This SPECTACULAR Neolithic flint flake tool core was collected by the world famous Spiennes Neolithic mining site of Belgium. It shows EXTENSIVE use in Neolithic times with multiple strikes to shape and strike flakes off for making flake tools. It is large and rare for being complete and undamaged considering nearly all of the large flint tools and artifacts like this, found in the crop fields of the area, are plow damaged. Furthermore, it sports an INCREDIBLE naturally lustrous patina indicating it spent its time mostly underground and was discovered shortly after the plow unearthed it for the very first time, saving it from the destructive weathering most exposed flint undergoes.
Some of the original flint cobble cortex can be seen in the natural flat face that is all white. This tool core would have been held by that area and the other hand used to strike flakes off. Those struck flakes would have been further worked to make a variety of different flake tools.
In the Stone Age, tool cores like these are especially valuable as they were THE resource for all stone flake tools. They were traded and carried as an important repository for making tools. A core like this could have been used to make many dozens of flake tools, hence their value in their day. Advanced collectors should NOT miss this rare opportunity to acquire a PRIZE specimen from an important part of human history and from a prominent Neolithic site in all of Europe!
An important Neolithic artifact to display with a collection of tools since all tools originated from carefully prepared cores like these!
The declaration in the year 2000 by UNESCO protecting the Neolithic flint mines at Spiennes was highlighted by three main criteria as quoted: "1) The Neolithic mines at Spiennes provide exceptional testimony to early human inventiveness and application, 2) The arrival of Neolithic cultures marked a major milestone in human cultural and technological development, which is vividly illustrated by the vast complex of ancient flint mines at Spiennes. 3) The flint mines at Spiennes are outstanding examples of Neolithic mining of flint, which marked a seminal stage of human technological and cultural progress."
These mines cover more than 250 acres and represent the largest and earliest concentration of ancient mines in Europe! A large diversity of methods were employed to extract the flint by open quarries, pits and networks of underground horizontal galleries. Vertical tunnels range from 30 to 40 feet deep. Shafts were sunk through the chalk layer vertically with galleries radiating out from the shafts. Unique to Spiennes, when the flint was exhausted above the bedrock, the rock layer was penetrated to reach the chalk layer below. This feature shows the mastery these Neolithic humans had of their local geology!
Mines were dug with only the aid of antler picks and bone shovels demonstrating an incredible feat based on the expansiveness of the site. Despite the miners' knowledge to leave pillars in the horizontal galleries for roof support, skeletons of workers have been found in collapsed shafts at Spiennes.
Flint tools from the mining site at Spiennes represent an icon of Neolithic technology, trade and culture. Every collection should have at least one tool from this official 'world-class' site.