The Ancient Stone Implements, Weapons, and Ornaments of Great Britain/Chapter 15
TRIMMED FLAKES, KNIVES, ETC.
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.
Fig. 233.—Cambridge (?). 1 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 51 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 as 12 inches long, but none have as yet been found of this length. One trimmed on both edges, and 81 inches long, was dredged from the bed of the Seine 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. A beautiful flake, 83 inches long, trimmed on its external face, and found near Soissons, was in the collection of M. Boucher de Perthes. I have one of the same character, 81 inches long and 13 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, 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 of Argenteuil furnished one, 71 inches long; and one of the dolmens in the Lozère another, 8 inches in length. One almost 10 inches long and 1 inch broad, found at Neuilly-sur-Eure, 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.
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 weapons.
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. 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.
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 the foot of a contracted skeleton in a barrow 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, 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.
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 in a barrow near Driffield, and is described as a spear-head.
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 (41 inches), worked over the whole of the outer face, from Rousay, Orkney, has been figured.
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.
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 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.
|Fig. 237. 1
|Fig. 238. 1
|Fig. 239. 1|
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.
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 a more elongated variety of this form. It was found by Canon Greenwell, with a burnt body, in a barrow at Castle Carrock, 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 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, Northumberland.
|Fig. 240—Ford, Northumberland.||Fig. 240a.—Etton. 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.
Canon Greenwell found other knives in barrows at Sherburn and Etton, Yorkshire. The latter is beautifully serrated and I am enabled to reproduce his figure of it as Fig. 240a. He found another of the same character in a barrow at Bishop's Burton, Yorkshire. Knives not serrated have been found at Carn Brê, Cornwall; Chagford, Devon; and Grovehurst near Milton, Kent.
A serrated knife was found in a barrow at Dalmore, Alness, Ross-shire, and another, less distinctly serrated, at Tarland, 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, 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.
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, Elginshire.
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, 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, 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 (23 inches) from a barrow near Scarborough. Another (2 inches) was found with food-vessels in a barrow at Marton, Yorkshire, E.R. A knife of the same kind from a cave at Kozarnia, Poland, has been figured by Dr. F. Römer.
Among other English examples I may mention a thin flake (41 inches), somewhat curved laterally, and trimmed along both edges and rounded at the point, found in Burwell Fen, Cambridge. Another from the same locality (33 inches) is even more curved on the concave edge. A recurved flake or knife of flint, 31 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. 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 leather.
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, is shown in Fig. 243.
I have a more triangular form of implement, of the same kind, 33 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. It may, however, have been convex on both faces. A fragment of another was found at Dorchester Dykes, Oxfordshire, by General Pitt Rivers.
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. 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, East Lothian.
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 (31 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. 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.
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. Larger lance-heads of this form have been found in tumuli in the South of France. A closely similar javelin-head, found at Vercelli, has been engraved by Gastaldi, as well as another longer and more distinctly tanged, from Telese. A third, from Tuscany has been engraved by Cocchi. A fourth of the same form, but slightly notched on each side near the base, was found with skeletons in Andalusia. 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. 244.—Snainton Moor. 1||Fig. 245.—Ford. 1|
Fig. 245 represents an implement of dark grey almost unweathered flint, found with burnt bones in a barrow at Ford, 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 butt-end, which seem hardly compatible with this assumption, unless, indeed, like the natives of Tierra del Fuego, 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 (33 inches) from Northdale, Yorkshire. Some lance-heads (3 and 21 inches) have been found. at West Wickham, Kent; and Carn Brê, Cornwall.
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 nearly similar form I have thought it better to place it here. A much larger specimen of brown flint (33 by 23 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, Yorkshire.
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.
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 two lance-heads, curiously like this and the preceding figure.
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 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 (51 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 (33 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, Roxburghshire, has been figured.
A blade of the same kind as Fig. 248, 35 inches long, found in the Department of the Charente, is engraved by de Rochebrune, Others of larger size were found in the Grotte des Morts, Durfort (Gard).
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.
|Fig. 249.—Burwell Fen. 1||Fig. 250.—Saffron Walden. 1|
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, 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 53 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 blade of flint, 83 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.
They sometimes occur among American antiquities. One of them, 11 inches in length, pointed at each end, is engraved by Squier and Davis. 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 63 inches long and 11 inches broad. Other lance-heads from Honduras have been published. A flint sword or spear-head 22 inches long, serrated at the end towards the point, is said to have been found in Tennessee. Lance-heads of flint, not unlike Figs. 249 and 250, are found in South Africa.
