4.5 The coarse stone tools

[Figure 9 - the coarse stone tools]
Figure 9: The coarse stone tools: the hollowed stone (left) and the faceted hammerstone (right)
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The assemblage includes two cobble tools: a small hollowed stone (434); and a faceted hammerstone (435). The hollowed stone (434) is made on a small trapezoidal cobble of a micaceous sandstone which has one naturally flat surface with a shallow, circular, indentation, while the opposite face has been sheared off and provides a stable base. The indentation is rough within, there is no sign of grinding, rotational wear, or regular pecking. It is hard to say whether the indentation has resulted from use, or whether it has been deliberately made, in which case it may be unfinished because it is so shallow. There are many possible tasks for which a small hollowed stone, such as this, might be used, including the preparation of pigments, and vegetable or other food materials. It is also possible that it was used as an anvil, and likely activities would include the manufacture of flint tools, but it has quite a broad and shallow hollow for this sort of use.

The hammerstone (435) is a larger, smoother, oval cobble, also very micaceous (Figure 9, right). There is some wear on the sides, but wear is most marked at either end where there are pronounced, angled facets. These facets presumably relate to the use of the cobble as a hammerstone and the direction of their slope must relate to the handedness of the user. Angles like this would only develop from use by a right-handed worker. Hammerstones such as this may well have been used in the flint knapping process, especially for the initial opening of nodules and preparation of cores, but they would clearly also be useful for many different everyday tasks.


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Last updated: Wed Sep 30 1998