The Ancient Stone Implements, Weapons, and Ornaments of Great Britain/Chapter 4
CHIPPED OR ROUGH-HEWN CELTS.
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, 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
|Fig. 12.—Near Mildenhall.1||Fig. 13.—Near Mildenhall.1|
Bartlow Hills, Cambs, and from Sussex. Others, from 43 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 73 inches long, from Burnt Fen. I have also a French implement of this kind from the neighbourhood of Abbeville.
Implements with this peculiar edge, are found in Denmark. Indeed, the edges of the common form of Kjökken-mödding axes 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 straight.
Closely approaching this Danish form, is that of a celt of brown 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.
Fig. 14.—Near Thetford. 1The 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.
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. 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, as has been suggested by Professor Steenstrup.
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 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 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 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, 73 inches long, from the Cambridge Fens.
Fig. 15.—Oving, near Chichester. 1 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, 41 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.
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 (41 inches) is recorded from Wishmoor, 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 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 61 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. 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 Palæolithic.
Fig. 16.—Near Newhaven. 1 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; 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 another, 4 inches long, from Arbor Low, Derbyshire. A small chipped celt was found in a barrow at Pelynt, Cornwall.
|Fig. 17.—Near Dunstable.1||Fig. 18.—Burwell Fen.1|
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. Another implement of much the same form, found near Grime's Graves, in Norfolk, has been figured by Canon Greenwell, F.R.S. Others were found at Cissbury, Sussex, and at Dunmer, and near Ellisfield Camp, Hants. Mr. C. Monkman had another, 53 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 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.
Fig. 19.—Mildenhall. 1 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 with- out 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 causes.
Fig. 20.—Bottisham Fen. 1
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 Lakenheath.
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.
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 53 inches long, 21 inches broad at one end and 11 inches at the other, but only 11 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 63 inches long, 23 inches broad at one end and 21 inches at the other, but only 11 inches in width at the middle of the blade.
|Fig. 21.—Near Bournemouth.1||Fig. 22.—Thetford.1|
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 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, 61 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.
I have a very fine specimen 9 inches long, from the Thames, and others 61 and 51 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, which will shortly be described. One about 81 inches long, in outline like Fig. 20, was found in Anglesea. Another 91 inches long, was found near Farnham, Dorset.
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, of Hurstpierpoint, Sussex, who herself had four of the implements.
Fig. 24.—Scamridge, Yorkshire. 1According 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) 113 long by 31 broad and 21 thick, (2) 91 by 31 by 13, (3) 71 by 31 by 21, and (4) 61 by 3 by 15. Four such, 71 to 9 inches long, chipped only, were found buried in a row at Teddington.
These deposits seem to have been intentional. "In the Hervey Islands 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, 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 are regarded as funeral offerings or ex-votos.
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 and straighter sides, which was found in peat at Thatcham, near Newbury, Berks. Of the same class is a celt found near Norwich, engraved in the Geologist. 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. 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 21 inches long and about 11 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 and Belgium. Many such have been
Fig. 25a.—Isle of Wight. 1
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, is engraved by De Rochebrune.
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 parish of Abbot's Langley, Herts. One like Fig. 25, but smaller, found at Bedmond, 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 61 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 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. In form it is of much the same character as some of the implements from Yucatan, and from Vladimir, Russia. It may be compared with some examples of strange forms from Honduras.
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., 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, 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 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, and not unlike in form to the chopper-like flints from the far older deposit in the cave of Le Moustier, Dordogne, 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 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 illadapted 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, 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, 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, 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 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.
|Fig. 26—Cissbury.1||Fig. 27.—Cissbury.1|
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.
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 implements, in the first instance, into this comparatively regular oval oontour, 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. Others from the same place are like Figs. 16, 17, and 23, and like Fig. 35, though not ground at the edge.
|Fig. 28.—Cissbury.1||Fig. 29.—Cissbury.1|
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 manu- factory; 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.
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.
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 and Hoare's "Wiltshire." 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 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 31, and 7 by 31, 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 perfect.
