Neolithic polished axe from Waybrook Cottages, Alphington

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Neolithic polished axe from Waybrook Cottages, Alphington

This flint axe was produced by the technique of 'pecking and grinding' which produces a polished finish. This is a labourious process, only required for functional use on the cutting edges of axes. The Waybrook Cottage axe, however, is polished all over, showing that much additional work was carried out to improve the axe's aesthetic appearance. Such axes are thought to have been highly prized status symbols, and are known to have been widely traded across western Europe.

The unusual yellow-brown colour of the stone is uncharacteristic of Devon flint, and it is probable this axe is a product of the long-distance movement of axes, or highly selective collection.

Acknowledgments: http://www.collectionstrust.org.uk/skills-seminars