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 33 inches long and 23 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 (Gard).
In none of the specimens hitherto figured in this chapter, have the edges been sharpened by grinding; in the only instances 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.
|Fig. 252.—Argyllshire. 1||Fig. 253.—Glen Urquhart. 1|
One of these, carefully worked on both faces, and with one edge sharpened by grinding, was found at Strachur, Argyllshire, and is shown full size in Fig. 252. Another, 21 inches long and 7 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, 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, Elgin, is a very perfect knife of this kind, which is shown in Fig. 253. All five specimens are in the National Museum at Edinburgh. I have two English specimens of the same kind but pointed at the butt, from the neighbourhood of Icklingham.
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.
|Fig. 254.—Bridlington. 1||Fig. 255.—Overton. 1|
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, near Coldstream, has been figured.
A nearly similar instrument, from Sweden, has been engraved by Nilsson, 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, 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 identically the same dimensions, was found at Pentrefoelas, Denbighshire. A third specimen, 31 inches long and 21 inches wide, was found at Lean Low, near Newhaven, Derbyshire, and is in the Bateman collection.
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 41 inches long, 23 inches broad at one end, and 25 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 31 inches long, 21 inches broad at one end, and 17 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 Lakenheath.
Fig. 256.—Kempston. 1
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 17 inches in extreme breadth, and 3 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 the flesh side of skins, or for flaying-knives. Mr. Albert Way has called attention to the analogy they present to an unique bronze implement found at Ploucour, 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. 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 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.
Another specimen, even more triangular in outline, was found in the Thames, at Windsor; it is of ochreous flint, and the base, which is 33 inches long, exhibits the natural crust of the flint; each of the other two sides, which are ground to a sharp edge, is about 23 inches long. Another from Lakenheath, 31 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, 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, Montgomeryshire. It is 23 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, Derbyshire, is in the Castleton Museum.
|Fig. 257.—Kintore. 1||Fig. —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 33 inches in length, and 25 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, Kincardineshire, and Turriff, Aberdeenshire. Mr. C. Monkman, of Malton, had a knife much like Fig. 257, 23 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 one more subtriangular (38 by 31 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. 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 (23 inches) ground along one side, and a thick one also of oval form from Icklingham.
Fig. 259.—Harome, Yorkshire. 1
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.
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 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.
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.
Fig. 260.—Harome, Yorkshire. 1
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 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, 51 inches long at the blade and 21 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 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 21 inches at the sharp end. It is nearly 11 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.
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 inch in the middle, and sometimes not more than 1 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, 41 inches long, and 31 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 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.
Fig. 262.—Walls, Shetland. 1
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. 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 "Horaæ Ferales." 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 are other examples, also from Shetland. Several have been figured. Some have a kind of haft. They occasionally have a hole for suspension. Sir Daniel Wilson states that a considerable number of implements, mostly of the same class, were found under the clay in the ancient mosses of 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 53 inches broad, being in form much like Fig. 262.
Fig. 263.—Walls, Shetland. 1
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 in "The Statistical Account of the Shetland Isles" as double or single-edged battle-axes. They appear, however, as Mr. Albert Way 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 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 whales.
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, 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 antiquity.
When the Princess Leonora Christina 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 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.
A North American knife, 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 11 to 21 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. 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.
Fig. 264.—Lambourn Down. 1 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.
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 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 has pointed out, hafted by insertion into a split piece of wood in which they are bound by a cord. One from the north-west coast, thus mounted, is in the British Museum.
Professor Nilsson has engraved another American knife, in the same collection, but erroneously refers it to New Zealand.
A good specimen (61 inches) was found in 1890 in a field known as Little Wansford, near Great Weldon, Northamptonshire. I have specimens (61 inches) from Fiskerton, Lincolnshire, and from Bottisham Fen, Cambs (45 inches). There is a slight shoulder on the latter rather nearer the butt than the point. A beautiful specimen (63 inches) from a barrow at Garton, Yorkshire, E. R., has been figured.
|Fig. 265.—Thames. 1||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, 53 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 23 inches wide, found in Quy Fen in 1849, and now in the Museum of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society. In the same collection is a smaller specimen, 43 inches long and 15 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 21 inches wide, found at Jackdaw Hill, near Cambridge. Another blade (53 inches) found at Wolseys, near Dunmow, Essex, is in the British Museum. A blade of this type from a garden at Walton-on-Thames is recorded.
