Flint arrowhead blank from nr Headley, Hampshire

Finder: Dr Hugo Lamdin-Whymark
Location: SU8135
Discovered: 23rd November 2010
Dimensions: 45 mm long by 32 mm wide and 5.5 mm thick
Weight: 10 g

Description: A flake of mid brown flint that exhibits invasive removals on the ventral surface at the proximal end, which have removed the bulb and form a crude leaf-shaped point. Further slight abrupt edge-retouch curving around the distal end can be interpreted as a platform from which invasive pressure flakes could have been removed. This artefact can, therefore, be interpreted as an arrowhead blank that has been roughly formed, but not finished. The leaf-shaped form of the blank and the curving retouched platform around the distal end indicate that a leaf-shaped arrowhead was most likely the intended product; leaf-shaped arrowheads date from the early Neolithic (c. 4000-3300 cal BC). However, the orientation of the blank with the tip at the bulbar end is unusual as leaf-shaped arrowheads are usually manufactured with the bulbar end at the base of the arrowhead as this facilitates the production of a thin slender point. In contrast, early Bronze Age (c. 2300-1700 cal BC) barbed and tanged arrowheads tend to be manufactured with the bulb at the tip of the point as the notches required to form the barbs and tang can only be successfully produced on the thin and broad distal end of a flake. This raises the possibility that this artefact may be the blank for an early Bronze Age barbed and tanged arrowhead, but on reflection the curving distal end is most suggestive of a leaf-shaped form as barbed and tanged arrowhead blanks are usually triangular and no attempt has been made to flatten the distal end of this blank.

Context: The arrowhead blank was recovered from surface of a ploughed field located on the top of a hill within a gently rolling landscape. A brief scan of the area in the immediate vicinity of this artefact revealed several further flint flakes, suggesting the presence of a reasonably dense flint scatter. The flakes were not collected.

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