- Museum number
Flint knife; chipped and partially ground
Length: 9.10 centimetres
Weight: 48.10 grammes
Thickness: 0.90 centimetres
Width: 5.80 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- A 'beautiful, thin oviodal knife' described by Thurnam as part of a funeral feast: 'may have been used for flaying the animals slaughtered for the funeral feast' (Thurnam 1861:417).
From the 1859 excavation of West Kennet chambered long barrow by John Thurnam and the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society.
The long barrow is situated on the brow of a hill overlooking Avebury to the North, and has been described by John Aubrey in his Monumenta Britannica written between 1663-1671, and by Stukeley in 1725. The large mound covers a stone lined chamber which is reached by a linear stone lined gallery.
These were cleared out during the excavation as they were filled with rubble, and upon doing so Thurnam and his team came across scattered animal bone, flint flakes and knives, pottery sherds ‘of various patterns’, a bone pin [possibly 1873,1219.64] and a single shale bead [1873,1219.65 ](pg.412-413). At a lower level the amount of animal bone and flint flakes increased.
Beneath this dark rubble, within chalk rubble, were found the remains of four skeletons and the partial remains of two more. Burial No.1, in the SE angle of the chamber was associated with a pile of pottery fragments. Burial No.4 in the NW angle of the chamber was found with a slab of sarsen stone over the skull, underneath which were two fragments of fine black pottery [1873,1219.80]. A flint implement [1873,1219.53] was also found near the skull. Burial No.5 was associated with a piece of perforated pottery [1873,1219.79], whilst the skull bones of Burial No.6 were associated with three sharp flint flakes and a large pile of pottery fragments.
A large amount of flint was recovered during the excavations including three of four cores, and c.300 flakes.
Associated finds within The British Museum collections include:
1873,1219.48 to 1873,1219.80 (33 items)
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2022 17 Feb - 17 Jul, London, BM, G30, The world of Stonehenge
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number