like that from Kempston, but
more curved at what is the base in the figure. All along this sweep the
edge produced by chipping out the form has been removed by grinding.
All round the other sweep the edge has been carefully sharpened by the
same means. A portion only of each face is ground. This specimen was
found near Mildenhall. I have another, more curved both at the edge and
the base, found near Icklingham. From the same district I have the form
entirely unground. Other specimens found in Derbyshire are preserved in
the Bateman Collection. There are several in the Museum at Oxford.

In Fig. 256A is shown an almost circular knife of this kind found at
Willington Mill, near Eastbourne, which was kindly given to me by Mr.
R. Hilton, of East Dean.

In the Greenwell Collection is another nearly circular tool, about 2
inches in diameter, ground to an edge along most of the periphery,
and found in Yorkshire. Another rather smaller disc, in the same
collection, |342| and found at Huntow, near Bridlington, is partly
ground on both faces, but not at the edge. A circular knife of the
same kind was found at Trefeglwys,[1544] Montgomeryshire. It is 2 3∕4
inches in diameter and ground to an edge all round except at two places
at opposite ends of one of its diameters, where for a short distance
the edge is left as it was originally chipped out. It is now in the
Powysland Museum. A circular knife from Mam Tor,[1545] Derbyshire, is
in the Castleton Museum.

[Illustration: Fig. 257.—Kintore. 1∕2]

[Illustration: Fig. 258.—Newhaven, Derbyshire.]

In the Greenwell Collection is an implement, about 2 inches in
diameter, found at Sherburn Carr, Yorkshire, and in outline like a
scraper, but with the greater part of the semicircular edge sharpened
by grinding. In character it much resembles some instruments
occasionally found both in Britain and Ireland, of which an example is
given in Fig. 257. This is a horseshoe-shaped blade of flint, 3 inches
over, with the rounded part of the circumference ground to a fine
cutting edge, so that it was probably used as a knife. It is in the
National Museum at Edinburgh, and was presumably found near Kintore,
Aberdeenshire. In the same Museum is another instrument of the same
kind, but somewhat kidney-shaped in outline, found in Lanarkshire. It
is 3 3∕8 inches in length, and 2 5∕8 inches in extreme width. On a part
of the hollowed side it shows the natural crust of the flint, but the
rest of the periphery is ground to a sharp edge, and the projections
on the faces have been removed by grinding. Others were found at
Pitlochrie,[1546] Kincardineshire, and Turriff,[1547] Aberdeenshire.
Mr. C. Monkman, of Malton, had a knife much like Fig. 257, 2 3∕4 inches
across, which was found at Huntow, near Bridlington. I have an Irish
specimen from near Ballymena almost like that from Kintore, as well as
one of longer horseshoe shape found at Swan Brake, North Stow, Bury St.
Edmunds, another large |343| one more subtriangular (3 8∕10 by 3 1∕2
inches) found near Wallingford, and a broad hatchet-shaped one from the
Cambridge Fens.

In the collection (now in the British Museum) of the late Mr. J. F.
Lucas, is an instrument of this kind, 3 inches over, found at Arbor
Low, Derbyshire, in 1867. He kindly presented me with another, closely
resembling Fig. 257, and found at Mining Low. He also possessed a
remarkably fine knife of this form, but with the edge unground, which
was found at Newhaven, Derbyshire, and is shown in Fig. 258. An example
more pear-shaped in outline and ground half-way round the edge, found
near Whitby, has been figured.[1548] I have a fine one (4 inches) more
rhomboidal from Swaffham Fen, Cambridge, and another smaller from
Burwell. From the latter place I have an oval knife made from a broad
external flake (2 3∕4 inches) ground along one side, and a thick one
also of oval form from Icklingham.

In all the specimens with the circular edge sharpened by grinding, the
flat side has been purposely made blunt, as if for being held in the
hand. The backs, however, may have been let into wooden handles, in
which case these instruments would have been the exact counterparts of
the Ulus, or Women’s knives of the Eskimos.[1549]

[Illustration: Fig. 259.—Harome, Yorkshire. 1∕2]

Though not formed of flint, but of a hard slaty rock of the nature
of hone-stone, an implement of much the same form as that from
Fimber[1550] may be here described. It was found at Harome, in
Ryedale, Yorkshire, and is in the Greenwell Collection, now Dr. Allen
Sturge’s. As will be seen from Fig. 259, it approximates in form to an
equilateral spherical triangle with the apices rounded. It is carefully
polished over the whole of both faces, except where small portions
have broken away, owing to the lamination of the stone. Each of the
three sides is ground to a cutting edge, which however is not continued
over the angles; these are rounded in both directions, as each would
probably be in contact with the palm of the hand when the opposite edge
was used for cutting. |344|

There can be no doubt that all these triangular instruments, whether
of flint or other material, were used as cutting tools; and the name
of skinning-knife, which has been applied to them as well as to the
quadrangular instruments, not improbably denotes one of the principal
purposes for which they were made.

[Illustration: Fig. 260.—Harome, Yorkshire. 1∕2]

In the Greenwell Collection is another curious instrument, from the
same locality as that last described, which is shown in Fig. 260. It
is formed of a hard slaty stone, having one side ground to a regularly
curved and sharp edge, and the others rounded by grinding. The two
faces, which are equally convex, are also ground to such an extent
that but little of the original chipped surface can be discerned. In
the face shown in the figure there is a slight central depression,
and on the other face two such at about 2 inches apart, and in a line
parallel with the top or back of the instrument. When it is held in the
right hand, with the fore-finger over the end, the thumb fits into the
depression on the one face and the middle and fourth fingers into those
on the other, so that it is firmly grasped. It is evident that this
must have been a cutting or chopping tool: but the materials on which
it was employed would seem to have been soft, as the edge is by no
means sharp, and is also entirely uninjured by use. These depressions
for the thumb and fingers resemble in character those on the handles of
some of the Eskimo[1551] scrapers and knives already described.

Another implement, of nearly the same form, but rather longer and
narrower, is in the same collection, and was found in Ryedale,
Yorkshire. It is of hard clay-slate, 5 1∕8 inches long at the blade
and 2 1∕2 inches wide, with a curved sharp edge, and a straight back
rounded transversely. It is bevelled at one end, which is flat,
apparently owing to a joint in the slate; and somewhat rounded
at the other, where it fits the hand. Neither in this nor in a
third instrument of the same class, also from Harome, are there
any depressions on the face. This last has been formed from a flat
kidney-shaped pebble of clay-slate, the hollow side and one end left
almost in the natural condition so as to fit the hand, and the curved
side ground to a sharp edge, which is returned round the end almost
at a right angle. The edge at the end |345| is polished as if by
rubbing, and looks as if it might have been used in the same manner as
bookbinders’ tools for indenting lines on leather. This instrument is
6 inches long, 3 inches wide at the butt-end, and 2 1∕2 inches at the
sharp end. It is nearly 1 1∕4 inches thick.

Besides the three which I have mentioned several other instruments of
the same description have been found in the same part of Yorkshire.

I have never seen any specimens of precisely this character from
other localities; but they were apparently destined for much the same
purposes as the “Picts’ knives,” shortly to be mentioned, unless
possibly they were merely used in the manner just indicated. It is
very remarkable that the form should appear to be limited to so small
an area in England; and though the specimens occur under the same
circumstances as polished celts, it seems probable that for stone
antiquities they belong to a late period.

[Illustration: Fig 261.—Crambe. 1∕2]

The large thin flat blades, usually subquadrangular or irregularly
oval in form, of which a large number has been found in the Shetland
Islands, and which are known as “Pech’s knives,” or “Picts’ knives,”
apparently belong to the same class of instruments as the quadrangular
and triangular tools lately described, and this would therefore appear
to be the proper place for making mention of them. They are never
formed of flint; the principal materials of which they are made being
slate and compact greenstone, porphyry, and other felspathic rocks, and
madreporite. Their usual length is from 6 inches to 9 inches, and the
breadth from 3 inches to 5 inches; their thickness is rarely more than
1∕2 inch in the middle, and sometimes not more than 1∕10 of an inch.
They are usually polished all over, and ground to an edge all round.
Sometimes, however, the edge on one or more sides is rounded, and
occasionally an end or side is left of the full thickness of the blade,
and rounded as if for being held in the hand. I have a specimen, 4 1∕2
inches long, and 3 1∕4 inches wide at the base, formed of porphyritic
greenstone, and found at Hillswick, in Shetland, which was given me by
the late Mr. J. Gwyn Jeffreys, F.R.S. Its cutting edge may be described
as forming nearly half of a pointed ellipse, of which the thick side
for holding forms the conjugate diameter. This side is rounded and
curved slightly inwards; one of the angles between this base and the
elliptical edge is rounded, and a portion of the edge is also left
thick and rounded, so that when the base is applied to the palm of
the hand the lower part of the forefinger may rest upon it. When thus
held it forms a cutting tool not unlike a leather-cutter’s knife.
Instruments of this character are extremely rare in England, but in
the extensive Greenwell Collection is a specimen which I have engraved
as Fig. 261. It was found at Crambe, in the North Riding of Yorkshire,
and is formed of an oolitic shelly limestone, a material also used
for the manufacture of celts in |346| that district. Though smaller,
and rather more deeply notched at the base than my Shetland knife, it
is curiously like it in general form. The edge, however, only extends
along one side, and is not carried round the point.

[Illustration: Fig. 262.—Walls, Shetland. 1∕2]

The specimens that I have engraved as Figs. 262 and 263, are in the
Museum of the Society of Antiquaries of London. They are formed of
thin laminæ of what is said to be madreporite, and are sharp all
round.[1552] They were found with fourteen others at the depth of six
feet in a peat-moss, the whole of them being arranged in a horizontal
line, and overlapping each other like slates upon the roof of a house.
There are several specimens formed of felspathic rocks, and from
various localities in Shetland, preserved in the British Museum. A note
attached to one of them states that twelve were found in Easterskild,
in the parish of Sandsting. An engraving of one of them is given in
the “Horæ Ferales.”[1553] I possess several; one of porphyritic stone,
oval, 8 inches long, is polished all over both faces, one side is sharp
and the other rounded.

In the National Museum at Edinburgh[1554] are other examples, also
from Shetland. Several have been figured.[1555] Some have a kind of
haft.[1556] They occasionally have a hole for suspension.[1557] Sir
Daniel Wilson[1558] states that a considerable number of implements,
mostly of the same class, were found under the clay in the ancient
mosses of |347| Blairdrummond and Meiklewood, but in this he was in
error. There are some fine specimens from Shetland in the Ethnological
Museum at Copenhagen. Mr. J. W. Cursiter, of Kirkwall, has fine
examples of such knives from Shetland. One in his collection is 8
inches long and 5 3∕4 inches broad, being in form much like Fig. 262.

[Illustration: Fig. 263.—Walls, Shetland. 1∕2]

There can be little doubt of these implements having been cutting tools
for holding in the hand, though they have been described by Dr. Hibbert
and Mr. Bryden[1559] in “The Statistical Account of the Shetland Isles”
as double or single-edged battle-axes. They appear, however, as Mr.
Albert Way[1560] has pointed out, to be too thin and fragile for any
warlike purpose. Those with the cutting edge all round were probably
provided with a sort of handle along one side, like the flensing-knife
from Icy Cape in the possession of Sir Edward Belcher, of which mention
has already been made. This is a flat thin blade, about 5 inches long,
and of subquadrangular form. It is sharp at the edge, but has a guard
or handle along the opposite side, made of split twigs attached by
resinous gum. In some Eskimo knives of the same kind in the Christy
Collection and in the Ethnological Museum at Copenhagen the |348|
wooden back is tied on by a cord which passes through a hole in the
blade. It is possible that the “Picts’ knives” may in some cases have
been used, like those of the Eskimos, for removing the blubber from

It is difficult to assign a date to these instruments, which are almost
peculiar to the Shetland Islands. There are traditions extant of their
having been seen in use within the present century, in one instance
by an old woman for cutting kail, and in Lewis,[1561] a sharp stone
was used in 1829, for cutting out a wedding dress. In the latter case
the reason assigned was the want of scissors, but it would appear to
have probably been merely an experimental trial of the cutting powers
of a stone which may not have been one of these primitive tools. The
occurrence of Picts’ knives under so thick a deposit of peat shows,
however, that they do not belong to any recent period, though five or
six feet of peat do not of necessity indicate any very high degree of

When the Princess Leonora Christina[1562] was imprisoned in Copenhagen
in 1663 and she was deprived of scissors and cutting instruments, she
records, in 1665, that, “Christian had given me some pieces of flint
which are so sharp that I can cut fine linen with them by the thread.
The pieces are still in my possession, and with this implement I
executed various things.”

Stone knives of any form, having the edges ground, are of rare
occurrence on the Continent, though in Norway and Sweden[1563] those
of what have been termed Arctic types are found. Nearly similar forms
occur in North America. A peculiar knife, with a rectangular handle,
much like a common table-knife, has been found in the Lake Settlement
of Inkwyl.[1564]

A North American knife,[1565] with a somewhat similar handle, has a
curved blade very thick at the back.

       *       *       *       *       *

To return to the implements made of flint. Those which I have next
to describe have been termed spear-heads, lance-heads, knives, and
daggers. Their ordinary length is from 5 to 7 inches, and their extreme
width from 1 1∕2 to 2 1∕2 inches. Their general form is lanceolate,
but the greater breadth is usually nearer the point of the blade than
the butt, which is in most instances either truncated or rounded.
They exhibit remarkable skill in the treatment of flint in their
manufacture, being as a rule symmetrical in form, with the edge in
one plane, and equally convex on the two faces—which are dexterously
chipped into broad flat facets—while the edges are still more carefully
shaped by secondary working. Towards the butt, the converging sides are
usually nearly straight, and in many, the edge at this part has been
rounded by grinding, and the butt-end has had its angles removed in a
similar manner. |349| This may have been done either with the view of
rendering the instrument more convenient for holding in the hand, or
in order to prevent the blade from cutting the ligaments by which it
was attached to a handle. For the latter purpose, however, there would
be no advantage in rounding the butt-end; and as this, moreover, is
frequently the thickest part of the blade, it seems probable that the
majority of the instruments were intended for holding in the hand, so
that the term dagger appears most appropriate to this form.

Other blades, with notches on the opposite sides, seem to have been
mounted with handles or shafts, and may have served either as daggers
or possibly as spear-heads.

I have figured four specimens showing some difference in shape, mainly
in consequence of the different relative positions of the broadest part
of the blades. This in Fig. 265 may be, to some extent, due to the
point having been chipped away by successive sharpening of the edge by
secondary chipping, in the same manner as we find some of the Danish
daggers worn to a stump, by nearly the whole of the blade having been
sharpened away.

[Illustration: Fig. 264.—Lambourn Down. 1∕2]

       *       *       *       *       *

In Fig. 264 is shown a beautiful dagger of white flint, which was
found in a barrow on Lambourn Down, Berks, in company with a celt
and some exquisitely-finished stemmed and barbed arrow-heads of the
same material. It is now in the British Museum. Its edges are sharp
all along, and not blunted towards the butt-end. It may have been
an entirely new weapon, buried with the occupant of the barrow for
use in another state of existence, or it may have had moss wrapped
round that part, so as to protect the hand; like the blade[1566] of
flint with _Hypnum brevirostre_ wrapped round its butt-end to form a
substitute for a handle, which was found in the bed of the River Bann,
in Ireland. Some North American implements of similar character are, as
Sir Wollaston Franks[1567] has pointed out, hafted by insertion into a
split piece of wood in which |350| they are bound by a cord. One from
the north-west coast, thus mounted, is in the British Museum.

Professor Nilsson[1568] has engraved another American knife, in the
same collection, but erroneously refers it to New Zealand.

A good specimen (6 1∕2 inches) was found in 1890 in a field known as
Little Wansford, near Great Weldon, Northamptonshire. I have specimens
(6 1∕4 inches) from Fiskerton, Lincolnshire, and from Bottisham Fen,
Cambs (4 5∕8 inches). There is a slight shoulder on the latter rather
nearer the butt than the point. A beautiful specimen (6 3∕4 inches)
from a barrow at Garton.[1569] Yorkshire, E. R., has been figured.

[Illustration: Fig. 265.—Thames. 1∕2]

[Illustration: Fig. 266.—Burnt Fen.]

The blade shown in Fig. 265 is in the British Museum, having been
formerly in the Roach Smith Collection. It is of nearly black flint,
and was found in the Thames. Its length is still 7 inches, but from the
form of the point it seems possible that it may, as already suggested,
originally have been even longer. There is in the Museum another
specimen from the Thames,[1570] 5 3∕4 inches long, in form like Fig.
264. Both of these have the edges towards the butt rendered more or
less blunt, and have had any prominences removed by grinding. The same
is the case with a blade 6 inches long and 2 3∕8 inches wide, found
|351| in Quy Fen in 1849, and now in the Museum of the Cambridge
Antiquarian Society. In the same collection is a smaller specimen,
4 3∕4 inches long and 1 5∕8 inches wide, from Burwell Fen. This has
its edges sharp, and shows the natural crust of the flint at the butt,
as does also one 7 inches long by 2 1∕2 inches wide, found at Jackdaw
Hill, near Cambridge.[1571] Another blade (5 3∕8 inches) found at
Wolseys, near Dunmow, Essex, is in the British Museum. A blade of this
type from a garden at Walton-on-Thames[1572] is recorded.

A remarkably fine spear-head of the notched class, 6 3∕4 inches long,
was exhibited some years ago to the British Archæological Association,
and their _Proceedings_,[1573] without giving any information as to the
size, shape, or character of the specimen, record as an interesting
fact that it weighs nearly four ounces. It was found in Burnt Fen,
Prickwillow, Ely, and is now in my own collection. It is engraved as
Fig. 266. It is of black flint, and has in the first instance been
boldly chipped into approximately the requisite form, and then been
carefully finished by neat secondary working at the edges, no part of
which has been rounded by grinding. On either side, at rather less
than half way along the blade from the base, are two deep rounded
indentations not quite half an inch apart, in character much like the
notches between the barbs and stems of one form of flint arrow-heads.
The same peculiarity is to be observed in a somewhat smaller spear-head
found at Carshalton,[1574] in Surrey, and forming part of the Meyrick
Collection. Of this it is observed that it “was let into a slit in
the wooden shaft, and bound over with nerves diagonally from the four
notches which appear on the sides.” There can, I think, be little doubt
of the correctness of this view, nor of the method of attachment to
the shafts or handles having been much the same as that in use among
the American tribes for their arrow-and lance-heads with a notch on
either side. Whether the British blades were mounted with a short
handle or a long shaft, we have no means of judging; but if those with
the edges rounded towards the butt were knives or daggers, there seems
some probability of these also having served the same purpose, though
provided with handles like some North American and Mexican examples,
and of their not having been spear-or lance-heads.

I have another blade of this kind found in Burwell Fen, Cambridge,
about 5 3∕4 inches in length, and 1 7∕8 inch in width. At about 3 1∕2
inches from the point there is on either side a slight notch; beyond
this there is a narrow projection, and then the width of the blade is
suddenly reduced by a full eighth of an inch on either side, so as
to leave a sort of shoulder. Between this and the butt, at intervals
of about an inch, there are on each side two other notches, as if to
assist in fastening the blade into a shaft or handle. There has in this
case been no attempt to remove the edges by grinding.

A flint dagger (6 3∕8 inches) found in the Thames,[1575] near London
Bridge, has a notch on each side 2 7∕8 inches from the base. A smaller
notched example was found at Hurlingham.

In the Christy Collection is another of these blades, 5 3∕8 inches
long, |352| with a notch on either side about 1 3∕4 inches from the
butt. It is uncertain where it was found.

One with a notch at each side about mid-length was found at Hare
Park,[1576] Cambridge.

A blade remarkably like Fig. 266 was found in the Dolmen of
Vinnac[1577] (Aveyron).

A beautifully formed blade, chipped square at the base, and with a
series of notches along the sides towards the butt, was found at Arbor
Low, Derbyshire.[1578] The late Mr. J. F. Lucas obligingly lent it
to me for engraving, as Fig. 267. It is now preserved in the British

[Illustration: Fig. 267.—Arbor Low. 1∕2]

In the Wiltshire Barrows, explored by Sir R. Colt Hoare, were several
of these daggers. One,[1579] 6 1∕2 inches long, was found with a
skeleton beneath a large “sarsen stone” near Durrington Walls, in
company with a small whetstone, a cone and ring of jet like a pulley,
and two small discoidal scrapers. Another,[1580] of much the same form
and size as Fig. 264, occurred in company with a drinking-cup, and what
was probably a whetstone of “ligniformed asbestos,” at the feet of a
skeleton in a barrow near Stonehenge.

Others have been found in the barrows of Derbyshire and Yorkshire. In
Green Low, on Alsop Moor,[1581] a dagger-blade of flint, 6 inches long,
stemmed and barbed arrow-heads, a bone pin, and other bone instruments,
were associated with a contracted interment. It was in this barrow also
that the pyrites and scrapers, previously mentioned at p. 313, were
found. Another leaf-shaped dagger of white flint, 4 1∕2 inches long,
with the narrow half curiously serrated—as boldly as Fig. 266, but
with many more notches—was found by Mr. Bateman beneath the head of
a contracted skeleton in Nether Low,[1582] near Chelmorton. Another,
4 1∕4 inches long, was found with burnt bones in one of the Three
Lows,[1583] near Wetton. A flint dagger,[1584] elegantly chipped, 5 1∕4
inches long, was found on Blake Low, near Matlock, in 1786. Fragments
of similar daggers have been found with interments in barrows near
Pickering;[1585] and in Messrs. Mortimer’s rich collection is a fine
specimen from a barrow on the Yorkshire Wolds.

One like Fig. 264, but of coarser workmanship, 5 3∕4 inches long and
2 3∕8 inches wide, was found in 1862, with a skeleton and an earthen
vessel, at Norton, near Daventry, and particulars sent to me by the
|353| late Mr. S. Sharp, F.S.A., F.G.S.; and what would appear to have
been an instrument of the same character, 8 inches long, was found near
Maidstone.[1586] A very good specimen, of fine workmanship, is in the
Museum at Canterbury, but its place of finding is unknown.

Another, more like Fig. 267, but not serrated, 6 3∕4 inches long and 2
inches broad, was found with an urn at Ty ddu Llanelieu,[1587] Brecon,
and has been engraved.

In the Greenwell Collection is a blade like Fig. 264, 6 inches long and
2 1∕4 inches wide, finely chipped along the edges for 4 inches from the
point, which was found at Kempston, near Bedford, in the same field as
that shown in Fig. 256. There is also a specimen rather more rudely
chipped, and pointed at each end, from Irthington, Cumberland, which
has more of the character of a spear-head. In the Fitch Collection is a
fine but imperfect dagger from the neighbourhood of Ipswich, and I have
one in similar condition from Peasemarsh, near Godalming.

In Scotland one has been found in a cairn at Guthrie, Forfarshire,
6 3∕4 inches long and 1 1∕2 inches wide, which is engraved in the
_Gentleman’s Magazine_.[1588] Sir Daniel Wilson[1589] also mentions one
15 inches long, found in a cairn at Craigengelt, near Stirling, but I
think there must be some error as to the length.

Mr. J. W. Cursiter, of Kirkwall, has a very symmetrical blade like Fig.
264, but smaller, found in Blows Moss, South Ronaldsay, Orkney. A blade
from Nunraw,[1590] Haddingtonshire (7 1∕4 inches) with notches at the
side for hafting, has been engraved. Another (3 3∕8 inches), was found
in a cairn near Kirkmichael, Ayrshire.[1591]

Though occurring in so many parts of England and Scotland, these
daggers appear to be unknown in Ireland, where, however, some large
lozenge-shaped blades, ground on both faces, occur. Sword-like
blades made of slaty stone are also found in Ireland[1592] and in
Shetland.[1593] I have Irish specimens up to 15 inches in length, and
have seen the sketch of one of subquadrate section, and pointed at each
end, 20 3∕4 inches in length. It was found in the Lower Bann, near
Portglenone, co. Antrim.

In some Continental countries, and especially in Denmark, Sweden, and
Northern Germany, similar weapons are far more abundant than here. The
shape is somewhat different, for the English specimens are as a rule
broader in proportion, and more obtusely pointed than the Scandinavian.
These latter frequently exhibit the blunting at the edges towards
the butt-end, such as has been already mentioned. Occasionally they
have the notches at the sides. Daggers with square or fish-tailed
handles, like Worsaae, Nos. 52 and 53, some of which present delicately
ornamented and crinkled edges, have not as yet been found in Britain,
though somewhat analogous forms occur in Honduras and in North America.
The crinkling is seen on some Egyptian knives.

Nearly similar blades to those from Britain are found in other parts
of Europe. Two lance-heads, made from flakes 5 1∕4 inches and 5 3∕4
inches long, more or less worked on both faces, and reduced in width
at the |354| butt, so as to facilitate insertion in a handle, were
found in the sepulchral cave of St. Jean d’Alcas,[1594] in the Aveyron.
Another, worked on both faces, about 7 inches long and 1 1∕4 inches
broad, notched in two or three places on each side at the base, was
found in one of the dolmens of the Lozère.[1595] A third, shorter and
broader, but also notched at the base, was in the dolmen[1596] of
Grailhe (Gard).

A finely-worked, somewhat lozenge-shaped, blade of flint, 10 inches in
length, was found at Spiennes,[1597] near Mons, in Belgium.

A lance-head (6 3∕4 inches) from the Government of Vladimir,[1598]
Russia, has been figured.

A lance-head of flint, 9 inches long and 2 1∕8 broad, tanged at the
butt, and with a notch on each side of the tang, has been figured by
Gastaldi[1599] from a specimen in the Museum at Naples, found at Telese.

In Egypt, associated with other objects betokening a considerable
civilization, have been found several thin blades of flint, of much the
same character as the highly-finished European specimens. A magnificent
lance-head (14 1∕2 inches) has been presented to the Ashmolean Museum
by Prof. Flinders Petrie[1600]. It is delicately serrated along the
edges for most of its length. A smaller blade is more leaf-shaped and
minutely serrated all round. Another appears to have been hafted as
a dagger. In my own collection is a leaf-shaped blade 7 inches long,
most delicately made and serrated. Others are, however, thick at the
back, and provided with a tang like a metallic knife. Two of these
in the Berlin Museum,[1601] are 7 1∕4 inches and 6 3∕4 inches long
respectively, and 2 1∕4 inches and 2 inches wide; I have one 5 1∕8
inches in length. There are other specimens in the Egyptian Museums
at Leyden and Turin, and in the National Museum[1602] at Edinburgh. A
larger blade, and even more closely resembling some of the Scandinavian
lunate instruments in form, being leaf-shaped, but more curved on
one edge than the other, is also in the Berlin Museum.[1603] It is 9
inches long and 2 1∕2 inches wide. A curved scimitar-like knife from
Egypt[1604] is figured, as is one with a notch on each side of the
butt.[1605] Another blade, of ovate form, and without tang, 2 3∕4
inches long and 1 inch wide, is preserved in the Mayer Collection in
the Museum[1606] at Liverpool.

Some other Egyptian blades will be subsequently mentioned.

A dagger-blade of flint, still mounted in its original handle, is in
the British Museum,[1607] and has already been described.

Some of the dagger-blades in use in Mexico in ancient times were of
|355| much the same character as these, being in some cases of flint,
in others of obsidian. A beautiful blade of chalcedony, 8 inches long,
found at Tezcuco, is in the Christy Collection, as well as another of
chert; but the most remarkable is of chalcedony, still in its original
wooden handle in form of a kneeling figure, encrusted with precious
materials, including turquoise, malachite, and coral.[1608] An almost
similar specimen was engraved by Aldrovandus.[1609]

There are Japanese[1610] stone knives and daggers polished all over and
with the blade and hilt in one piece. Some are as much as 15 inches

[Illustration: Fig. 267A.—Sewerby. 1∕2]

A peculiar form of knife, closely resembling in character some of
the crescent-shaped blades from Scandinavia, is shown in Fig. 267A.
It was found in the parish of Sewerby,[1611] near Bridlington, and
somewhat resembles the blade from Balveny, subsequently mentioned. I
have described it in some detail[1611] elsewhere. A similar form occurs
in Arctic America.[1612] A wider form from New Jersey[1613] has been
regarded as a scalping-knife.

Another form of curved knife—for as such it would seem the instrument
must be regarded—seems to be more abundant in Britain than in other
European countries, unless possibly in Russia. A somewhat similar
form is known in Denmark,[1614] of which a highly finished variety
is engraved by Worsaae[1615] from an almost, if not quite, unique
example. Examples of analogous knives from other countries will also
be subsequently cited. As the form has not hitherto received much
attention from antiquaries, I have engraved three specimens slightly
differing in character, and found in different parts of England. |356|

Fig. 268 represents a beautifully formed knife, with a curved blade
tapering to a point, and found in draining at Fimber, Yorkshire. It
is preserved in the collection of Messrs. Mortimer, of Driffield, who
have kindly allowed me to engrave it. It is about 7 inches in length,
formed of flint, which has now become ochreous in colour, and exhibits
a portion of the natural crust at the butt-end. The blade is nearly
equally convex on the two faces, but thickens out at the butt, which
seems to have formed the handle, as the side edges which are elsewhere
sharp are there slightly blunted. The faces present no signs of having
been ground or polished.

[Illustration: Fig. 268.—Fimber. 1∕2]

[Illustration: Fig. 269.—Yarmouth. 1∕2]

I have two or three fragments of similar knives also from the Yorkshire
Wolds; and one almost perfect, but only 4 1∕2 inches long, from Ganton
Wold. In the Greenwell Collection is a fragment of one from Wetwang,
and the point of another from Rudstone. I have one (5 inches) perfect
except at the butt, found at North Stow, Bury St. Edmunds.

Fig. 269 represents a nearly similar knife, which has, however,
been already described, though not figured, in the _Archæological
Journal_[1616] and in the _Proceedings of the Society of
Antiquaries_.[1617] It was found on Corton Beach, midway between
Yarmouth and Lowestoft, and belonged |357| to the late Mr. C. Cory,
of Yarmouth, who kindly lent it to me for engraving. It has been
suggested that it was fixed to a haft, possibly of stag’s horn or of
wood, but there are no _indiciæ_ of this having been the case, though
the side-edges are blunted towards the butt-end, where also remains
a considerable portion of the crust of the long nodule of flint from
which the instrument was chipped.

For the loan of the original of Fig. 270 I am indebted to the late Mr.
Caldecott, of Mead Street, near Eastbourne, near which place it was
found. It is of grey flint, and presents the peculiarity of having
one face partially polished by grinding, which extends to the point,
but does not touch the edges, which, as in the other instances, are
produced by chipping only. It is rather more convex on the polished
face than on the other, and it appears probable that recourse was had
to grinding in order to remove a hard projection of the flint which had
been too refractory to be chipped off. As usual, there is a portion of
the crust of the original flint visible at the butt, where also the
side edges have been blunted, in this case by grinding. This instrument
has already been described and figured.[1618]

A curved knife (7 3∕4 inches) now in the British Museum, much like Fig.
270, was found at Grovehurst,[1619] near Milton, Kent.

[Illustration: Fig. 270.—Eastbourne. 1∕2]

In the same museum is a beautifully-chipped knife, 8 1∕4 inches long,
without any traces of grinding, and of much the same form as this, but
with the point more sharply curved. It was found in the Thames, at
London, in 1868.

One from Bexley, Kent, is in the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford, and
another from the Thames at Greenwich in the Jermyn Street Museum.

The Greenwell Collection contains an implement of this class, but
of broader proportions, 4 inches long and 1 3∕4 inches wide, with a
portion of the natural crust of the flint left on the convex side, not
far from the point. It is sharp at the base, which is semicircular, and
the edge shows signs of wear. It was found on Heslerton Wold.

A thinner form of curved knife (6 1∕2 inches), found at Balveny,[1620]
Banffshire, has been figured.

