In Search of Hindsgavl: Experiments in the Production of Neolithic Danish Flint Daggers

Abstract

This study presents a project which explored the complex production technology of Danish flint daggers of the ‘Hindsgavl’ type. Whereas the chronology and variation in the Late Neolithic flint dagger sequence are widely understood, the complex lithic technology used to create flint daggers is relatively unexplored. This paper discusses the technology of the most complex and arguably most spectacular of the dagger forms, the type IVe dagger of the ‘Hindsgavl’ or stitched type (Lomborg 1973).

The main thrust of this article is the importance of innovation to the development of flint dagger technology. Although technological precursors to dagger production were present as far back as the Early Neolithic, unique technological innovations were necessary for the successful production of certain dagger forms. Driven by social and economic demands, these precursors and innovations coalesced in Denmark during the Late Neolithic to produce what are likely the most technologically complex chipped-stone tools found anywhere in the world during prehistory.

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