2018-04-26

Surface finds... more questions...

Archaeological finds from the surface might lead to more knowledge on  prehistoric activities in a region. Might lead to more knowledge... Exactly that.
Because it might occur you only find a single flint point, like I did at Schilberg (Limburg). In itself, finding a single flint arrowhead is not starnge:  flint points, used as arrowheads in hunting activities do easily get lost in the landscape.
 When we find a single flint point we are left with many questions: was the point replaced during a stop while hunting? absence of other flint materials or debris indicates the arrowhead was not replaced. But are we sure?
  Did the point hit an animal that got lost in the landscape or did  the wounded animal loose the arrow head while  it was escaping the hunters?? Did the arrow miss target and e.g. was it stuck in the branches of a tree?
So, finding a single point does not really give us much information. Still, some information can be obtained.

Trapezium from the pre- Michelsberg period (1).
Truncated blades fit in a late Mesolithic - early Neolithic tradition

The wider trapezium point  has been made of local Rijckholt / Banholt flint. So this tells something about the use of the flint mines to make hunting equipment during the earlier Neolithic period. It does not have any transverse secondary retouch which indicates it was supposed to be a finished product.
Another archaeological  find,  made at about 50 meters from the find location of the point is a flint core,  with clear flake removals, such that a secondary tool has been made on the remaining flint core.


This is fluvial flint type, which is not mined. The amount of cortex is relatively large: about 35 % of the surface, used to serve as a  handle for the tool. The edge shows intensive wear use traces.
Now at first there is the question if these tools are related or not. Because these are surface finds, this is hard to proof. Still, the patina of both artifacts is almost the same: a dull soft patina, not very expressive, right enough to suggest they are originating from the same period.
But even when we cannot proof the correlation between the artifacts, it's clear the investigated landscape has been used for prehistoric activities. And yes, this area is a location on a plateau, near a steep incision in the landscape, making a small 'valley'on the slope of the plateau, in our region called a "del". And this valley on the slope once contained water, for sure. So the find location might - during some period- have contained a small water source, enough to attract prehistoric people for hunting activities or to stop by for a short stop.
For me, the main issue is, the investigated field asks for further examination. So though we're left with more questions than before, this will be continued...

(1) compare: L.P.L. Kooijman et al. Prehistorie van Nederland (2005) pp.266, image 12.15

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