History of the British Museum and its collections, £6.00
Length: 83.000 mm
Width: 92.000 mm
Thickness: 23.000 mm
Gift of the Forestry Commission
Prehistory and Europe
Lower Palaeolithic, about 500,000 years ago
From High Lodge, Suffolk, England
Among the earliest tools found in Britain
This scraper is made from a flake of flint. A series of small flakes has been removed from one side to create a working edge. The tool's exact purpose is unknown, but it would have been suitable for scraping and cleaning animal hides.
The scraper was recovered during excavations by the British Museum at High Lodge, Suffolk in the 1960s. It was found in ancient river silts, along with other tools and manufacturing waste from flint knapping. Pollen from the river silts indicates that the climate was only a little cooler than today. Together with deer and horse bones, a tooth from an extinct species of rhinoceros has also been identified. Scientific analysis of this tooth supports the geological dating of the site to a warm period about 500,000 years ago.
N.M. Ashton and others, High Lodge, Excavations by G. (London, The British Museum Press, 1992)
R.N.E. Barton, Stone Age Britain (Batsford, 1997)
N.M. Ashton and P. Dean, Mildenhall 500,000 years ago: (Mildenhall Museum Publications, 1989)