Prehistoric flint tools

Prehistoric people left behind a huge quantity of small stone tools around and about the Castleshaw Valley. The early prehistoric flint tools show us that people were hunting for food up here above the dense forests. The flint tools include very sharp flint blades which could be used as arrowheads, or for cutting meat and scraping animal hides. Some of these were very small, called microliths, and we think they were used with wooden handles or hafts to create complicated tools. Microliths date from Mesolithic times, about 10,000-8,000 years ago. Flint and other stone tools in Castleshaw mainly survive from the Mesolithic, although they were still used in the Neolithic and Bronze Ages which followed.

Stone axes found from Neolithic times show us that prehistoric people were beginning to open up the thick woodland to make hunting easier. This was the start of a long process which led to the landscape being completely treeless.

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Places to go

If you would like to see more of the Mesolithic microliths, go to the Tolson Museum, Huddersfield, and the Saddleworth Museum and Art Gallery. There are also Neolithic leaf-shaped arrowheads and other flint objects at the Gallery, Oldham.