Monday, 3 March 2008

I have found my beak burin

Some time ago, I was working with my stone tool collection and I found that a beak burin had gone missing. It must have been put somewhere safe. Today I have located the little tool. It was lurking in a box at the back of the garden shed.

This tool is from the Creswellian culture, dating from the last Ice Age, about 23,000 years ago. It was found in a field site not far from Creswell Crags many years ago. At 4cm long, this little flint tool was used to slice antler and bone by gouging furrows into the bone until a strip could be detached.The reindeer antler below has been prepared using a similar reproduction burin. A strip of antler is in the process of being extracted for the manufacture of an awl.
The harpoon point below was made from ox bone obtained from a local butcher. A dihedral burin was used to strip out a working blank from the bone. The finish cut was done using flint blades and flint saws.
The platted rope is of hemp and is used to attach the harpoon point to a wooden shaft. The point is designed to detach from the shaft on impact, but remain secured by the cord. This ensured that the bone harpoon point does not break when embedded into the prey.

It's good to have the beak burin back in the collection box with my other ancient treasures.

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