The point of what appears to have been a curved knife of this character
was found in the Lake-dwelling of Bodmann.[1621] Some curved knives
from one at Attersee[1622] have been engraved. A long flint knife from
Majorca,[1623] nearly straight at the edge, but curved at the back, may
also be mentioned. |358|

Some curved knives of polished slate, about 5 inches long, notched at
the base as if for suspension by means of a string, have been found in
Norway. Small blades of chipped flint with a neck for the same purpose
are not uncommon in Japan, and occur more rarely in Russia.[1624] In
the Greenwell Collection is preserved a curved knife of slate sharpened
on the concave side, found in Antrim.

Curved knives of flint, as well as some of the crescent shape, have
been found in Volhynia.[1625]

I have seen flint knives in outline very like Fig. 240 in the museums
at Cracow, Moscow, and Kiev. Some are highly polished by friction and
may have served as sickles.

It is difficult to assign any definite use to the British form of
knife, but as the curvature is evidently intentional, and as probably
it was more difficult to chip out such curved blades than it would
have been to make them straight, there must have been some advantage
resulting from the form. As both edges of the blade are sharp, it
is hard to say whether the convex or concave edge was the principal
object. But inasmuch as the convex edge might more readily be obtained,
and that twice over, in a leaf-shaped blade, it appears that the
concave edge was the desideratum. The blunting of the edges at the
butt-end suggests the probability of the instruments having been held
immediately in the hand without the intervention of any form of haft;
and the view of the concave edge being the principal one is supported
by the circumstance that in the short knife from Ganton Wold, already
mentioned, a considerable portion of the crust of the round-ended
nodule of flint from which it was made is left along the convex side
at the butt-end, while on the opposite side the edge extends the whole
length, so that it cannot be comfortably held in the hand except with
that edge outwards from the palm. It seems, indeed, adapted for holding
in the hand and cutting towards rather than from the operator; and
looking at the form universally adopted for reaping instruments, which
seem to require a concave edge, so as to gather within them all the
stalks that have to be cut, I am inclined to think that these curved
flint knives may not impossibly have supplied the place of sickles
or reaping hooks, whether for cutting grass to serve as provender or
bedding, or for removing the ears of corn from the straw. We know that
amongst the inhabitants of the Swiss Lake-dwellings some who were
unacquainted with the use of metals had already several domesticated
animals, and cultivated more than one kind of cereal, and it is not
unfair to infer that the same was the case in Britain. It has already
been suggested that some serrated flint flakes may have served for the
armature of another form of sickle, like that in use in Egypt at an
early period.

The analogy in form between these flint blades and those of the bronze
reaping-hooks occasionally found in Britain is striking, when we leave
the sockets by which the latter were secured to their handles out of
view. These also have usually the outer edge sharp as well as the
inner, but for what purpose I cannot say.

This seems a fitting place to say a few words with regard to some
|359| Egyptian flint knives, for the knowledge of which we are mainly
indebted to Prof. Flinders Petrie, and the workmanship of which is
absolutely unrivalled. They are of two kinds, both presenting an
outline curved on one or both sides. For the one kind a flake from 8 to
9 inches long of triangular section with a thick back and sharp edge
has been taken: the back has been most carefully retouched and left
slightly convex: the ridge of the flake has been wrought so as to show
a crinkled line like that on the handles of some Danish daggers, the
edge has been more or less re-worked, producing a bold convex sweep,
and what was originally the inner face of the flake has first been
delicately fluted by cross-flaking and then still more finely retouched
along both the back and the edge.

For the other kind the whole surface of the original flake has, as
Mr. Spurrell[1626] has pointed out, been carefully ground, one face
being made rather more convex that the other. The flatter face has
been left almost untouched, but one side has been trimmed by flaking
at the edge into almost a straight or slightly concave line: the
other side is boldly curved, the general outline having been produced
during the grinding process. The more convex face has been fluted or
“ripple-marked” by cross-flaking from either side in the most skilful
manner, the whole of the original polished surface being sometimes
removed. The projections at the butt-end between the successive flakes
have next been levelled down by secondary chipping, and finally the
curved edge has been minutely serrated, there being about 36 teeth
to the inch. These blades are from 7 to 9 1∕4 inches in length, and
occasionally made of beautiful chalcedonic flint. They are attributed
by Professor Flinders Petrie[1627] to a period between the fourth
and the twelfth Dynasty, but may possibly be of even earlier date.
As already mentioned, some beautiful leaf-shaped lance-heads with
finely-serrated edges have been made in the same manner.

One of the fluted knives in the Ghizeh Museum[1628] is hafted for a
distance of about 4 inches in a thin plate of gold, engraved on the one
face with well-drawn figures of animals, and on the other with floral
ornaments arranged between two serpents. The plates of gold are not
soldered together, but sewn one to the other with gold wire.




I now come to a series of flint weapons, small but varying in size,
which though presenting a general resemblance in character to each
other, are still susceptible of being classified under several types.
The similarity is probably due to their having been all intended for
the same purpose—that of piercing the skin, whether of enemies in war,
or of animals in the chase; the differences may result from some of
the weapons having served for warlike and others for hunting purposes.
The variation in size probably arises from some of them having tipped
spears to be held in the hand for close encounters, while others may
have been attached to lighter shafts, and formed javelins to be thrown
at objects at some distance; and the majority of the smaller kind were,
beyond doubt, the heads of arrows discharged from bows.

The possibly successive ideas of pointing a stake as a weapon of
offence, of hardening the point by means of fire, and of substituting
a still harder point made of horn, bone, or stone, must have occurred
to mankind at the earliest period of its history, and weapons of one or
all of these kinds are to be found among savage tribes in all parts of
the world. The discovery of the bow, as a means of propelling javelins
on a small scale to a distance, seems to belong to a rather higher
grade of culture, and its use is not universal among modern savages.
The use of the bow and arrow was totally unknown to the aborigines
of Australia,[1629] and even the Maories[1630] of New Zealand—who
were by no means in the lowest stage of civilization—had, when first
discovered, no bows and arrows, nor even slings; in fact, no missile
weapon except the lance, which was thrown by hand.

In Europe, however, the use of the bow seems to date back to a
|361| very remote period, as in some of the cave-deposits of the
Reindeer Period of the South of France, what appear to be undoubtedly
arrow-heads are found. In other caves, possibly, though not certainly,
inhabited at a somewhat later period, such arrow-heads are absent,
though what may be regarded as harpoon-heads of bone occur; and in the
River Gravel deposits, nothing that can positively be said to be an
arrow-head has as yet been found, though it is barely possible that
some of the pointed flakes may have served to tip arrows.

The Greek myth[1631] that bows and arrows were invented by Scythes,
the son of Jove, or by Perses, the son of Perseus, though pointing
to an extreme antiquity for the invention, not improbably embodies
a tradition of the skill in archery of the ancient Scythians and

The simplest form of stone-pointed spear or lance at present in use
among savages, consists of a long sharp flake of obsidian, or some
silicious stone, attached to a shaft, like that shown in Fig. 195;
and arrows, tipped with smaller flakes, having but little secondary
working at the sides, beyond what was necessary to complete the point,
and to form a small tang for insertion into the shaft, may also be
seen in Ethnological collections. Between these almost simple flakes
and skilfully and symmetrically-chipped lance and arrow heads, all the
intermediate stages may be traced among weapons still, or until quite
recently, in use among savages; as well as among those which once
served to point the weapons of the early occupants of this country.

It is indeed probable that besides these stone-tipped weapons, other
seemingly less effective, but actually more deadly missiles, were
in use among them in the form of poisoned arrows; but as these at
the present day are usually tipped with hard wood or bone, as better
adapted than stone for retaining the poison, the same was probably the
case in ancient times; and while those of wood have perished, those of
bone, if found, have not as yet been recognized. Such arrow-heads of
bone were also in use without being poisoned, as, for instance, among
the Finns, or Fenni, as Tacitus calls them, whose principal weapons
were, for want of iron, bone-pointed arrows.[1633] The use of poisoned
arrows had, among the Greeks and Romans, long ceased in classical
times,[1634] and is always represented |362| by authors, from the
time of Homer downwards, as a characteristic of barbarous nations; and
yet, in our own language, a word in common use survives as a memorial
of this barbarous custom having been practised by the Greeks probably
long before the days of Homer. For from τόξον a bow (or occasionally
an arrow[1635]), was derived τοξικὸν—_toxicum_—the poison for arrows;
a term which gradually included all poisons, even those of the milder
form, such as alcohol, the too free use of which results in that form
of poisoning still known among us as _intoxication_.

One of the first to mention the discovery of flint arrow-heads
in Britain was Dr. Plot, who, in his “Natural History of
Staffordshire”[1636] (1686), speaking of the use of iron by “the
Britains” in Cæsar’s time, observes: “we have reason to believe that,
for the most part at lest, they sharpen’d their warlike instruments
rather with stones than metall, especiall in the more northerly and
inland countries, where they sometimes meet with flints in shape of
arrow-heads, whereof I had one sent me by the learned and ingenious
Charles Cotton, Esq., found not far from his pleasant mansion at
Beresford, exactly in the form of a bearded arrow, jagg’d at each
side, with a larger stemm in the middle, whereby I suppose it was fixt
to the wood.” “These they find in Scotland in much greater plenty,
especially in the prefectury of Aberdeen, which, as the learned S^r
Robert Sibbald[1637] informs us, they there call Elf-arrows—_Lamiarum
Sagittas_—imagining they drop from the clouds, not being to be found
upon a diligent search, but now and then by chance in the high beaten
roads.” “Nor did the Britans only head their arrows with flint, but
also their _mataræ_ or British darts, which were thrown by those that
fought _in essedis_, whereof I guess this is one I had given me, found
near Leek, by my worthy friend Mr. Thomas Gent, curiously jagg’d at
the edges with such-like teeth as a sickle, and otherwise wrought upon
the flat, by which we may conclude, not only that these arrow and
spear-heads are all artificial, whatever is pretended, but also that
they had anciently some way of working of flints by the toole, which
may be seen by the marks, as well as they had of the Egyptian porphyry;
which, as the aforesaid worthy Gent. Sir Robert Sibbald, thinks, they
learned of the Romans, who, as Aldrovandus[1638] assures us, anciently
used such weapons made of stones. However, still, |363| it not being
hence deducible, but they may be British, they are not ill-placed here,
whatever original they have had from either nation.”

Plot gives engravings both of a stemmed and barbed arrow-head, and of a
leaf-shaped lance-head or knife.

Sir Robert Sibbald, in his[1639] “Scotia Illustrata,” 1684, expresses
his belief that the flint arrow-heads are artificial. He possessed
two, one like the head of a lance and the other like the end of an
anchor, or tanged and barbed. He also relates the account given him by
the Laird of Straloch, in Aberdeenshire, which he had passed on to the
historian of Staffordshire.

It will be observed that Plot alludes to different opinions regarding
these instruments, it being a matter in dispute whether they were
artificial, natural, or partly natural; in the same manner as at the
time when the flint implements were first discovered in the River
Gravels doubts were expressed by some as to their artificial origin,
while others regarded them as fossils of natural formation; and others
again carried their unconscious Manichæism so far as to ascribe all
fossils, and we may presume these included, to diabolical agency.
The old Danish collector, Olaf Worm, speaks of a flint of a dark
colour[1640] exhibiting the form of a spear-head with such accuracy
that it may be doubted whether it is a work of art or of nature, and
of others like daggers, which, as being found in ancient grave-hills,
are regarded by some as the arms of an early people; while others doubt
whether they are the work of art or nature; and others consider them to
be thunderbolts. One reason in former times for doubting the artificial
origin of the most highly finished instruments was ignorance of how
such objects could have been chipped out. After describing one of the
beautiful Danish daggers, with the delicately “ripple-marked” blade and
the square ornamented handle, Worm remarks—“si silex ullo modo arte
foret tractabilis, potius Arte quam Naturâ elaboratum esse hoc corpus

Aldrovandus[1642] engraves a flint arrow-head as a Glossopetra—a stone
which, according to Pliny,[1643] “resembleth a man’s tongue, and
groweth not upon the ground, but in the eclipse of the moone falleth
from heaven,” and which “is thought by the magicians to be verie
necessarie for those that court faire women.”

But perhaps one of the most curious of these early notices of flint
|364| arrow-heads is that given in the “Catalogue and Description of
the Natural and Artificial Rarities belonging to the Royal Society
and preserved at Gresham College,”[1644] made by Nehemiah Grew, M.D.,
F.R.S. In Part III., Chap. V., Of Regular Stones, Dr. Grew speaks of
“The flat Bolthead—_Anchorites_. Of affinity with that well described
by Wormius[1645] with the title of _Silex venabuli ferreum cuspidem
exacte referens_. By Moscardo[1646] with that of _Pietre Ceraunie_;
who also figures it with three or four varieties. This like those
of a perfect Flint and semiperspicuous. ’Tis likewise, in the same
manner, pointed, like a _Speer_, having at the other end, like those of
Moscardo, a short handle. But, moreover, hath this peculiar, that ’tis
pointed or spiked also backward on both sides of the Handle, with some
resemblance to an Anchor or the head of a Bearded Dart, from whence I
have named it. ’Tis likewise tooth’d on the edges, and the sides as
it were wrought with a kind of undulated sculpture, as those before
mentioned. Another different from the former, in that it is longer,
hath a deeper indenture, but no handle. Both of them strike fire like
other _flints_.” There is a representation given of this Anchorites,
which shows it to have been a common barbed arrow-head with a central

Moscardo’s[1647] figures which are here cited represent for the most
part tanged arrow-heads. He says that Bonardo relates that they fall
from the clouds, and that those who carry them cannot be drowned or
struck by lightning. They produce, moreover, pleasant dreams.

Mention has already been made of the superstition attaching to flint
arrow-heads in Scotland, where they were popularly regarded as the
missiles of Elves. In speaking of them Dr. Stuart[1648] quotes Robert
Gordon of Straloch, the well-known Scottish geographer, who wrote about
1661. After giving some details concerning elf-darts, this writer says
that these wonderful stones are sometimes found in the fields and in
public and beaten roads, but never by searching for them; to-day,
perhaps one will be found where yesterday nothing could be seen, and
in the afternoon in places where before noon there was none, and this
most frequently under |365| clear skies and on summer days. He then
gives instances related to him by a man and a woman of credit, each
of whom while riding found an arrow-head in their clothes in this
unexpected way. Mr. F. C. Lukis, F.S.A.,[1649] draws a distinction
between the elf-shot or elf-arrow and the elf-dart, the latter being
of larger dimensions and leaf-shaped. He gives an engraving of one
which has been mounted in a silver frame and worn as a charm. The cut
is here reproduced, as Fig. 271. The initials at the back are probably
those of the owner, who mounted the amulet in silver, and of his wife.
It was worn by an old Scottish lady for half a century. Others thus
mounted were exhibited in the Museum of the Archæological Institute at
Edinburgh in 1856.[1650]

[Illustration: Fig. 271.—Elf-Shot.]

Another arrow-head, also thus mounted, is engraved by Douglas,[1651]
but in this instance it was found in Ireland, where “the peasants call
them elf-arrows, and frequently set them in silver, and wear them on
their necks as amulets against the AITHADH or elf-shot.” Others are
engraved in the _Philosophical Transactions_[1652] and in Gough’s
“Camden’s Britannia.”[1653] Sir W. Wilde[1654] informs us that in the
North of Ireland, when cattle are sick and the cattle doctor or fairy
doctor is sent for, he often says that the beast has been elf-shot, or
stricken by fairy or elfin darts, and by some legerdemain contrives to
find in its skin one or more poisoned weapons, which, with some coins,
are then placed in the water which is given the animal to drink, and a
cure is said to be effected. The Rev. Dr. Buick,[1655] in an article on
Irish flint arrow-heads, has given some particulars as to their use in
curing cattle that are bewitched, and the Folklore Society[1656] has
published some details as to the beliefs still existing with regard to
fairy darts. The same view of disease being caused by weapons shot by
fairies at cattle, and |366| much the same method of cure, prevailed,
and indeed in places even now prevails, in Scotland.[1657]

The late Dr. J. Hill Burton informed me that it is still an article of
faith that elf-bolts after finding should not be exposed to the sun, or
they are liable to be recovered by the fairies, who then work mischief
with them.

Mr. Llewellynn Jewitt has recorded a similar elf-arrow
superstition[1658] as obtaining in Derbyshire, where flint arrow and
spear heads are by some regarded as fairy darts, and supposed to
have been used by the fairies in injuring and wounding cattle. It
was with reference to discoveries near Buxton, in that county, that
Stukeley wrote—“Little flint arrow-heads of the ancient Britons, called
elfs’-arrows, are frequently ploughed up here.”[1659]

The late Sir Daniel Wilson[1660] gives many interesting particulars
regarding the elf-bolt, elf-shot, or elfin-arrow, which bears the
synonymous Gaelic name of _Sciat-hee_, and cites from Pitcairn’s
“Criminal Trials,” the description of a cavern where the archfiend
carries on the manufacture of elf-arrows with the help of his attendant
imps, who rough-hewed them for him to finish. He also mentions the
passage in a letter from Dr. Hickes[1661] to Pepys, recording that my
Lord Tarbut, or some other lord, did produce one of those elf-arrows
which one of his tenants or neighbours took out of the heart of one of
his cattle that died of an usual death (_sic_). Dr. Hickes had another
strange story, but very well attested, of an elf-arrow that was shot at
a venerable Irish bishop by an evil spirit, in a terrible noise louder
than thunder, which shaked the house where the bishop was.

Similar superstitions prevailed among the Scandinavian[1662] nations,
by whom a peculiar virtue was supposed to be inherent in flint
arrow-heads, which was not to be found in those of metal.

The fact, already mentioned, of arrow-heads of flint being appended to
Etruscan[1663] necklaces of gold, apparently as a sort of charm, seems
to show that a belief in the supernatural origin of these weapons, and
their consequent miraculous powers, was of |367| very ancient date.
It has still survived in Italy,[1664] where the peasants keep flint
arrow-heads to preserve their houses from lightning, believing that
the lightning comes down to strike with a similar stone—a superstition
which Professor Gastaldi also found prevalent in Piedmont. In some
instances they are carried on the person as preservatives against
lightning, and in parts of the Abruzzo[1665] they are known as _lingue
di S. Paolo_, and the countryman who finds one devoutly kneels down,
picks it up with his own tongue, and jealously preserves it as a most
potent amulet. In the Foresi Collection[1666] at the Paris Exhibition
were some arrow-heads mounted in silver as amulets, like those in
Scotland, but brought from the Isle of Elba. Another has been engraved
by Dr. C. Rosa.[1667]

M. Cartailhac[1668] has published an interesting pamphlet on such
superstitions, and Professor Bellucci has also dilated upon them. They
are abundant in the neighbourhood of Perugia.[1669]

It is a curious circumstance, that necklaces formed of cornelian beads,
much of the shape of stemmed arrow-heads, with the perforation through
the central tang, are worn by the Arabs of Northern Africa at the
present day, being regarded, as I was informed by the Rev. J. Greville
Chester, as good for the blood. Similar charms are also worn in Turkey.
I have a necklace of fifteen such arrow-head-like beads, with a central
amulet, which was purchased by my son in a shop at Kostainicza,[1670]
in Turkish Croatia. Among the Zuñis[1671] of New Mexico, stone
arrow-heads are frequently attached to figures of animals so as to form
charms or fetishes.

Enough, however, has been said with regard to the superstitions
attaching to these arrow-heads of stone; the existence of such a
belief in their supernatural origin, dating, as it seems to do, to a
comparatively remote period, goes to prove that even in the days when
the belief originated, the use of stone arrow-heads was not known,
nor was there any tradition extant of a people whose weapons they had
been. And yet it is probable that of all the |368| instruments made
of stone, arrow-heads would be among the last to drop out of use,
being both well adapted for the purpose they served, and at the same
time formed of a material so abundant, that with weapons so liable
to be lost as arrows, it would be preferred to metal, at a time when
this was scarce and costly. In this country, at all events, the
extreme scarcity of bronze arrow-heads is remarkable, while we know
from interments that flint arrow-heads were in common use by those
who employed bronze for other weapons or implements. There appears to
be some doubt as to whether the arrow-heads, or rather the flakes of
black flint or obsidian which have been found in considerable numbers
associated with bronze arrow-heads on the field of Marathon, were made
in Greece, or whether they were not rather in use among some of the
barbarian allies of the Persian King. M. Lenormant[1672] is clearly
of the opinion that they are not of Greek origin,[1673] but this is
contested by others, and probably with reason. Whatever their origin,
there is a strong argument against stone arrow-heads having been in use
among the Greeks at so late a period as the battle of Marathon, B.C.
490, in the fact that Herodotus,[1674] writing but shortly afterwards,
records, as an exceptional case, that in the army of Xerxes, _circa_
B.C. 480, the arrows of some of the Æthiopian contingent were tipped
with stone, while those of some Indian nations were even pointed with
iron. So early as the days of Homer the arrow-heads of the Greeks were
of bronze, and had the three longitudinal ribs upon them, like those in
that metal found at Marathon, for he speaks of the χαλκήρἐ ὀϊστόν[1675]
and applies to it the epithet τριγλώχιν.[1676]

Even among such rude tribes as the Massagetæ and Scythians, the
arrow-heads, in the days of Herodotus, were of bronze; as he records
an ingenious method adopted by one Ariantas,[1677] a king of the
Scythians, to take a census of his people by levying an arrow-head from
each, all of which were afterwards cast into an enormous bronze vessel.

Besides the Æthiopians there was another nation which made use of
stone-pointed arrows in Africa, as is proved by the arrows from
Egyptian tombs, of which specimens are preserved in several of our
museums. The head, which is of flint, differs however from |369|
all the ordinary forms, inasmuch as it is chisel-shaped rather than
pointed, and in form much resembles a small gun-flint. The tip of
one of these, secured to the shaft by bitumen, is shown in Fig. 272.
The original is in the British Museum. In my own collection are some
specimens of such arrows. Their total length is about 35 inches and
the shafts for about two-thirds of their length are made of reed, the
remainder towards the point being of wood. Near the notch for the
string are distinct traces of there having been a feather on either
side, in the same plane as the notch. It is probable that arrow-heads
of similar character may have been in use in Britain, though they have
hitherto almost escaped observation, owing to the extreme simplicity of
their form. To these I shall subsequently recur.

[Illustration: Fig. 272.—Egypt. 1∕1]

Some of the Egyptian arrows[1678] have supplemental flakes at the
sides, so as practically to make the edge of the arrow-head wider.

In October, 1894, the Ghizeh Museum acquired from a Sixth Dynasty tomb
at Assiut, two squadrons of soldiers, each of forty figures carved in
wood. The figures of one set, presumed to be Egyptians, have a brown
complexion and are armed with bronze-tipped spears and with shields.
The figures are about 13 inches high. The other group is shorter, and
the soldiers are black-skinned and armed with bow and arrows only;
each has a bow in his left hand, and in his right four arrows with
chisel-shaped heads of flint.[1679]

The better-known forms of arrow-heads which occur in Britain may be
classed as the leaf-shaped, the lozenge-shaped, the tanged or stemmed,
and the triangular, each presenting several varieties. The arrow-heads
of the third class are in this country usually barbed; those of the
fourth but rarely.

       *       *       *       *       *

Whether the forms were successively developed in this order is a
question difficult of solution; but in an ingenious paper by Mr. W.
C. Little, of Liberton, published early in this century, being “An
Inquiry into the Expedients used by the Scotts before the Discovery of
Metals,”[1680] the lozenge-shaped are regarded as the earliest; next,
those |370| barbed with two witters,[1681] but no middle tang; and
last, the tanged. The same author argues from analogy that the ancients
could extend this flint manufacture to other purposes, “as the same
ingenuity which formed the head of an arrow could also produce a knife,
a saw, and a piercer.”

Colonel A. Lane-Fox, now General Pitt Rivers, in his second lecture on
“Primitive Warfare,”[1682] arranges the forms of arrow-heads in the
same manner as I have here adopted, and shows that the transition from
one form to the other is easy and natural. There are, indeed, some
arrow-heads of which it would be impossible to say whether they were
leaf-shaped or lozenge-shaped, or whether they were lozenge-shaped or

Sir William Wilde regards the triangular as the primary form, and the
leaf-shaped and lozenge-shaped as the last.

Mr. W. J. Knowles[1683] has suggested a somewhat different
classification, but it seems unnecessary to alter the arrangement here
adopted. He does not enter into the question of the development of the
forms. An exhaustive paper on Irish flint arrow-heads, by the Rev. Dr.
Buick,[1684] may be usefully consulted.

Whatever may have been the order of the development of the forms, it
would, in my opinion, be unwarrantable to attempt any chronological
arrangement founded upon mere form, as there is little doubt of the
whole of these varieties having been in use in one and the same
district at the same time, the shape being to some extent adapted to
the flake of flint from which the arrow-heads were made, and to some
extent to the purposes which the arrows were to serve. The arrow-heads
in use among the North American Indians,[1685] when intended for
hunting, were so contrived that they could be drawn out of the wound,
but those destined for war were formed and attached to the shaft in
such a manner, that when it was attempted to pull out the arrow, its
head became detached, and remained in the wound. The poisoned arrows
of the Bushmen of South Africa[1686] are in like manner made with
triangular heads of iron, which become detached in the body if an
attempt is made to withdraw the arrow from the wound that it has caused.

I have already remarked on the difficulty of distinguishing between
javelin and arrow heads; but, from their size, I think that the late
Dr. Thurnam was justified in regarding those engraved as Figs. 273,
274, 275, as heads of javelins; and they may therefore be taken
first in order. Two of them have already been engraved.[1687] Their
beautifully worked surfaces had, however, hardly had justice done them,
and, by |371| the kindness of Dr. Thurnam, I was able to have them
engraved afresh full size. They were found in 1864, in company with
another almost identical in form with the middle figure, in an oval
barrow on Winterbourn Stoke Down, about a mile and a half north-west of
Stonehenge, close to the head of a contracted skeleton. They are most
skilfully chipped on both faces, which are equally convex, and they are
not more than a quarter of an inch in thickness. Three are leaf-shaped,
and one lozenge-shaped, and this latter, though larger, is thinner and
more delicate. They have acquired a milky, porcellanous surface while
lying in the earth. They are all four now in the British Museum. As has
been remarked by Dr. Thurnam, objects of this description have rarely
been found in barrows.


 Fig. 273.    Fig. 274.    Fig. 275.

Winterbourn Stoke.]

The two javelin-heads, if such they be, found by Mr. J. R. Mortimer
in the Calais Wold barrow, near Pocklington, Yorkshire,[1688] are
lozenge-shaped and much more acutely pointed, and were accompanied
by two lozenge-shaped arrow-heads. By the kindness of the late Mr.
Llewellynn Jewitt they are all four here reproduced as Figs. 276
to 279. A similar javelin-head to Fig. 277, 2 3∕4 inches long, now
in the British Museum, was found by the late Lord Londesborough
in a barrow on Seamer |372| Moor, near Scarborough.[1689] A fine
lozenge-shaped javelin-head (5 inches) was found with arrow-heads,
scrapers, and knives, near Longcliffe,[1690] Derbyshire, and some
delicate arrow-heads, broken, at Harborough Rocks,[1691] in the same
county. Javelin-heads of much the same form as those from Winterbourn
Stoke and Calais Wold occur not unfrequently in Ireland, but are rarely
quite so delicately chipped. Lozenge-shaped arrow-heads are recorded
from a cairn at Unstan,[1692] Orkney, and from the Culbin Sands.[1693]
The class having both faces polished, though still only chipped at the
edges, like Wilde’s[1694] Fig. 27, has not, except in Portugal, as
yet occurred out of Ireland. A few of these may have served as knives
or daggers, as they are intentionally rounded by grinding at the more
tapered end, which at first sight appears to have been intended for the
point and not for the handle. The long lozenge-shaped form is found in
the Government of Vladimir, Russia.[1695]


 Fig. 276.    Fig. 277.    Fig. 278.    Fig. 279.

Calais Wold Barrow.]

Large lozenge-shaped lance-heads were occasionally in use among the
North American Indians;[1696] but the more usual form is a long blade,
notched at the base to receive the ligature which binds it to the
shaft. |373|

       *       *       *       *       *

Of leaf-shaped arrow-heads, which form the first class now to be
described, there are several minor varieties, both in outline and
section, some being longer in proportion to their breadth than others,
rounder or more pointed at the base, thicker or thinner, or more
carefully chipped on one face than the other. A few typical examples
are given full size in the annexed woodcuts. The originals are all in
my own collection, unless otherwise specified.

       *       *       *       *       *

Fig. 280 is from the neighbourhood of Icklingham, Suffolk, of flint
become nearly white by weathering, and carefully chipped on both
faces, one of which is, however, more convex than the other. I have a
larger but imperfect specimen of the same form from Oundle. A nearly
similar arrow-head, of yellow flint, from Hoxne, Suffolk, has been
figured.[1697] It was supposed to have occurred in the same deposit as
that containing large palæolithic implements and elephant remains; but
nothing certain is known on this point, and from the form there can be
no hesitation in assigning it to the Neolithic Period. A rather smaller
arrow-head, but of much the same character, was found at Bradford
Abbas, Dorset.[1698] Professor Buckman had several leaf-shaped arrows
from the same neighbourhood. Some of them were long and slender, more
like Fig. 286.

In Fig. 281 is shown an arrow-head of rather broader proportions,
from Gunthorpe, Lincolnshire, which has been engraved in the
_Reliquary_,[1699] whence the block is borrowed. I have specimens
of the same form, delicately chipped on both faces, and found near
Icklingham and Lakenheath, Suffolk. Occasionally, one face of the
arrow-heads of this form is left nearly flat.

[Illustration: Fig. 280.—Icklingham.]

[Illustration: Fig. 281.—Gunthorpe.]

[Illustration: Fig. 282.—Yorkshire Wolds.]

Fig. 282 shows a smaller specimen in the extensive Greenwell
Collection. In this instance, the flake from which the arrow-head was
made has been but little retouched on the flat face. It is slightly
curved |374| longitudinally, but probably not to a sufficient extent
to affect the flight of the arrow. This form is of common occurrence on
the Yorkshire Wolds, though very variable in its proportions, and also
in point of symmetry, both as regards outline and similarity of the two

[Illustration: Fig. 283.—Yorkshire Wolds.]

[Illustration: Fig. 284.—Little Solsbury Hill.]

In Fig. 283 is shown another and broader form, from Butterwick, on the
Yorkshire Wolds. It is in the same collection, and is worked on both
faces. The sides are slightly ogival, so as to produce a sharper point.

[Illustration: Fig. 285.—Yorkshire Wolds.]

[Illustration: Fig. 286.—Bridlington.]

Occasionally, instead of being sharply pointed, arrow-heads are more
oval in form. An instance of this kind is given in Fig. 284, the
original of which was found by Mr. Francis Galton, F.R.S., on the
occasion of a visit with me to the camp of Little Solsbury Hill, near
Bath. It is of flint that has become white with exposure, equally
convex on the two faces, and rather thick in proportion to its size. I
have a somewhat similar but broader specimen from the camp of Maiden
Bower, near Dunstable, and others even more rounded at the point, and
larger and thinner, from Willerby Wold, Yorkshire, and from Icklingham.
I have one Yorkshire specimen, which is almost circular in form,
and bears traces of grinding on one of its faces. In the Greenwell
Collection are specimens of almost all intermediate proportions between
an oval like Fig. 284 and a perfect circle. |375|

More lanceolate forms are shown in Figs. 285 and 286, both from
Yorkshire. Fig. 285, though worked on both faces, still exhibits
portions of the original surface of the flake from which it was made;
but Fig. 286, from Grindale, near Bridlington, is of transparent
chalcedonic flint, beautifully and symmetrically worked over both
faces. This elongated form is not of common occurrence. I have a
beautiful example, of the same general character, but pointed at either
end, found near Icklingham, Suffolk. A large example of this form, from
Derbyshire, in the Bateman Collection, may have been a javelin-head.

[Illustration: Figs. 287 and 288.—Yorkshire Wolds.]

