Afgeronde vuurstenen Swifterbant (Fl.): vuurmakers of afgerond voor schachting?
Rounded flints from Swifterbant (province of Flevoland): strike-a-lights or evidence of hafting preparation? A number of flint artefacts from the Neolithic sites of Swifterbant are found to have rounded extremities, either on one or both ends. Typologically, these artefacts are very diverse. The first author has conducted an experimental programme to investigate the possible origin of these rounded edges, on the basis of two hypotheses put forward by researchers from the Laboratory for Artefact Studies of the University of Leiden and the Groningen Institute of Archaeology (GIA) of the University of Groningen. The Leiden hypothesis suggests that the rounding of the edges is the result of preparation for or the result of hafting, while the GIA researchers believe that several of these artefacts were used as strike-a-lights. The experiments were carried out to assess the correctness of either of these hypotheses. Although the research did not allow for an indisputable conclusion, the latter hypothesis was found to be a more likely explanation for the occurrence of rounded edges.