Prehistoric axe-head found in Hardwick
This c.5000-year old Neolithic flint axe was dug up in Hardwick about 1950. It was found in a field 100m south of St Neots Road at grid reference approximately TL 3782 5944. The chipping and polishing clearly shows that it is man-made. The best estimate of its date of manufacture is between 3500 BC and 2200 BC. It could have been chipped into shape by a skilled axe maker in under an hour, though the polishing with sand to give a sharp cutting edge would have taken a couple of days. In use it would probably have been tightly bound with rawhides between the halves of a split stick, to prevent splitting, and used for cutting down shrubs and trees to clear land for cultivation and grazing. Alternatively it might have have been used by hand for cutting and scraping hides, etc.
The axe is now in the Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology.
Thanks to the finder, Ed Deak, for information and photos, and to Christopher Chippindale of the Museum for his expert archaeological opinion.