A remarkably fine spear-head of the notched class, 63 inches long, was exhibited some years ago to the British Archæological Association, and their Proceedings, 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, 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 53 inches in length, and 17 inch in width. At about 31 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 (63 inches) found in the Thames, near London Bridge, has a notch on each side 27 inches from the base. A smaller notched example was found at Hurlingham.
In the Christy Collection is another of these blades, 53 inches long, with a notch on either side about 13 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, Cambridge.
A blade remarkably like Fig. 266 was found in the Dolmen of Vinnac (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. The late Mr. J. F. Lucas obligingly lent it to me for engraving, as Fig. 267. It is now preserved in the British Museum.
In the Wiltshire Barrows, explored by Sir R. Colt Hoare, were several of these daggers. One, 61 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, 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, 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, 41 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, near Chelmorton. Another, 41 inches long, was found with burnt bones in one of the Three Lows, near Wetton. A flint dagger, elegantly chipped, 51 inches long, was found on Blake Low, near Matlock, in 1786. Fragments of similar daggers have been found with interments in barrows near Pickering; 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, 53 inches long and 23 inches wide, was found in 1862, with a skeleton and an earthen vessel, at Norton, near Daventry, and particulars sent to me by the 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. 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, 63 inches long and 2 inches broad, was found with an urn at Ty ddu Llanelieu, Brecon, and has been engraved.
In the Greenwell Collection is a blade like Fig. 264, 6 inches long and 21 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, 63 inches long and 11 inches wide, which is engraved in the Gentleman's Magazine. Sir Daniel Wilson 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, Haddingtonshire (71 inches) with notches at the side for hafting, has been engraved. Another (33 inches), was found in a cairn near Kirkmichael, Ayrshire.
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 and in Shetland. 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, 203 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 fishtailed 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 51 inches and 53 inches long, more or less worked on both faces, and reduced in width at the butt, so as to facilitate insertion in a handle, were found in the sepulchral cave of St. Jean d'Alcas, in the Aveyron. Another, worked on both faces, about 7 inches long and 11 inches broad, notched in two or three places on each side at the base, was found in one of the dolmens of the Lozère. A third, shorter and broader, but also notched at the base, was in the dolmen of Grailhe (Gard).
A finely-worked, somewhat lozenge-shaped, blade of flint, 10 inches in length, was found at Spiennes, near Mons, in Belgium.
A lance-head (63 inches) from the Government of Vladimir, Russia, has been figured.
A lance-head of flint, 9 inches long and 21 broad, tanged at the butt, and with a notch on each side of the tang, has been figured by Gastaldi 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 (141 inches) has been presented to the Ashmolean Museum by Prof. Flinders Petrie. 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, are 71 inches and 63 inches long respectively, and 21 inches and 2 inches wide; I have one 51 inches in length. There are other specimens in the Egyptian Museums at Leyden and Turin, and in the National Museum 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. It is 9 inches long and 21 inches wide. A curved scimitar-like knife from Egypt is figured, as is one with a notch on each side of the butt. Another blade, of ovate form, and without tang, 23 inches long and 1 inch wide, is preserved in the Mayer Collection in the Museum 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, and has already been described.
Some of the dagger-blades in use in Mexico in ancient times were of 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. An almost similar specimen was engraved by Aldrovandus.
There are Japanese stone knives and daggers polished all over and with the blade and hilt in one piece. Some are as much as 15 inches long.
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, near Bridlington, and somewhat resembles the blade from Balveny, subsequently mentioned. I have described it in some detail elsewhere. A similar form occurs in Arctic America. A wider form from New Jersey has been regarded as a scalping-knife.
Fig. 267a.—Sewerby. 1
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, of which a highly finished variety is engraved by Worsaae 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.
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.
|Fig. 268.—Fimber. 1||Fig. 269.—Yarmouth. 1|
I have two or three fragments of similar knives also from the Yorkshire Wolds; and one almost perfect, but only 41 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 and in the Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries. It was found on Corton Beach, midway between Yarmouth and Lowestoft, and belonged 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.
A curved knife (73 inches) now in the British Museum, much like Fig. 270, was found at Grovehurst, near Milton, Kent.
In the same museum is a beautifully-chipped knife, 81 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 13 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 (61 inches), found at Balveny, 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. Some curved knives from one at Attersee have been engraved. A long flint knife from Majorca, nearly straight at the edge, but curved at the back, may also be mentioned.
