This prehistoric tool is made from flint and is a handaxe of a pointed, or teardrop-shaped, type.
Handaxes were used during the Lower Palaeolithic period (500,000-150,000 BC in Britain) and are considered to have been used as butchery tools.
It has been fully crafted on both sides – or ‘bifacially’ – with two wide faces, and all of the natural cortex (the rough, white, outer layer) removed.
It is noticeable that the craftsmanship is not particularly fine, suggesting that the knapper was unskilled, or the preservation circumstances were very poor.
The flint handaxe is not in good condition, likely due to the deposition circumstances causing ‘cortication’ (the formation of a white outer layer) and extensive edge damage. The tip is also missing, and the base is slightly asymmetrical. The surface is rolled with worn ‘arrises’ (the ridges between the dents/marks on the surface, left by knapping, known as flake scars).
Other information & metadata
Site location: Finchingfield, Essex
Project type: Archaeological excavation
Site type: Multiperiod
Discovery context: Natural hollow
Medieval roadside industry in Finchingfield, Essex