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Prehistoric Bone Awl 85mm


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A rare Neolithic Awl, exceptional discovery from an open desert site. The preservation of this artefact for a bone; antler awl is incredible. Possibly from deer antler.

Type: Bone or Antler Awl. TBC
Age: Neolithic, Capsian Tradition, approximately 8,500 to 6,500 BCE.
Origin: Western Sahara desert, Morocco, North Africa.

Awl length measurement: 8.5 cm
Approximate weight: 6 g

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Neolithic Awl 85mm with exceptional craftsmanship and preservation, possibly fashioned from deer antler, the animal hunted to provide meat for a family or group, parts of animals were retrieved and used to create tools and implements. A domestic everyday item the awl could have been used to puncture animal hides for binding together, flaking flints, working out softwood objects and as a pick tool or similar use. An enigmatic implement of everyday use from our early human prehistory. Holding the awl gives one a sense of the past. Discovered in an open site in North Africa.

Stone-age artefacts are found in the northern countries of Africa, many in open sites, these open sites are area’s of scattered debris and rarely implements lying on the surface of the desert, eroded out by the brutal Saharan winds or flash flooding, a circumstance of decades, annual rain can fill the dry river beds for a brief few hours, the next day the ground surface as dry as ever.

Many prehistoric finds are collected one by one by the indigenous Berber travellers, herders roaming over sporadic outcrops of scrub vegetation which can quickly appear following rainfall, rainfall which can be as inconsistent as to fall every seven years in these regions. Found artefacts find a way to the European market, being traded hand to hand through Berber merchants and dealers to the souks of Marrakech. This route, unfortunately, leaves gaps in the collecting history, we often only gain a vague location, which country and perhaps a region of the desert, invariably no more location information. We can identify the implement and through experience and expertise in this region recognise the patina of the desert, the footprint of prehistory on these wonderful stone-age artefacts.

The Neolithic Stone Age is defined by the introduction of agriculture and a more domesticated way of life, as the nomadic neanderthal hunter-gatherer era declined. This occurred around 10,000 BCE the ideas and advancement of farming, possibly the first husbandry of livestock crossed through Europe and arrived in England.

This new stone age period waned with the introduction of metal tools becoming widespread (in the Copper Age and Bronze Age, in some geographical regions, in the Iron Age). The Neolithic age was the progression of behavioural and cultural characteristics, including the use of wild and domestic crops and animals.