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. 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.
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 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 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 91 inches in length, and occasionally made of beautiful chalcedonic flint. They are attributed by Professor Flinders Petrie 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 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.
- Rev. Arch., N. S., vol. ii. p. 129.
- Marchant, "Notice sur divers insts.," 1866, pl. i. Parenteau, "Inv. Arch." 1878, pl. ii.
- "Ant. Celt. et Antéd.," vol. i. p. 379.
- Cazalis de Fondouce, "La grotte sép. de St. J. d'Alcas," pl. i. 1.
- Rev. Arch., N. S., vol. xv. pl. ix. 26.
- Mortillet, Matériaux, vol. v. p. 321.
- Rev. de la Soc. Lit. de l'Eure, 3rd S., vol. v.
- "Coll. Caranda," Moreau, 1877, pl. iii.
- "L'anc. de l'homme dans le Vivarais," De Marichaud, 1870, pl. xi. 5.
- Mat., vol. ix. p. 162.
- "Ant. Lac. du Mus. de Lausanne," 1896, pl. ix.
- "Horæ Ferales," p. 137, pl. ii. 32.
- "Arch. Inst. Salisb. Vol.," p. 105.
- Arch., vol. xxx. p. 333.
- Arch., vol. xxxiv. p. 253.
- Proc. Soc. Ant. Scot., vol. xvii. p. 72.
- Arch., vol. xli. pl. xviii. 6.
- "Reliq. Aquit.," p. 18.
- "Brit. Barrows," p. 380, where it is figured full size. See also pp. 196, 270, &c.
- "Ten Years' Dig.," p. 151. See also p. 227, and "Vest. Ant. Derb.," p. 105.
- Proc. Soc. Ant., 2nd S., vol. xi. p. 188. P. S. A. Newc.-on-Tyne, N. S., vol. ii. p. 171.
- "Hist. of Berwicksh. Nat. Club, 1863—68," pl. xiii. 4. "Brit. Bar.," p. 407.
- "Brit. Barrows," p. 153.
- Op. cit., p. 285.
- By permission of the delegates of the Clarendon Press.
- Arch., vol. lii. p. 31.
- Reliq. and Ill. Archæologist, vol. ii. p. 46.
- Trans. Devon. Assoc., vol. xii. p. 367.
- Arch. Cant., vol. xiii. p. 124.
- Proc. Soc. Ant. Scot., vol. xiii. p. 254.
- P. S. A. S., vol. xxii. p. 25.
- "Brit. Barr.," p. 198.
- Journ. Ethn. Soc., vol. i. pl. i. 14.
- P. S. A. S., vol. xix. p. 10; vol. xxv. p. 498.
- Arch. Journ., vol. xxii. p. 243. "Brit. Barr.," p. 359.
- Trans. E.R. Ant. Soc., vol. i., 1893, p. 49.
- "The Bone Caves of Ojcow," 1884, pl. i. 7.
- "Cran. Brit.," vol. ii. pl. 58, p. 2.
- "Brit. Barr.," p. 158, and 41, where it is figured full size.
- Arch. Journ., vol. viii. 344.
- Journ. Ethnol. Soc., vol. ii. p. 414.
- Arch. Journ., vol. xxii. p. 243.
- Proc. Soc. Ant. Scot., vol. xiv. p. 221.
- "Brit. Barr.," p. 153, fig. 98.
- Proc. Soc. Ant. Scot., vol. vii. p. 102.
- Mat. vol. xvi. p. 239.
- Mem. Acc. R. delle Sc. di Torino, vol. xxvi. Tav. v. 1.
- Op. cit., Tav. viii. 20.
- Le Hon, "L'Homme foss.," 2nd ed., p. 184.
- De Gongora, "Ant. Preh. de And.," p. 78, fig. 92.
- "Brit. Barr.," p. 410.
- Nilsson, "Stone Age," p. 44. See Col. A. Lane-Fox, "Prim. Warfare," pt. II. p. 11.
- Arch. Cant., vol. xiv. p. 87. Antiquary, vol. xv. p. 234.
- Reliq. and Ill. Arch., vol. ii. p. 46.
- Yorks. Arch. and Top. Journ., 1869, figs. 12, 13, 16. Journ. Ethn. Soc., vol. ii. p. 159.
- Journ. Ethn. Soc., vol. i. pl. i. 15, 17.
- Yorksh. Arch. and Top. Journ., 1868, fig. 46.
- Proc. Soc. Ant. Scot., vol. xxviii. p. 339.
