Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Flint Implements

Flint Implements, a comprehensive term for the tools and weapons of primitive man, fashioned from flint, before the knowledge of metals. In some cases, however, the use of such implements lingered on as a ceremonial observance, notably for circumcision among the Semites (Exod. iv. 25; Josh. v. 2, margin), for embalming among the Egyptians (Herod, ii. 86), and for the emasculation of the priests of Cybele among the Romans (Catullus, Carm. Ixiii.; Ovid, Fasti iv. 223-296). The list might be greatly extended, and implements similar to those of our remote ancestors are in common use among many tribes of low culture at the present day. Dr. Tylor distinguishes these implements, according as they are merely chipped or ground and polished after chipping as belonging respectively to the Unground or Ground Stone Age - indefinite periods to which Sir John Lubbock has applied the epithets Paleeolithic (with Archeeolithic as an alternative, but this never came into general use) and Neolithic. The former are generally found in river drifts and caves, and associated with the remains of extinct animals, as the mammoth and woolly rhinoceros, or of the hyena, no longer found in Europe. The latter are met with in surface soil, burial mounds, and lake dwellings, often with the bones of the ox and other domestic animals. Paleeolithic implements are generalised - that is, they may serve for many purposes, and are of three fairly distinct types: (1) oval, with sharp edges; (2) long and pointed; and (3) tongue-shaped; while the later ones show distinct specialisation, and the uses of most of them are apparent at once. For these a variety of epithets have been employeei by various authorities chiefly with reference to their shape. There was a great find at Kent's Hole, near Torquay, in 1834; then came the discoveries of Boucher de Perthes of Abbeville, of Dr. Rigollot in the drift of St. Acheul, near Amiens, and the visits of English geologists and anthropologists to the valley of the Somme in 1858 and 1859. Since then the investigations that have been carried on have resulted in the discovery of a vast number of these implements, and there is scarcely a museum in the country that has not specimens, very often found in the neighbourhood. There was a prehistoric manufactory of flint implements near Brandon, in Suffolk, and the making of gun-flints is still the chief industry of the town.