Type:  Retouched Blade

Location: Denmark



MoST ID: 2004

Pedestal Link: https://une.pedestal3d.com/r/EGQWXhot1-

Model Author:  Christopher Sutton

This flint blade from Denmark is truncated by unifacial retouch across the distal end.  The tool dates to the end of the Mesolithic period, during the Ertebølle phase, ca. 6100-7500 BP.

The truncated blade in this model is steeply retouched across the distal end to create a concave working edge, and both lateral edges at the platform end were unifacially retouched.   The extent of the lateral retouching probably marks the limit of the cordage wrapping, and it was likely done to dull the edges somewhat to prevent them from cutting the handle lashings.

Truncated blades are a characteristic artefact type in the Ertebølle toolkit, particularly during the Stationsvej period, ca. 6300-6800 BP.  They are medium- to large-sized flint blades, struck by indirect percussion, with steep unifacial trimming across the distal end.  The trimmed edge may be straight, angled, or concave.  Some of these tools have unifacial retouch along the edges of the tool starting at the proximal end and proceeding for about 1/2 of the blade’s length.

A hafted truncated blade was found at the large undersea late Ertebølle settlement site of Timmendorf-Nordmole I in northern Germany in 2001, dated to 6100-6400 BP.  The site is now submerged under 2.5-3.5 metres of water, but the site was occupied when sea levels were lower than today.  The hafted blade was discovered in a collapsed timber structure—possibly a storage shed—erected erected over a pit.  The hafted tool is T-shaped, with a handle mounted crosswise to the blade.  The blade forms the vertical part of the T and the handle forms the cross-arm.  The distal end of the blade is truncated to form a concave edge.  The handle consists of a split hazel wood stick lapped across the proximal end of the blade and tightly and expertly bound with dense overlapping winding of fine lime bast cordage.  A retouched blade has also been found hafted in a red deer antler handle at Åmose in Denmark.  In this case, rather than T-shaped, the handle was aligned in the same direction as the flint blade.  Use-wear analysis of truncated blades at other sites suggest that they were multifunctional tools with most used to cut  meat or process hides, and some used in woodworking.

Hafted truncated blade from Germany (Lubke 2001)


Hafted truncated blade from Germany (Mahlstedt 2005).