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Item of the month - March 2017

Stone age flints and mysterious horse skulls.

We have around 170 prehistoric items in our museum collection - mostly flint tools from the Mesolithic and Neolithic periods, around 8,000-2,500 BC - along with a number of unidentified bone fragments, deer antlers and mammoth teeth.

flint tools

This may not seem like much, but the type of tools, from axes and arrowheads to scrapers for removing skin from meat and bone, tell us much about how our local ancestors hunted the creatures they shared the land with.

We recently received two boxes of local bones and flints from Newham Museum Service. They had formerly been housed in the nearby Passmore Edwards Museum, named after John Passmore Edwards, a Victorian social reformer and champion of the working classes.

Besides some early flints of the lower Palaeolithic period (500,000-70,000 BC) from Dawley, there are two puzzling horse skulls, once the property of West Drayton Historical Society - fragile but pretty much intact.

bones

These are quite a mystery. Are they from wild horses which shared the prehistoric hunting grounds with deer and mammoth, or from later domesticated animals used by our early forebears for ploughing or even pulling war chariots?

The truth is, we probably will never know, but it is intriguing to imagine.

 

Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 02 May 2017 at 13:43