So far, I have mentioned only potsherds and building materials, but certain Feltwell fields abound in flint tools made by men of the Stone Ages. Early man, having discovered that a broken flint was sharp and therefore a useful tool to carry, found that he could produce such a "knife" by breaking one piece of flint with another. He used to cherish his favourite "hammerstone" which fitted comfortably in his hand and which became pitted and rounded with constant use. Hammerstones are easily recognisable and easy to find - I once found 4 within a 10' square on the same field mentioned above. Striking a flint pebble with his hammerstone, our early man was left with the two halves, each of which had one fairly flat surface (the "striking platform") and by tapping this lightly he could knock off flakes of different sizes - these he used as knives.
The next series of flakes which he knocked off ("knapped") from this same pebble would tend to take on the shape of a shield. These could be used as "scrapers" for scraping a multitude of things, including the insides of animal skins which he "dressed" for use as clothing. When any of his implements became blunted he found that by pressing firmly on the edge of the tool with another piece of flint (a "fabricator") he could prise off a very small flake. By "pressureflaking" all round the edge of his tool he was able to restore an extremely sharp edge. This action is referred to as "secondary working".
When a flint is struck with anything sharp, the "point of percussion" remains for all time and as the shock wave passes through the flint a bump is left on one side of the fracture and a dent on the other. These are known as the bulb and depression of percussion respectively. If a fairly thin piece of flint (of any size up to 2 or 3 inches across the middle) is found bearing a flat piece at one point on its edge - part of the striking platform - it may be a "scraper". If it also bears the point and bulb of percussion together with signs of secondary working it is, without doubt, a scraper made at least 4000 years ago. These are the most common of these man-made tools ("artifacts") and occasionally a crescent shaped ("concave") one is found. These were used to smooth down such things as spear or arrow shafts and were the forerunners of the modem spokeshave. Quite a number of tools used today by carpenters had their origins in the Stone Ages. Axes, planes, chisels, adzes, gouges and even saws, all made of flint, can be found in Feltwell.
I have some excellent examples of most of these in my private collection, as does Mr. Frank Curtis, who has a much larger collection and who helped me considerably in the early stages of mine. One amateur archaeologist, using a Stone Age axe, was timed by a friend as he felled a pine tree of 7" diameter. Admittedly pine is a softwood, nonetheless I was surprised to hear that the tree had been felled in nine minutes. Arrowheads, spearheads and harpoon barbs are comparatively rare and would be so easily recognisable that I feel that no description is necessary. Both Mr. Curtis and Mr. Eric B. Secker have excellent examples of flint sickles.
Ancient History or go to Written Records