Other and shorter forms are shown in Figs. 287 and 288, the former of
which has been made from a flat flake, the original surface of which
remains intact on a large portion of each face. Fig. 288, on the
contrary, is carefully chipped over the whole of both faces, which are
equally convex. It has a slightly heart-shaped form.

       *       *       *       *       *

It will have been observed that in all these specimens the base of the
arrow-head is much more rounded that the point. This, however, is by no
means universally the case with the leaf-shaped arrow-heads, the bases
of which are in some instances almost, if not quite, as acute as the
points. It is, in fact, sometimes difficult to say which of the ends
was intended for the point.

[Illustration: Fig. 289.—Lakenheath.]

[Illustration: Figs. 290 and 291.—Yorkshire Wolds.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Fig. 289 shows a large arrow-head from Lakenheath, Suffolk, from the
collection of the late Mr. J. W. Flower, F.G.S. It is equally convex
on both faces, and almost equally sharp at both ends. In the Greenwell
Collection are similar specimens from Burnt Fen, Cambs. |376| Others,
of the same character, but of smaller size, are engraved in Figs. 290
and 291. Both the originals are from the Yorkshire Wolds.

That shown in Fig. 290 is in the Greenwell Collection. It is thin,
slightly curved longitudinally, and very neatly worked into shape at
the edges. It is a form of not unfrequent occurrence in the Yorkshire
Wolds, sometimes of larger dimensions, and more roughly chipped, but
more commonly of smaller size. I have a beautifully-made arrow-head of
nearly the same size and shape, found at Lakenheath, Suffolk. It is not
more than one-eighth of an inch in thickness. One of wider proportions
from Burnt Fen is in the Greenwell Collection. Fig. 291 is thicker in
proportion to its width, more convex on one face than the other, and
less acutely pointed at the base.

In Figs. 292 and 293 are shown some more or less unsymmetrical
varieties of form. Fig. 292 is, towards the point, equally convex on
each face; but at the base the flat inner face of the original flake
has been left untouched, so that the edge is like that of a “scraper,”
or of a round-nosed chisel. Though the point is, in all respects,
identical with that of undoubted arrow-heads, and though I have placed
it here among them, it is possible that that end may, after all, have
been intended for insertion in a handle, and that it was a small
cutting tool, and not an arrow-head.

[Illustration: Figs. 292 and 293.—Yorkshire Wolds.]

There can be no doubt of the purpose of Fig. 293, which is of white
flint delicately chipped, and is equally convex on the two faces. On
one side the outline is almost angular, instead of forming a regular
sweep, so that it shows how easy is the passage from the leaf-shape to
the lozenge form.

There are often instances like that afforded by the arrow-head engraved
in Fig. 294, where it is hard to say under which form a specimen should
be placed. The original of this figure forms part of the Greenwell
Collection, and is neatly worked on both faces. I have a somewhat
broader arrow-head of the same character, which I found in the camp of
Maiden Bower, near Dunstable. General Pitt Rivers found one of the same
form, and one like Fig. 311, within an earthwork at Callow Hill,[1700]
Oxfordshire. Another was found with a perforated hammer, a flint flake
ground at the edge, some scrapers, and other objects, in a cairn in
Caithness.[1701] One like Fig. 294, but smaller, was found in the
Horned Cairn[1702] of Get, at Garrywhin, Caithness. A large specimen
from Glenluce[1703] has been figured. Another, very thin, found at
Urquhart, Elgin, is in the Edinburgh Museum.

[Illustration: Fig. 294.—Yorkshire Wolds.]

       *       *       *       *       *

It is to arrow-heads of this leaf-shaped form, but approximating |377|
closely to the lozenge-shaped, that Dr. Thurnam[1704] is inclined to
assign a connection with the class of tumuli known as long barrows; and
in support of this view he has cited several cases of their discovery
in this form of barrow, in which no barbed arrow-heads have hitherto
been found. Some leaf-shaped arrow-heads were found in a long barrow at
Walker’s Hill, Wilts.[1705]

       *       *       *       *       *

The annexed cut, kindly furnished by the Society of Antiquaries, shows
an arrow-head from a long barrow near Fyfield, Wilts. It is delicately
chipped, and weighs only forty-three grains. Another, 1 1∕2 inches in
length, from a long barrow on Alton Down, is of surprising thinness,
and weighs only thirty grains. Others, it would seem purposely injured
at the point, were found in the long chambered barrow at Rodmarton,
Gloucestershire.[1706] Others, again, were found by Mr. Bateman in
long barrows in Derbyshire and Staffordshire. One of these, from
Ringham Low, is 2 1∕4 inches long and 1 inch broad, yet weighs less
than forty-eight grains. In Long Low, Wetton,[1707] were three such
arrow-heads, and many flakes of flint. Dr. Thurnam, in speaking of the
leaf-shaped as the long-barrow type of arrow-head, does not restrict it
to that form of tumulus, but merely indicates it as that which is alone
found there. The form indeed occurred elsewhere, thus, one was found in
a bowl-shaped barrow at Ogbourne,[1708] Wilts.

[Illustration: Fig. 295.—Fyfield.]

The Calais Wold barrow,[1709] already mentioned as having produced
four lozenge-shaped javelin and arrow heads, is circular, while
that on Pistle Down, Dorsetshire,[1710] which contained four
beautifully-chipped arrow-heads of this type, is oblong.

Leaf-shaped arrow-heads are mentioned as having been found with burnt
bones in Grub Low, Staffordshire.[1711] The same forms, more or less
carefully chipped, and occasionally almost flat on the face, are
frequently found on the surface in various parts of Scotland,[1712]
especially in the counties of Aberdeen, Banff, Elgin, and Moray.
One not of flint, but apparently of quartzite, was found near
Glenluce,[1713] Wigtownshire. Numbers have been found on the Culbin
Sands,[1714] and at Urquhart.[1715] They are comparatively abundant
in Yorkshire, Derbyshire, and Suffolk, but rarer in the southern
counties of England. They |378| have been found at Grovehurst,[1716]
near Milton, Kent, and I have picked up a specimen near Kit’s Coty
House. I have seen specimens found at Redhill, near Reigate;[1717] near
Bournemouth; at Prince Town, Dartmoor; and near Oundle; besides the
localities already mentioned.

[Illustration: Fig. 296.—Bridlington.]

[Illustration: Fig. 297.—Newton Ketton.]

Typical lozenge-shaped arrow-heads are, in Britain, and, indeed, in
other countries, rarer than the leaf-shaped. That shown in Fig. 296
has been made from a flat flake, and is nicely chipped on both faces,
though not quite straight longitudinally. It was found at Northdale
Farm, Grindale, Bridlington. A Scottish specimen, from Urquhart,[1718]
Elginshire, slightly smaller, has been figured. The original of Fig.
297 forms part of the Greenwell Collection, and has been made from
a very thin, transparent flake. It is rather less worked on the
face opposite to that here shown. It was found at Newton Ketton,
Durham. One like Fig. 297 was found on Bull Hill,[1719] Lancashire.
A regularly-chipped arrow-head of lozenge shape is said to have been
found at Cutterly Clump, Wilts;[1720] and I have seen a few specimens
from Derbyshire. Those from the Calais Wold Barrow have already been

A diamond-shaped arrow-head was found at Cregneesh,[1721] Isle of Man;
and another, as well as one of leaf shape, within a stone circle near
Port Erin.[1722] Lozenge-shaped arrow-heads are frequently found in

[Illustration: Figs. 298 and 299.—Yorkshire Wolds.]

A more elongated form is shown in Figs. 298 and 299, taken from
specimens found on the Yorkshire Wolds. Both of them are neatly chipped
on either face, and have but little left of the original surface of the
flakes from which they were formed. One of the shorter sides of Fig.
299 is somewhat hollowed, _possibly_ to give a slight shoulder, and
thus prevent its being driven into the shaft.

This is more evidently the case with the arrow-head represented in
|379| Fig. 300, which, like so many others, comes from the Wolds of
Yorkshire. It is made from a slightly curved flake, and is more convex
on one face than the other, especially at the stem or tang.

In the collection of Messrs. Mortimer, of Driffield, is another
Yorkshire arrow-head, which is leaf-shaped, but provided with a slight

Leaf-shaped arrow-heads, with a decided stem like that of the leaf,
found in Arabia and Japan, will be mentioned at a subsequent page.

[Illustration: Fig. 300.—Yorkshire Wolds.]

[Illustration: Fig. 301.—Amotherby.]

Another of these stemmed but barbless arrow-heads, from the same
district, is shown in Fig. 301. It was found at Amotherby, near Malton,
and was given to me by the late Mr. Charles Monkman, of that place. It
has been made from a flat flake, and has been worked into shape by a
slight amount of chipping along the edges, which does not extend over
the face. There are numerous arrow-heads of the same class, though
not of the same form, which have been made from flakes of the proper
thickness, by a little secondary working to give them a point, and by
slightly trimming the butt-end of the flake. They usually approximate
to the leaf-shape in form, but, as might be expected, vary considerably
in size, proportions, and the amount of symmetry displayed. It seems
needless to engrave specimens.

[Illustration: Fig. 302.—Iwerne Minster.]

The weapon point shown in Fig. 302 is so large that possibly it may
be regarded as that of a javelin, and not of an arrow. In was in the
collection of Mr. H. Durden, of Blandford, and is now in the British
Museum. It was found on Iwerne Minster Down, Dorsetshire. It is boldly
and symmetrically chipped, thick in proportion to its breadth, and
equally convex on both faces; though distinctly stemmed, it can hardly
be said to be barbed. It much resembles an Italian specimen in the
Arsenal of Turin.[1723]

A somewhat more distinctly-barbed arrow-head from the Yorkshire Wolds
is represented in Fig. 303. Its thickness, 5∕16 inch, is great in
proportion to its size; the two faces are equally convex, and the
stem widens out slightly at the base. The same is the case with a
smaller and thinner arrow-head in my collection, of somewhat similar
form, found near the camp of Maiden Bower, Dunstable. A third, from
the Yorkshire Wolds, presents the same peculiarity, which is still
more apparent in an arrow-head from a barrow on Seamer Moor, near
Scarborough,[1724] if indeed it has been correctly figured. |380|

A magnificent specimen of much the same type as Fig. 303, but nearly
twice as long, has been kindly lent me for engraving by Messrs.
Mortimer, of Driffield, Yorkshire. It was found in the neighbourhood
of Fimber, and is shown in Fig. 304. It is neatly chipped over both
faces, which are equally convex, and the stem is carefully shaped and
of considerable thickness. The edges, as is not unfrequently the case,
are serrated.

[Illustration: Fig. 303.—Yorkshire Wolds.]

The fine arrow-head engraved as Fig. 305 shows the barbs or “witters”
still more strongly developed. One of them is, however, less pointed
than the other. From its size, this and others may have formed the
heads of javelins rather than of arrows, though arrow-heads as large
are still in use among some savage tribes. It was found at Pick Rudge
Farm,[1725] Overton, Wilts, in company with the oblong implement
engraved as Fig. 255. It is now in the Blackmore Museum, the Trustees
of which kindly allowed me to figure it.

I have a very fine specimen with even longer barbs, from Ashwell,
Herts, which is shown in Fig. 305A.

[Illustration: Fig. 304.—Yorkshire Wolds.]

[Illustration: Fig. 305.—Pick Rudge Farm.]

Fig. 306 represents another unusually large specimen, found on Sherburn
Wold, Yorkshire. It is nicely worked on both faces, and the end of the
stem or tang has been carefully chipped to a sharp semicircular edge,
well adapted for fixing into the split shaft. One similar to it was
found on Bull Hill,[1726] Lancashire. Mr. A. C. Savin, of Cromer, |381|
has a rather smaller arrow-head of this type, but with the sides more
curved outwards, like Fig. 313, found near Aylsham. Barbed arrow-heads
of various forms and sizes are of frequent occurrence in some parts of
the Yorkshire Wolds and Moors, and in parts of Berkshire, Oxfordshire,
Gloucestershire, Suffolk and Derbyshire.

[Illustration: Fig. 305A.—Ashwell.]

[Illustration: Fig. 306.—Sherburn Wold.]


 Fig. 307.    Fig. 308.    Fig. 309.

 Fig. 310.    Fig. 311.    Fig. 312.

Yorkshire Wolds.]

It would be tedious to attempt to exhibit all the different varieties,
but specimens of the more ordinary forms are given in Figs. 307 to 312,
from originals principally in the Greenwell Collection. As a rule,
there is but little difference in the convexity of the two faces,
though very |382| frequently one face is decidedly flatter than the
other; and occasionally the flat face of the original flake has been
left almost untouched. Fig. 311 affords an example of this kind,
being nearly flat on the face not shown, while the other face still
retains part of the crust of the flint nodule from which the flake was
struck. The central stem or tang varies much in its proportions to the
size of the arrow-head, and occasionally forms but an inconsiderable
projection, as in Fig. 309, making the form approximate to the
triangular. Sometimes, as in Fig. 312, the ends of the barbs are
carefully chipped straight, as is the case with many arrow-heads from
the more southern parts of England, some of which will shortly be
noticed. An arrow-head like Fig. 312 was found near Ashwell,[1727]

[Illustration: Figs. 313 and 314.—Yorkshire Wolds.]

Before quitting the arrow-heads of the Yorkshire Wolds, I must insert
figures of two other specimens illustrative of another form. Of
these, that shown in Fig. 313 was found at Northdale Farm, Grindale,
Bridlington. It is thick in proportion to its size, and skilfully
chipped on both faces. The tang is thin and slight. The other
arrow-head Fig. 314 is not so thick in proportion. In both, if the
sweep of the outline were continued past the barbs, it would about
meet the extremity of the tang, and give a leaf-shaped form; so that
it seems probable that this class was made by first chipping out the
simple leaf-shaped form, and then working in a notch on either side
to produce the tangs and barbs. The same type occurs in Suffolk. An
exaggerated example, rather like Fig. 320 but broader, found near
Icklingham, is shown in Fig. 314A.

[Illustration: Fig. 314A.—Icklingham.]

The next specimen that I have selected for engraving, Fig. 315, is
from another part of the country, having been found by myself in
1866 on the surface of a field, at the foot of the Chalk escarpment
between Eddlesborough and Tring, Herts. It can hardly be regarded as
unfinished, though one of the surfaces is very rough and the outline
far from symmetrical. It rather shows how rude were some of the
appliances of our savage predecessors in Britain. Curiously enough,
some barbed flint arrow-heads of nearly similar form, and but little
more |383| symmetrical (to judge from the engravings), were found in
1763 at Tring Grove, Herts,[1728] with an extended skeleton. They lay
between the legs, and at the feet were some of the perforated plates
of greenish stone of the character of Fig. 354. An arrow-head of much
the same form was found in a barrow near Tenby,[1729] with human bones
and a part of a curious ring-shaped ornament, supposed to be of ivory.
The long tapering arrow-head shown in Fig. 316 affords a contrast to
this broad form. Its barbs are unfortunately not quite perfect, but
the form being uncommon I have engraved it. It was found in Reach Fen,
Cambridgeshire. A ruder example of the same form as Fig. 316, from
Bourn Fen, has been figured in Miller and Skertchly’s “Fen-land.”[1730]
A longer specimen, almost as acutely pointed, and with square-ended
barbs, found on Lanchester Common,[1731] Durham, is in the Museum of
the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle. I have several others of the
same type from Suffolk, some with the sides curved slightly inwards.

[Illustration: Fig. 315.—Eddlesborough.]

[Illustration: Fig. 316.—Reach Fen.]

[Illustration: Fig. 317.—Isleham.]

The next Figure (317) is illustrative of the extraordinary amount
of care and skill that was sometimes bestowed on the manufacture of
objects so liable to be broken or lost in use as arrow-heads. This
specimen was found at Isleham, Cambridgeshire, and has unfortunately
lost its central stem, the outline of which I have restored from a
nearly similar arrow-head found at Icklingham, Suffolk, which has lost
both its barbs. It is very thin, so much so that its weight is only
thirty-eight grains, but it is neatly chipped over the whole of both
faces. Nothing, however, can exceed the beautiful regularity of the
minute chipping by which the final outline was given to the edges,
extremely small flakes having been removed at regular intervals so
close to each other that there are twenty of them in an inch. The inner
sides and ends of the barbs are worked perfectly straight, the ends
forming right angles to the sides of the arrow-head, and the inner
sides being nearly parallel with each other, so that the barbs are
somewhat dovetailed in form.

The broader, but almost equally beautiful arrow-head shown in Fig.
|384| 318 was found in front of the face of an unburnt body, in a
barrow at Rudstone, near Bridlington, by Canon Greenwell. I have a
beautiful specimen of the same type from Dorchester Dykes, Oxon, given
to me by the late Mr. Davey, of Wantage. It is shown in Fig 318A. A
less highly finished example from Chatteris Fen[1732] has been figured.

[Illustration: Fig. 318.—Rudstone.]

[Illustration: Fig. 318A.—Dorchester Dykes.]

[Illustration: Fig. 319.—Lambourn Down.]

[Illustration: Fig. 320.—Fovant.]

The ends of the barbs thus chipped straight sometimes, as in Fig.
312, form a straight line. Occasionally, as in the arrow-heads found
by Sir R. Colt Hoare[1733] in one of the Everley barrows, the base
of the barbs forms an obtuse angle with the sides of the arrow-head,
so that there is a sharp point at the inner side of the barbs. In
others the end forms an acute angle with the sides of the arrow-head,
so that the point of each barb is at the outer side. A beautiful
specimen of this kind is shown in Fig. 319. It is one of six, varying
in size and somewhat in shape, but all beautifully worked, found in
barrows on Lambourn Down, Berks, and now in the British Museum. In
some few instances the sides of the arrow-head are rather ogival
in form (like the Scotch |385| specimen, Fig. 326), which adds to
the acuteness of the point. In one of this character from a barrow
on the Ridgeway Hill,[1734] Dorsetshire, and others from one of the
Woodyates barrows,[1735] the barbs are also acutely pointed at the
outer side. I have a rather smaller specimen than that figured, from
Lakenheath, Suffolk, and others from Thetford and Reach Fen, with the
sides even more ogival than in Fig. 326. Others of the same character,
found in Derbyshire, are in the Bateman Collection. In some of the
arrow-heads[1736] from the Wiltshire barrows the barbs are inordinately
prolonged beyond the central tang, which is very small. Fig. 320,
copied from Hoare,[1737] gives one of those from a barrow near Fovant,
found with a contracted interment, in company with a bronze dagger and
pin, and some jet ornaments. One of similar character was found in a
barrow on Windmill Hill,[1738] Avebury, but its barbs are not so long.
An arrow-head with equally long barbs, but with the central tang of the
same length as the barbs, was found in a dolmen in the Morbihan, and is
in the Musée de St. Germain.

[Illustration: Fig. 321.—Yorkshire Moors.]

Before proceeding to notice one or two Scottish specimens, I must
devote a short space to an exceptional form of arrow-head shown in
Fig. 321. Like so many others, it is from the Yorkshire Moors, and was
probably either barbed on both sides or intended to have been so. But
one of the barbs having been broken off, possibly in the course of
manufacture, the design has been modified, and the stump, so to speak,
of the barb, has been rounded off in a neat manner by surface-flaking
on both faces. The one-barbed arrow-head thus resulting presents some
analogies with several of the triangular form, such as Figs. 336 to
338, about to be described.

[Illustration: Figs. 322 and 323.—Yorkshire Wolds.]

Arrow-heads either accidentally lost before they were finished, or
thrown away as “wasters,” in consequence of having been spoilt in
the making, are occasionally found. Examples, apparently of both
classes, are shown in Figs. 322 and 323. The originals form part of the
Greenwell Collection. Fig. 322, from Sherburn Wold, appears to have
been completely finished, with the exception of the notch on one side
of the central tang. The face not shown in the figure exhibits on the
left side a considerable portion of the surface of the original flake,
the edge of which has been neatly trimmed along the right side of the
face here shown. The base has been chipped on both faces to a sharp
hollow edge, in which one notch has been neatly worked to form the
barb and one side of the stem. There is no apparent reason why |386|
the other notch should not have been formed, so that the probability
is that the arrow-head was lost just before completion. In the other
case the arrow-head, after being skilfully chipped on both faces into a
triangular form, has had one of the notches worked in its base; but in
effecting this the tool has been brought so near the centre of the head
as to leave insufficient material for the tang, and the barb has also
been broken off. In this condition it appears to have been thrown away
as a waster.

Whether these views be correct or not, one deduction seems allowable,
viz., that the barbed flint arrow-heads were, as a rule, finished at
their points, and approximately brought into shape at their base,
before the notches were worked to form the central tang and develop the

A curious double-pointed arrow-head from Brompton,[1739] Yorkshire, is,
by the kindness of the Society of Antiquaries, shown in Fig. 323A. It
had probably at first only a single point, and having been broken was
trimmed into its present shape. Some of the “exceptional” forms from
Brionio, in the Veronese, approximate to this, but with all respect to
the Italian archæologists, I agree with Mr. Thomas Wilson,[1740] and
cannot accept these forms as genuine.

[Illustration: Fig. 323A. Brompton. 1∕1]

I must now give a few examples of the stemmed and barbed flint
arrow-heads found in Scotland, which, however, do not essentially
differ in character from those of the more southern part of Britain.
First among them I would place a remarkably fine specimen found in the
Isle of Skye,[1741] which has already been published more than once. It
is very acutely pointed, and expands at the base so as to give strength
to the barbs, which are slightly curved inwards. From its size it may
have served to point a javelin rather than an arrow.

The edges of some of the Scottish arrows are sometimes neatly serrated.
An example of this kind is given in Fig. 325, from a specimen in the
National Museum at Edinburgh. It is formed of chalcedonic flint, and
was found with others of ordinary types at Urquhart,[1742] Elgin.

The original of Fig. 326 is in the Museum of the Society of Antiquaries
of London, and was found in Aberdeenshire. Its sides (like those of
some in the National Museum at Edinburgh) are slightly ogival, so as to
give sharpness to the point. Another from Urquhart,[1743] Elgin, has
been figured, as well as one from Ballachulish,[1744] with straighter
sides. One from Montblairy, Banff,[1745] is of the same type, as is one
from Kilmarnock.[1746] The sides of Fig. 327 are curved outwards. This
arrow-head was found in Glenlivet, Banff, a district where arrow-heads
are common, and is in the Greenwell Collection, now the property of Dr.
Allen Sturge, at Nice. |387|

I have already mentioned the counties of Scotland in which “elf-bolts”
are most abundantly found. I may now enumerate a few of the spots,
and the characters of the specimens of this form. One much like Fig.
327, but with the barbs more pointed, is figured by Wilson,[1747] as
well as another[1748] like Fig. 305, found in a tumulus at Killearn,
Stirlingshire. One from the Isle of Skye,[1749] like Fig. 316, and
another from Shapinsay, Orkney,[1750] like Fig. 312, have been figured
by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. Others, found with burnt
bones in an urn deposited in a cairn in Banff, have been engraved by
Pennant,[1751] and some from Lanarkshire are given in the _Journal of
the Archæological Association_.[1752]

[Illustration: Fig. 324.—Isle of Skye.]

[Illustration: Fig. 325.—Urquhart.]

[Illustration: Fig. 326.—Aberdeenshire.]

[Illustration: Fig. 327.—Glenlivet.]

Stemmed and barbed arrow-heads are recorded to have been found
in |388| Aberdeenshire at the following localities:—Slains,[1753]
Forgue,[1754] Kintore;[1755] Kildrummy,[1756] Strathdon,[1757]
and Cruden;[1758] one 3 inches long and 2 1∕2 inches wide, at
Tarland,[1759] and a large number at Cloister-Seat Farm,[1760] Udny.

In Banff, at Mains of Auchmedden,[1761] Eden[1762] and Bowiebank, King
Edward; Cullen of Buchan,[1763] Glen Avon,[1764] Alvah,[1765] and
Longman,[1766] Macduff.

In Elgin, at St. Andrew’s, Lhanbryd;[1767] Urquhart, and elsewhere.

In Forfarshire, at Carmyllie[1768] and elsewhere. Some Ayrshire[1769]
specimens have been figured.

They have also been found near Gretna Green[1770] and Linton,[1771]
Peebles, and in numbers on the Culbin Sandhills,[1772] Morayshire,
and Killearn,[1773] Stirlingshire. In Fifeshire, in a cist at
Dairsie;[1774] near Fordoun,[1775] Kincardineshire; Glenluce,[1776]
Wigtownshire; and stemmed but not barbed, at Philiphaugh,[1777]
Selkirkshire. This last is shown in Fig. 327A.

[Illustration: Fig. 327A. Philiphaugh.]

Other specimens, of which the form is not mentioned, were exhibited in
a temporary Museum of the Archæological Institute at Edinburgh from
the following localities:—Caithness,[1778] Cruden, Cromar, Kinellar,
Aberdeenshire; Robgill, Ruthwell, Dumfriesshire; Arbuthnot, Bervie
and Garvoch, Kincardineshire; Braidwood and Carluke, Lanarkshire; and
Burgh-head, Wigtownshire.

Other have been found at Elchies, Keith,[1779] and Oldtown of
Roseisle,[1780] Morayshire; Abernethy,[1781] Inverness; and at
Mortlach[1782] and Lesmurdie,[1783] Banff.

In this place, also, it will be well to mention some of the discoveries
of stemmed and barbed flint arrow-heads in England which have not
already been cited. The following have been engraved:—One much like
Fig. 303, found in the Kielder Burn,[1784] North Tyne; one like
Fig. 327, found with burnt bones in an urn on Baildon Common,[1785]
Yorkshire; another from Lake, Wilts;[1786] others, like Figs. 312
and 319, from the Green Low Barrow,[1787] Derbyshire; one like Fig.
308, from |389| Hastings;[1788] one like Fig. 307, found near
urns, scrapers, &c., at Wavertree, near Liverpool;[1789] some like
Fig. 307, with ashes, at Carno,[1790] Montgomeryshire; and several
others from barrows in Wilts,[1791] Dorsetshire, and Derbyshire. A
considerable number of flint arrow-heads are engraved in a plate
in the _Transactions of the Historical Society of Lancashire and
Cheshire_.[1792] They are, however, for the most part forgeries. Others
from East Lancashire[1793] and Rochdale[1794] have been described.
Besides the discoveries recorded by Hoare and Bateman, and those made
in Yorkshire,[1795] such arrow-heads are mentioned as having been found
in the Thames;[1796] in the cemetery at Standlake,[1797] Oxon; in West
Surrey,[1798] from which a number of arrow-heads of various forms have
been figured by Mr. F. Lasham; St. Leonard’s Forest,[1799] Horsham;
Plymouth,[1800] on Dartmoor,[1801] Devonshire; at Horndean,[1802]
Hants; and in large numbers in Derbyshire, especially on Middleton
Moor.[1803] Both the leaf-shaped and the barbed forms have been found
near Leicester.[1804] A number have been found at Carn Brê,[1805]

Arrow-heads, of which the form is not specified, have been found at
Wangford,[1806] Suffolk; Cliffe,[1807] near Carlebury, on the Yorkshire
side of the Tees; Priddy,[1808] Somerset; Sutton Courtney,[1809] Berks;
Lingfield Mark Camp,[1810] Surrey; near Ramsgate;[1811] Bigberry
Hill,[1812] near Canterbury; Manton,[1813] Lincolnshire; Anstie
Camp[1814] and Chart Park, Dorking.

Besides specimens already cited, and many from the Yorkshire Wolds
and Moors, there are in my collection stemmed and barbed arrow-heads
from the following localities:—One much like Fig. 307, from Staunton,
near Ixworth, Suffolk; many others from West Stow, Lakenheath, and
Icklingham, in the same county; from Hunsdon, near Ware, Brassington,
Derbyshire, and Turkdean, Gloucestershire, much like Fig. 308; one
from Abingdon, like Fig. 327; and one from St. Agnes, Truro, of the
same form as Fig. 317, but not so delicately worked; and others from
Wicken and Reach Fens, Cambs. I have also |390| numerous examples of
different forms from Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire, and from the
neighbourhood of Wallingford. The Earl of Ducie has a series found near
Sarsden House, Chipping Norton.

In the British Museum is a stemmed and barbed arrow-head, rather more
curved at the sides than Fig. 307, found at Hoxne, Suffolk. Another
of the same class, from Necton, Norfolk, is in the Norwich Museum,
together with a smaller specimen like Fig. 308, from Attleborough. In
the Cambridge Antiquarian Society’s Museum is one like Fig. 306, but
with one of the barbs square-ended. It is 2 5∕8 inches long, and 1 1∕2
inch wide, and very thin, and was found in Burwell Fen. Another, like
it, but 2 1∕4 inches long, was found near Aldreth, Cambs., and was in
the collection of the Rev. S. Banks. Canon Greenwell obtained one of
somewhat similar character, but narrow, from Barton Mills, Suffolk;
and the Rev. C. R. Manning found one like Fig. 311 on a tumulus near
Grime’s Graves, Norfolk. One of the same class is in the Penzance
Museum; and Mr. Spence Bate, F.R.S., has shown me a broken one like
Fig. 308, found under six feet of peat at Prince Town, Dartmoor, where
also a leaf-shaped arrow-head was found. Prof. Buckman had one much
like Fig. 327, found at Barwick, Somersetshire. One like Fig. 309, from
Milton, near Pewsey, Wilts, is in the collection of Mr. W. H. Penning,
F.G.S. Mr. Durden had one rather smaller than Fig. 308 from the
neighbourhood of Blandford. I have seen them both stemmed and barbed
and leaf-shaped, found near Bournemouth. Sir John Lubbock has one with
square-ended stem, and barbs separated from it by a very narrow notch,
found at Shrub Hill, Feltwell, Norfolk; and numerous specimens exist in
other collections.

[Illustration: Fig. 328.—Icklingham.]

[Illustration: Fig. 329.—Langdale End.]

[Illustration: Fig. 330.—Amotherby.]

Before entering into the circumstances under which flint arrow-heads
have been discovered, it will be well to describe the remaining
class—the triangular. Some of these differ only from those last
described in the absence of the central stem. Although this form is
very common in Ireland and in Scandinavia, it occurs but rarely in
Britain. The arrow-head shown in Fig. 328 was found near Icklingham,
Suffolk, and was formerly in the collection of Mr. H. Trigg, of Bury
St. Edmunds. Messrs. Mortimer possess a very similar specimen from
the Yorkshire Wolds near Fimber. One has also been figured by Mr.
C. Monkman[1815] as from Yorkshire. An arrow-head from Forfarshire,
and one or two others of this type, are in the National Museum at
Edinburgh. One from Ellon,[1816] Aberdeenshire, has been engraved, as
|391| well as one of much more elongated form, with a semicircular
notch at the base, from Glenluce,[1817] Wigtownshire. A broader
arrow-head of the same type was found by the Rev. James M. Joass at
Golspie, Sutherland, and is now in the Dunrobin Museum. An example
was also found by Canon Greenwell in the material of a barrow at
Childrey,[1818] Berks. Prof. Flinders Petrie has found the type in

A beautiful specimen of another double-barbed triangular form is shown
in Fig. 329. It was found at Langdale End, on the Moors of the North
Riding of Yorkshire, and is in the Greenwell Collection. It has been
surface-chipped over part of one face, but on the other it still shows
the central ridge of the flake from which it was made. The sides are
neatly serrated.

Fig. 330 represents a broader and less distinctly barbed form. The
original was found at Amotherby, near Malton, and is chipped over both
faces. I have another longer specimen from Sherburn, the base of which
is less indented. Allied to this longer form, but having the sides
more curved, is that shown in Fig. 331. The original was found by
Canon Greenwell in one of the barrows examined by him at Weaverthorpe,
Yorkshire. Varieties of this form, with the sides more or less
straight, are of not unfrequent occurrence in Yorkshire. The same type
has been found near Mantua.[1820]

[Illustration: Fig. 331.—Weaverthorpe.]

[Illustration: Fig. 332.—Lakenheath.]

[Illustration: Fig. 333.—Yorkshire Wolds.]

