All flintknapping to make stone tools from any era requires a tool to hit the target stone with. In some cases, it is a hammerstone like this, and in more refined flaking tasks, it is a small punch made of horn or bone. While we have offered a great deal of flake tools and hand axes of different periods and cultures, rarely do we have the privilege of having a complete hammerstone to offer that has undeniable features showing it truly is a hammerstone. In this case, we have one specimen that is perfectly intact as it was when originally used in the Neolithic Age. This is a complete flint hammerstone from the Funnelbeaker or Funnel-Necked Beaker Pottery Culture of Denmark. It was originally used as a core and flat faces can be seen that were originally flaked off to remove flakes that were then made into tools. When the core became "exhausted" or used up so that it was too small to be practical, it was then re-purposed into a hammerstone. The core was then shaped by hammering to make it spherical so it would be comfortable to hold. A number of areas on the surface show repeated impact against other flint cores to strike off flakes to make tools. Often, cobblestones or rounded limestone rocks are used for this purpose and it becomes difficult to prove without a doubt that those are hammerstones, but when an object as this shows so much working to shape it, and hammering, it is quite obvious what its ancient purposes was. Every prehistoric stone tool maker used hammerstones like these as they were a fundamental part of their craft.
This hammerstone was collected from an Early Neolithic Period settlement site once inhabited by people of the Funnel-Necked Beaker Pottery Culture (Funnelbeaker), and found in Gram, Southern Denmark. It was made and utilized between 6300 and 4800 years ago. Original ground minerals and sediment are still intact in hinge fractures - an indicator ONLY seen in AUTHENTIC specimens. This fine set represents supreme examples of workmanship of a skilled tool maker from the earliest of north Europe's farming society. Genuine tools from the Funnel-Necked Beaker Pottery Culture are seldom available for public sale and represent an excellent opportunity to acquire a genuine stone tool artifact from some of the world's first farming peoples!
The earliest food-producing communities of Northern Europe belonged to the Funnel-Necked Beaker Pottery Culture (Funnelbeaker). This culture existed from 4300 BC to 2800 BC, in the Northern-most region of western Europe. The pottery produced by these earliest farmers had a distinctive necked design. The first use of the PLOW, ANIMAL TRACTION and WHEELED TRANSPORT in north-central Europe is attributed to this Neolithic culture. Megalithic chambered tombs were employed and built into long mounds. These mounds made by the Funnel-Necked Beaker peoples still stand today in many parts of north Europe.
Farming in northern and central Europe differed from that of the more temperate southern regions of Europe, the Middle East and north Africa. The harsh winters required crops to be sown in the Spring as opposed to the Fall for the latter. Woodland grazing in the north meant more emphasis on the raising of cattle and pigs compared to the herds of sheep and goats popular in the south.
Neolithic settlements were typically small in population with only about forty to sixty people. The wooden longhouse was the main type of building which housed both people and their livestock. Postholes are all that remain today leaving burials and ritual stone structures as the only remnants of this period. Neolithic burials were either individual or communal. The communal burials were housed in large megalithic structures which were then covered with earth creating a giant mound. Offerings of stone tools, pottery and ornaments were often included in burials.
The Neolithic people of the Funnel-Necked Beaker Pottery Culture represented the first farming and stock-herding society in Northern Europe.