This is the second post of a group of posts about the prize objects that I made earlier this year for a lucky Young Archaeologists’ Club Branch.
I needed to make things which could be easily posted – small, and/or lightweight. Having some nice, dark flint, I decided to include a couple of scrapers.
These would be the heaviest items in the selection. The flint is dark, hard, glossy. Broad, smooth surfaces on either side contrast with the rough, re-touched cutting edges. They smell like sand, like salt spray on pebbles. They clink and ring and chime.
They are sharp tools, ready to be used on an animal hide to scrape away fat, membrane, hair. Large enough to be held and used in hand, and large enough to be hafted to a handle for extra pressure, direction and precision in use.
There is just enough evidence on each scraper to understand the large flake that they started off as. Ripples betray the conchoidal fracture of the flint. The remains of the bulb of percussion can be seen and felt on the ventral surface. The flint came from chalk deposits in the south of England.
Scrapers are probably the commonest tool type in almost all periods of prehistory, and they are very varied. They likely had many uses, but they are really important in hide working, which is why I knap so many of them.