02 February 2010
- News Type:
- Find of the Month
This is an example of the classic type of Neolithic arrowhead, generally known as a leaf-shaped arrowhead for obvious reasons! They are generally dated to the earlier Neolithic, between 3800 and 2500 BC. This one was found at Tarbat, Portmahomack, but similar ones are found throughout Scotland and Britain. Arrows such as these were essential for hunting or warfare, but the bows or shafts almost never survive.
Arrowheads were made by chipping away (knapping) cores of flint or other available stone, using the pressure flaking technique. Producing an arrowhead of this type required skill and patience. There are several possible production sites in the area, including at Cuthill Links near Dornoch. The SCRAN website contains a series of good videos showing how such arrowheads were made, and then how they were attached to the shafts. (Note that you need to be a subscriber to the full use of SCRAN to view the videos, so view at the Highland Council library if you are not.) A number of websites also have descriptions or videos showing how such arrowheads are made - just google flint knapping arrowheads.
Arrowheads from the Bronze Age are of a different form (barbed and tanged), so that a leaf-shaped arrowhead provides useful dating evidence when found.
This object is on display at the Tarbat Discovery Centre in Portmahomack, Easter Ross.
Most books describing the Neolithic in Scotland will discuss stone tools and arrowheads.
- 04/09/2020 Storr Rock Viking Silver Hoard
- 07/08/2020 Mesolithic bloodstone artefacts from Camas Daraich, Skye
- 01/07/2020 Samian Pottery from Dun Flodigarry, Skye
- 01/06/2020 Slag from Dun Creich, Sutherland
- 01/05/2020 Medieval boot and hose from Portmahomack
- 01/04/2020 Prehistoric cut wood from near Loch Farlary, Golspie
- 01/03/2020 Bronze Age Sword from Fendom near Tain
- 03/02/2020 Conan Pictish Cross Slab
- 02/01/2020 Wooden Bowl from Loch a’ Ghlinne Bhig, Bracadale, Skye
- 01/12/2019 Rubh' an Dunain Boat Timber