The more perfectly triangular form shown in Fig. 332 is of rather rare
occurrence. This arrow-head was found near Lakenheath, Suffolk, and is
now in the Greenwell Collection. It is neatly chipped over both faces,
which are equally convex. I possess other specimens from Suffolk.
Some arrow-heads of the same shape from Gelderland are in the Christy

In many instances rude triangular arrow-heads have been formed from
flakes and splinters of flint, which were evidently selected as being
nearly of the desired form, and were brought into shape by the least
possible amount of subsequent chipping. The secondary working on Fig.
333 nowhere extends back so much as an eighth of an inch from the
edges, and the bulb of percussion of the splinter of flint from which
it was made is at the right-hand angle of the base, but not on the face
here figured. |392|

In Fig. 334 the bulb is at the back of the left-hand angle, but this
specimen is much thicker, and shows a considerable amount of skilful
chipping on both faces. The angle at the bulb is rounded, while on
the opposite side of the base it is somewhat curved downwards, so as
to form a kind of barb. This obliquity of the face is more apparent
in Fig. 335, though the barb is less pronounced. The flat face of the
original flake is in this instance left nearly untouched, but the ridge
side has been neatly wrought by removing a series of minute parallel
flakes. This form occurs in Ireland,[1821] and has been regarded as
rather a knife than an arrow-head. I have seen an arrow-head of much
the same form found at Bournemouth.

[Illustration: Fig. 334.—Yorkshire Wolds.]

[Illustration: Fig. 335.—Yorkshire Wolds.]

[Illustration: Fig. 336.—Bridlington.]

[Illustration: Fig. 337.—Bridlington.]

The character of surface-flaking, observable in Figs. 335, 336 and 337,
is almost peculiar to Yorkshire; and one of the most beautiful examples
that I have seen of it is on the arrow-head engraved as Fig. 336, which
was found on Northdale Farm, Grindale, Bridlington. The ripple-like
flaking extends over nearly two-thirds of one face, the remainder of
which is a flat portion of the original surface of the flake from which
the arrow-head was made. On the other face a rather larger portion of
the original surface is left, but the |393| surface-chipping, though,
neat, is not of this regular character. The base is chipped on both
faces, so as to leave a sharp edge with a delicate projecting barb
at one angle only. The other angle is perfect, and has never been
continued so as to form a barb. I have fragments of other arrow-heads
of the same kind, from the same neighbourhood, and on some the fluting
along the base is as regular as that on the side, and the two series
of narrow shallow grooves “mitre” together with great accuracy. I
have arrow-heads of the same general form and character from the
neighbourhood of Icklingham, Suffolk; and in the Greenwell Collection
is a small and elegant example from Lakenheath; but these are devoid
of the parallel flaking, as are also some of the Yorkshire specimens.
The late Mr. J. F. Lucas, however, had an arrow-head of this form, with
the fluted chipping, from Middleton Moor, Derbyshire. Such regular
fluting can, I think, only have been produced by pressure, probably
with a pointed instrument of stag’s-horn, as before described. It comes
nearer in character to the wonderful “ripple-mark flaking” on some of
the Danish daggers or lance-heads, and of the Egyptian knives, than the
workmanship of any other British specimens.

The same style of work is observable on another arrow-head, Fig. 337,
found on the same farm, though it is not of equal delicacy. In this
case, however, the flaking extends along both sides, and the two series
meet in the middle of the face, where but a very small portion of the
original surface of the flake is visible. The face not shown is chipped
in the same manner, but less neatly. One of the angles at the base has
unfortunately been broken off, but there is no appearance of there
having been more than one barb.

In some Egyptian arrow-heads from Abydos the surface seems to have been
made smooth by grinding before the final flaking, just as was the case
with the large blades mentioned on p. 359.

Less finely executed arrow-heads, with a long projecting wing or barb
at one of the angles of the base, are of common occurrence in Yorkshire
and Suffolk. They usually retain a considerable portion of the surface
of the flakes from which they have been manufactured. They are also
found in Gloucestershire[1822] and Worcestershire.[1823]

[Illustration: Fig. 338.—Fimber]

An unusually well-finished specimen of this class is engraved as Fig.
338. It was found in the neighbourhood of Fimber, Yorkshire, and is
in the collection of Messrs. Mortimer, who have kindly allowed me to
figure it. It has been made from an external flake, as there is a
portion of the crust of the flint visible on one of the faces, both
of which are neatly chipped. It is barbed at both angles of the base,
though the projection is far longer and more curved on the one side
than on the other. In most instances, however, there can hardly be said
to be any barb at all at one of the angles.

The form with the long single barb appears to be common on the |394|
Derbyshire Moors. In one instance a rectangular notch has been worked
in the curved side, with what object it is hard to say. This specimen,
shown in Fig. 339, was found in a barrow at Hungry Bentley, Derbyshire,
by the late Mr. J. F. Lucas. It had been buried together with a jet
ornament and beads, subsequently described, in an urn containing burnt

The single-winged form is of rare occurrence in Scotland, but what
appears to be an arrow-head of this kind, from Caithness,[1824] has
been engraved by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, and the cut is
here, by their kindness, reproduced. Another from Urquhart and several
from the Culbin Sands, Elginshire, and Glenluce Sands, Wigtownshire,
are in the Edinburgh Museum. By some[1825] they are regarded as knives,
with the tang for insertion in a handle. The same form is found in
greater abundance in the North of Ireland. A somewhat analogous shape
from Italy has been figured by Dr. C. Rosa.[1826] The type also occurs
in Egypt.

[Illustration: Fig. 339.—Hungry Bentley.]

[Illustration: Fig. 340.—Caithness.]

The varieties here engraved of single-barbed triangular arrow-headeds
of flint are, I think, enough to establish them as a distinct class,
though they have received but little attention among the antiquities of
any other country than the United Kingdom, nor have they been observed
in use among modern savages. Many of the early bone harpoons, as well
as those of the Eskimos, are barbed along one side only; and some of
the Persian iron arrow-heads, as well as those of the Mandingoes,[1827]
and of some South American tribes, are also single-barbed. The same is
the case with some arrow-heads of iron belonging to the Merovingian

Another form of triangular arrow-head is round instead of hollow
at the base, and bears an affinity with the leaf-shaped rather than
the barbed variety. One of these from the neighbourhood of |395|
Lakenheath, in the Greenwell Collection, is shown in Fig. 341. It is
surface-chipped on both faces.

The chisel-ended type in use among the ancient Egyptians has already
been mentioned, and a specimen engraved in Fig. 272.

Another and much longer[1829] Egyptian form has now become known. It
approaches a triangle in form, but the base is indented like the tail
of many homocercal fishes. The specimens vary in length from 3 or 4
inches to as much as 7 or 8 inches, so that some appear to have been
javelin-heads. The flaking is wonderfully delicate, and the edges,
for the most part, minutely serrated. Mr. Spurrell has described and
figured a triangular blade, 4 1∕2 inches long, which much resembles
the Egyptian form so far as general character is concerned. It was
found in Cumberland,[1830] and is now in the British Museum. I have
specimens from Abydos of a small, narrow, pointed and tanged arrow-head
beautifully serrated at the sides. Other forms are figured by De Morgan.

[Illustration: Fig. 341.—Lakenheath.]

[Illustration: Fig. 342.—Urguhart.]

In Fig. 342 is shown what appears to be a large example of the
chisel-ended type, which was found at Urquhart,[1831] Elgin, and is in
the National Museum at Edinburgh. The edge is formed by the sharp side
of a flake, and the sharp angles at the two sides of the arrow-head
have been removed by chipping, probably to prevent their cutting the
ligaments that attached it to the shaft. Another was found at the same
place. A small specimen from Suffolk is in the Christy Collection, and
I have a few from the same county. Canon Greenwell has obtained others
from Yorkshire. It is questionable whether the specimens like Fig. 231
ought not also to have been classed as arrow-heads.

A similar form to Fig. 342 occurs in France. In one of the dolmens on
the plateau of Thorus, near Poitiers, I found a small chisel-ended
wrought flint, closely resembling the Egyptian arrow-heads; and I
have observed in the collection of the late Rev. W. C. Lukis, F.S.A.,
others of the same form from chambered tumuli in Brittany. They have
been discovered with ancient interments in other parts of France,[1832]
|396| and I have specimens found on the surface of the soil near
Pontlevoy, and given to me by the Abbé Bourgeois.

Baron Joseph de Baye has found them in considerable numbers in
sepulchres of the Stone Age in the department of La Marne.[1833] One
was found embedded in a human vertebra. They also occur in the Camp de
Catenoy, Oise.

One from St. Clement’s, Jersey, is in the British Museum.

Some are recorded from Namur and other parts of Belgium.[1834]

Two arrow-heads of this class, found in Denmark, have been engraved
by Madsen;[1835] one of them, to which I shall again refer, was still
attached to a portion of its shaft.

Nilsson[1836] has also engraved some specimens of this form found in
Scandinavia. A considerable number of them were found at Lindormabacken
in Scania,[1837] some of which, by the kindness of Dr. Hans Hildebrand,
are in my collection. I have also specimens from Denmark. There are
others from the same countries in the Christy Collection, where is also
an example of the same kind from Southern Italy. Several are engraved
by Bellucci.[1838]

They occur also in Germany,[1839] Spain,[1840] and Portugal.[1841] Some
crescent-shaped flints with sharp edges and a central tang, found on an
island in the Lake of Varese,[1842] may possibly be arrow-heads. Forms
of nearly the same kind have been found near Perugia.[1843]

In General Pitt Rivers’s collection are some Persian arrows with
chisel-edged tips of iron. Crescent-like[1844] arrow-heads or
bolt-heads, with a broad hollowed edge, were used in hunting in
the Middle Ages, and some are preserved in museums. The Emperor
Commodus[1845] is related to have shown his skill in archery by
beheading the ostrich when at full speed with crescent-headed arrows.

There still remains to be noticed another form of triangular
arrow-head, of which, however, I have never had the opportunity of
seeing a British specimen. It has a notch on either side near the base,
which is slightly hollowed, and in general form closely resembles a
common type of North American arrow-heads. A specimen of this form,
said to have been found at Hamden Hill,[1846] near Ilchester, has been
engraved. Another, described as of much the same shape, was found in a
barrow in Rookdale, Yorkshire.[1847] A broken specimen, with the base
flat instead of hollowed, and found in Lanarkshire,[1848] has also been

I am not, however, satisfied that this triangular form, with notches in
the sides, is a really British type, though lance-heads notched in this
manner have been found in France.

Both in Yorkshire and on the Wiltshire Downs arrow-heads have from
time to time been found with their surface much abraded. There |397|
seems little doubt that this wearing away has been effected during
their sojourn in the gizzards of bustards.

       *       *       *       *       *

Having now described the principal types of arrow-heads found in
Britain, it will be well to notice some of the circumstances of their
discovery in barrows and with interments, which throw light on the
manners and the stage of civilization of those who used them.

I am not aware of any well-established discovery of flint arrow-heads
in this country in association with iron weapons, and certainly such
a mixture of materials would require careful sifting of evidence to
establish it. And yet we can readily conceive conditions under which
flint arrow-heads might be present in Saxon graves, either from
their having been dug in barrows of an earlier period, in which case
a flint arrow-head might already exist in the soil with which the
grave was filled; or from the occupant of the tomb having carried an
“elf-bolt” as a charm, or even as the flint for his _briquet à feu_.
In the Frankish cemetery of Samson,[1849] near Namur, a broken flint
arrow-head, almost of a lozenge form, accompanied a human skeleton
with an iron sword and a lance; and another stemmed arrow-head (now
in the Namur Museum) was found in the soil. At Sablonnières[1850]
(Aisne) flint arrow-heads were associated with Merovingian remains, and
numerous instances of such associations have been adduced by the Baron
de Baye.[1851] Even in modern times flint arrow-heads have served for
this fire-producing purpose. The late Earl of Enniskillen informed me
that with flint-guns and muskets in Ireland[1852] the gun-flint was
frequently neither more nor less than an “elf-bolt” often but slightly
modified in form.

The occurrence in Northern Italy of a flint arrow-head, in company
with ten of the degenerate imitations of the gold coin of Philip II.
of Macedon, known by the Germans as Regenbogen-schüsseln, recorded
by Promis,[1853] may also have been accidental. I have in my own
collection a stone celt which is said to have been found with a hoard
of Anglo-Saxon coins of the tenth century in Ireland,[1854] but which
can hardly be regarded as contemporaneous with them. There are,
however, as I have already observed, many well-attested instances
in which flint arrow-heads have been discovered in this and other
countries in true association with weapons of bronze. Sir R. Colt
Hoare records several such in his |398| examination of the barrows of
South Wilts. In one near Woodyates[1855] a skeleton in a contracted
position was buried with a bronze dagger and pin or awl, a jet button
and pulley-like ornament, four arrow-heads (one of them engraved as
Fig. 320), and “some pieces of flint, chipped and prepared for similar
weapons; in another bowl-shaped barrow at Wilsford an interment of
burnt bones was accompanied by a small bronze dagger, some whetstones,
and instruments formed of stag’s horn, an arrow-head of flint, and
another in an unfinished condition.”

It is stated in the _Archæologia_[1856] that with the well-known
interment in the hollowed oak-trunk found in the Gristhorpe tumulus,
near Scarborough, were “a brass and a flint spear-head and flint
arrow-heads,” &c. The flints[1857] were, however, in this instance,
merely flakes and the “brass spear-head” a bronze dagger.

In Borther Low,[1858] near Middleton, Derbyshire, Mr. Bateman found by
the side of a skeleton a flint arrow-head, a pair of canine teeth of
fox or dog, and a diminutive bronze celt; and in a barrow on Roundway
Hill,[1859] North Wilts, a barbed flint arrow-head, like Fig. 327, was
found close to the skull of a skeleton in a contracted posture, with a
tanged bronze dagger at its left hand. Another bronze fragment, and a
small plate of chlorite slate engraved as Fig. 355, were found at the
same time. Similar plates, as well as flint arrow-heads, accompanied
the skeleton at Tring Grove,[1860] Herts, and an interment at Cruden,

A stemmed and barbed arrow-head of calcined flint was found in one of
the urns containing burnt bones in the cemetery at Standlake,[1862]
Oxfordshire. In another urn was a spiral finger-ring of bronze, the
only fragment of metal brought to light during the excavations.

Flint arrow-heads have been so frequently found in barrows containing
both burnt and unburnt interments, and in company with other implements
of stone and with pottery, that it seems needless to adduce all the
recorded instances of such discoveries. I give a few references
below.[1863] |399|

The stemmed and barbed variety is of the most common occurrence in
tumuli; but, as has already been shown, one leaf-shaped form appears
to be, to some extent, peculiar to a class of long barrows, though the
stemmed and barbed,[1864] lozenge and leaf-shaped forms have been found
in the soil of the same grave mound.

In several instances, stemmed and barbed arrow-heads have been
discovered with skeletons, accompanied also by the finely-chipped
leaf-shaped knife-daggers of flint. In Green Low,[1865] Alsop Moor,
Derbyshire, the dagger-blade lay behind the shoulders, and three
arrow-heads behind the back; in one, as already mentioned, on Seamer
Moor, near Scarborough,[1866] “two beautifully formed knives and
spear-heads of flint,” and four flint celts, accompanied “beautifully
formed arrow-heads of flint;” and the dagger (Fig. 264) appears to have
been found in the same barrow as the arrow-heads, on Lambourn Down.

Occasionally arrow-heads are found in the “drinking-cups” accompanying
the skeleton, as in Mouse Low,[1867] Staffordshire.

It remains for me to say a few words as to the points of difference
and resemblance between the arrow-heads of Britain and those of other
countries;[1868] and also as to the method of shafting in use in
ancient times.

In comparing the arrow-heads of Great Britain with those of what is now
the sister kingdom of Ireland, we cannot but be struck, in the first
place, with the far greater abundance found in Ireland, especially
in its northern parts. How far this is due to their use having come
down into later times, and how far to the character of the country,
it is difficult to say. It is, however, evident that over so large an
area of morass and bog, the number of arrows lost in the chase during
a long series of years must have been immense; that when once lost
they would be preserved uninjured, and remain undiscovered until the
operations of draining and obtaining peat for fuel again brought them
to light; and further, that the former of these operations has only
been carried on to a large extent within the last few years, while
the latter has also in all probability increased. On hard and stony
soil, on the contrary, even assuming an originally equal abundance of
arrow-heads, agricultural operations, after being carried on for a few
|400| centuries, would infallibly destroy a large number of them, and
what were left would not be so instantly apparent to the eye as those
in a peaty soil, and would consequently be found in fewer numbers. In
districts where flint is scarce many ancient arrow-heads must have been
used as strike-a-lights and gun-flints. In Ireland,[1869] as already
stated, they were highly esteemed for the latter purpose. Even on
land recently enclosed, and where arrow-heads and worked flints may
exist in abundance, unless some unusual inducement is offered, they
remain unnoticed by the farm-labourers; and it is only owing to the
diligence of local collectors that such numbers have been found on the
Yorkshire Wolds, the Derbyshire Moors, and in parts of Gloucestershire,
Oxfordshire and Suffolk. There seems, however, either from the
character of the game pursued, or from some different customs of the
early occupants of the country, to have been a far greater production
of arrow-heads in these districts than in some other parts of Britain,
such, for instance, as the Sussex Downs,[1870] where on land but
recently enclosed, almost innumerable flakes, scrapers, and other
instruments of flint may be found, but where I have hitherto never
succeeded in finding a single arrow-point. It is possible that in some
districts, bone may have been preferred to stone.

Apart from the greater general abundance in Ireland, there is a far
greater relative abundance of some particular forms, especially of
the barbed triangular arrow-heads without a central stem, and of the
elongated form with the stem and barbs. Lozenge-shaped arrow-heads
are also more frequent, and some of the varieties of this form do not
appear to occur in Britain. As a rule, Irish arrow-heads are also of
larger size than the British. Their forms have been described by Sir W.
Wilde,[1871] Mr. Wakeman[1872] and others.

       *       *       *       *       *

In France, flint arrow-heads are at least as rare as in England, if
not indeed rarer. In some of the dolmens of Brittany explored by the
Rev. W. C. Lukis, F.S.A.,[1873] he has found them both leaf-shaped
and stemmed and barbed. Among the latter there are some of extremely
neat workmanship, and closely resembling in form Fig. 312. I have
seen the same form from the Côtes du Nord. Some beautiful examples,
more elongated than Fig. 319 and with very small tangs, were found
in a tumulus at Cruguel,[1874] Morbihan. The more common |401|
French form is like Fig. 311, but with both stem and barb rather
longer and the sides straighter. Specimens have been engraved from
the neighbourhood of Londinières;[1875] from a dolmen at Villaigre,
Poitou;[1876] a lake-habitation at La Péruse[1877] (Charente); the
Valley of the Saône,[1878] the department of the Aisne,[1879] the Camp
de Chassey,[1880] and other places.

Various forms from the Landes,[1881] Gironde,[1882] Marne,[1883]
Gard,[1884] and other Departments[1885] have been figured. Dr. Leith
Adams traced a manufactory of flint arrow-heads in Guernsey.[1886]

I have several tanged, and stemmed and barbed arrow-heads from Poitou,
as well as some of triangular form, both with a rounded segmental base
and with barbs. I have also leaf-shaped, lozenge-shaped, and tanged and
barbed examples from the neighbourhood of Clermont Ferrand. Twenty-two
of the latter form were found together, in company with a bronze
dagger, in a cist in Brittany.[1887]

Another common variety is stemmed and but very slightly barbed. Some
of these approximate in form to a lozenge, with two of its sides
curved inwards. Specimens from the dolmen of Bernac[1888] (Charente),
the Grotte de St. Jean d’Alcas,[1889] and Argenteuil (Seine et
Oise),[1890] and the dolmens of Taurine, Pilande, and des Costes
(Aveyron), may be cited. In several of the latter both leaf-shaped and
lozenge-shaped specimens were also found. Many are neatly serrated
at the edges, sometimes so as to form a sort of regular pattern,
with only two or three projections on each of the sides. A pointed
leaf-shaped arrow-head in a human vertebra was found in the Grotte du
Castellet[1891] (Gard).

The same varieties, as well as some triangular arrow-heads, occurred in
the Camp de Chassey.[1892] Some of them are barbed without having the
central tang.

A large arrow-head from the dolmen of Bernac, with pointed barbs,
has a strongly dovetailed central stem. I have seen other much more
elongated javelin-heads, four and five inches long, and an inch or an
inch and a quarter broad, with similar tangs, but without barbs, the
tang being formed by notches on either side at the base, as is the case
with so many North American specimens, which these resemble in form.
They were found at Corente, in Auvergne, and were in the collection
|402| of M. Aymard at Le Puy, where was also a leaf-shaped arrow-head
with side notches, from Clermont. Another of the same kind, 4 inches
long, with a more dovetail-like tang and better-developed barbs, has
been found near Laon.[1893] Others of smaller size were found in the
Grotte des Morts, Durfort (Gard).[1894]

A somewhat similar form has occurred among the lake-dwellings of the
Ueberlinger See.[1895]

A type much like Fig. 314 also occurs in the lake-habitations of
Switzerland,[1896] where, as might have been expected, a large number
of stone arrow-heads have been found. Some few of them are stemmed and
barbed, much like Fig. 311, but with the tang and barbs rather longer
and sharper. More of them are tanged only, or but slightly barbed, and
in many, the tang has so slight a shoulder that the outline is almost,
and in some quite, lozenge-shaped. The most common form, however,
appears to be the triangular, with the sides slightly curved outwards
and the base flat, or even slightly rounded outwards. Many are a little
hollowed at the base, so much so, in some cases, as to be distinctly
barbed. At Nussdorf one arrow-head was formed of serpentine, and
another of translucent quartz. One or two specimens are of bone.

Leaf-shaped and stemmed arrows without barbs, from Hasledon and Yvoir,
are in the Museum at Namur, in Belgium. Belgian arrow-heads have been
described by Van Overloop.[1897]

In the lake-dwellings of Northern Italy,[1898] as, for instance, at
Mercurago, near Arona, and Cumarola, near Modena, the tanged arrows
prevail, though leaf-and lozenge-shaped also occur. The same is the
case in the south, where numerous discoveries of arrow-heads have been
recorded by Nicolucci.[1899] At Cumarola[1900] some skeletons were
found interred with flint arrow-heads and weapons of stone, in company
with others of copper and bronze.

In the valley of the Vibrata,[1901] in the Abruzzo, Dr. C. Rosa has
found numerous arrow-heads, principally stemmed and barbed, but some
also triangular and leaf-shaped. One specimen appears to be barbed on
one side only, and a lance-head has a notch on each side near the base
like those from Auvergne.

In the Lake of Varese,[1902] where the site of a manufactory of
arrow-heads was discovered by Captain Angelucci, the principal forms
were those with a pointed tang and barbs. The roughly-chipped-out
blocks were of a leaf-shaped form. A fine specimen like Fig. 302, |403|
but rather longer, was found near Civitanova[1903] (Piceno), and the
form occurs in Central Italy. A long leaf-shaped arrow from Italy is
engraved by Lindenschmit,[1904] as well as a tanged form without barbs.
The latter form occurs in the Isle of Elba.[1905] I have a series,
from near Bergamo, nearly all of which are tanged, though few of them
are distinctly barbed. The various forms of lance and arrow heads in
the province of Perugia[1906] have been described by Prof. Bellucci.
The stone arrow-heads frequently cited as having been found on the
plains of Marathon[1907] appear to be only flakes,[1908] as are many
of those from Tiryns.[1909] At Mycenæ,[1910] however, in the fourth
sepulchre, Schliemann found thirty-five beautifully-wrought arrow-heads
of obsidian. They are mainly of triangular form, hollowed at the base,
though the long leaf shape is also present. In general _facies_ they
closely resemble the Danish forms.

In a dolmen in Andalusia[1911] a broken arrow-head of flint, with
pointed stem and barbs, was found; and inasmuch as the fragment
is engraved by Don Manuel de Gongora y Martinez as the head of a
three-pointed dart, it appears that the form is not common in Spain.

A number of arrow-heads, mostly tanged, have, however, been found in
the south-east of Spain by MM. Siret.[1912] In Portugal[1913] the
arrow-heads are usually triangular, but often with long-projecting
wings or barbs.

Returning northwards, I may cite a small series of flint arrow-heads
in my collection, found near Luxembourg, where they appear to be not
uncommon. They present the following forms: leaf-shaped, tanged, tanged
and barbed, triangular with a straight base, and the same with barbs.

Numerous arrow-heads of flint have also been found in Gelderland, and
a collection of them is to be seen in the Leyden Museum. Some are
also in the Christy Collection. The most common forms are triangular,
with barbs, or with a somewhat rounded base, and stemmed and barbed.
Leaf-shaped and tanged arrow-heads appear to be rarer. Some scarce
triangular forms are equilateral, and others long and somewhat
expanding at the base. I have a series from Heistert, Roermond, Limburg.

In Central and Southern Germany flint arrow-heads appear to be rather
scarce. In Pomerania the prevailing type is triangular hollowed at
the base. The same form occurs in Thuringia. In the Königsberg Museum
there are arrow-heads leaf-shaped pointed at both ends, lozenge-shaped,
slightly tanged, tanged and barbed, and triangular with and without the
hollowing at the base. |404| Lindenschmit[1914] engraves specimens,
like Figs. 311 and 327, from the Rhine and Oldenburg, and a tanged
arrow-head of serpentine from Inzighofen, near Sigmaringen, on
the Danube.[1915] Lisch also engraves a few specimens from North
Germany,[1916] which resemble the Scandinavian in character. Near
Egenburg,[1917] in Lower Austria, a considerable number have been
found. Some Austrian[1918] arrow-heads are barbed, but without the
central tang.

Considering the wonderful abundance of flint implements in Denmark and
Southern Sweden, it is not a little singular that arrow-heads should be
there comparatively so rare. The leaf-shaped form is extremely scarce,
but a triangular form, resembling the leaf-shaped in all respects but
in having a rounded notch at the base in lieu of a rounded end, is more
common. Stemmed and barbed arrow-heads are also very scarce, and those
merely tanged are usually flakes simply trimmed at the edges, with
the exception of those of equilateral triangular section, which are
peculiar to Scandinavia. The lozenge-shape appears to be unknown; and
by far the greater number of arrow-heads are of the triangular form,
sometimes but slightly, if at all, hollowed at the base, though usually
furnished with long projecting wings or barbs. The same type occurs
in Norway.[1919] Occasionally the notch between the barbs is square,
and the ends of the barbs worked at an angle of about 45°, like Fig.
319, without the central stem. In some rare instances the barbs curve
outwards at the points, giving an ogee form to the sides. In others the
barbs curve inwards. In many, the sides are delicately serrated, and
in most the workmanship is admirable. What appear to be lance-heads
are sometimes notched on either side near the base, like the common
North American form, and like those already mentioned as occurring
occasionally in France.[1920]

In Norway,[1921] and more rarely in Sweden,[1922] stemmed and acutely
barbed arrow-and lance-heads, made of hard slate ground on the surface,
are occasionally found. Knives of the same material also occur. They
much resemble some of those from Greenland, and are probably of
comparatively late date. Some spear-head-like implements of slate,
ornamented with incised lines, have been found in a circular fort on
Dunbuie Hill,[1923] near Dumbarton.

Triangular arrow-heads of flint, more or less excavated at the base
like those from Scandinavia, are also sometimes found in Russia.
Specimens from Ekaterinoslav in the South, and Olonetz in the North,
were exhibited at Paris in 1867. Others from Archangel approach more
nearly to the North American form. They are occasionally tanged.[1924]

In Northern Africa flint arrow-heads have been discovered, and the
leaf-shaped, triangular, and tanged and barbed forms have been found
in the dolmens of Algeria.[1925] Some have also been collected in
Tunis,[1926] and simple tanged arrow-heads have been found in the

But little is at present known of the stone antiquities of a great
part of Asia; but an arrow-head from India[1928] was in the possession
of Prof. Buckman, who obligingly furnished me with a sketch of it. It
is acutely pointed, about 2 5∕8 inches long, and tanged and barbed,
though the barbs are now broken off. Some small leaf-shaped arrow-heads
have been found at Ranchi,[1929] in the Chota-Nagpore district. Mr.
Bauerman, F.G.S., found, at Ghenneh, in Wady Sireh, Sinai, a flint
arrow-head, neatly chipped on both faces, of a very peculiar form,
being leaf-shaped, with a tang attached. It is in all nearly 2 inches
long, of which the leaf-shaped part occupies about 1 1∕2 inches, and
the slender tang or stalk the other 1∕2 inch. It lay in a tomb[1930]
with a lance-head of flint, a bracelet of copper, and a necklace of
spiral shells. A very similar arrow-head, 2 1∕2 inches long, from Wady
Maghara, was presented by Major Macdonald[1931] to the British Museum.
The form seems also to occur in North America.[1932]

The Abbé Richard found some very finely worked arrow-heads on and
around Mount Sinai.[1933] Two[1934] from that locality were presented
to the Society of Antiquaries in 1872. Flint arrow-heads have been
found on Mount Lebanon,[1935] mostly tanged, but without pronounced
barbs. A few are leaf-shaped and triangular.

Some obsidian arrow-heads from the Caucasus[1936] are triangular, with
a semicircular notch at the base. Some of flint and of leaf-shaped form
have been found at Hissar,[1937] near Damghan, Persia.

Arrow-heads from Japan[1938] are curiously like those from Europe,
being triangular with or without barbs, and stemmed and slightly
barbed. For the most part, they are narrower in their proportions
than the European. Some are formed of obsidian. Besides these, the
lozenge-shaped, the leaf-shaped, and a peculiar form with broad-ended
barbs and no central tang, occur. There is a fine series in the Museum
at Leyden and in the British Museum.

In Greenland flat arrow-heads and harpoon-points of chalcedony and
slate are found, most of which approximate to ordinary North American
forms. I have one triangular arrow-head with the sides |406| curved
outwards and delicately serrated. In Newfoundland[1939] a narrow,
triangular form prevails, sometimes ground sharp at the base.

One of the ordinary types in North America,[1940] viz., that with a
notch at the base on either side, has already been mentioned more
than once. This form shades off into that with a central dovetailed
tang, sometimes with well-developed barbs. Others again have merely a
central tang, with little or no attempt at barbs. The triangular form,
usually but little excavated at the base, is also common. A rare form
terminates in a semicircular edge. The leaf-shaped form is rare. For
the most part the chipping is but rough, as the material, which is
usually chert, horn-stone, or even quartz, does not readily lend itself
to fine work. They were made of various sizes, the smaller for boys,
and those for men varying in accordance with the purpose to which they
were to be applied.[1941] They have been so fully described by others
that I need not dilate upon them. Some broken arrow-heads have been
converted into scrapers.

As we proceed southwards in America, the forms appear more closely to
resemble the European. Some of the obsidian and chalcedony arrow-heads
from Mexico are stemmed and barbed, and almost identical in shape
with English examples. Don Antonio de Salis[1942] relates that in the
Palace of Montezuma there was one place where they prepared the shafts
for arrows and another where they worked the flint (obsidian) for the
points. In Tierra del Fuego[1943] the natives still fashion stemmed
arrow-heads tanged and barbed, or of a triangular form, with a tang
extending from the centre of the base. In Patagonia,[1944] triangular,
stemmed, and stemmed and barbed arrow-heads occur in deposits analogous
to the Danish kjökken-möddings. One brought from Rio Grande, and
presented to me by Lieut. Musters, R.N., has a broad stem somewhat
hollowed at the base. Mr. Hudson,[1945] in giving an account of
arrow-heads from the valley of the Rio Negro, formed of agate, crystal,
and flint of various colours, remarks that beauty must have been as
much an aim to the worker as utility.

Some of the flint and chalcedony arrow-heads from Chili are beautifully
made, and closely resemble those from Oregon, farther north. A tanged
and barbed point, embedded in a human vertebra, was found in a burial
mound near Copiapo.[1946]

A tanged arrow-head from Araucania, with a well-marked shoulder at the
base of the triangular head, so that it might almost be called barbed,
is engraved by the Rev. Dr. Hume.[1947] It is like an Italian form.

