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Ceremony and Carpentry? Neolithic Stone Axeheads in an East Yorkshire (UK) Lowland Landscape

Peter Halkon

Department of History, University of Hull

Summary

Cite this as: Peter Halkon 2009 'Ceremony and Carpentry? Neolithic Stone Axeheads in an East Yorkshire (UK) Lowland Landscape', Internet Archaeology 26. http://dx.doi.org/10.11141/ia.26.18

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Survey and research undertaken of a 20x30km study area in the Foulness Valley, East Yorkshire, has resulted in the location of over 70 polished stone and flint axeheads. Examination of many of these tools suggests heavy use and reworking, yet a number, the most impressive in terms of workmanship and aesthetics, remain in pristine condition. This contribution discusses the significance of the distribution of these tools and considers possible explanations for their condition, in terms of what is known about the Neolithic landscape of this region. Recent palaeoenvironmental investigation shows that in the Neolithic the Foulness Valley was a mosaic of heavily wooded areas and wetland, dominated in the south by a tidal estuarine inlet of the River Humber, contrasting with the rolling chalk hills of the Yorkshire Wolds to the north and east. The inlet and its associated waterways may have provided a means of communication and exchange for some of the axeheads.

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