Sunday, April 07, 2013

Flint arrowhead

Flint ArrowheadThis is easily the oldest thing I've posted on the blog. A flint arrowhead.

According to the label in the box, it dates from 3000BC making it a whopping 5000 years old!

Handling the object, I'm fascinated by the quality of the workmanship. Using only bits of rock, the maker has knapped this lump to a fine point. I suspect if I tied it to an arrow and fired the thing at someone, from close range it would still do them a mischief.

More than that, I try to imagine someone making this all those years ago, and I can't. It's just too far for my little brain. The best I can do is examine it with the same care and interest that they must have all those years ago, carefully turning it in their fingers and whacking the edges with skillful strokes to produce the desired result. A result that could mean the difference between life and death, not something that worries us today with our modelmaking (the deeper recesses of RMweb aside that is).

On the other hand, I am showing it to you using technology that they would have thought of as magic. I live in a world so far removed from their hunter-gatherer experience that it might as well be on a different planet.

1 comment:

Iain Robinson said...

A fascinating post. Many years ago while wandering about in a remote corner of South Ayrshire I found an arrowhead, washed down from where ancient settlements had been further up the valley. My initial feeling was as yours, an acute awareness of the skills and determination in making the object. It was a strange moment, one I'll never forget. I experienced an eeire feeling of connection with the maker. I wonder what future generations will think of our models, in the highly unlikely event of them surviving!