Stemmed arrow-or harpoon-heads of quartz are found in Chili and Peru
of much the same form as Fig. 303. The barbs, if such they may be
called, are usually at rather more than a right angle to the stem, and
occasionally project considerably from the side of the blade, giving
it a somewhat cruciform appearance. I have several which were dug out
by the late Mr. David Forbes, F.R.S., from graves close to the shore,
about two miles south of Arica.[1948] In some instances they are still
attached to their shafts, which are unlike those of ordinary arrows,
being shorter and clumsier. I have them of two sizes, the larger 10 1∕2
inches long, about 5∕8 inch in diameter at the end, where the head has
been inserted in a socket, increasing to 7∕8 in diameter towards the
other end. At a distance of 2 inches from this, however, there is an
abrupt shoulder, so that the diameter is increased by at least 1∕4 of
an inch, and the shaft then rapidly tapers in the contrary direction.
The shafts have thus a stopper-like termination, which Mr. Forbes
suggests may have been inserted in the end of a longer shaft of bamboo,
so that the whole weapon was a sort of spear or javelin, and not,
strictly speaking, an arrow. The smaller kind of shaft is of the same
character, but only 6 inches long, and proportionately smaller. This
may possibly have served as part of an arrow. The wood of all has been
coloured with a red pigment.

One arrow-head from the same spot is of remarkably elegant form, and of
wonderfully good workmanship. In general outline it is not unlike Fig.
324, but the blade expands more rapidly to form the barbs, which stand
out well from the stem, and are separated from it by a slight hollow.
It is 1 5∕8 inches long. Its greatest width at the barbs is but 1∕2 an
inch; and the extreme acuteness and delicacy of the point may be judged
of from the fact, that a distance of an inch from the apex the width
is less than 1∕4 of an inch. The heads appear to have been secured in
their sockets by binding with thread formed of vegetable fibre. In some
instances the wooden shaft is furnished with barbs made of bronze, tied
on a little distance behind the stone point.

Leaf-shaped arrow-heads, as well as tanged and barbed, and barbed
without a central tang, are found in Peru.[1949] Some leaf-shaped
arrows with a stalk, from New Granada, are in the Albert Memorial
Museum at Exeter.

       *       *       *       *       *

It will, however, be thought that enough, and more than enough, has
been said as to the forms of arrow-heads occurring in various parts of
the world. Allowing for local differences, the general correspondence
in form is so great that we cannot wonder at Dr. Woodward’s[1950]
suggestion that the first model of flint arrow-heads was probably
brought from Babel, and preserved after the dispersion of mankind.
To most, however, it will appear that this general similarity
affords another proof that in all places, and in all times, similar
circumstances and similar wants, with |408| similar materials only at
command for gratifying them, result in similar contrivances.

I must, in conclusion, say a few words as to the method of mounting
these stone points upon the arrows; and here we are not left absolutely
to conjecture, though the discoveries of flint arrow-heads still
attached to their shafts, in any part of the United Kingdom, are
extremely rare. But in Ballykillen Bog, King’s County, a stemmed and
barbed flint arrow-head was found, still remaining in a part of its
“briar-wood” shaft, and with a portion of the gut-tying by which it had
been secured, still attached. It is in the museum of Mr. Murray, of
Edenderry, and has been figured by Sir W. Wilde.[1951] Another Irish
example was found in Kanestown Bog,[1952] co. Antrim, and has been
published by Mr. W. J. Knowles. In this case the head was barbed though
not stemmed, but the shaft was cleft to receive it, and was bound round
with gut or sinew for a length of about 4 inches. The shaft is thought
to have been of ash.

A third example was found in a moss at Fyvie,[1953] Aberdeenshire,
and has been described by Dr. Joseph Anderson. By the kindness of the
Society of Antiquaries of Scotland it is shown in Fig. 342A. The point
is leaf-shaped, approaching to a lozenge. It is inserted in a cleft in
the tapering shaft, which extends almost to the point. The nature of
the tough wood, of which the shaft is made, has not been determined,
and the manner in which the head was secured in the shaft seems
uncertain; but there may have been a binding which has perished. Dr.
Anderson was able to reproduce the shaft in soft wood, making use of
flint tools only.

[Illustration: Fig. 342A.—Fyvie, Aberdeenshire. 1∕1]

[Illustration: Fig. 343.—Switzerland. 1∕1]

Specimens have also been found in Switzerland and Germany. |409| One
of the former has been figured by Dr. Keller,[1954] whose engraving I
here reproduce, as Fig. 343, in the full size of the original arrow,
instead of on the scale of one-half. It was found, not in any of the
Lake habitations, but in the moss of Geissboden.

The arrow-heads found among the ancient Swiss lake-dwellings, often
bear on their surface some portion of the bituminous cement which
helped to attach them to the shafts. Dr. Clément[1955] possessed one,
apparently tanged but not barbed, the base of which is completely
incrusted with bitumen, with traces of the wood of the shaft upon
it, and of the cord by which the whole was bound together. Another,
leaf-shaped, similarly incrusted, is in the Museum at Lausanne. The
attachment of a conical bone arrow-head to its shaft is of the same
character. Some single-barbed[1956] arrows were made by tying a bone
pin, pointed at each end, diagonally to the extremity of the shaft.

[Illustration: Fig. 344.—Fünen, Denmark. 1∕1]

Another specimen has been engraved by Madsen,[1957] who, however, does
not appear to have recognised it as an arrow-head. He describes it as
“a flint instrument, fastened by means of fine bast-fibre to a wooden
shaft, of which only 1 1∕2 inch remains.” I have here reproduced his
engraving, as Fig. 344, and there can I think be little doubt that it
represents the point of an arrow of the same character as those in use
among the ancient Egyptians.[1958] It was found in a peat moss in the
parish of Vissenberg, Odense, in the Isle of Fünen.

[Illustration: Fig. 345.—Modern Stone Arrow-head.]

Among modern savages, we find the stone points sometimes attached to
the shafts by vegetable fibre, not unfrequently aided by some resinous
gum, and also by means of animal sinew. The annexed woodcut, Fig. 345,
kindly supplied by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland,[1959] shows
an arrow-head, stated to be from one of the South Sea Islands, but more
probably from California, |410| attached by means of tendon to a reed
shaft. The Indians of California certainly affix their arrow-heads in
a similar manner; but commonly there are notches on either side of
the head at the base, to receive the sinew or split intestine, which
is in the form of tape about 1∕8 inch wide. The binding extends about
an inch along the shaft, and is of the neatest description. North
American[1960] arrow-heads, fastened in this manner, have been engraved
by Sir John Lubbock and the Rev. J. G. Wood. The end of the shaft has
a shallow notch in it to receive the flint, which is cemented into the
notch before being bound on.

Among the Kaffirs,[1961] the iron heads of the assagais are usually
bound to the shafts with strips of wet hide, which contract and tighten
in drying.

The shafts of arrows are frequently of reed, in which case there is
often a longer or shorter piece of solid wood joined on to the reed to
which the head is attached. This is the case with the ancient Egyptian
arrows, and with those of the Bushmen,[1962] in which, however, bone
and ivory replace the wood; and the shaft generally consists of three
pieces—reed, ostrich bone, and ivory, to which latter the head of iron
is attached. In other cases the shafts consist of straight-growing
shoots of trees. Among the Eskimos,[1963] where wood is so scarce,
a peculiar tool—formed of bone, with an oval or lozenge-shaped hole
through it—is used for the purpose of straightening arrow-shafts. The
tang of their arrow-heads is inserted in a socket, and bound fast with

For harpoons there is often a hole in the triangular armature. One of
these points was found in the body of a seal killed in Iceland[1964] in
1643, and Olaf Worm judiciously thought that the seal had been wounded
by a Greenlander.

In most countries the shafts are feathered at the bow-string end,
and such was the case in the earliest historical times. Hesiod[1965]
describes the arrows of Hercules as feathered from the wings of a
black eagle, and Homer[1966] speaks of the πτερόεντες ὀϊστοί—if
indeed, as Mr. Yates suggests, this latter refers to the plumes.[1967]
Herodotus,[1968] however, mentions, as a remarkable fact, that the
arrows of the Lycians in the army of Xerxes, like those of the Bushmen
and some other savages of the present day, had no |411| feathers, so
that this addition to the shaft was not indispensable. It is said that
some North American arrow-heads are “bevelled[1969] off on the reverse
sides, apparently to give them a revolving motion,” so as to answer the
same purpose as plumes. But this result seems very doubtful.

From what kind of wood the bows in Britain were made at the time when
flint-pointed arrows were in use is uncertain; the yew, however, which
is probably the best European wood for the purpose, is indigenous to
this country. It is not probable that the cross-bow was known in these
early times, though it was in use during the Roman period, as may be
seen on a monument in the museum at Le Puy.

I need, however, hardly enter into further details with regard to
arrows, and I therefore proceed to the consideration of other forms of
stone implements, including those by which it seems probable that some
of the arrow-heads were fashioned.




In treating of the manufacture of stone implements in prehistoric times
I have already (p. 41) described certain tools of flint with a blunted,
worn, and rounded appearance at one or both ends, as if resulting from
attrition against a hard substance, and I have suggested that their
purpose may have been for chipping out arrow-heads and other small
instruments of flint. As, however, it was not desirable to introduce
unnecessary details when dealing only with the processes adopted in the
manufacture of stone implements, the more particular description of
some of the tools was deferred, until after an account had been given
of the objects in the making of which they had probably assisted.

[Illustration: Fig. 346.—Yorkshire Wolds.]

       *       *       *       *       *

In Fig. 346 is shown, full size, a characteristic specimen of the tool
to which I have provisionally assigned the name of “flaking tool,”
or fabricator. It is symmetrically chipped out of grey flint, and is
curved at one extremity, probably with the view of adapting it for
being better held in the hand. The side edges, which were originally
left sharp, have been slightly rounded by grinding, apparently from the
same motive. The angles at the curved end have been smoothed off, but
the other end is completely rounded, and presents the half-polished,
worn appearance characteristic of these tools. The curvature lengthways
to some extent resembles that of the Eskimo arrow-flakers engraved
as Figs. 8 and 9, and is of common occurrence among these tools.
They vary much in the amount of workmanship they display; some being
mere flakes with the edges rounded |413| by chipping, and others as
carefully wrought into form as any flint hatchet or chisel. These
skilfully-chipped specimens are frequently much more convex on one face
than the other. They vary in length from about 2 to 4 inches.

An unusually long example is, by permission of the Society of
Antiquaries of Scotland, shown in Fig. 346A. It was found on the
Hill of Corennie,[1970] Aberdeenshire, and closely resembles another
implement of the same kind found near Fordoun,[1971] Kincardineshire.

[Illustration: Fig. 346A.—Corennie. 1∕1]

[Illustration: Fig. 347.—Bridlington. 1∕1]

The rougher kinds are usually clumsy in their proportions, as if
strength were an object, and they not unfrequently show a certain
amount of abrasion at each end. An instrument of this coarser
description is shown in Fig. 347. It is worn away and rounded, not
only at the point, but for a considerable distance along the sides,
the abraded surface having a somewhat bruised appearance. It is
remarkable that many of the Danish flint knife-daggers, especially
those which have been so long in use that their blades have been much
diminished in size by having been frequently re-chipped, present at
the |414| end and sides of the handles precisely the same kind of
worn surface. At one time I thought it possible that constant contact
with hard hands, not free from sand and dirt, might have produced
this rounding of the angles; but closer examination proves that this
cannot have been the only cause of the wear, as it is sometimes the
case that at a certain distance from the end of the hilt, the abraded
character disappears entirely, and, with the exception of a slight
polish, the angles are as fresh as on the day when the daggers were
first manufactured. This feature is most observable in the poignards
with the beautifully-decorated handles. I possess one of this kind—like
Worsaae, No. 52—with the sides near the blade exquisitely ornamented
with a delicate wavy edging, and with a line of similar ornament
running along the centre of one face of the handle, the butt-end having
also been edged in a similar manner; but for an inch and a half from
the end the whole of this ornamentation is completely worn away, and
the sides are battered and rounded. To such an extent has this part of
the handle been used, that one of the projecting points of the original
fishtail-like end has entirely disappeared, and the other is completely
rounded. The blade is probably now not more than one-third of its
original size, so that we may infer that it must have been long in use
for its legitimate purposes. But during all this time the hilt must
have been made to serve some other and less appropriate purpose than
that of a handle, and as a result its original beauty of ornamentation
has been entirely destroyed. I think that this purpose must have been
the chipping, or rather the re-working, of the edges of other flint

Whether this was effected by pressure or by slight blows it is hard to
say; but it appears probable that the ancient possessor of two such
daggers used the hilt of the one for re-chipping the blade of the
other, and it may be for re-chipping other implements. An indirect
inference deducible from this disfigurement of the beautifully wrought
handles, is that they were not originally made by the owners who thus
misused them—though they also must have been fairly accomplished
workers in flint—but that the daggers were procured by barter of
some kind from the cutlers of the period, whose special trade it
was to work in flint. For we can hardly conceive that those who had
bestowed so much time and skill in the ornamentation of these hilts,
should afterwards wantonly disfigure their own artistic productions.
In Britain, where the larger forms of finely-wrought instruments are
scarcer, it seems most likely that these flakers were principally used
in the making of arrow-heads, though probably hard bone or stag’s horn
was also employed, as already suggested.

Against regarding the ends of these tools as having been worn away
in the manufacture of other instruments of flint, it may be urged
that the butt-ends of some chisels present a similar appearance, and
therefore that the wear may be the result of hammering with some kind
of hard mallet. It must, however, be remembered that no hammering at
the ends would produce the wearing away apparent on the sides of the
tools, and that the chisels which present the worn ends are in form and
size much the same as the “flaking tools,” and may, like the Danish
daggers, have served a double purpose. It is also worthy of notice
that these “flaking tools” are most abundant in districts where flint
arrow-heads occur in the greatest numbers, as, for instance, on |415|
the Yorkshire Wolds. In parts of Suffolk where arrow-heads are common
they too are abundantly present. I have also found them in the camp at
Maiden Bower, near Dunstable, in company with arrow-heads.

In the case of the straight implements, like Fig. 347, it is by no
means impossible that they were used with a mallet as punches or sets,
to strike off flakes in the manufacture of arrow-heads and similar
articles. As already mentioned, some of the American tribes use a bone
punch for this purpose.

[Illustration: Fig. 348.—Sawdon. 1∕1]

[Illustration: Fig. 349.—Acklam Wold. 1∕1]

In Figs. 348 and 349 I have engraved two Yorkshire instruments,
the one from Sawdon, and the other from Acklam Wold; both from the
rich Greenwell Collection. At first sight they seem chisel-like in
character, but the edge in both is semicircular, and not ground, but
merely chipped. Fig. 348 is worked on both faces, though more convex
on one than on the other. Fig. 349 is merely a flake with its edges
chipped towards its outer face, so that it resembles a long narrow
scraper. The butt-end in that from Sawdon is much worn and rounded,
its sides are also worn away for about 3∕4 inch at that end; the butt
of that from Acklam Wold is also rounded, but principally towards the
flat face. The edges of both are sharp and uninjured. It therefore
appears probable that these tools were also made with a view to being
used at the blunt, and not at the sharp end; and it is possible that
the semicircular sharp ends may have been for insertion in some form
of wooden handle, in which the instruments were tightly bound, and
their projecting ends then used, it may be, for flaking other flints. A
flaking-tool from Unstan Cairn,[1972] Orkney, is of the same character
as Fig. 349, but longer. What seems to have been a “fabricator” was
found at Torre Abbey Sands,[1973] Torbay. On referring to page 38, will
be seen some Eskimo arrow-flakers of reindeer horn |416| attached to
wooden handles; and the instrument from Acklam Wold seems well adapted
for similar attachment, with its flat side towards the wood.

Some bone instruments which have been found in barrows may possibly
have served as arrow-flakers. One from Green Low,[1974] Derbyshire,
has been figured. An implement of deer’s horn, with a small piece of
hard bone inserted in the small end, was found in the Broch[1975] of
Lingrow, Scapa, Orkney, but seems to belong to the Iron Period. No
flint arrow-heads are recorded from the Broch.

I must confess that the suggestions I have offered with regard to the
use of these tools are by no means conclusive. I can only hope that
future discoveries may throw more light upon the subject.

Canon Greenwell, who has figured a specimen—like Fig. 346—in the
_Archæological Journal_,[1976] was inclined to think that the other
form of instrument, like Figs. 348 and 349, was “used in dressing
hides, the sharp end for removing the loose parts of the skin, the
smooth end for rubbing down the seams when the leather was made up
into a garment.” I do not think that this can really have been their
purpose, as for smoothing down the seams a natural pebble would
probably be preferable, and for cutting or removing the loose parts a
flint flake would answer better. Still, I have seen a somewhat pointed
concretionary nodule of stone, the end and point of which were polished
from use by a glovemaker, in recent times, in smoothing down the seams
of coarse leather gloves. The late Mr. C. Monkman,[1977] like myself,
regarded these instruments as punches or fabricators, used for chipping
arrows and delicate flint weapons into shape. This is also Canon
Greenwell’s present opinion. He has figured an example in “British
Barrows.”[1978] In Yorkshire they are known as “finger-flints.”

The worn appearance of the pointed end of some flakes is not improbably
due, as has already been observed, to their having been employed in
“picking” into shape implements—such as hatchets or axes—formed of
greenstone and other rocks of a somewhat softer nature than flint.
The ends of the flaking tools, punches, or fabricators are, however,
usually far too blunt for them to have been applied to such a purpose.

Another of the causes of the blunted and worn-away appearance of the
ends, and even sides, of originally sharp flint flakes and instruments,
I have already described when treating of scrapers—namely, the striking
off by their means particles from a block of pyrites, with a view of
procuring fire.




Passing on from flint arrow-heads and the tools which were probably
used in the process of their manufacture, we come to another form of
missile weapon—the sling-stone—which also appears to have been in
use in Britain. It is needless here to enter into details as to the
early use of the sling among the more civilized nations of antiquity,
especially as comprehensive articles on the subject have already been
published in this country by Mr. Walter Hawkins[1979] and Mr. Syer

A stone thrown by hand doubtless constituted the first missile weapon,
and some form of sling must probably have been among the earliest
inventions of mankind. What appears to be the simplest kind, and one
which, like Nilsson[1981] and Strutt,[1982] I frequently used as a boy,
consists of a stick split for a short distance down one end, so as to
form a cleft, in which a stone is placed; the elasticity of the two
halves of the stick, which are kept asunder by the stone, retaining
it there until the proper moment for its discharge. Nilsson cites
Lepsius as engraving in his great work on Egypt a representation of a
man armed with such a sling, which he appears to use very actively in
fight. At his feet there is a heap of small stones in readiness for
use. Nilsson[1983] also suggests that it was with such a sling that
David was armed when he encountered Goliath, who addresses him: “Am
I a dog that thou comest to me with staves?”[1984] that is, with the
shepherd’s staff and the sling handle. The most ancient form, however,
recorded by classical writers is that of the ribbon sling, with a
central receptacle for the stone, and with strings on either side.
The neatly plaited or knitted cup or strap of a sling, with a portion
of its cord, both formed of flax, was among the objects discovered in
the |418| Lake-settlement of Cortaillod,[1985] which was remarkably
rich in bronze objects. This probably is the most ancient sling now in

The staff-sling reappears in Roman times in a somewhat modified form,
with a receptacle for the stone attached to the end of a staff. To this
weapon the name of _fustibalus_ was given.

       *       *       *       *       *

The earliest sling-stones were, no doubt, like those used by
David against Goliath, the “smooth stones out of the brook;” but
in after-times, among the Greeks and the Romans, sling-bullets
of an almond or acorn-like form were cast in lead, and flattened
ovoid missiles were formed in terra cotta; both kinds, from their
uniformity in size, ensuring greater precision of aim than could be
secured with stones, however carefully selected, and the former also
offering the advantages of less resistance from the air, as well
as greater concentration of force when striking the object. Some
polished sling-bullets of loadstone or hæmatite are mentioned by
Schliemann[1986] as having been found on the presumed site of Troy.
The advantages of uniformity of size and form are recognized among
some savage tribes, who make use of the sling at the present day; the
sling-stones, for instance, of the New Caledonians being carefully
shaped out of steatite, and, what is worthy of remark, approximating
closely in form to the Roman _glandes_, being fusiform or pointed
ovoids. The same form on a larger scale, about 3 inches in diameter and
4 inches long, has been adopted by the natives of Savage Island for
missiles thrown by the hand. These are wrought from calc-spar almost as
truly as if turned in a lathe.

Nilsson[1987] has engraved a sling-stone of this same form, found in
Sweden, where, however, they are by no means common, as he cites but
five specimens in the museums at Lund and Stockholm.

Artificially-fashioned sling-stones are not, however, confined to this
fusiform shape; those that were in use among the Charruas of Southern
America having been of a lenticular form, though slightly flattened
at the centre of each face. One in my collection is about 3 inches in
diameter and 1 3∕8 inches thick in the middle. It has been ground over
the whole of both faces, and has the edge at its periphery slightly

The objects so frequently found in the Swiss Lake-dwellings, and to
which the name of sling-stones has been commonly given, were, as
Keller[1988] has pointed out, probably intended for some very different
purpose. Many of the forms described by Sir William Wilde,[1989] under
the name of sling-stones, may also, I think, be more properly placed
in some other category. The carefully polished lenticular disc of
flint (Wilde, Fig. 9) seems better adapted for a cutting tool; and the
flat oval stones, usually with “a slight indentation, such as might
be effected by rubbing with a metal tool,” were, as I have already
observed, more probably used for obtaining fire, like those of the same
class belonging to the early Iron Age of Denmark,[1990] which they much
resemble in character. |419|

The objects to which in this country the name of sling-stone
has been generally applied are more or less roughly-chipped, and
approximately lenticular blocks of flint, varying considerably in
proportionate thickness, and usually from about 1 1∕2 to 3 inches
in diameter. An average specimen from the Yorkshire Wolds is shown
in Fig. 350. The contour is frequently more truly circular or oval,
and the faces somewhat more carefully chipped. They are found in
considerable numbers on the Yorkshire Wolds, in Suffolk, Sussex, and
other counties where chalk flints are common. Occasionally also they
occur in Scotland.[1991] Similar forms are also abundant in the Danish
kjökken-möddings and “coast-finds.” In this latter case it appears
quite as probable that they may have served for net-sinkers as for
sling-stones; although, as Sir John Lubbock[1992] has remarked, “that
some have really served as sling-stones seems to be indicated by their
presence in the peat-mosses, which it is difficult to account for in
any other way.”

[Illustration: Fig. 350.—Yorkshire Wolds. 1∕2]

Prof. Nilsson[1993] objects that they are so irregular and
sharp-cornered, “that they would soon wear out the sling, even if it
were made of leather.” He presumes “that these sharp-cornered stone
balls were the first hand-missile weapons of the earliest and rudest
savages, and used by them to throw at wild animals or enemies.” This
objection to regard them as sling-stones seems hardly well founded;
especially if we consider them to have been in use with a stick-sling,
in which case their angularity would have been of some service in
retaining them in the cleft, while their lenticular form adapts them
well for this kind of sling. A more valid objection raised by Prof.
Nilsson is that no one “would give himself all this trouble to fashion
sling-stones which were to be thrown away the next moment, when he
could find many natural pebbles quite as suitable.” But to this it may
be replied, that at the present day we do find the New Caledonians, the
Tahitians, and other tribes, carefully fashioning their sling-stones;
and also that this flat lenticular form is better adapted for the
stick-sling than a natural pebble of the usual oval form. As a fact,
however, I think it will be found that these flint discs, to which the
name of sling-stones is applied, are most abundant in those districts
where natural rolled pebbles happen to be scarce. If the case be really
so, we can readily understand why the cores, from which flakes had been
struck for conversion into arrow-heads and other instruments, should
have been themselves utilized as sling-stones. If these missiles were
necessary, it would be a question of which would involve the least
trouble, whether to chip into the required form a certain number of
flints which came readily to hand, at the same time making use of
the resulting chips; or to select and bring together, possibly from
a distant sea-coast, a bed of a stream, or some uncovered patch of
gravel, a number of pebbles of the right size and form for slinging. In
the camp at Hod Hill, near Blandford, |420| which, however, probably
belongs to the Early Iron Period, the latter course seems to have been
adopted, as several heaps of rounded flint-pebbles, either derived from
the sea-coast or from some bed of Lower Tertiary Age, have been found
there, and in all probability constituted the munition of the slingers
of the camp.

The late Mr. C. Monkman[1994] remarked that in Yorkshire he always
found the small globular sling-stones most plentiful at a short
distance (50 to 200 yards away) from old entrenchments, and he was
inclined to class under the head of sling-stones, nodules chipped
over their whole surface, varying from an almost globular form to all
degrees of flatness, and in size from 1∕2 inch to 3 inches in diameter.
This is perhaps too wide a definition, as most of the larger globular
forms appear to have been destined for hammer-stones; and pebbles but
half an inch in diameter would be almost too light for missiles. It
is, however, impossible to say with certainty that any given specimen
was undoubtedly a sling-stone, as the flatter forms, which were more
probably missiles, merge in the form of a roughly-chipped oval celt
like Fig. 17 at one end of the series, and in that of a discoidal
scraper with a broken edge at the other. Many may be merely cores,
from both faces of which flakes have been struck, so that the term
“sling-stones,” if employed for these roughly-chipped discs, must
always be used in a somewhat doubtful sense, and for convenience rather
than precision.

In Polynesia,[1995] besides rounded pebbles, sharp, angular, and rugged
stones were used for slinging. These were called _Ofai ara_, faced or
edged stones.

       *       *       *       *       *

Another class of objects in stone which may possibly have served for
the purposes of the chase or of war, consists of balls with their
surface divided into a number of more or less projecting circles, with
channels between them. They seem, so far as is known, to be confined to
Scotland and Ireland.

[Illustration: Fig. 351.—Dumfriesshire. 1∕2]

       *       *       *       *       *

That shown in Fig. 351 was found in Dumfriesshire,[1996] and has been
engraved by Sir Daniel Wilson. It presents six circular faces. Others,
almost identical in form, have been found at Biggar,[1997] Lanarkshire;
Dudwick,[1998] Chapel of Garioch[1999] and Migvie,[2000] Tarland,
Aberdeenshire; Kilmarnock,[2001] Ayrshire; and Montblairy,[2002]
Banffshire. Another, about 3 inches in diameter, with three faces
only, was found on the Tullo of Garvoch,[2003] Kincardineshire; and
one, with four faces, in a cairn at East Braikie, Forfarshire. This
|421| latter is in the Montrose Museum.[2004] One of greenstone, 2 1∕2
inches in diameter, found at Ballater,[2005] Aberdeenshire, has six
plain circular discs, with the interspaces partially cut into small
knobs or studs, the ornaments being possibly in course of formation.
Stone balls,[2006] about 2 1∕2 and 3 inches in diameter, covered over
the surface with small rounded projections, like enormous petrified
mulberries, have been found in the Isle of Skye, in Orkney, and at
Garvoch Hill, Kincardineshire. I presume the latter to be a different
specimen from that with three faces, previously described. Others
are in the Perth Museum.[2007] A series of such balls, some highly
ornamented, has been described by Dr. John Alexander Smith.[2008] One
formed of hornblende schist, with six strongly projecting circular
faces, was found near Ballymena,[2009] co. Antrim, in 1850, and is now
in the British Museum.

[Illustration: Fig. 352.—Towie.]

Probably the most remarkable of all these balls is that shown in
Fig. 352, from a cut kindly lent me by the Society of Antiquaries of
Scotland. It was found at Towie,[2010] Aberdeenshire, and is about
2 1∕2 inches in diameter, with four rounded projections, three of
which are ornamented with different incised patterns, while the fourth
is smooth and undecorated. From the character of the patterns, this
object would seem to belong to the Bronze Period rather than to that
of Stone, if not, indeed, to still later times. In connection with the
pattern upon it, attention may, however, be called to the remarkable
carved cylinders of chalk found by Canon Greenwell in a barrow on
Folkton Wold,[2011] Yorkshire, and now in the British Museum, which are
certainly not of later date than the Bronze Age. The ornament on a clay
vessel found in Devonshire[2012] may be compared with that of the sides
of the cylinders. |422|

       *       *       *       *       *

These balls appear to me to differ most essentially from the ordinary
“sink-stones” found in Denmark and Ireland,[2013] with which they have
been compared. It is, however, by no means easy to suggest the purpose
for which they were intended. The only suggestions that I have met with
are, that they were used in some game or amusement; for defence when
slung in a long thong or line[2014]; as mace heads[2015] attached to a
handle; or else for purposes of divination.[2016] I must confess that
I hardly see in what manner the last purpose can have been served,
especially as in most instances all the faces of the ball are alike.
Nor do I see in what manner they can have been used in games, though
of course it is possible that they were so employed. It seems more
probable that they were intended for use in the chase or war, when
attached to a thong, which the recesses between the circles seem well
adapted to receive. Among savage nations of the present day we find
the use of the _bolas_, or stones attached to the ends of thongs, over
a great part of the southern continent of America;[2017] while the
principle is known to the Eskimos, whose strings of sinew, weighted
with bunches of ivory knobs, are arranged to wind themselves round the
bird at which they are thrown, in just the same way as the much stouter
cords weighted at the ends with two or three heavy stone balls which
form the _bolas_,[2018] twist round, and hamper the movements of larger

The _bolas_ proper, as in use on the Pampas, consist of three balls of
stone, nearly the size of the fist, and covered with leather, which
are attached to the ends of three thongs, all branching from a common
centre. Leaden balls have now almost superseded those of stone. The
hunter gives to the _bolas_ a rotary motion, and can then throw them
to a great distance, in such a manner that the thongs entwine round
the legs, neck, and body of his prey and thus render it helpless, so
that it can then be easily despatched. A _bola_ of small size, but of
lead or copper, with a single thong about 3 feet long, is also used,
and forms both the sling and its stone. It likewise serves as a weapon
for striking in close encounter. Among the Patagonians[2019] the same
two |423| varieties are used, but those for hunting have usually only
two stones, and not three. They sometimes throw the single _bola_ at
the adversary, rope and all, but generally they prefer to strike at his
head with it.

Assuming a difficulty in securing a ball of stone in a leather case,
and that therefore it would be necessary to fasten it by means of a
thong, some channelling of the surface would become a necessity; and
the natural tendency of savages to decorate their weapons might lead
to regular circular discs being left between the channels on the ball,
and even to these discs being engraved in patterns, that next the cord
being, as in Fig. 352, left undecorated. In the Christy Collection is
a _bola_ formed of a polished red spherical stone, mounted in such a
manner as to show a considerable portion of its surface, which has
evidently been regarded as too handsome to be entirely concealed by
the leather. Mr. C. H. Read suggests that these ornamented balls were
entirely covered with raw hide, which was allowed to dry, the ends or
edges being tightly tied. When dry the circles over the knots were cut
out so as to display the ornament and leave a solid binding round the
stone to which a thong might be attached.

