This flint blade is from England. The flake was collected in ca. 1864 from Thetford Manor in Norfolk. It likely dates from the late Mesolithic or Neolithic periods, ca. 9000-5000 BP.
The artefact is curated by the Australian Institute of Archaeology, catalogue no. IA24.375.
This blade was struck in establishing linear arrises in the initial stages of blade core preparation. The first step involved producing a bifacial edge down the intended core face, with a platform adjacent. A blow was then struck so that the flake propagated under the bifacial edge. This removed the bifacial edge as a ‘crested blade’ or ‘lame a crete’ and established a long linear flake scar on the core face. This linear flake scar would guide subsequent linear removals in the same direction. The flake in this model was struck directly under the scar left by the removal of the crested blade. The remnant flakes scars from the bifacial edge can be seen on either side of the crested blade scar. The platform is multifaceted and the dorsal platform edge was sheared toward the core face in preparing and isolating the surface for striking. The blade was likely detached by indirect percussion. The distal end of the flake was subsequently damaged, probably after the flake was discarded.
During the Mesolithic period, Britain was connected to continental Europe by the land mass known as ‘Doggerland’. Doggerland flooded ca. 8200-8500 years ago, isolating the population there, who continued subsisting on hunting and gathering until the arrival of Neolithic farmers from Europe ca. 6000 BP, about 1000 years after they spread across Europe. A 2019 analysis of ancient DNA suggest these people were related to people in Iberia, who themselves came into Europe around the Mediterranean coast from a hinterland on the Aegean Sea. The Mesolithic hunter-gatherers were genetically replaced by these newcomers. A second wave of immigrants arrived ca. 4000-4500 BP, called the Bell Beaker culture, with DNA ancestry related to Yamnaya pastoralists who invaded Europe from the Western Steppe. Yamnaya ancestry composed about 90% of the genetic profile of subsequent populations in Britain ‘within a few hundred years’ after their arrival. The arrival of the Bell Beaker culture in Britain signals the beginning of the Bronze Age and the end of the Neolithic.