Celts, merely chipped into form and unground, occur also in other kinds of stone. They are, however, much rarer than thoso of flint. One of iron-stone, from Sussex, 8 inches long and 31 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 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 hornstone 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, 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.
- Madsen, "Afbild.," pl. iii. 1 to 3. Kgl. Danske Vidensk. Selskabs Forhand., 1861, Fig. 1.
- De Baye, "l'Arch. préhist.," p. 55.
- Lubbock, Preh. Times, 4tb ed., p. 100.
- Kgl. Danske Vidensk. Selskabs Forh., 1861, p. 342.
- Aarb. for. Nord. Oldk., 1891, p. 383. See also S. Müller, Mém. des Ant. du Nord, 1884-89, p. 371; Aarb., 1888, p. 238.
- "Archæol. Undersögelser," 1884, p. 3.
- Jour. Anth. Inst., vol. ii., p. 368, pl. xxi.
- Smithsonian Report, 1863, p. 379; 1868, p. 401. "Flint Chips," 445.
- Proc. Soc. Ant., 2nd S., vol. v., p. 331.
- Vol. xix., 53; xxxii., 173.
- "Nænia Cornubiæ," p. 194.
- The discoveries of Mr. Worthington Smith at Caddington, a few miles from Dunstable, suggest the possibility of this specimen being, after all, palæolithic.
- Jour. Eth. Soc., N. S., vol. ii., pl. xxviii. 7.
- Arch., vol. xlii., pl. viii. 10, 11.
- Arch. Assoc. Jour., vol. xlv., p. 114.
- Arch., vol. xlii., pl. viii. 17.
- Arch. Jour., vol. xxxi., p. 301.
- "Exc. on Cranborne Chase," vol. ii., pl. xc.
- See also Chichester vol. of Arch. Inst., p. 61.
- Proc. Soc. Ant., 2nd S.,vol. x., p. 34.
- Rev. W. W. Gill, LL.D., Rep. Austral. Assoc. for the Adv. of Science, vol. iv., 1892, p. 613.
- Low's Tour., quoted in Folklore Jour., vol. i., p. 191.
- Aarb. f. Nord. Oldk., 1886, p. 200; Mém. Soc. R. des Ant. du Nord, 1886-91, p. 227; Mat., 3rd. S., vol. v., 1888, p. 105.
- Proc. Soc. Ant., 2nd S., vol. iv., p. 521.
- Vol. vi., p. iii.
- Jour. Eth. Soc., vol. ii., pl. xxviii. 4, 5.
- Watelet, "Age de Pierre du Dép. de l'Aisne," &c.
- "Restes de l'Ind., &c.," pl. xiii. 1.
- Trans. Herts Nat. Hist. Soc., vol. viii., 1896, pl. xi. 1.
- See Proc. Soc. Ant., 2nd S., vol. v., p. 113; Arch. Jour., vol. xxx., p. 28.
- Zeitsch. f. Eth., vol. xii., p. 237.
- Cong. Preh. Moscou, 1893, p. 249.
- Proc. Soc. Ant., 2nd S., vol. v., p. 94; Arch. Jour., vol. xxx., p. 35.
- Suss. Arch. Coll., vol. ii., p. 268.
- Vol. xlii., p. 53; xlv., p. 337.
- Arch., vol xlii,, pl. viii. 1.
- "Reliq. Aquit.," A., pl. v.
- Jour. Anth. Soc., 1869, p. cxii.
- Trans. Ethnol. Soc., N. S., vol. iii., p. 269.
- Smiths. Inst. Rep., 1894.
- Vol. xlii., pl. viii. 18.
- "Horæ Ferales," pl. ii. 36
- Arch., vol. xlii. pl. viii. 21.
- Trans. Norf. and Norw. Naturalists' Soc., vol. v., 1891, p. 250.
- Vol. xv., p. 122, pl. ii., iii., iv., v.
- "South Wilts," p. 75, pl. v., vi., vii.