PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
European Stone Age antler tools. Four tools of the Mesolithic and Neolithic periods, made from red deer antlers. The dates range from approximately 5000 BC to 2000 BC. From left (and top): an antler mining pick retrieved from a British flint mine; a stone celt hafted into an antler sleeve to prevent splitting in the wood handle; an antler toggle or similar; and an antler shafthole hammer-axe with partly broken cutting edge. Though finds such as bronze, copper and stone survive very well from prehistory, it is likely that bone, wood and antler has always been a material used for tools in Europe. Many such finds come from the Mesolithic period when smaller refined stone tools were being used in combination with antler to produce a sophisticated composite tool-kit of weapons and implements.
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