- "Mém. sur les Restes d'Indust.," &c., pl. x. 6.
- Matériaux, vol. v. p. 249.
- Kindly communicated to me by the late Mr. Joseph Clarke, F.S.A.
- "Nuovi Cenni, &c.," Torino, 1862, pl. vi. 16.
- Rev. Arch., vol. xv. p. 17.
- "Anc. Mon. of Mississ. Vall.," p. 211, fig. 3.
- Proc. Soc. Ant., 2nd S., vol. vi. p. 34. Arch. Journ., vol. xl. p. 323; xli. p. 50. Journ. Anth. Inst., vol. vi. p. 37.
- Jones, "Ants. of Tenn." (Smithson. Coll.), p. 58.
- Journ. Anth. Inst., vol. i. p. xcvi. pl. i.; vol. xiii. p. 162.
- Matériaux, vol. v. p. 249.
- P. S. A. S., vol. ix. p. 239.
- Mem. Anthrop. Soc., vol. ii. p. 248. P. S. A. S., vol. vi. p. 450.
- P. S. A. S., vol. ix. p. 239.
- Proc. Soc. Ant. Scot., vol. xxviii. p. 324.
- P. S. A. S., vol. xxiii. p. 204.
- P. S. A. S., vol. xxv. p. 499.
- "Stone Age," pl. x. 205.
- Arch. Journ., vol. xii. p. 285.
- Arch. Journ., vol. xi. p. 414; xvii. p. 171.
- "Cat.," p. 66, No. 18.
- Bateman, "Cat.," p. 66.
- Arch. Journ., vol. xi. p. 414; xvii. p. 171.
- Arch. Camb., 3rd. S., vol. vi. p. 138.
- "Flint Chips," p. 75.
- Proc. Soc. Ant., 2nd S., vol. v. 95.
- Proc. Soc. Ant., 2nd S., vol. v. p. 441. Montg. Coll., vol. v. p. xxvi.; vi. p. 215; xii. p. 26; xiv. p. 278.
- Rooke Pennington, "Barrows and Bone-caves of Derbyshire," 1877, p. 62.
- P. S. A. S., vol. xi. p. 576.
- P. S. A. S., vol. xii p. 207.
- Arch. Journ., vol. xxix. p. 285.
- Otis Mason, Rep. of U. S. Nat. Mus. for 1890, Washington, 1892.
- P. 341.
- P. 299.
- "Cat. Ant. Soc. Ant.," p. 14. "Cat. A. I. Mus. Ed.," p. 7.
- Pl. ii. 15.
- Proc. Soc. Ant. Scot., vol. iii. p. 437; iv. p. 52.
- P. S. A. S., vol. xii. p. 271; xxix. p. 54.
- P. S. A. S., vol. xii. p. 270.
- Smith's "Preh. Man in Ayrshire, 1895, p. 45.
- "Preh. Ann.," vol. i. p. 184.
- "Statist. Account of Zetland," 1841, p. 112, et seqq., quoted at length in Mem. Anthrop. Soc. Lond., vol. ii. p. 315. The late Dr. Hunt appears to have thought that the passage referred to rude pestle-like stone implements such as he found in Orkney, and not to these knives.
- "Cat. Arch. Inst. Mus. Ed.," p. 7.
- See P. S. A. S., vol. xi. p. 579.
- N. and Q., 4th S., vol. xi. p. 302.
- Cong. préh. Stockholm, 1874, p. 177, et seqq.
- De Bonstetten, "Supp. au Rec. d'Ant. Suisses," pl. i. 1.
- Schoolcraft, "Ind. Tribes," vol. ii. pl. xlv. 1.
- Arch. Journ., vol. viii. p. 329. "Brist. Vol. Arch. Inst.," p. lix. Proc R. I. A., vol. v. p. 176.
- "Hor. Fer." p. 137.
- "Stone Age," p. 38, pl. iii. 65.
- Arch., vol. xliii. p. 413.
- "Hor. Fer.," pl. ii. 27.
- Arch. Journ., vol. xvii. p. 170.
- Proc. Soc. Ant., 2nd S., vol. vi. p. 73.
- Arch. Assoc. Journ., vol. vi. p. 441.
- Skelton's "Meyrick's Armour," vol. i. pl. xlvi. 5.
- Lond. and Midd. Notebook, vol.i. (1891), p. 21.
- Arch. Journ., vol. xvii. p. 170.