These _bola_ stones are sometimes wrought so as to present a number
of rounded protuberances. Of this kind there are specimens in the
Christy Collection[2020] and in that of the late Mr. J. Bernhard
Smith. Even if the use of the _bolas_ or the single _bola_ were
unknown, there is a form of military flail or “morning star,” a sort
of modification of the staff-sling, though the stone never quits the
cord by which it is attached to the staff, for which such balls as
these might serve. A mediæval weapon[2021] of this kind, in the Meyrick
Collection, consists of a staff, to which is attached by a chain a
ball of wood with numerous projecting iron spikes. The citizens of
London will be familiar with the same weapon in the hands of the giant
Gog or Magog at Guildhall. The Calmucks, Mongols, and Chinese,[2022]
still use a flail of this sort, with an iron perforated ball about
two pounds in weight attached to the end of the thong. Substituting
one of these stone balls for the spiked morning-star, and a leather
thong carefully adjusted in the channels of the stone for the chain,
a most effective form of weapon for close encounters would result.
Among the North American tribes a somewhat |424| similar weapon was
lately in use, and is thus described by Lewis and Clarke, as quoted
by Squier and Davies:[2023]—“The Shoshonee Indians use an instrument
which was formerly employed among the Chippeways, and called by them
_pogamoggon_.[2024] It consists of a handle 22 inches long, made of
wood covered with leather, about the size of a whip-handle. At one end
is a thong 2 inches in length, which is tied to a stone weighing two
pounds, enclosed in a cover of leather; at the other end is a loop
of the same material, which is passed around the wrist to secure the
implement, with which they strike a powerful blow.” Another form of
club in use among the Algonquins consisted of a round boulder sewn in
a piece of fresh skin and attached to the end of a long handle, to
which, by the drying of the skin, it becomes firmly attached. Examples
of both of these kinds are in the British Museum. An engraving of a
drumstick-like club of this character is given by Schoolcraft.[2025]
Unfortunately, however, the existence of such a weapon in early times
is not susceptible of proof. Whatever the purpose of these British
balls of stone, they seem to belong to a recent period as compared with
that to which many other stone antiquities may be assigned.




Another object in stone, not unfrequently found in graves, and of which
the use is now comparatively certain, is a rectangular plate usually
round on one face, and hollow on the other, with perforations at either
end. These plates are commonly formed of a close-grained green chlorite
slate, are very neatly finished, and vary considerably in length and

[Illustration: Fig. 353.—Isle of Skye. 1∕2]

       *       *       *       *       *

The specimen shown in Fig. 353 is in the National Museum at Edinburgh,
and has already been engraved by Sir D. Wilson,[2026] and roughly
figured in the _Wiltshire Archæological Magazine_. It was found
alongside of a human skeleton, in a rudely-vaulted chamber in a large
tumulus on the shore of Broadford Bay, Isle of Skye. It is formed of
pale-green stone polished, and has at one end an ornamented border
of slightly indented ovals. In the same Museum[2027] is another of
longer proportions, being 4 1∕2 inches by 1 1∕4 inches, formed of
fine-grained greenish-coloured stone, and having at each corner a small
perforation. It was found, together with an urn and the remains of a
skeleton, in a short cist on the farm of Fyrish, Evantown, Ross-shire.
It is shown in Fig. 354. There is also, in the same Museum, a fragment
of a flatter specimen formed of indurated clay-slate of a lightish
green colour, perforated at one end with three small holes. It was
found in a stone circle called “The Standing Stones of Rayne.”[2028]
Another example was found in a grave at Dalmore,[2029] Ross-shire. It
is, however, imperfect. In the Arbuthnot Museum, Peterhead, is another
object of this class, 4 1∕4 inches long, with a hole at each corner,
and slightly rounded on one face and hollow on the other. It was found
at Cruden,[2030] Aberdeenshire, |426| in a cist surmounted by a small
tumulus. In the cist, were the skeletons of an adult and a youth, as
well as portions of that of a dog. They were accompanied by two rude
urns, several flint arrow-heads, and two flint knives.

The earliest recorded discovery of these objects in England is that
which has already been mentioned as having taken place at Tring Grove,
Herts, about 1763.[2031] In this case, a skeleton was found in sinking
a ditch in level ground; between the legs were some flint arrow-heads,
and at the feet “some small slender stones, polished, and of a greenish
cast; convex on one side, and concave on the other; the larger were
four inches long and one broad; the smaller not quite four inches long
nor one inch broad, somewhat narrower in the middle, with two holes at
both ends.” The interment was accompanied by two urns, and a ring of
jet, perforated for suspension at the edge. To judge from the plate and
description, the longer of the “slender stones” had not been bored with
holes at either end.

[Illustration: Fig. 354.—Evantown. 1∕2]

[Illustration: Fig. 355.—Devizes. 1∕2]

An oblong piece of chlorite slate, 5 3∕8 inches long, 1 3∕4 inches
broad, and 1∕4 inch thick, rounded on one face and hollowed on the
other, was found in a gravel-pit at Aldington, Worcestershire.[2032] It
has four holes through it, one at each corner, just large enough on the
rounded face to allow a fine ligament to pass through, and countersunk
on the other face. The plate of chlorite slate shown in Fig. 355 is
flat, instead of hollowed, and the holes at the corners are countersunk
on both faces. It was found in a barrow on Roundway Hill,[2033] near
Devizes, in front of the breast of a skeleton, between the bones of the
left forearm, and had, when found, a small fragment of bronze, possibly
the tang of a knife, much corroded, adhering to it. In the same barrow
was a |427| stemmed and barbed flint arrow-head like Fig. 327, and a
tanged bronze dagger. This bracer has been kindly lent to me by Mr.
Cunnington, of Devizes, who discovered it. Another flat wrist-guard
from a barrow at Aldbourne,[2034] Wilts, has only two out of the four
holes finished. A third is incomplete. Dr. Thurnam[2035] regards those
flat examples as breast-plates or gorgets. One, found with an interment
at Calne, Wilts, is in the British Museum. It resembles Fig. 354.

A bracer, formed of a green-coloured stone, was found in a gravel-pit
at Lindridge, Worcestershire.[2036] It is about 4 3∕4 inches by 1 inch,
and 1∕4 inch thick; but it has been perforated at one end only, with
a countersunk hole in each of the two corners, a third hole between
them being only partly drilled. The other end is somewhat sharper and

In the Christy Collection, is a plate of pale-green stone 4 1∕2 inches
long, with both faces somewhat rounded, one of them polished, and the
other, which is rather flatter, in places striated transversely by
coarse grinding. At each end are three small countersunk perforations
in a line with each other. It was found with two small ornamented
urns near Brandon, Suffolk. This bracer has been figured[2037] in
illustration of some remarks by Sir A. Wollaston Franks.

In a barrow near Sutton,[2038] Sir R. Colt Hoare found, under the right
hand and close to the breast of a contracted skeleton, a plate of
blue slate, 4 1∕2 inches long and 2 3∕4 inches wide, with three small
countersunk holes arranged in a triangle at either end. Near it were
two boar’s tusks and a drinking-cup. It has been thought to be too wide
for a wrist-guard. A narrower specimen with six holes at each end is
also in the Stourhead Collection.[2039]

Another variety has but one hole at each end, and is flat and broadest
in the middle. In a cist in a barrow on Mere Down, Wiltshire,[2040]
were two skeletons, near the left side of the larger of which was a
small bronze dagger, with a tang for insertion in the hilt, and a piece
of grey slaty stone about 4 inches long, and 1 1∕8 inches broad in the
middle, perforated at the ends. There were also present a drinking-cup,
and an instrument of bone, as well as two circular ornaments of gold.
A similar thin stone, with a hole at either end, was found with part
of a bronze spear and other objects, associated with burnt human
remains in a barrow at Bulford, Wilts.[2041] One of grey slaty stone
with a countersunk hole at each end accompanied an interment at
Sittingbourne,[2042] Kent, and is now in the British Museum. Another
was found at Lancaster.[2043] I have another from Sandy, Beds, but
cannot say whether it accompanied any interment. Another, 3 1∕2 inches
long, nearly an inch broad in the middle, and only the fifth part of an
inch in thickness, was found near the tumulus at Broadford Bay, Isle
of Skye,[2044] already mentioned, and is shown in |428| Fig. 356. One
(3 1∕4 inches) was found in Mull,[2045] two (3 3∕8 and 3 inches) came
from Fyvie and Ballogie,[2046] Aberdeenshire, and one (2 1∕4 inches)
from Glenluce.[2047] Another (3 1∕2 inches) in the Museum at Edinburgh
came from the North of Ireland.[2048]

[Illustration: Fig. 356.—Isle of Skye. 1∕2]

A few specimens of the same character as Figs. 353 and 356 have been
found in Ireland. In that country, also, the same slaty material was
used, sometimes green, and sometimes red in colour.

The curious plate of fine soft sandstone, 4 inches long and perforated
at each end, found in the Genista Cave, at Gibraltar,[2049] may
possibly belong to this class, but it is by no means certain. Some
objects of the same kind, with a hole at each end, have been found in
the Côtes du Nord.[2050] France. Some early Spanish[2051] whetstones
have one and even two perforations at each end.

       *       *       *       *       *

The material of which this class of objects is formed is not
exclusively stone. A plate of bone, now in the Devizes Museum, about
3 1∕4 inches by 3∕4 inch, bored through at each end from the sides
and back, so as not to interfere with the face, was found with a
small bronze celt mounted as a chisel in stag’s horn, and with bone
pins and two whetstones, in a barrow near Everley.[2052] A fragment
of another bracer made of bone was found at Scratchbury Camp, Wilts.
It is doubtful whether the richly-ornamented flat plate of gold, with
a hole at each corner, found with a bronze dagger in a barrow[2053]
at Upton Lovel, was destined for the same purpose. It led Sir R. C.
Hoare, however, to regard the slate plate from the barrow near Sutton
as a mere ornament, “an humble imitation of the golden plate found at
Upton Lovel.” Others have regarded these stone plates as amulets or
charms;[2054] as destined to be affixed to the middle of a bow;[2055]
or as personal decorations.[2056] Wilson has called attention to
their similarity to the perforated plates of stone, of which such
numerous varieties are found in North America.[2057] The holes in
these, however, are very rarely more than two in number, and sometimes
only one, and these almost always near the middle of the stone; their
purpose possibly being to serve as draw-holes for equalizing the size
of cords, in the same manner as twine is |429| polished and rendered
uniform in size, by being drawn through a circular hole by European
manufacturers at the present day. They may, however, have served as
ornaments, or even in some cases as wrist-guards. One engraved by
Squier[2058] is much like Fig. 356, but thinner, and with the holes
rather farther from the ends. Schoolcraft,[2059] suggests their
employment to hold the strands or plies apart, in the process of twine
or rope making.

The Rev. Canon Ingram, F.G.S.,[2060] was the first to suggest that
these British plates were bracers or guards, to protect the arm of
the wearer against the blow of the string in shooting with the bow,
like those in use by archers at the present day. In corroboration of
this view, he cites the position of the plate in the Roundway barrow,
between the bones of the left forearm, and the fact of so many of them
being hollowed in such a manner as to fit the arm; while he argues
that the similarity in the character and position of the perforations,
in the hollowed and flat varieties, affords presumptive evidence
that the use of both kinds of tablets was the same. I am inclined to
adopt Canon Ingram’s view, though, unless there was some error in
observation, plates of this kind have been occasionally found on the
right arm. In a barrow at Kelleythorpe, near Driffield,[2061] examined
by the late Lord Londesborough in 1851, was a chamber containing a
contracted skeleton, the bones of the right arm of which “were laid in
a very singular and beautiful armlet, made of some large animal’s bone”
(actually of stone),[2062] “about 6 inches long, and the extremities,
which were a little broader than the middle, neatly squared; in this
were two perforations about half an inch from each end, through which
were bronze pins or rivets, with gold heads, most probably to attach it
to a piece of leather which had passed round the arm and been fastened
by a small bronze buckle, which was found underneath the bones.” These
objects are now in the British Museum. In the cist was also a bronze
dagger, with a wooden sheath and handle, some large amber beads, a
drinking-cup, and the upper part of the skull of a hawk. Possibly this
ancient warrior was left-handed, like the seven hundred chosen men of
Benjamin,[2063] every one of whom could yet “sling stones at an hair
breadth, and not miss.” |430|

It may be observed that left-handedness is thought to have been
very prevalent in early times, both in the Old World[2064] and the
New.[2065] Certainly this plate strapped upon the arm is curiously
similar in character to the bracer in use in England in later times,
which, though sometimes of other materials, consisted, according to
Paulus Jovius,[2066] of a bone tablet. A bracer of carved ivory, of
the sixteenth century, is in the Meyrick Collection,[2067] and Mr.
C. J. Longman has a collection of them, many artistically engraved,
dating from the 16th and 17th centuries. Among the archers of ancient
Egypt,[2068] we find that similar guards were in use for the left
arm. These were not only fastened round the wrist, but secured by a
thong tied above the elbow. The material of which they were formed
appears to be unknown. On a Roman monument[2069] found in the North of
England, a soldier is represented with a bow in his hand, and a bracer
on his left arm. The Eskimos[2070] of the present day also make use
of a guard to save the wrist from the recoil of the bow-string. It is
usually composed of three pieces of bone, about 4 inches in length, but
sometimes of one only, and is fastened to the wrist by a bone button
and loop. An ivory guard, attached by a strap and buckle to the arm, is
still worn in India. Whatever was the purpose of those in stone they
seem to belong to the latter part of the Stone Period, and to have
continued in use in that of Bronze.

These bracers have occasionally been found in Denmark. One of red
stone, 4 inches long, and with four holes, was found in a dolmen near
Assens. It is ornamented with parallel lines along the ends, and part
of the way along the sides. Another, 3 inches long, from a dolmen in
Langeland, is of bone, with but two holes, and is ornamented with cross
bands of zigzag lines. Both are engraved in the “Guide illustré du
Musée des Antiquités du Nord.”[2071] What appears to be one of bone,
found in a barrow in Denmark,[2072] with two skeletons, but with no
other objects, has also been engraved. A second was found under similar
circumstances. |431|

One of fine-grained sandstone (4 1∕2 inches) with four holes was found
near Prenzlow[2073] in North Germany, and another of chocolate-coloured
material, probably slaty stone, accompanied an interment at
Ochsenfurt,[2074] Lower Franconia.

Although, possibly, not strictly within the scope of the present work,
it may be well here to make a few observations relating to the various
articles formed of bone which are occasionally found in association
with those of stone.

       *       *       *       *       *

More than three dozen bone instruments were found in the Upton
Lovel Barrow,[2075] already frequently mentioned. Most of them were
pointed, varying in length from about 3 to 9 inches, and formed
apparently from the leg-bones of different mammals. They, for the
most part, show a portion of the articular surface at the end which
has not been sharpened, at which also they are perforated. Mr.
Cunnington, their discoverer, was of opinion that they had been used
as arrow-or lance-heads; and possibly some of the larger specimens
served as javelin-points, even if the smaller were merely pins to
aid in fastening the dress, to which they were secured by a string
passed through the hole, so as to prevent their being lost. Numerous
other bone instruments from barrows are described and figured by Dr.
Thurnam[2076] and Canon Greenwell. I have two that are decidedly
lance-heads, about 6 inches long, made from leg-bones, probably of
roe-deer, which have been pointed by cutting the bone obliquely
through, so as to show a long elliptical section, while the articular
end has been excavated into the cavity of the bone, so as to form
a socket for the shaft, which was secured in its place by a pin,
passing through two small holes drilled through the bone. One was
found in Swaffham Fen, and the other at Girton, near Cambridge. Other
spear-heads of much the same character, from the same district, from
Lincolnshire,[2077] and from the River Thames, are in the British
Museum, and some of them have been described and figured by Sir
Wollaston Franks.

I have also a bone dagger with the blade about 4 inches long, with a
rivet hole through the broad tang. It was found in the Thames near
Windsor, and was given to me by Mr. F. Tress Barry, M.P., in 1895. I
have also bones worked to a dagger-like form, but without any tang,
from the Cambridge Fens.

A pin or awl of bone,[2078] 4 1∕2 inches long, made from the _fibula_
of some small animal, probably a roe-deer, split, and then rubbed to a
point, was among the objects found by the Canon Greenwell, at Grimes’s
Graves, Norfolk, as well as the rounded piece of bone already mentioned
at p. 34.

Bone pins or skewers, closely resembling those from British barrows,
are of frequent occurrence on the sites of Roman occupation. In the
name of _fibula_, as applied to the small bone of the leg, we have an
|432| acknowledgment of its adaptability for making such pins; in
the same way as its concomitant _tibia_ was the bone best adapted for
making into flutes.

Bone pins, perforated at one end, were found in several of the barrows
explored by the late Mr. Bateman,[2079] both with burnt and unburnt
bodies. Canon Greenwell has also found them in the Yorkshire tumuli:
in three instances with burnt bodies. I found one also in a disturbed
barrow at Sutton Cheney, Leicestershire, which I opened in 1851.
Others without the hole, some of which are termed spear-heads by Mr.
Bateman, were found in Derbyshire and Staffordshire barrows,[2080]
with burnt and unburnt bodies, associated with instruments and
arrow-heads of flint. Another was found with burnt bones in a barrow at
Hacpen Hill,[2081] Wilts; and part of one in the Long Barrow at West

It seems probable that many of these pointed instruments may have been
used as awls, for making holes in leather and soft materials. Others,
as Mr. Bateman and Canon Greenwell suggest, may, with the unburnt
bodies, have fastened some kind of shroud; and with the burnt, have
served to pin a cloth in which the ashes were placed, after being
collected from the funeral pile.

In the Heathery Burn Cave, where so many interesting bronze relics
were found, there also occurred a large number of bone pins or awls,
a cylindrical bone bead 7∕10 inch long, a bone tube 1 1∕2 inches long
with a small perforation at the side, a pierced disc of bone 1 5∕8
inches in diameter and 1∕4 inch thick, and a flat bone blade, somewhat
resembling in form a modern paper-cutter, 7 3∕4 inches long and 1 1∕4
inches broad. This same flat form of instrument, about 6 1∕2 inches
long and 3∕4 inch broad, occurred in the Green Low Barrow,[2083]
Derbyshire, but then, in company with a fine flint dagger and stemmed
and barbed arrow-heads, and with a bone pin. Mr. Bateman[2084] thought
that these instruments might have served as modelling tools for making
pottery, or as mesh rules for netting. One, 12 inches long, with a
drinking-cup and various instruments of flint, accompanied a contracted
interment in a rock-grave on Smerrill Moor,[2085] Derbyshire. With
a similar interment in a barrow on Haddon Field[2086] was one 6 1∕4
inches long, cut from the horn of a red-deer, a flint arrow-head, and a
small bronze awl. Two others, cut from the ribs of a large animal, and
two barbed flint arrow-heads, were found inside a “drinking-cup” at the
head of a contracted skeleton in Mouse Low;[2087] and others, again,
with barbed flint arrow-heads, occurred with calcined bones at Ribden
Low.[2088] They have also been found in Dorsetshire, perforated.[2089]
Whether these instruments really served the purposes suggested by Mr.
Bateman it is impossible to determine; but they seem well adapted
either for finishing off the surface of clay vessels, or for netting,
an art with which the Swiss Lake-dwellers of Robenhausen[2090] |433|
were acquainted, though in that settlement but slight traces of a
knowledge of metal are exhibited.

Although needles of bone, carefully smoothed all over, and having
a neatly-drilled eye, have been found in the cave-deposits both
of Britain and France, but few such implements have, as yet, been
discovered in these countries associated with objects of the Neolithic
and Bronze Periods.

A bodkin or needle of wood, 6 inches long, and of the ordinary form,
was, however, found in company with a small bronze dagger-blade, in an
urn containing burnt bones near Tomen-y-mur,[2091] Carnarvonshire.

Needles of bone, both with the central hole (like some of those of the
Bronze Age) and with the eye at the end (like those of the present
day), have also been found in the Swiss Lakes.[2092] One of the latter
class was discovered in the Genista Cave at Gibraltar.[2093] It is
hard to say to what period it belongs. Needles of both forms have
been found with arrow-heads and other articles of flint, in Danish

The pins or awls, already described, are so rude and clumsy, and so
large at the perforated end, that they could never have been intended
for use as needles; and when we consider that the principal material
to be sewn must have been the skins of animals, and that, even at the
present day, needles are hardly ever employed for sewing leather, but
bristles are attached to the end of the thread, and passed through
holes prepared by an awl, it seems possible that needles, if ever
they were used for this particular purpose, may have been superseded
at a very remote period. The small bronze awl, so frequently found in
barrows, is singularly like the “cobbler’s awl” of the present day,
though straight and not curved.

Among the Danish[2095] antiquities of bronze, we find a remarkable form
of needle or bodkin, about 2 1∕2 or 3 inches long, bluntly pointed at
each end, and provided with an oval eye in the centre, so that it could
be passed through a hole in either direction. This, with a bronze awl
for boring the holes, and a pair of tweezers to assist in drawing the
needle through, appears to have constituted the sewing apparatus of
that day. I mention this form of needle because in Ribden Low,[2096]
Staffordshire, together with a burnt interment, and some barbed
arrow-heads of flint, were bone implements “pointed at each end” and
“perforated through the middle,” which may possibly have served such a
purpose. No dimensions are given by Mr. Bateman, but a bodkin of the
same kind from a barrow at Stourpaine, Dorset, is 4 inches long. It is
in the Durden collection in the British Museum. In a barrow, at Bailey
Hill,[2097] some calcined bones were accompanied by a pair of bone
tweezers, neatly made and perforated for suspension.

Some of the needles of horn or bone in use among the Indians of North
America[2098] were in shape much like miniature elephants’ tusks.

Another bone implement appears to have been a chisel, of which a
good specimen was found by the Rev. W. C. Lukis, F.S.A., in a |434|
chambered barrow at Temple Bottom,[2099] Wilts. It is formed of a
portion split from a leg-bone of some mammal, about 3 1∕4 inches long,
and 5∕8 inch wide, sharpened from both faces to a segmental edge at one
end. A broader instrument of the same character was found with some
long bone pins or awls near Cawdor Castle;[2100] and “a celt-shaped
instrument, 5 inches long, with a cutting edge, made from part of the
lower jaw of a large quadruped, rubbed down,” was found with calcined
bones in a barrow near Monsal Dale.[2101]

As has already been mentioned, bone instruments in the shape of a
chisel occur in considerable numbers in the Swiss Lake-dwellings
and elsewhere, and have been regarded as tools used in making and
ornamenting earthen vessels.[2102] That bone chisels are, however,
susceptible of more extensive use, is proved by the practice of the
Klah-o-quat Indians of Nootka Sound,[2103] who, without the aid of
fire, cut down the large cedars for their “dug-out” canoes with chisels
formed from the horn of the Wapiti, struck by mallets of stone hafted
in withes, or like dumb-bells in shape.

       *       *       *       *       *

The only other forms of implement I need mention are those of a
hammer and a hoe, formed of the lower end of a stag’s horn, cut off
and perforated. A hammer, or possibly a celt-socket, was found with
a skeleton in Cop Head Hill barrow,[2104] near Warminster, together
with fragments of flint “polished by use;” another in a barrow at
Collingbourn,[2105] Wilts, and a third in a barrow near Biggin,[2106]
with a contracted interment, and in company with flint celts,
arrow-heads, and knives. Canon Greenwell has likewise found one in a
barrow at Cowlam, Yorkshire, with an unburnt body, and together with
a stone axe-hammer among burnt bones in a barrow at Lambourn,[2107]
Berks. They have also been found in some numbers in the Thames, near

I have already spoken of the use of stag’s horn for pick-axes, and for
sockets for stone-hatchets; occasionally, also, the horn itself was
sharpened and used as an axe or hoe.[2108] One from the Thames[2109]
near Wandsworth, with its wooden handle still preserved, has been
recorded by Mr. G. F. Lawrence. Stag’s-horn axes occur in various
countries on the Continent. They are by no means rare in Scandinavia,
except in the case of those having ring and other ornaments engraved
upon them.[2110] On an adze of |435| this kind, in the Stockholm
Museum, is engraved the spirited representation of a deer. In one
instance,[2111] an axe has been made from the _ulna_ of a whale.
Lindenschmit[2112] has engraved several of stag’s horn, principally
from Hanover. They occur also in France.[2113] Beads and buttons of
bone[2114] have been found with early interments; but the curious bone
objects discovered in a pit at Leicester,[2115] and in the caves at
Settle, Yorkshire,[2116] belong apparently to too recent a period to
be here discussed. A kind of bone chisel has remained in use until
recent times for the purpose of removing the bark from oak-trees for
the supply of tanners. Some beads and ornaments formed of bone will be
mentioned in a subsequent chapter.




Besides the weapons and implements used in warfare and the chase,
as well as for various constructive purposes, there were in ancient
times, as at present, numerous implements and utensils of stone devoted
to more purely domestic uses. Some of these, such as corn-crushers,
mealing-stones, querns, pestles, and mortars, have been treated of
elsewhere in this work, when, from the connection of these instruments
with other forms adapted for somewhat different purposes, it appeared
appropriate to describe them. There are, however, other classes,
connected principally with domestic occupations, such, for instance,
as spinning and weaving, about which it will be necessary to say a few

At how early a period the introduction of the spinning-wheel superseded
to some extent the use of the distaff and spindle, it is difficult to
say. It is by no means improbable that it was known in classical times,
as Stosch thinks that he has recognized it on antique gems. The distaff
and spindle remained, however, in use in many parts of this country
until quite recently, and are still commonly employed in some remote
parts of Britain, as well as over a great part of Europe. To how early
a date this simple method of spinning goes back, we have also no means
of judging. We know that it was in use in the earliest times among the
Egyptians and Greeks; and we find, moreover, in the lake-habitations
of Switzerland[2117]—even in those which apparently belong to a purely
stone age—evidence of an acquaintance with the arts both of spinning
and weaving, not only in the presence of some of the mechanical
appliances for those purposes, but also in the thread and manufactured
cloth. The principal fibrous materials in use in the lake-dwellings
were bast from the bark of trees (chiefly the lime) and flax. No hemp
has as yet been found in |437| any lake-dwelling. It seems probable
that the raw materials employed in neolithic times in Britain must
have been of the same character; but we have here no such means of
judging of the relative antiquity of the textile art, as those at the
command of the Swiss antiquaries. Woven tissues have, however, been
found with ancient interments, apparently of the Bronze Age, by Canon
Greenwell,[2118] and Messrs. Mortimer, but made of wool, and not of
vegetable fibre. An article on prehistoric spinning and weaving written
by Dr. G. Buschan[2119] is worth consulting, as well as one by Dr.
Joseph Anderson,[2120] on these processes in connexion with brochs. Sir
Arthur Mitchell[2121] has also written on the subject of the spindle
and whorl.

       *       *       *       *       *

In spinning with the distaff and spindle, the rotatory motion of the
latter is maintained by a small fly-wheel or “spindle-whorl,” very
generally formed of stone, but sometimes of other materials, with a
perforation in the centre, in which the wooden or bone spindle was
fastened, the part below the whorl tapering to a point so as to be
readily twirled between the finger and thumb, and the part above, being
also pointed, but longer, so as to admit of the thread when spun being
wound round it, the yarn in the act of being spun being attached to
the upper point. These spindle-whorls are, as might be anticipated,
frequently found in various parts of the country; and though, from the
lengthened period during which this mode of spinning was practised, it
is impossible under ordinary circumstances to determine the antiquity
of any specimen, yet they appear to have been sufficiently long out of
use for local superstitions to have attached to them, as in Cornwall
they are commonly known by the name of “Pisky grinding-stones,”[2122]
or “Pixy’s grindstones.” In North Britain,[2123] they are also
familiarly called Pixy-wheels, and in Ireland[2124] “Fairy
mill-stones.” In Harris, and Lewis,[2125] the distaff and spindle are
still in common use, and were so until quite recently on the mainland
of Scotland.[2126] For twisting hair-lines or “imps” for fishing,
stone, lead, or earthenware whorls with a hook in them are used. They
are known by the name of “imp-stones.”[2127] Notwithstanding this
recent use, the original intention of the stone spindle-whorls, which
occur in Scotland, as elsewhere, appears often to be unknown. They are
called _clach-nathrach_, adder-stones or snake-stones, and have an
origin assigned them much like that of the _ovum anguinum_ of Pliny.
“When cattle are bitten by snakes, the snake-stone is put into water,
with which the affected part is washed, and it is cured forthwith.”
Glass beads[2128] with spirals on them seem to have been regarded as
even more efficacious. |438|

Spindle-whorls vary considerably in size and weight, being usually
from an inch to an inch and a half in diameter, but occasionally as
much as from two to three inches. They are sometimes flat at the edge
or cylindrical, but more frequently rounded. They differ much in the
degree of finish, some appearing to have been turned in a lathe, while
others are very rough and not truly circular.

[Illustration: Fig. 357.—Scampston. 1∕2]

[Illustration: Fig. 358.—Holyhead. 1∕1]

[Illustration: Fig. 359.—Holyhead. 1∕1]

[Illustration: Fig. 360.—Holyhead. 1∕1]

The specimen I have selected for engraving as Fig. 357 is one of the
more highly finished class, and rather flatter than usual. It was
found in draining, at Scampston, Yorkshire, and is formed of a hard
slaty stone. It has been turned in a lathe on one face, and at the
edge; the other face is irregular, and seems to have been polished
by hand. What was evidently the upper face, is ornamented with two
parallel incised circles, and there are two more round the edge. The
hole seems to have been drilled, and is quite parallel. One of the
cheese-like spindle-whorls, of red sandstone, and another, rounded
at the rim, found in hut-circles in Holyhead and Anglesea,[2129]
are shown in Figs. 358 and 359. Another, of sandstone, was found in
Thor’s Cave,[2130] Derbyshire, with various objects, some of them
of iron. One of lead, 1 1∕8 inches in diameter, convex on one face,
was found in the same place. One found at Ty Mawr, Holyhead,[2131]
by the late Hon. W. O. Stanley, F.S.A., who kindly lent me this and
the preceding blocks, is shown in Fig. 360. Numerous other specimens
were discovered in the same place. They are sometimes decorated
with incised radial lines and shallow cavities more or less rudely
executed. One such, found near Carno, Montgomeryshire,[2132] has been
figured. Several others are |439| recorded as having been found in
the Principality.[2133] In Cornwall,[2134] they seem to be especially
numerous, occasionally occurring in subterranean chambers. They have
also been found in considerable numbers in Scotland.[2135] The half of
a clay spindle-whorl was found by Canon Greenwell in the material of a
barrow at Weaverthorpe.[2136]

Sir Wollaston Franks[2137] has suggested that some of these perforated
discs may have been used as dress-fasteners or buttons, and mentions
that very similar objects have been found in Mexico, which there is
every reason to believe have been used as buttons. He also instances
a specimen from South Wales, which has evidently had a cord passed
through it, as the edges of the hole in the centre are much worn by
friction. Such a view carries much probability with it, so far as
it relates to the thin discs of stone with small central holes not
parallel, but tapering from both faces; especially if they are in any
way ornamented. Some of the rougher kind, however, may have served some
such purpose as that of plummets or net-sinkers, as has been suggested
by Professor Nilsson.[2138] Perforated[2139] pebbles of much the same
form have served as net weights in Scotland, and are still occasionally
in use. In Samoa, flat circular discs of stones, about two inches in
diameter, with central holes, are used to prevent rats from reaching
provisions, which are suspended in baskets by a cord. One of these
discs strung on the cord suffices for the purpose. A specimen is in the
Christy Collection. Their use is analogous to that of the flat stones
on the staddles on which corn-stacks are built in this country, though
in that case, the stones are to prevent the ascent and not the descent
of the rats.

Judging, however, from all analogy, there can be little doubt that in
most cases where the holes are parallel, the perforated discs found
in Britain were spindle-whorls. As has been already observed, they
are frequently formed of other materials than stone; and both the
spindles of wood and the whorls of bone have been found with Roman
remains.[2140] They are also frequently formed of lead and earthenware.
Spindles of ivory sometimes occur both with Roman and Saxon relics. I
have several such, found with whorls of slaty stone in Cambridgeshire.
The Saxon whorls are of the same materials and character as those of
Roman age. Spindles of wood have been found in the lake-settlements
of Savoy.[2141] An interesting and profusely illustrated chapter
on spindle-whorls will be found in Hume’s “Ancient Meols.”[2142]
Earthenware whorls, variously decorated, have been found in large
numbers on the site of Troy, and with Mycenæan remains.

