Museum Musings: Flint… Stones

Flint… stones 

Early people started using stone tools around 2.5 million years ago. This most likely started in Africa and as people travelled, they brought their tools with them. Others would have seen how useful these new-fangled gadgets were and would have got on board. A flint arrow to fire at your dinner instead of running after it, trying to trip it up and trap it – yes please!
Flint is a beautiful material and a lot of skill was (and is) needed to turn it into an arrow head, knife, spear head, scraper or whatever else is needed.

It’s likely that children would have started learning this from a young age. Women and men who were in the group flint knappers might have had a group of kids to teach.

Polished flint axe head

Our tapestry scene shows a young person watching another person work flint. Or perhaps, we can see something else happening – a parent trying to get some knapping done, while their young child decides now is a good time to ask them all the questions about everything ever. Maybe the kid was bored with flint and instead became a hunter.
We have some worked flint in the museum and it’s amazing to think someone was holding the flint thousands of years ago. A direct link to the past.