Historical knowledge

The polished axes – new possibilities

In the Neolithic period people began to use flint axes that had been polished. The polishing of flint marks such a significant technological advance that archaeologists use this to draw the boundary between the Mesolithic and the Neolithic periods.

The polished flint axes made it possible to cultivate the land – with them large trees could be felled so there was space for fields. But these axes were also used when houses and fences were to be built or if firewood was to be chopped. Besides being tools, axes could also have important ritual and social functions. In the course of the Neolithic period the shape of axes changed. First they were ‘point-butted’, then they became thin-butted and finally they were thick-butted.

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