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Saturday, 20 April 2013

Slate microlith at Vespasian's camp

This is the published info about the slate microlith from Vespasian's camp.  Slate is notoriously soft -- even the good quality slates used for roofing purposes in western Britain.  So I'm not sure that this little flake would have been of any use for anything very much.  I remain to be convinced that there was any human agency in the fashioning of it.

If it is really slate, it could have come from many different places -- including North Pembrokeshire.

It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that it has indeed come from a glacial erratic.

Vespasian’s Camp: Cradle of Stonehenge

April 19, 2013 By
Current Archaeology
http://www.archaeology.co.uk/articles/features/vespasians-camp-cradle-of-stonehenge.htm  

Extract:  "Most intriguingly, we also recovered a small worked slate point shaped like a microlith: the only prehistoric slate tool we know of ever discovered in the UK. By itself this would be interesting, but the fact it was found in a Mesolithic context just over a mile from Stonehenge makes it very significant. Tim Darvill says the slate is a kind of metamudstone, which would make the tool more durable. We are still trying to determine the provenance of the stone. There is no slate in the Stonehenge area – indeed, the nearest source we know of is in north Wales. It could have been fashioned from glacial erratic, though we are not aware of any such slate erratics in the vicinity. The alternative is that this points to a significant movement of people and ideas, pre-dating what went on at Stonehenge by thousands of years. All signs point to this site being regarded as a special place to gather."

3 comments:

TonyH said...

I think that Mike Parker Pearson is bound to be doing some wondering about this slate alleged microlith, since he refers in his recent tome to potential geographical links between both North, and South West, Wales, and stonehenge in the mists of time.... e.g the similarity in size between North Wales' Llandegai henge and Stonehenge; and his notions about South West Wales' early population moving eastwards, then recalling their homeland back west.And no doubt Tim Darvill of SPACES etc can sense a good Story too....(it keeps the punters interested, if nothing else.

TonyH said...

No doubt some might claim that this slate artefact, if indeed it is an artefact, was never INTENDED for practical use, but was possibly ornamental or whatever. What is more interesting, especially to serious users of this blogsite, is "what is its provenance?" I think Myris of Alexandria has passed comment on it before here, but hadn't yet been given an opportunity to examine it.

GCU.intwominds said...

True.
M