- Mat., vol. xi. p. 87.
- Jewitt's "Grave Mounds," fig. 155, where it is shown full size.
- "South Wilts," p. 172, pl. xix. "Cat. Devizes Mus.," No. 85b.
- "South Wilts," p. 164, pl. xvii. "Cat. Devizes Mus.," No. 84.
- "Vest. Ant. Derb.," p. 59. "Cran. Brit." pl. 41, p. 3. Reliq., vol. iii. p. 177.
- "Ten Years' Dig.," p. 52.
- Ibid., p. 167. Bateman, "Cat.," p. 38.
- "Vest. Ant. Derb.," p. 5.
- "Ten Years' Dig.," p. 228. Bateman, "Cat.," p. 43.
- Arch. Assoc. Journ., vol. x. p. 177.
- Arch. Camb., 4th S., vol. ii. p. 327.
- March, 1797, p. 200.
- "Preh. Ann. of Scot.," vol. i. p. 182.
- P. S. A. S., vol. xxiii. p. 18.
- Smith, "Preh. Man in Ayrshire," 1895, p. 184.
- Wilde's "Cat. Mus. R. I. A.," p. 34.
- P. S. A. S., vol. xi. p. 170.
- Cazalis de Fondouce, "La Gr. sép. de St. J. d'Alcas," 1867, pl. i.
- Matériaux, vol. v. p. 321; viii. p. 39.
- Matériaux, vol. v. p. 538.
- Cong. Préh. Bruxelles, 1872, pl. 67, 3. Van Overloop, "Les Ages de la Pierre," pl. viii.
- Cong. Préh. Moscou, 1892, ii. p. 241.
- Mem. R. Acc. delle Sc. di Torino, xxvi. Tav. viii. 24. See also Bull. di Pal. Ital., 1881, pl. vii.
- Arch. Journ. vol, liii. p. 46, See also Mat., vol. ix. p. 24, and De Morgan, "Rech. sur les Or. de l'Égypte," 1896, p. 121.
- Zeitschr. für Ægypt. Sprache, &c., July, 1870. Wilkinson, "Anc. Egyptians," vol. iii. p. 262.
- P. S. A. S., vol. xxvi. p. 399.
- Zeitschr. für Æg. Sp., ibid.
- Journ. Anth. Inst., vol. xi, pl. xxxiii. See also vol. xiv. p. 56; Proc. Soc. Ant., 2nd S., vol. vi., p. 21; and Petrie's "Hawara," 1889, pl. xxviii.
- Zeitsch. f. Ethn., vol. xxii., 1890, p. (516).
- Journ. Anth. Inst., vol. i. p. xcvi. pl. i. 3.
- See Fig. 1 p. 8.
- Archæologia, vol. liv. 391.
- "Musæum Metallicum," p. 156.
- Aarb. f. Oldk., 1879, p. 290.
- Proc. Soc. Ant., 2nd S., vol. vii. p. 328.
- Mat., vol. ix. p. 401, pl. vii.
- Nature, vol. xii. p. 368.
- "Madsen," pl. xxxvi. 8.
- "Nord. Olds.," Fig. 51. Mém. de la Soc. des Ants. du Nord., 1845—49, p. 139.
- Vol. xxii. p. 75.
- 2nd S., vol. iii. p. 19, where it is erroneously stated to be only 5 inches in length.
- Proc. Soc. Ant., 2nd S., vol. iii. p. 210.
- Arch. Cant., vol. xiii. p. 124, xi. Payne's "Coll. Cant.,' 1893, p. 3.
- P. S. A. S., vol. xxiii. p. 18.
- Keller, 'Pfahlbauten," 6ter Ber., Taf. vii. 32.
- "Präh. Atlas," Wien, 1889, Taf. xiii.
- Cartailhac, "Mon. prim. des Iles Baléares," 1892, p. 54.
- Cong.Préh. Moscou, 1892, ii. p. 243.
- L'Anthrop., vol. vi., 1893, p. 12. De Baye, "C. R. du neuv. Congrès russe d'Arch.," 1893, p. 54.
- Arch. Journ., vol. liii. (1896) p. 46. See also Zeitsch. f. Ethn., vol. xx., 1888, p. (209), (344); vol. xxiii., 1891, (p. 474), pl. vii. viii.
- "Naquada and Ballas," 1896, p. 60.
- J. De Morgan, "Recherches stir les Origines de l'Égypte. L'âge de la pierre et Les métaux," 1896, p. 115.