Core Refitted Tools

Palaeolithic Tools | Mesolithic & Neolithic Tools

I was recently commissioned to create some flint tools/cores to allow archaeology students to practice refitting assemblages and here are the results.

Images 1, 2 and 3 are from a core made using a hard hammer and cores like this are found to date throughout prehistory. Some of the most well known core refits come from Swanscombe and date to about 400,000 BP (lower Palaeolithic).

Like the replica core below, the cores from Swanscombe appear to have been made with the aim of producing sharp flakes. However the core could sometimes have been used as a more heavy duty tool, not as refined as a handaxe, but never the less a usable tool.

The core shown in images 1-3 could be considered 'nearly a handaxe' in form which may give clue to the reason cores such as this exist. The core is 9cm long at its longest point (best shown in image 1 - right).

Click on this short video of me demonstrating how to re-fit the 15 flakes:

The finished assemblage below (images 2 and 3):
Image 2.

Image 3.


Images 4, 5 and 6 are from a blade core which are most representative of the Mesolithic. The aim of blade core manufacture had a much clearer purpose, demonstrated by the more 'purposeful' shape of the blade flakes.

Evidence of the level of purpose is also apparent in the uniformity of spent blade cores which have similar angles and forms. Careful observation of some cores show how a failed flake has resulted in a severe change in the knappers method to either ignore or attempt to remove the fracture, often in vein if a core is too small or problem caused too great. The blade core is 6cm wide on the widest axis on the striking platform - it can be seen in the interactive 3D model below:

Image 5.

Image 6.

Palaeolithic Tools | Mesolithic & Neolithic Tools

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