This genuine European Neolithic flake tool was collected from the Balkan region of Eastern Europe. It was fashioned out of flint and used between 8500 and 6500 years ago. Unlike most surface collected flake tools of Neolithic cultures, this example is perfect and complete without any modern damage. Rare is the fact that you never see Neolithic artifacts being offered from the Balkan region so this is a special treat for collectors wishing to acquire a Neolithic flake tool from a scarce region.
This flake tool is classified as CORE-STRUCK BLADE / END SCRAPER. A blade was struck from a core and then further refined to the end form. One end has extensive shaping and very fine secondary flaking to create a cutting edge. This flake tool shows evidence of use and is complete with superb workmanship. As originally made, complete and INTACT.
Original ground minerals and sediment are still intact in hinge fractures - an indicator ONLY seen in AUTHENTIC specimens.
It is assumed that the Neolithic establishment on the Balkans had been accomplished under the influence of the migrating Neolithic population of Anatolia, which had merged itself with the smaller local Mesolithic population. This process continues from the end of 7th millennium BC until the end of 6th millennium BC. The separate phases in the development of the Neolithic cultures in Bulgarian lands have been defined according to the change in the shape of the pottery, to the different manufacturing methods and in the use of different styles for ornamentation. Based on these criteria, Neolithic cultures have been identified for the different parts of the country.
The Early Neolithic in west Bulgaria is represented by the culture known as "West-Bulgarian painted pottery" — defined by J. Gaul. This culture is part of the Central-Balkan ethno-cultural complex which includes the culture found at Starchevo. The ceramic dishes are tulip-shaped, spherical and half-spherical, having a beige to reddish color, burnished surface. Some of the dishes have very thick bases and others have pedestal bases.
The Early Neolithic in Thrace is known as the Karanovo Culture with two basic phases — I and II. Here the leading ceramic forms are also tulip-like tall cups on a hollow stem, spherical pots with a cylindrical neck and cord handles, half-spherical plates and others. The surface of the pottery is red to brown. The following are common: a checkerboard ornament, belts filled with net-like ornaments, hanging triangles and others. In the late stages of the Karanovo Culture, the painted decoration loses its leading role.
The Neolithic Period came to North Bulgaria at a later time. The pottery here during that time has a black or grayish-black polished surface. Typical forms include round or bi-conical bowls and flared-mouth egg-shaped pots with a thickened tall stem. The tall tulip-like bowls and the cylindrical cups are either without any decoration or are covered with zigzag flutes.
In the Late Balkan Neolithic, a significant change in the culture takes place - new shapes appear. The tall cylindrical cup is already modeled with a cylindrical handle. The walls of the water-jugs are straight and perpendicular to the bottom as well as being thick and massive. These changes are best observed in the stages Karanovo III, III/IV. During the last stage of the Late Balkan Neolithic, the development of the shapes of the dishes continues in the stages Karanovo for Thrace, the cultures Kurilo and Topolnitsa for west Bulgaria, Usoe I and II for central and north Bulgaria and Hamandgia for Dobrudja (north-east Bulgaria). The typical designs for Karanovo stage III water-jugs and small legged-dishes disappear. Characteristic specifics are the cone-like, rich decorated forms with cut-in ornaments in the bowls. The profile of the dish changes and becomes sharper.
Anthropomorphic plastic design during the Balkan Neolithic undergoes changes too. In the Early Neolithic, the figurines are very stylistic and of a small size. At the beginning of the Late Neolithic, they are already being modeled in a different manner with the heads being formed together with the neck and conical-shaped extremities, when present.
The seated figurines depict a female with small breasts and lower torso and legs made into a chair. Standing figurines are usually with joined legs. This specific finding is inherited also in the final stage of the Late Neolithic when the legs are often modeled together as a base and the heads of the figurines become more realistic.
The heads of the Late Balkan Neolithic figurines are usually rounded and occasionally, with a raised portion on top as found near Sofia from the Kurilo Culture. The nose is formed with the clay having been pulled out with the fingers in the shape of a beak. As a rule however, realistic images are absent during this time.
An interesting distinction is observed between the different settlement site types, as well. In the region of Thrace, the tell mounds are a typical feature. In west Bulgaria, the Neolithic tells are few and the northern Balkans are typically open sites. In Thrace and West Bulgaria the dominant design in the Neolithic house construction utilized interwoven wooden sticks coated with clay. In Durankulak, situated on an island of rocky soil, there was shortage of trees so houses were constructed of stone.
An interesting part of human life in the Balkan Neolithic Period has been discovered by the excavation of graves. Young individuals are often found under the ground floor of the houses, laying down in dug graves or buried in large pottery. During the Late Neolithic, necropoli appear. The most famous among them is the one next to Durankulak.