Allied to the whorls, but evidently destined for some other purpose,
is a flat disc of shelly limestone, now in my collection, found at
Barrow, near Bury St. Edmund’s. It is 5 1∕2 inches in diameter, 3∕4
inch thick, ground from both faces to an edge all round, and perforated
in the centre with a hole 5∕8 inch in diameter, counter-sunk on each
face, so as to leave only a narrow edge in the middle of the hole,
which is much polished by friction. The edge of the periphery is also
worn |440| smooth. I am at a loss to assign a use to this object.
In the Greenwell Collection a similar disc from the North Riding of
Yorkshire shows polish on one face. A somewhat similar disc with the
hole a little larger, so that it rather resembles a quoit, is in
the Norwich Museum. It may be a plaything of no great antiquity. An
instrument of similar form, engraved by Lindenschmit,[2143] has a
parallel shaft-hole. Among the North American Indians,[2144] perforated
discs, but with broad and not sharp peripheries, appear to have been
used as a kind of quoits.

Some flat imperforate discs of stone, from two to nine inches in
diameter, roughly chipped round the edges, and in one instance oval,
were associated with bronze tweezers and articles of iron, in a Pict’s
house at Kettleburn, Caithness.[2145] Two polished stone discs were
found in a crannog near Maybole,[2146] Ayrshire, and a nearly square
piece of stone that had been polished on both sides in a crannog at
Dowalton,[2147] Sorbie, Wigtownshire. Others of large size occurred
in another Pict’s house in Orkney,[2148] and were regarded as plates.
Six black stone dishes, all about 2 1∕2 inches thick, and varying from
1 foot 8 inches to 10 inches long, were found with numerous other
objects, among them a copper needle, in a circular building in South
Uist.[2149] Other similar dishes have been found near Sand Lodge, in
Shetland,[2150] and elsewhere. Possibly such stones may have been
used in cooking oatmeal cakes or bannocks—like the stones on which
formerly “pikelets” or crumpets were cooked in Leicestershire and other
Midland counties, where their modern iron substitutes are still called
“pikelet-stones.” Ornamented stones for toasting oatmeal cakes in front
of a peat fire are or were until lately in use in Scotland.[2151]
Cooking slabs of thin stone are used by the natives of Guiana,[2152]
for baking cassava bread.

Dr. Joseph Anderson[2153] has suggested that some of the small discs,
with the surface highly polished, such as have been found in Scottish
brochs of the Iron Age, may have served as mirrors.

       *       *       *       *       *

Another purpose to which stone implements seem to have been applied,
in connection with weaving and the preparation of leather, is that
of burnishing or smoothing, somewhat in the same manner as is now
effected by the flat-iron. An oval pebble (4 inches) rubbed all along
one side was found by General Pitt Rivers in one of the pits at Mount
Caburn,[2154] Lewes. Sir W. Wilde, speaking of a quite recent period,
observes that “it is well known that weavers in the north of Ireland
used a smooth celt, whenever they could find one, for rubbing on the
cloth, bit by bit, as they worked it, to close the threads and give a
gloss to the surface.”[2155] Canon |441| Greenwell had a celt from
Yorkshire, which was used by a shoemaker for smoothing down the seams
he made in leather. The old English name for the smooth stones used for
such purposes is “slickstone.” In the “Promptorium Parvulorum,”[2156]
written in the fifteenth century, a SLEKYSTŌN or SLEKENSTONE is
translated, _linitorium_, _lucibriunculum_, _licinitorium_—terms
unknown to classical Latinity. Mr. Albert Way, in a note on the
word, after giving its various forms as slyke-stone, sleght-stone,
sleeke-stone, &c., remarks, “In former times, polished stones,
implements in form of a muller, were used to smooth linen,[2157] paper,
and the like, and likewise for the operation termed calendering.
Gautier de Bibelesworth says,—

 “Et priez la dame qe ta koyfe luche (slike)
 De sa luchiere (slikingston) sur la huche.”

In directions for making buckram, &c., and for starching cloth, (Sloane
MS., 3548, f. 102), the finishing process is as follows: ‘_Cum lapide
slycstone levifica_.’” “She that hath no glasse to dresse her head will
use a bowle of water, she that wanteth a sleeke stone to smooth her
linnen will take a pebble.”[2158]

“Slickstones occur in the Tables of Custom-House Rates on Imports,
2 James I., and about that period large stones inscribed with texts
of Scripture were occasionally thus used. (See Whitaker, ‘Hist. of
Craven,’[2159] p. 401, _n._) There was a specimen in the Leverian
Museum. Bishop Kennett, in his ‘Glossarial Collections,’ _s.v._
‘Slade,’ alludes to the use of such an appliance ‘to sleek clothes
with a sleekstone.’” Cotgrave, in his French Dictionary, translates
_calendrine_ or _pierre calendrine_, as a sleekstone; and under the
word “lisse” makes mention of “a rowler of massive glasse wherewith
curriers do sleeke and gloss their leather.” This, probably, was a
substitute for a more ancient instrument of stone. Sir Thomas Browne
mentions slickstones among electric bodies, and implies that in his
time they were of glass. “Glass attracts but weakly though clear; some
slickstones and thick glasses indifferently.”[2160]

I have two or three specimens of glass slickstones, which in form
resemble mushrooms. The lenticular part is usually about 5 inches in
diameter, and its rounded surface was used for |442| polishing the
linen. The handle or stalk is ribbed and about 4 1∕2 inches long. They
are of both clear and of bottle-green glass. A small slickstone of
black glass without a handle was found in a Viking grave of a woman in
Islay.[2161] The same form was recently in use in Scotland. A large one
is in the Kirkcudbright[2162] Museum. Another[2163] provided with a
long smooth handle has likewise been figured.

[Illustration: Fig. 361.—Holyhead.]

       *       *       *       *       *

A four-sided implement of stone, fashioned with considerable care, the
sides flat and smooth, and with an edge at one end, was found by the
late Hon. W. O. Stanley, F.S.A., at Pen-y-Bonc,[2164] and is shown in
Fig. 361, kindly lent to me by him. It has been regarded as a burnisher
or polishing stone. A similar specimen is in the Blackmore Museum.

Mr. Syer Cuming[2165] mentions the discovery, at Alchester,
Oxfordshire, of a flat pyriform piece of red sandstone, 3 1∕2 inches
long, 3 1∕4 inches wide, and 1 inch thick in the middle, with the
edges rounded, and the whole surface, with the exception of the obtuse
end, polished; and he inclines to the belief that it was employed
in smoothing hides and rendering them pliant for clothing. Another
“slickstone for tawing or softening hides by friction,” formed of
quartz, 6 1∕8 inches broad by 2 1∕2 inches in height, with a depression
on either side to admit the finger and thumb, and having the surface
rounded and polished by use, was found at a depth of three feet in the
ground at Culter, Lanarkshire.[2166] In the Shrewsbury Museum[2167]
is a perforated stone in shape like a broad hoe, but with rounded
edges; it is thought to be a currier’s tool. Three flint pebbles
found with late Celtic enamelled bronze horse-trappings at Westhall,
Suffolk,[2168] and having one or both |443| of their sides much
rubbed down, may possibly belong to this class of objects. Sir R.
Colt Hoare[2169] speaks of “the hard flat stones of the pebble kind,
such as we frequently find both in the towns as well as in the tumuli
of the Britons,” but does not suggest a purpose for them. Polished
pebbles have not unfrequently been found in tumuli with stone weapons
and implements. One tapering toward the ends, which are rubbed flat,
was found by Mr. Bateman.[2170] Another was found in a barrow near
Ashford-in-the-Water.[2171] It is possible they may, as subsequently
suggested, have been ornaments or amulets; but some pebbles, polished
on part of their surface, as if by use, have been found in tumuli by
Canon Greenwell.

A “smoothing-stone” of hard grey stone, with a short tang apparently
for fixing it in a handle, has been engraved by the Rev. Dr.
Hume.[2172] He does not, however, state where it was found. A somewhat
similar implement is engraved by Schoolcraft,[2173] which he thinks may
have been designed for smoothing down seams of buckskin. As stated at
page 416, I have seen a stone which had been used for this purpose in

Granite and other pebbles are used as ironing-stones in Orkney[2174]
and in Scotland. Several have been described by Professor Duns.[2175]

Dr. Keller[2176] has shown that, in connection with what was probably
the earliest form of loom, weights were employed to stretch the warp.
These, however, in Switzerland, seem to have been for the most part
formed of burnt clay, though possibly some of the stones which have
been regarded as sink-stones or plummets, were used for this purpose.
Some of these have already been described.

Loom weights of burnt clay have been found in Scotland[2177] and of
chalk[2178] in Sussex. I have one of burnt clay from Cambridge.

       *       *       *       *       *

Another domestic use to which stones were applied was as weights for
the balance or scales; though we have no evidence at present that
in this country, at all events, any weighing apparatus was known so
early as the Stone or even the Bronze Period. Among the Jews the same
word אֶבֶן (_Eben_) denoted both a stone and a weight; and we have a
somewhat similar instance of customs being recorded in language in the
case of our own “stone” of eight or fourteen pounds. Discoidal weights
formed of stone are not unfrequently found on the sites of Roman

The moulds in which bronze weapons and tools were cast, were often made
of stone, but for any account of them I refer the reader to my book on
“Bronze Implements.”

Another class of domestic utensils, frequently found in Scotland |444|
and the adjacent islands, consists of cup-like vessels formed of stone,
of various degrees of hardness, and usually provided with a small
projecting handle.

[Illustration: Fig. 362.—Scotland.]

[Illustration: Fig. 363.—Sutherlandshire.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Fig. 362, borrowed from the _Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries
of Scotland_,[2179] will serve to show their general character. Of
the two cups here engraved, one was found near a megalithic circle at
Crookmore, Tullynessle, Aberdeenshire, and the other in another part
of Scotland. The material is described as a soft calcareous stone. One
of steatite or “pot-stone,” with a large unpierced handle, was found
in a cairn at Drumkesk,[2180] near Aboyne, Aberdeenshire; and two
others, one with the handle projecting from the side, and the other
with a long straight handle, at Strathdon[2181] in the same county.
Two others, one of them of micaceous sandstone, ornamented with a
band of rudely-cut projecting knobs, and the other with incised lines
in zigzag herring-bone patterns, were dug out of a large cairn on
Knockargity,[2182] and others at Cromar,[2183] also in Aberdeenshire.
One ornamented in a similar manner was found at Needless,[2184] Perth.
Others have been found in cairns in Banffshire,[2185] Morayshire,[2186]
and Sutherlandshire,[2187] the engraving of the last of which is here
reproduced as Fig. 363. It is 6 1∕2 inches in diameter. They have also
been found in brochs, in Caithness,[2188] Shetland,[2189] and in a
“fort” in Forfarshire.[2190] They have likewise been discovered under
various circumstances in Aberdeenshire,[2191] at Balmoral,[2192] and
in Forfarshire,[2193] Perthshire,[2194] and the Isle of Skye,[2195] as
well as in the Isle of Man.[2196] |445| They occur, though rarely, in
Ireland.[2197] I have one from Trillick, Tyrone.

In former times these cups were regarded as “Druidical _pateræ_;” but
Sir Daniel Wilson[2198] has pointed out that in the Faroe Islands, a
similar kind of vessel is still in use as a lamp or as a chafing-dish
for carrying live embers. He has engraved one of them in the cut
here reproduced. The same kind of rude lamp or cresset is in use in
Ceylon.[2199] These Scottish vessels probably belong to no very remote

[Illustration: Fig. 364.—Faroe Islands.]

A shallow one-handled saucer or stand of Kimmeridge shale was found
at Povington, Dorset,[2200] but was probably intended for some other
purpose than the Scottish cup. It has been suggested that it was for
holding the flakes of flint supposed to have been used for turning
the armlets and other objects of Kimmeridge coal, many fragments of
which, as well as numerous pieces of flint, were found with it; but it
seems more probable that the turning tools were of metal. It may be an
unfinished lamp-stand, or possibly a lamp.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: Fig. 365.—Broad Down or Honiton.]

Cups, however, formed of shale, and most skilfully made, have
occasionally been found in barrows. The most remarkable is that which
was discovered in a tumulus at Broad Down,[2201] near Honiton, by
the Rev. Richard Kirwan, to whom I am indebted for the loan of the
full-sized figure (Fig. 365) on the next page. The woodcut gives so
perfect a representation of its form that any detailed description is
needless. Its height is 3 5∕8 inches, and its greatest diameter, which
is at the mouth, 3 inches. Its capacity is about a gill. The material
of which it is formed appears in all probability to be Kimmeridge[2202]
shale, though it is difficult to pronounce on this point with
certainty. In another barrow, also on Broad Down,[2203] Mr. Kirwan came
upon a bronze spear-head, or rather dagger, which had been attached
to its haft by rivets, lying on a deposit of burnt bones; and at a
distance from it of about 3 feet he discovered a drinking-cup of shale,
of almost similar form and size to that previously found. It is about
3 1∕4 inches high, and 3 inches in diameter at the mouth, and is now
preserved in the Albert Museum at Exeter. One very remarkable feature
about these |446| cups is that they have been turned in the lathe,
and not made by hand; and it has been suggested that by the use of the
pole-lathe, the great apparent difficulty of leaving the projection
for |447| the handle would be entirely removed. I had already arrived
at this conclusion before seeing, in Mr. Kirwan’s paper, the views
of a “skilful practical turner” on this point; but it may be well to
describe the simple instrument known as a pole-lathe, with which most
of the constituent parts of a Windsor chair are turned at the present

       *       *       *       *       *

On the bed of the lathe, which usually consists of two pieces of
squared wood nailed to two standards fixed in the ground, are two
wooden “heads,” both furnished with pointed screws passing through
them, to form the centres on which the piece of wood to be turned
revolves. This, after having been chopped into an approximately
cylindrical form, is placed between the two centres, and above the
lathe is fixed a long elastic pole of wood, to the end of which a cord
is attached, connecting it to the end of a treadle below the lathe.
The cord is hitched round the wood, and adjusted to such a length as
to keep the treadle well off the ground when the pole is at rest. When
the treadle is pressed down with the foot, it draws down the pole, and
the cord in its passage causes the piece of wood to revolve. When the
pressure is relieved, the elasticity of the pole draws it back in the
opposite direction, so that the workman by treading causes an alternate
rotary motion of the wood. He turns this in the ordinary manner, except
that his tool can cut only intermittently, that is, at the time when
the revolution is towards, and not from him. If now, a projecting
stop were attached to the object in the lathe, so as to prevent its
making a complete revolution, it is evident that a portion like that
forming the handle of the cup might be left unturned. Still, in the
case of these cups, something more than the ordinary pole-lathe with
two “dead” centres must have been used, as with such a lathe, it would
be almost impossible to bore out the hollow of the cup. It appears
probable, therefore, that a mandrel-head with a “live” centre, like
that of our ordinary lathes, must have been used; though probably the
motion was communicated by a pole and treadle, and not, as with modern
foot-lathes, by a large pulley on a cranked axle.

We shall subsequently see that the waste pieces of Kimmeridge shale, to
which the unwarrantable name of “coal-money” has been applied, testify
to the use of such a lathe. Whatever may be the date to which the
manufacture of this shale into bracelets and other objects was carried
down, it seems probable that, assuming this cup to have been of home
manufacture and not imported, the use of the lathe was known in this
country in pre-Roman times. In the Broad Down barrow no other object
accompanied the burnt bones, and in the trunk-interment in the King
Barrow, Stowborough,[2205] near Wareham, cited by Mr. Kirwan, where
a somewhat similar cup appears to have |448| been found, there was
no weapon nor trace of metal, unless it were what was imagined to be
some gold lace. The ornamentation of this cup is different from that
of the Devonshire specimen, and the workmanship appears to be ruder.
It was described at the time as of wood, but was probably of shale, as
has been suggested by Dr. Wake Smart.[2206] Some fragments of cups of
shale with flat handles were found in the Romano-British village at

[Illustration: Fig. 366.—Rillaton, height 3 1∕4 inches.]

It is, however, but right to mention that a _wooden_ cup with a handle
at the side, and which had been turned in a lathe, was found in a
barrow in Schleswig,[2208] in a coffin made from the trunk of an oak,
together with a skeleton wrapped in woollen cloth, a bronze dagger, and
other objects. Professor Worsaae attributes these objects to the Early
Bronze Age. Mr. Kirwan has cited another instance of a somewhat similar
cup, found with “coal-money.”

It is true that these instances afford no actual guide as to date, but
|449| the interments were clearly not Roman. Some clue, however, is
afforded by the discovery of the gold cup shown in Fig. 366, not unlike
this in form, in a barrow at Rillaton,[2209] Cornwall, accompanied by
what appears to have been a bronze dagger;[2210] but the best evidence
as to the date to be assigned to this class of cups is probably that of
the very remarkable and beautiful specimen formed of amber, and found
in a barrow at Hove,[2211] near Brighton.

[Illustration: Fig. 367.—Hove.]

In this instance an interment in a rude oaken coffin was accompanied
by the amber cup, here, by the kindness of the Sussex Archæological
Society, reproduced, a double-edged battle-axe of stone (see Fig. 119,
p. 186), a bronze dagger, and a whetstone. This cup is 3 1∕2 inches
in diameter and 2 1∕2 high, about 1∕10 inch in thickness, and its
capacity rather more than half a pint. It is perfectly smooth inside
and out, and, so far as I could judge from seeing it through glass in
the Brighton Museum, it was turned in a lathe. It has been suggested by
Mr. Barclay Phillips that some process like that of boiling amber in
spirits of turpentine may have been known by which it would be rendered
plastic; but this seems hardly probable.

It is, of course, possible that such an object as this may have come
by commerce into Britain; and, indeed, amber is one of the articles
mentioned by Strabo as exported from Celtic Gaul to this country. In
|450| the case of the shale cups, however, the evidence seems in favour
of their having been articles of home manufacture, and we shall shortly
see to what an extent jet was used here in early times for ornamental

So far as amber is concerned, it is to be remembered that after storms
it occurs in considerable quantities along the eastern coast of
England, and on the southern coast at all events to Deal. An important
work on the amber ornaments of the Stone Period has been published by
Dr. Richard Klebs.[2212]

[Illustration: Fig. 368.—Ty Mawr. 2∕3]

Vessels without handles were also occasionally formed of stone. Six
or seven of these, of various sizes and forms, were discovered in a
“kist-vaen” in the Island of Unst,[2213] and are now for the most part
in the British Museum. Four of them are of a rude quadrangular form,
with flat bottoms, and from 3 1∕2 to 7 inches in height. The other
three are oval. They are formed of schistose rock, and some of them
still bear traces of the action of fire. Sir Wollaston Franks, with
reference to these vessels, has stated that stone-vessels of a rude
type are still in use in some remote parts of Norway. One is engraved,
as ancient, by Nilsson.[2214]

Several were found in the ancient dwelling at Skara, Orkney,[2215] one
of which is hexagonal.

A small stone cup, found by the late Hon. W. O. Stanley in an ancient
circular habitation at Ty Mawr, Holyhead, is, through his kindness,
shown in Fig. 368.[2216] A more oval cup, somewhat broken, was also

An oval stone cup (4 1∕2 inches long), apparently made out of half
of a rounded boulder from the beach, was found in a barrow at

A circular cup or mortar, barely 4 inches in diameter, from Anglesea,
is engraved in the _Archæological Journal_.[2218]

Some small cup-shaped vessels of chalk, probably used as lamps,
|451| were found by Canon Greenwell, in the excavations at Grimes’

A cylindrical stone vessel, 5 inches high and 6 1∕2 inches in diameter,
with a cup-shaped cavity above, and a small hole below, as if for
fixing it on a stand, was found at Parton, Kircudbrightshire.[2220]
Another, found with a polished stone hatchet in a cairn in
Caithness,[2221] is of circular form, ribbed externally like a melon.

Cups without handles have been found in Orkney[2222] and Caithness,
some with a place for a wick, so as to serve as lamps.

In a cist in a barrow in Orkney[2223] the cinerary urn was formed of
“mica stone,” about 19 1∕2 inches high and 22 1∕2 inches in diameter,
and covered with a lid of undressed stone. Another of nearly the
same size was found in a barrow at Stennis.[2224] Another stone urn
and two stone dishes, with handles or ears, were found in a grave in
Forfarshire;[2225] and two stone urns, one within the other, were
turned up by the plough at Aucorn,[2226] near Wick, Caithness.[2227]
One of these was 13 inches high and 21 inches in diameter, with two
handles rudely cut in the sides. The other was 8 inches in height and
11 1∕2 inches in diameter, and was provided with a stone lid. Long oval
vessels from Shetland[2228] probably belong to more recent times. The
“mell”[2229] for preparing pot-barley may be still in use.

Stone vessels, one with a movable bottom and partly filled with burnt
bones, have been found in the Shetland Isles.[2230]

Stone vessels have also been discovered, though rarely, in barrows in
England. One such was found by Mr. Bateman, in company with a small
bronze bucket with an iron handle, in a barrow at Wetton.[2231] It is
only 4 inches high, and carved in sandstone, with four grooves running
round it by way of ornament. It is probably of late date.

A few urns formed of stone have also been found in Ireland.

One of the varieties of steatite has long been in use for the formation
of hollow vessels for cooking and other purposes, and is still known by
the name of Pot-stone in English. Many of the cooking vessels of the
Eskimos are made of this material.

       *       *       *       *       *

I now pass on to the consideration of personal decorations formed of




Among all savage tribes the love of ornament and finery is very great;
though it cannot well be greater than that exhibited by more highly
civilized races. It has, however, to content itself with decorations
of a simpler kind, and requiring fewer mechanical appliances in their
production; so that shells, feathers, and trophies of the chase, and
ornaments wrought from bone and the softer, yet showy, kinds of stone,
usually replace the more costly products of the loom and the jeweller’s

The ornaments commonly found in this country associated with interments
belonging to the period when stone implements were in use, are for the
most part formed of jet, shale, and amber, and occasionally, as has
already been mentioned, of bone, and possibly ivory, and even gold.
Nearly all, however, appear to be characteristic of the time when stone
was already being superseded by bronze for cutting purposes, and on
this account, as well as from their not being implements, but personal
decorations, some of them but slightly differing from those in use at
the present day, I had at first some scruples in including them in this
work. It would, however, appear incomplete, were I not to take a short
review of some of the principal discoveries of such objects; and this
will also incidentally be illustrative of some of the funeral customs
of prehistoric times and of the use of amulets of stone.

The simplest form of ornament, if indeed it can be properly so called,
is the button, which not unfrequently accompanies interments of an
early date. The usual shape is that of an obtusely conical disc, in the
base of which two converging holes are drilled so as to form a V-shaped
passage, through which the cord for attachment could be passed. These
buttons are formed of different materials, but most commonly of jet or
shale. |453|

[Illustration: Fig. 369.—Butterwick. 1∕1]

[Illustration: Fig. 370.—Butterwick. 1∕1]

       *       *       *       *       *

In Fig. 369 a ruder example than usual is shown, full size. It
is formed of a fine grained limestone, and was found by Canon
Greenwell,[2232] F.R.S., with a contracted body, in a barrow at
Butterwick, Yorkshire, in company with five buttons of jet, from
1 1∕4 to 1 3∕4 inches in diameter, of which one that is pierced in an
unusual manner is engraved as Fig. 370. With the body, were a small
dagger-knife, awl, and flat celt of bronze, and a flint flake trimmed
along one edge. Another large plain button was found by the same
explorer in a cist at Great Tosson,[2233] Northumberland. A jet button
nearly square and ornamented with marginal lines was found in a cist
on Dundee Law.[2234] The cruciform ornament on the stone stud would at
first sight suggest the possibility of its being the Christian symbol.
It is, however, so simple a form of ornament, that it may be said to
belong to all time. |454| Numerous instances of its occurrence at an
early period have been collected by M. de Mortillet.[2235] Another
instance of the kind is afforded by two jet studs found in two barrows
near Thwing and Rudstone,[2236] Yorkshire, by Canon Greenwell, one of
which is engraved as Fig. 371. In one case, the button lay about the
middle of the right arm, and with it a highly ornamented ring of jet
pierced at the sides. In the other instance, there was a second jet
button, as well as a ring of the same character, a bronze dagger-knife,
and other objects, some of which have been already described.[2237] One
of the rings is shown in Fig. 372.[2238] In both there are two V-shaped
perforations close together, and formed in the body of the ring by
drilling two converging holes. There can be little doubt that the ring
and stud together formed some sort of clasp or fastening, but in what
manner the string which passed through the perforation, was managed, it
is difficult to say. Another jet ring and a kind of button were also
found in a barrow at Rudstone.[2239]

[Illustration: Fig. 371.—Rudstone. 1∕1]

[Illustration: Fig. 372.—Rudstone. 1∕1]

A very highly ornamented jet ring of this class, square in section,
and with a sort of beading at each angle, the two faces and periphery
decorated with fine raised lines, and with three perforations as if for
suspension, has been engraved in the “Crania Britannica.”[2240] It was
found with the skeleton of a man, in a cist in a barrow near Avebury,
Wilts, with one small and two large jet studs, the largest almost 3
inches in diameter, a flint flake, and an ovoid implement of serpentine
subsequently to be noticed.

[Illustration: Fig. 373.—Crawfurd Moor. 1∕2]

The specimen engraved as Fig. 373, on the scale of one-half, is of
jet, and was found on Crawfurd Moor, Lanarkshire.[2241] It is now in
the |455| National Museum at Edinburgh. It shows the most common form
of button, and the cut has been made use of frequently. One of the
same character, 1 3∕4 inches in diameter, and found in a barrow on
Lambourn Down, Berkshire, is preserved in the British Museum. It has a
rounded projection at the apex of the flat cone. In two of Kimmeridge
shale, from Net Low, Alsop Moor, Derbyshire,[2242] there is a similar
projection and also a slightly raised beading round the edge. They
accompanied a large bronze dagger, which lay close to the right arm
of an extended skeleton. A button of jet, 1 3∕4 inches in diameter,
was found near the shoulder of a contracted skeleton, in a barrow near
Castern, Derbyshire.[2243] A small piece of calcined flint lay near.

Several studs or buttons of polished Kimmeridge coal, of the same
character, but slightly more conical than Fig. 373, were found
by Mr. F. C. Lukis in a barrow near Buxton.[2244] A flint celt
accompanied another interment in the same barrow. What appears to
be a small stud of jet, but which is described as a cone, was found
with a ring, like a pulley, of the same material, and a fine flint
dagger and other objects, buried with a skeleton at Durrington
Walls, Wilts.[2245] A larger ring and disc, perforated with two
holes for suspension, together with some beautifully formed stemmed
and barbed flint arrow-heads (see Fig. 320), and a bronze dagger,
accompanied a contracted interment in a barrow near Fovant, in the same
county.[2246] A button formed of a substance like concrete was found
with part of a leaf-shaped arrow-head, some beads, &c., in a barrow at
Boscregan,[2247] Cornwall. It is nearly hemispherical in shape. In four
cists at Tosson, near Rothbury, Northumberland,[2248] were contracted
skeletons, two of them accompanied by an urn. In one of the cists were
three of these buttons, 2 inches in diameter, described as of cannel
coal; and in another was an iron javelin-head. They are sometimes of
much smaller dimensions. One of this character, found in the Calais
Wold barrow by Messrs. Mortimer, has been figured full size in the late
Mr. Ll. Jewitt’s _Reliquary_.[2249] His cut is reproduced as Fig. 374.
Twenty small buttons of inferior jet were found by Canon Greenwell in
a barrow at Hunmanby,[2250] Yorkshire. Two small buttons of jet were
picked up at Glenluce,[2251] Wigtownshire.

[Illustration: Fig. 374.—Calais Wold Barrow. 1∕1]

Occasionally we find conical studs of this form perforated by two
converging holes in the base, forming what were, in some cases,
apparently the termination of necklaces or gorgets. It seems possible
that these were not made to clasp the whole neck, but were merely
attached in some manner between the shoulders in front, as is supposed
to have been the case with many of the Anglo-Saxon necklaces. Two of
these studs were found with other beads of a necklace in Holyhead
Island,[2252] and are mentioned at p. 459. With other |456| necklaces,
however, the studs are more numerous, and seem to have been a form of

These studs or buttons are occasionally of amber. In a stone cist in
a barrow near Driffield, Yorkshire,[2253] a contracted skeleton was
found, and with it, the bracer before described (p. 429), a bronze
dagger, and three conical amber studs, about 1 inch in diameter, flat
on the under-side, and pierced with two converging holes. Such buttons
of amber are found on the Baltic[2254] coast, and even in Northern

Conical studs or buttons perforated at the base, formed of wood or
lignite covered with gold, and of bone or ivory, have been found in
the Wiltshire barrows.[2255] The jet studs are sometimes concave at
the base, with a knob left in the centre for attachment, instead
of being perforated. Five such were found with urns at Stevenston,
Ayrshire.[2256] They are about an inch in diameter.

The rings of jet with perforations at the edges, such as have been
before mentioned as found in connection with buttons or studs, are
sometimes found without them. One such, nearly 2 inches in diameter,
perforated in the centre with a hole 3∕4 inch in diameter, and
with “two deep grooves in the edges, and four holes near together,
two communicating with each other and capable of admitting a large
packthread,” was found with the skeleton at Tring Grove,[2257] Herts,
with which had been buried the flint arrow-heads and “wrist-guards”
before described.[2258] Two rings of jet, one punctured with two holes
as if for suspension, the other with one hole only, accompanied an
urn and two “spear-heads” of flint in a barrow near Whitby.[2259] A
pulley-like ring, described as of cannel coal, with four perforations
through the sides at irregular intervals, was found in a cist near
Yarrow, Selkirkshire,[2260] and has been engraved. A part of a stone
hammer lay in another cist at the same spot. A portion of what appears
to be a similar ring was found near Lesmahago,[2261] Lanarkshire.

A jet ring notched on the outside, or ornamented with imperfect
circles, was found in the Upton Lovel Barrow,[2262] together with
doubly conical and cylindrical beads. There were both stone and bronze
objects in the same barrow, many of which have already been mentioned.

A ring of Kimmeridge shale, 1 3∕8 inches in diameter, was found with a
penannular ring of bronze, flint flakes and arrow-heads, a perforated
whetstone, a bead of glass and one of bone, in examining a series of
barrows at Afflington, Dorset.[2263]

       *       *       *       *       *

Another form of ornament, of which numerous examples have been found
with ancient interments, is the necklace, consisting of |457| beads,
usually of jet, amber, or bone, generally of jet alone, but sometimes
of two of these materials together. It is, of course, almost impossible
to re-arrange a group of beads, often more than a hundred in number, in
the exact order in which they were originally worn; there are, however,
frequently several peculiarly formed plates found with the beads, which
seem susceptible of being arranged in but one particular order, so that
it appears probable that the manner in which some of these necklaces
have been reconstructed, as in Fig. 375, is not far from being correct.

       *       *       *       *       *

The original was found in an urn within a barrow at Assynt,
Ross-shire,[2264] and is here represented about one-fourth size, in
a cut from Wilson’s “Prehistoric Annals of Scotland,” kindly lent me
by Messrs. Macmillan. The flat beads, which are perforated obliquely
from the edges towards the back, have patterns engraved upon them
now studded with minute specks of sand,[2265] which resemble gold.
Besides those figured, there were present a number of irregularly oval
jet beads. Other such necklaces have been found at Torrish,[2266]
Sutherlandshire (with flint arrow-heads), at Tayfield,[2267] Fife (in a
cist), and at Lunan-head,[2268] near Forfar, in a cairn.

[Illustration: Fig. 375.—Assynt, Ross-shire.]

In most cases the flat beads of these necklaces are ornamented by
having dotted or striated patterns worked upon them by means of some
sharp-pointed instrument. These markings also occur on the bone or
ivory portions, when the necklace, as is sometimes the case, is formed
of a mixture of bone and jet or Kimmeridge shale.

A necklace ornamented in this manner was found, with a female
skeleton, by the late Mr. Bateman, in a barrow near Hargate Wall,
Derbyshire.[2269] He describes the flat plates as being of ivory. Two
other somewhat similar necklaces were found by the same explorer with
a contracted female skeleton in a cist in a barrow at Cow Low, |458|
near Buxton;[2270] but the plates in this case are described as of
Kimmeridge coal. A most elaborate necklace, consisting of no less than
425 pieces, was found by Mr. Bateman in a barrow near Arbor Low.[2271]
They consisted of 348 thin laminæ of jet, fifty-four cylindrical beads,
and eighteen conical studs and perforated plates of jet and bone, some
ornamented with punctured patterns. Some flat ornamented beads of bone
were found in Feltwell Fen[2272] in 1876.

