Import van noordelijke vuursteen: enkele voorlopige conclusies met betrekking tot sikkels in Noordwest-Europa


  • J.R. Beuker


Since 1985 a research programme concerning the importation of northern flint has been carried out at the Drents Museum in Assen. One of the results sofar is the discovery that red Heligoland-flint was used during prehistory in large parts of northwestem Europe. Study of axes, sickles, daggers and large blades of flint in the collection of the Drents Museum shows cIearly that the sickles in this collection share some common characteristics, something that was not found (or only to a lesser extent) with the axes, daggers and blades. To obtain a larger sample it was decided to study a number of sickles from the provinces of Groningen, Friesland and Noord-Holland. The situation there appeared to be identical to that in Drenthe.

According to Kühn (1979: p. 64) flint sickles can be divided into A-types and B-types. Except for one, all the Dutch examples studied are of the first type. Remarkably the only B-sickle appeared to be made of flint lacking the common characteristics of the A-sickles. Therefore it was decided to study a sample of sickles from Schleswig-Holstein, a region where both types are present in rather large numbers. Of the 13 German A-sickles studied 11 had the same characteristics as the Dutch examples. However, none of the B-sickles had these characteristics. The distribution of the semi-finished B-sickles in Schleswig-Holstein justifies the concIusion that these implements were fabricated on the east coast. Flint of good quality can be collected there from Weichsel-moraines. The common characteristics of the A-sickles show that they were not made of moraine flint. The flint for these objects must have been collected at a primary outcrop. Within the distribution area of the sickles Helgoland was the only outcrop of economic importance. In addition to the red flint other flint types are also found there, for instance flat flint modules that are very suitablefor making bifacially worked objects such as daggers and sickles. When we compare this flint with the A-sickles there is a striking resemblance of various characteristics.