Polished Flint Discoidal Knives

Author(s): Melissa Metzger

Year: 2016


This PhD research investigates the use of polished flint discoidal knives from the Late Neolithic/ Early Bronze Age, which are reportedly unique to the British Isles. No scientific study has been performed on these artifacts and functional understanding to date is based on contextualized hypotheses from the literature. The three main hypotheses from the literature are that the discoidal knives are perceived as: 1) unused status symbols; or that they were used 2) for butchering; or 3) for the processing of hides. Recent research has shown that these tools did not function well as hide scrapers. Use-wear on the few archaeological samples studied so far does not support that hypothesis.

Polished stone artifacts can be difficult to analyze due to the uncertainty of how polished surfaces affect microwear. The process of using silicone moulds and resin casts allows for use-wear on top of the polished surface to be microscopically visible for analysis. The Olympus LEXT OLS-4000 Laser Scanning Microscope is being used for the microscopic analysis. The use of the LEXT and 3D metrology allows polished stone tools to be viewed and compared in new ways, which may help to lead to new discoveries about artifact use.

Cite this Record

Polished Flint Discoidal Knives. Melissa Metzger. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 405061)

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Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;