[Illustration: Fig. 376.—Pen-y-Bonc. 1∕1]

In a barrow, called Grind Low, at Over Haddon,[2273] the ornaments
were seventy-three in number, of which twenty-six were cylindrical
|459| beads, thirty-nine, conical studs of jet, pierced at the back by
two holes meeting at an angle in the centre, and the remaining eight,
dividing plates ornamented in front with a punctured chevron pattern
superficially drilled. Of these, seven are of jet, laterally perforated
with three holes; and the eighth of bone, ornamented in the same style,
but with nine holes on one side, diminishing to three on the other by
being bored obliquely.

[Illustration: Fig. 377.—Probable arrangement of the jet necklace found
at Pen-y-Bonc, Holyhead.]

Worked flints accompanied several of these Derbyshire interments.
The skeletons are all reported by Mr. Bateman to have been those
of females, but possibly he may have erred in some instances. Jet
ornaments of a similar character have been found in Yorkshire barrows,
near Pickering[2274] and at Egton,[2275] with flint-flakes; and some
from Soham Fen are in the British Museum. A very fine set of beads
of jet, or possibly cannel coal, found at Pen-y-Bonc near Ty Mawr,
Holyhead,[2276] is, through the kindness of the late Hon. W. O.
Stanley, shown in Figs. 376 and 377. The flat beads are not engraved
with any patterns. Armlets of bronze are said to have been found
with them. Some jet beads of the same character have been found near
Whitby.[2277] In Scotland several necklaces of this class have been
discovered, as, for instance, near Aberlemno,[2278] Forfarshire; at
Rothie,[2279] Aberdeenshire, with two beads of amber, fragments of
bronze, and burnt bones; at Rafford,[2280] Elginshire; Houstoun,[2281]
Renfrewshire; Fordoun House,[2282] Kincardineshire; and Leuchland Toll,
near Brechin. Some found at Letham,[2283] Forfarshire, are described as
having been strung together with the fibres of animals. A remarkably
fine necklace of this kind, consisting of 147 beads in all, was found
in a cist at |460| Balcalk,[2284] Tealing, in the same county. Another
of over 100 beads was found at Mountstuart,[2285] Bute.

The plates are occasionally of amber; a set of six such, together 7
inches by 2 1∕8 inches in extreme length and breadth, perforated and
accompanied by upwards of forty amber beads, some of jet, two of horn,
and others of “the vitrified sort called pully-beads,” representing
seven spherical beads joined together, were found with burnt bones
in a barrow at Kingston Deverill,[2286] Wilts. Another ornament of
the same character, formed of eight tablets, together upwards of 10
inches by 3 inches, with numerous amber beads and some gold studs(?),
was found with a skeleton in a barrow near Lake.[2287] In what was
probably another necklace, also from Lake, many of the beads were
round pendants, tapering upwards, and slightly conical at the bottom.
A necklace composed of small rounded beads, and somewhat similar
pendants of amber, was found near the neck of a contracted skeleton at
Little Cressingham, Norfolk.[2288] By the side lay a bronze dagger and
javelin-head, and on the breast an ornamented oblong gold plate. Near
it was part of a gold armilla, one very small gold box, and remains of
two others.

In one of the Upton Lovel barrows, examined by Mr. Cunnington, a
burnt body was accompanied by somewhat similar little boxes of gold,
thirteen drum-like gold beads perforated at two places in the sides, a
large plate of thin gold highly ornamented, the conical stud covered
with gold already described (p. 456), some large plates of amber
like those from Kingston Deverill, and upwards of 1,000 amber beads.
A small bronze dagger seems to have belonged to the same deposit.
I am inclined to think that the so-called gold boxes may have been
merely the coverings of some discs of wood perforated horizontally,
and thus forming large flat gold-plated beads. The gold itself is not
perforated, but the edges appear in the engraving to be much broken.
Possibly the supposed lids and boxes were in both cases the coverings
of one face only of a wooden bead.[2289] From the occurrence of weapons
in these interments, it seems probable that this class of decoration
was not confined to the female sex, but that, like most savages, the
men of Ancient Britain were as proud of finery as the women, even
if they did not excel them in this particular. A necklace of large
spheroidal beads of amber was found at Llangwyllog,[2290] Anglesea.

I am not aware of any of the jet necklaces having occurred on the
Continent, but beads and flat plates of amber perforated in several
places horizontally have been found in the ancient cemetery at
Hallstatt, in the Salzkammergut of the Austrian Tyrol.

[Illustration: Fig. 378.—Fimber.]

In several instances, jet necklaces do not comprise any of these flat
plates, but consist merely of a number of flat discoidal beads |461|
with one larger piece for a pendant. In a barrow at Weaverthorpe
Ling, Yorkshire, E.B., Canon Greenwell, F.R.S., discovered a |462|
contracted skeleton of a young person buried with a plain urn and a
necklace of 122 flat beads of jet, with a flat, spherically triangular
pendant, perforated at the middle of one of its sides, a short distance
from the edge. The beads vary in size from a little under, to a little
over a quarter of an inch in diameter, and the sides of the pendant are
about three-quarters of an inch long.

In a barrow near Fimber,[2291] Yorkshire, Messrs. J. R. & R. Mortimer
found, with other interments, a female skeleton in a contracted
posture, with a small food-vase near the hand, a small bronze awl in
a short wooden haft behind the shoulders, and on the neck, a necklace
almost identical with that found at Weaverthorpe, of which, by the
kindness of the late Mr. Llewellynn Jewitt, F.S.A., I am able to give
a representation in Fig. 378. One of the beads, the pendant, and the
bronze awl, and part of its wooden handle, are numbered 2, 3, 4, and 5.

[Illustration: Fig. 379.—Yorkshire. 1∕1]

[Illustration: Fig. 380.—Yorkshire. 1∕1]

Another form of jet bead is long, sometimes cylindrical, and sometimes
swelling in the middle, and in a few instances almost square in
section. Fourteen of those with a round section, and from 1 inch to
1 3∕4 inches long, and one of those with the square, had been strewn
among the burnt bones, after they were cold, in an interment found
by Canon Greenwell, in a barrow near Egton Bridge, Whitby. Two are
here reproduced (Fig. 379) from the _Archæological Journal_.[2292]
In another Yorkshire barrow the same investigator found, also with
burnt bones, a small flake of flint, a portion of a bronze pin, and
four jet beads, two of which are barrel-shaped and one oblong, while
the fourth is a small stud, like those already described. They are
shown full-sized in the annexed cut (Fig. 380), also borrowed from the
_Archæological Journal_.[2293] |463|

Small barrel-shaped beads, accompanied by smaller disc-shaped beads,
and two little studs of jet, were found by the late Mr. Bateman in
Hay-Top Barrow, Monsal Dale,[2294] accompanying the skeleton of a
woman. With them was a curious bone pendant of semicircular outline,
widening out to a rectangular base somewhat like a modern seal.

A necklace of ten barrel-shaped jet beads, and about a hundred thin
flat beads of shale, was found with a flint knife in a barrow at
Eglingham,[2295] Northumberland, by Canon Greenwell. Some long and
short barrel-shaped jet beads accompanied burnt bones in an urn at
Fylingdales,[2296] Yorkshire, and a necklace of short barrel-shaped
beads, principally of bone, was found in a barrow at Aldbourne,[2297]

Jet beads, long and thin, but larger at the middle than at the
extremities, and others barrel-shaped, were found with burnt bones
in a barrow examined by the late Rev. Greville J. Chester, near
Cromer;[2298] and a magnificent necklace of jet beads, ranging from 1
to 5 inches in length, some of them expanding very much in the middle,
with a sort of rounded moulding at each end, and having a few rough
beads of amber intermingled with them, was found with a polished
celt of black flint at Cruden,[2299] Aberdeenshire, in 1812, and is
preserved in the Arbuthnot Museum, Peterhead.

Some curious jet beads, one of them in the form of a ring perforated
transversely, found with bronze buttons, rings, armlets, &c., in
Anglesea,[2300] are now in the British Museum.

A flat circular bead of jet, a flint scraper, and a bronze dagger
and celt, were found by the late Mr. Bateman in a barrow near
Bakewell.[2301] A large pendant, apparently of jet, pear-shaped, and
perforated near the smaller end, was found in a barrow on Stanton
Moor,[2302] Derbyshire; and a rudely-made bead of Kimmeridge shale in
the long chambered barrow at West Kennet,[2303] Wilts. Another pendant,
consisting of a flat pear-shaped piece of shale 2 1∕2 inches long and
2 inches broad, and perforated at the narrow end, was found along with
querns, stones with concentric circles and cup-shaped indentations
worked in them, stone balls, spindle-whorls, and an iron axe-head,
in excavating an underground chamber at the Tappock,[2304] Torwood,
Stirlingshire. One face of this pendant is covered with scratches in
a vandyked pattern. Though of smaller size, this seems to bear some
analogy with the flat amulets of schist, of which several have been
discovered in Portugal,[2305] with one face ornamented in much the same
manner. A barrel-shaped bead of cannel coal (?), 4 1∕2 inches long,
found near Loch Skene, and a flat eye-shaped one of shale, found near
Pencaitland, East Lothian, have been figured.[2306]

Pendants of jet of other forms are also occasionally found with
interments. That shown in Fig. 381 was discovered in a barrow at Hungry
Bentley, Derbyshire, by the late Mr. J. F. Lucas, who kindly let me
|464| engrave it. It lay in company with a globular and a barrel-shaped
bead in an urn containing burnt bones. In character this ornament
recalls to mind the bronze pendants of which so many occurred in the
cemetery at Halstatt, though this is of far simpler design.

Armlets manufactured from a single piece of jet are not uncommon among
Roman antiquities. They seem, however, also to have been made in
this country in pre-Roman times. Portions of jet or lignite armlets
of almost semicircular section, and “evidently turned on the lathe,”
were found with numerous bronze and bone relics in the Heathery Burn
Cave,[2307] Stanhope, Durham. One of these, by permission of the
Society of Antiquaries, is shown as Fig. 381A. Another bracelet of
jet was found at Glenluce,[2308] Wigtownshire, together with several
fragments. In the cromlech of _La Roche qui sonne_,[2309] Guernsey, Mr.
F. C. Lukis discovered a remarkable oval armlet of jet ornamented on
its outer surface, and with countersunk perforations in several places.
With it was found a bronze armlet of whitish colour. By the kindness
of the Council of the British Archæological Association, figures of
both, on the scale of 1∕3, are here reproduced. With them were found
pottery and stone instruments, mullers and mills of granite. Armlets
of bone[2310] or ivory also accompany ancient burials, but hardly come
within my province.

[Illustration: Fig. 381.—Hungry Bentley. 1∕1]

[Illustration: Fig. 381A.—Heathery Burn Cave. 1∕2]

[Illustration: Fig. 382.—Jet.—Guernsey. 1∕3]

[Illustration: Fig. 383.—Bronze.—Guernsey. 1∕3]

The use of jet for personal ornaments in pre-Roman times in Britain
is quite in accordance with what might be gathered from the testimony
of early historians. Solinus (_circ._ A.D. 80) mentions the abundance
in this country of jet, which, he relates, burns in water and is
extinguished by oil, and which, if excited by friction, becomes
electric like amber. His statements are repeated by other authors. The
occurrence of amber on our coasts does not appear to have been observed
in |465| ancient times, unless possibly by Sotacus.[2311] As already
observed, it is occasionally found at the present day on our Eastern

Beads formed of selected pebbles of quartz or other material are
rarely found accompanying interments of the Stone Age in Britain. In
France[2312] they seem to be more common. Some neatly-pierced pebbles
of rose-quartz, bored in the same manner as the perforated stone
hammers, were found in the _Allée couverte_ of Argenteuil; and pendants
of jasper and _callais_ in some of the tumuli near Carnac, Brittany.

It is rather doubtful whether the discs of Kimmeridge shale, so
abundantly found in Dorsetshire, and to which the absurd name
of Kimmeridge coal-money has been given, date back to pre-Roman
times. Many of them were found by General Pitt Rivers,[2313] in the
Romano-British village at Woodcuts. These discs, as is well known,
have on the one face a centre-mark showing where they revolved on the
centre of the “back-poppet” in the course of being turned; and on
the other face a square recess,[2314] or occasionally two or three
smaller round holes, showing the manner by which they were attached
to the chuck or mandrel of the lathe. Very rarely they occur with a
portion of an armlet, which has broken in the process of turning,
still attached to their edges. One such has been engraved in the
_Archæological Journal_,[2315] and another is in my own collection.
There can, therefore, be no doubt, that instead of their having been
expressly made for any purpose, such as for use as money, they are
merely the refuse or waste pieces from the lathe. They all appear to me
to have been worked with metal tools, and, from a mass of them having
been found “conglomerated by the presence of irony matter,”[2316]
these would appear to have been of iron or steel; at the same time,
however, numerous chippings of flint were found, which, if used at all
in the turning process, may have served for roughing out the discs. I
have, however, not had an opportunity of personally examining these
flint chippings. An interesting article on objects made of Kimmeridge
shale[2317] has been written by Mr. J. C. Mansel-Pleydell.

Rings of different sizes formed of stone are occasionally found, but
their purpose is unknown. In a barrow at Heathwaite,[2318] in Furness,
half a stone ring, about a couple of inches in diameter, and apparently
of circular section, was found. A ring of diorite, 4 1∕4 inches in
diameter, with a central hole of 1 1∕4 inches, sharp at the edge, but
1 3∕8 inches thick at the border of the perforation, and of nearly
triangular section, was found at Wolsonbury, Sussex, and was in the
collection of the late Mrs. Dickinson of Hurstpierpoint. A somewhat
similar ring of serpentine, 5 1∕2 inches in diameter, is in the Museum
at Clermont Ferrand. Another was found near Dijon. A ring of black
stone, found above the stalagmite in Kent’s Cavern, is shown in Fig.
384. It is slightly rounded at its edges.

[Illustration: Fig. 384.—Kent’s Cavern. 1∕1]

Five small rings about an inch in diameter, of a brown colour and
|466| apparently made of lignite, were found in an urn with burnt bones
and a bronze pin in a barrow near Winterbourn Stoke.[2319] One of them
was perforated near the edge as if for suspension.

A flat ring, from one of the ancient circular habitations at Ty
Mawr,[2320] in Holyhead Island, is shown, full size, in Fig. 385. It
was found by the late Hon. W. O. Stanley, F.S.A., who obligingly lent
me the cut. It is supposed to have been used as a brooch. There is a
slight notch on each side, which might have served to catch the pin.

He subsequently found a ring of the same kind made from a piece of red
“Samian” ware. The presumption, therefore, is that the other rings are
also Roman or post-Roman. A ring and a pendant of lignite were found
with burnt bones in a barrow at Aldbourne,[2321] Wilts. The latter
resembles a mediæval finger-ring. A flat, oval, pendant,[2322] of
close-grained stone, was found in another barrow at the same place.

[Illustration: Fig. 385.—Ty Mawr. 1∕1]

In Scotland, a curved pendant of jet was found at Glenluce.[2323] Rings
of shale, from Wigtownshire,[2324] have been figured, as also a ring
of stone from a crannog at Glenluce.[2325] A peculiar ring of shale,
hollowed externally, was found near West Calder.[2326] In Ireland, some
rings of shale were found in a cinerary urn at Dundrum,[2327] co. Down.

Another form of personal ornament, or, more probably, amulet or charm,
consisted of pebbles, usually selected for their beauty or some
singularity of appearance. They are very frequently accompaniments of
ancient interments, and are sometimes, though rarely, perforated. In a
barrow near Winterbourn Stoke,[2328] there had been deposited near the
body, “a perforated pebble-stone, about 2 inches long, and very neatly
polished,” which Sir R. Colt Hoare thought might have been suspended as
an amulet from the neck.

In another barrow, in the same group,[2329] the interment comprised “a
pair of petrified fossil cockle-shells, a piece of stalactite, and a
hard flat stone of the pebble kind,” besides a brass or bronze pin and
other objects.

In a third, near Stonehenge,[2330] there was at the left hand of
the skeleton a dagger of bronze, and close to the head, a curious
pebble described as “of the sardonyx kind, striated transversely with
alternate spaces that give it the appearance of belts; besides these
_striæ_, it is spotted all over with very small white specks, and,
after dipping it in water, it assumes a sea-green colour.”

In another barrow near Everley[2331] a heap of burnt bones was |467|
surrounded by a circular wreath of horns of the red deer, within which,
and amidst the ashes, were five stemmed and barbed flint arrow-heads
and a small red pebble.

In a barrow at Upton Lovel,[2332] near the legs of a skeleton, there
lay, with a number of other objects, “a handful of small pebbles of
different colours, several not to be found in the neighbourhood,” and
five hollow flints broken in two and forming a rude kind of cup.

In a barrow at Rudstone,[2333] Canon Greenwell found with a skeleton a
part of an ammonite which appeared to have been worn as a charm.

A beautiful pink pebble, supposed to have been placed with the body as
a token of affection, was found in a sepulchral cist at Breedon,[2334]
Leicestershire. Some querns and an iron knife appear to have
accompanied the interment, so that it may belong to a comparatively
late period. Quartz pebbles are, however, very frequently found with
ancient burials, and Mr. Bateman has recorded numerous instances of
their occurrence. Three such, one red, the others of a light colour,
together with a ball of pyrites, a flat piece of polished iron-ore, a
flint celt, and various other instruments of flint, were found with a
skeleton in a barrow on Elton Moor.[2335] In opening Carder Low,[2336]
near Hartington, about eighty quartz pebbles and several instruments
of flint, including a barbed arrow-head, were found; and with the
body, a bronze dagger and an axe-hammer of basalt. Mr. Bateman has
suggested that the pebbles were possibly cast into the mound during
its construction, by mourners and friends of the deceased, as tokens
of respect. Numerous quartz pebbles, supposed to be sling-stones,
were found in a barrow near Middleton.[2337] In the same barrow was
a porphyry-slate pebble, highly polished, “the sides triangular and
tapering towards the ends, which are rubbed flat.” A stone from a
barrow near Ashford-in-the-Water[2338] is said to have been of the same

In a barrow near Avebury,[2339] already mentioned, there were in a cist
with a male skeleton, three studs and a ring of jet, a flint knife, and
a beautifully veined ovoid implement of serpentine, 4 inches long and 2
broad, the apex at each end ground flat. Dr. Thurnam does not attempt
to assign any purpose to this implement, if such it were.

Sometimes the pebble appears to have been actually placed in the hand
of the deceased, as was the case in a barrow near Alsop,[2340] where
a round quartz pebble was found in the left hand of the skeleton; and
in another barrow on Readon Hill,[2341] near Ramshorn, where a small
pebble was found at the right hand. A quartz pebble lay among a deposit
of burnt bones, accompanied by a bronze pin, in another barrow near
Throwley.[2342] In another Derbyshire[2343] barrow a quartz pebble,
found near an urn, was regarded as a sling-stone.

In two barrows near Castleton,[2344] opened by Mr. Rooke Pennington, a
quartz pebble accompanied the remains of children or young persons.

Pebbles have been found with interments in other parts of the |468|
country, as in the long barrow at Rodmarton,[2345] Gloucestershire,
where were a small round white pebble and flint arrow-head. An ovoidal
stone 4 × 2 1∕2 inches occurred in a grave at Athelney;[2346] and one
of chert, 8 1∕2 × 5 1∕2 inches, in a barrow on Petersfield Heath.[2347]
Canon Greenwell has also found large pebbles or boulders in some of the
Yorkshire barrows. They seem to come under another category than that
of the smaller ornamental pebbles.

A small piece of rock crystal, probably an amulet or charm, lay in
a small cist at Orem’s Fancy, Stronsay,[2348] Orkney, and fragments
of quartz and selected pebbles frequently accompany early Irish
interments.[2349] At Caer Leb, Anglesea,[2350] two silicious pebbles,
one black and the other red, with a band of little pits round it, were
found in 1865, and supposed to be amulets.

Mr. Kemble[2351] has observed that in Teutonic tombs stones occur,
deposited apparently from some supposed virtue or superstition, and
has instanced two egg-shaped objects, apparently of Carrara marble,
from Lüneburg tumuli. It has also been stated that in Penmynydd
churchyard,[2352] Anglesea, numerous skeletons were found with a white
oval pebble, of the size of a hen’s egg, near each. It is doubtful
whether the bones were of Christians or not; but the Rev. T. J.
Williams, in describing the discovery, has suggested that the stones
might bear reference to the passage in Revelations (ii. 17):—“To him
that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give
him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man
knoweth saving he that receiveth it.”

In interments of an earlier date, such instances seem to point to some
superstitious custom, possibly like that in India, where “the mystic
Salagramma pebble, held in the hand of the dying Hindoo, is a sure
preservation against the pains of eternal punishment.”[2353] This
pebble, however, was black.

Among the Tasmanians[2354] sacred pebbles play a not unimportant part;
and crystals, or sometimes white stones, are frequently worn in bags
suspended from the neck, and women never allowed to see them.

The symbolism of a white pebble, as representing happiness or a happy
day, was widely known. The “calculi candore laudatus dies”[2355] was
not confined to the Romans, but known among the Thracians; and the
“black balls” at ballots of the present day carry us back to the times

 “Mos erat antiquus niveis atrisque lapillis
 His damnare reos, illis absolvere culpâ.”[2356]

Occasionally, fossil _echini_ in flint are found buried with bodies.
Mr. Worthington Smith found more than a hundred of them in a barrow of
the Stone Age on Dunstable Downs.[2357] A pebble of white quartz lay
with two skeletons, which were those of a woman and child. |469|

In a tumulus on Ashey Down,[2358] in the Isle of Wight, an “echinite”
accompanied an interment of burnt bones, with which was a bronze
dagger. Douglas also found one with an amber bead by the side of a
Saxon skeleton near Chatham. He regarded it as an amulet, and states
that in Scotland the peasants still have a belief in the virtue of
these fossils. I have seen _cidares_ forming part of Saxon necklaces
after having been perforated; and others converted into spindle-whorls.

In fact, the use of stones as amulets still lingers on in the
northern parts of this country. There is in the National Museum at
Edinburgh[2359] a flat oval pebble, 2 1∕2 inches long, which was
worn as a charm in a small bag hung by a red string round the neck
of a Forfarshire farmer, who died in 1854, æt. 84. The heart-shaped
nodule of clay iron-stone in the same Museum, with a copper loop for
suspension, and heart-shaped and oblong pendants of copper and silver,
mentioned in my former edition, proves to be a forgery.

The custody of charms sometimes became hereditary. Martin[2360]
describes a stone in Arran possessed of various miraculous virtues.
“The custody of this globe is the peculiar privilege of a little family
called Clan Chattons.” Other charm-stones and curing-stones have been
described in interesting papers by Sir J. Y. Simpson, Bart.,[2361]
Mr. James M. Gow,[2362] Dr. Alexander Stewart,[2363] and Mr. G. F.

Among the Scandinavian nations[2365] the possession of certain stones
was believed to secure victory in encounters, and the belief is
constantly mentioned in ancient poetry.

A confidence in the virtues of “lucky stones,” that is to say, pebbles
with a hole through them, or with a band around them, is still widely
spread, and I well remember the incantation—

 “Lucky-stone, lucky-stone, bring me some luck,
 To-day, or to-morrow by twelve o’clock.”

These perforated stones were also sovereign against the nightmare.
“Take a Flynt Stone that hath a hole of hys owne kynde, and hang it
ouer hym and wryte in a bill—

 ‘In nomine Patris, &c.
 Saint George, our Ladye’s Knight,
 He walked day, so did he night,
 Untill he hir found.
 He hir beate and he hir bounde,
 Till truely her trouth she him plyght
 That she woulde not come within the night,
 There as Saint George, our Ladye’s Knight,
 Named was three tymes Saint George.’

And hang this Scripture ouer him, and let him alone.”[2366]

In Bavaria[2367] a _Druten-stein_ is a natural pebble with a hole
through it, and is a charm against witches. |470|

In Scotland such a stone is often called a witch-stone,[2368] and hung
up in the byres as a protection for the cattle. The same is the case in
some parts of England. In the Museum at Leicester is a “witch-stone”
from Wymeswold, a pebble with a natural hole towards one end, which has
been preserved for many generations in one family, and has had great
virtues attributed to it. It prevented the entrance of fairies into the
dairy; it preserved milk from taint; it kept off diseases, and charmed
off warts, and seems to have been valuable alike to man and beast.
In the Western Islands[2369] ammonites are held to possess peculiar
virtues as “cramp-stones” for curing cramp in cattle.

Stones remarkable either for their colour or shape appear at all times
to have attracted the attention of mankind, and frequently to have
served as personal ornaments or charms among those to whom the more
expensive and civilized representatives of such primitive jewellery,
which now rank as precious stones, were either unknown or inaccessible.

Among the cave-dwellers of a remote age, both of France and Belgium,
fossil shells appear to have been much in use as ornaments, numbers
having been found perforated for suspension. Pendants of stone occur
in some abundance with interments in the dolmens of France;[2370]
occasionally the living forms of shells also were perforated and worn
as ornaments, both in the days when the reindeer formed the principal
food of the cave-dwellers, and in more recent yet still remote times. A
black polished oval pebble, found in the lake-dwelling of Inkwyl,[2371]
has been regarded by De Bonstetten as an amulet.

In Merovingian and Teutonic interments, we find occasionally, pendants
of serpentine[2372] and other materials, balls of crystal, and
sometimes of iron pyrites.[2373]

A peculiar stone with a groove round it, not unlike in form to the
Danish fire-producing stones of the early Iron Age, was in use for
divining purposes among the Laplanders, and has been engraved and
described by Scheffer.[2374]

What are regarded as ancient amulets of stone, found in Portugal,[2375]
are highly decorated.

Numerous amulets, commonly formed of various kinds of stone and teeth
of animals, usually perforated for suspension, were worn by the
North-American Indians.[2376] Indeed, among almost all savage nations
such charms and ornaments abound.

       *       *       *       *       *

As I am not treating of the hidden virtues of stones and gems, nor of
their use as amulets, it is needless to say more in |471| illustration
of the causes why selected pebbles may have been placed in ancient
graves. Before proceeding, however, to the next part of my subject,
which carries me back from recent times to those long anterior, not
only to the use of metals, but to that of the various stone implements
of which I have been treating, it will be well to say a few words as
to the results of the general survey which, so far as regards the
antiquities of the Neolithic, or Surface Stone Period, is now complete.

These results, I must acknowledge, are, to my mind, by no means
entirely satisfactory. It is true that regarding the various forms
of objects described from a technological, or even a collector’s,
point of view, the series of stone antiquities found in Britain does
not contrast unfavourably with that from any other country. We have
hatchets, adzes, chisels, borers, scrapers, and tools of various
kinds, and know both how they were made and how they were used; we
have battle-axes, lances, and arrows for war, or for the chase; we
have various implements and utensils adapted for domestic use; we have
the personal ornaments of our remote predecessors, and know something
of their methods of sepulture, and of their funeral customs. Indeed,
so far as external appliances are concerned, they are almost as fully
represented as would be those of any existing savage nation by the
researches of a most painstaking traveller. And yet when we attempt
any chronological arrangement of the various forms we find ourselves
almost immediately at fault. From the number of objects found, we may
indeed safely infer that they represent the lapse of no inconsiderable
interval of time, but how great we know not; nor, in most cases, can
we say with any approach to certainty, whether a given object belongs
to the commencement, middle, or close, of the Polished Stone Period of

True it is that there are some forms, which from their association
together in graves, we know to have been contemporaneous; and some,
which from their occasionally occurring with interments belonging to
a time when bronze was beginning to come into use we must assign to
the later portion of the Neolithic Period of this country; yet it is
impossible to say of these latter forms that they may not have been
long in use before bronze was known; nor of the former, that certain
kinds were not introduced at a much earlier period than the others,
which at a later date became associated with them. The utmost that can
with safety be affirmed is, that some forms, such as the perforated
battle-axes, the |472| skilfully chipped lance-heads or daggers,
the cups fashioned in the lathe, and the ornaments of jet, appear to
have been of later introduction than most of the others. Moreover,
though we may regard these particular objects as comparatively late,
the bulk of the others, such, for instance, as celts, and possibly
arrow-heads, were subject to so little modification during the whole of
the Neolithic Period, that it is almost impossible, from form only, to
assign to individual specimens any chronological position. The light
reflected by foreign discoveries, such as those in the Swiss lakes,
and by the habits and customs of modern savages, enables us, to some
extent, to appreciate the relations and bearings of our native stone
antiquities; but the greater part of them have unfortunately been
discovered as isolated examples, and without attendant circumstances
calculated to furnish data for determining their exact age, or the
manners of those who used them.

Enough facts, however, are at our command to show that preceding the
use of metal in this country, there was a time when cutting instruments
and weapons were made of stone, either chipped or ground to an edge;
and to encourage a hope that future discoveries may throw more light on
the length of the period through which those who used them lived, and
on the stage of culture that they had reached. It will, I trust, be of
some service to those who are labouring, and will yet labour, in this
field of research, to find in these pages a classification of the forms
at present known, a summary account of the discoveries hitherto made,
and references to the books from which further details may be gathered.

I now turn to the relics of a still earlier period, when the art of
grinding stone to an edge appears to have been unknown, and when man
was associated in this country with a group of animals which has now
for the most part disappeared, either by migration to other latitudes,
or by absolute extinction of the race.





In this second division of my subject, I must pass in review a class
of implements of stone, which, though belonging to an earlier period
than those already described, it appeared to me to be better to take
second rather than first in order. My reasons for thus reversing what
might seem to be the natural arrangement of my subject, and ascending
instead of descending the stream of time, I have already to some
extent assigned. I need only now repeat that our sole chronology for
measuring the antiquity of such objects is by a retrogressive scale
from the present time, and not by a progression of years from any
remote given epoch; and that though we have evidence of the vast
antiquity of the class of implements which I am about to describe,
and may at the present moment regard them as the earliest known works
of man, yet we should gravely err, were we for a moment to presume
on the impossibility of still earlier relics being discovered. Had
they been taken first in order, it might have been thought that some
countenance was given to a belief that we had in these implements the
first efforts of human skill, and were able to trace the progressive
development of the industrial arts from the very cradle of our race.
Such is by no means the case. The investigators into the early history
of mankind are like explorers in search of the source of one of those
mighty rivers which traverse whole continents: we have departed from
the homes of modern civilization in ascending the stream, and arrived
at a spot where traces of human existence are but few, and animal
life has assumed strange and unknown forms; but further progress is
for the moment denied, and though we may plainly perceive that we are
nearer the source |474| of which we are in search, yet we know not at
what distance it may still be from us; nor, indeed, can we be certain
in what direction it lies, nor even whether it will ultimately be
discovered. Whether or no, traces of human existence will eventually
be found in deposits belonging to Miocene, or even earlier, times, I
may take this occasion of remarking that the evidence hitherto adduced
on this point by continental geologists is, to my mind, after full and
careful examination still very far from satisfactory. At the same time,
judging from all analogy, there can be but little doubt that the human
race will eventually be proved to date back to an earlier period than
the Pleistocene or Quaternary, though it will probably not be in Europe
that the evidence on this point will be forthcoming.

The instruments of stone, found in ossiferous caves and in ancient
alluvial deposits, associated with remains of a fauna now in great
part extinct, belong to a period which has been termed by Sir John
Lubbock, the Palæolithic, in contradistinction to the Neolithic Period,
the relics of which are usually found upon, or near, the surface
of the soil. By others, the more familiar, even if less accurately
discriminative, terms of Cave Period and River-drift, or even Drift
Period, have been adopted.

Though I propose in these pages to treat of the implements from the
caves and from the river-gravels separately, it must not be supposed
that there exists o