L. Finely chipped blade. R. flint arrow heads
21st-18th millennium BCE European Industrial Arts
(1500000 BCE - 8000 BCE)
21,000 BCE-17,500 BCE
21st-18th millennium BCE
Poitiers. Musee Sante Croix.
Obsidian was particularly prized because it will flake to a very sharp edge, therefore some of the very earliest trade was most likely for obsidian or flint. Here obsidian has been used to create chipped blade on the left and the tiny arrowheads shown on the right that were later fastened to wooden shafts.
Modern craftsmen who have tried to re-create the techniques used to make ancient tools have attested to the great skill and patience that is required to create a tool like this blade. This finely worked blade was made using a technique called blade technology, in which a specially prepared core or large nodule was struck repeatedly by the craftsman with a hammerstone which flaked off a series of blades. The blades were further refined into a variety of tools. The technique originated in the Near East and then spread into Asia, Europe and Africa.