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Kent Archaeological Review extract

A Flint Axe from Bromley.
by Dick Broadfoot.

Another of our readers has reported the discovery of a fine flint axe, this time at Shortlands, Bromley. It was found by Mr D Witherspoon at a depth of about one foot whilst digging out a post-hole in his garden at 24 Martin's Road, Shortlands. The site lies in the bottom of the valley and the find-spot was only about 50 feet from the River Ravensbourne.

DRAWING: Flint axe found at Shortlands, Bromley.

The flint axe is 22 centimetres long and heavily stained brown. As a crudely excavated bar of flint it is typical, with large deep flake-beds and some fragmentation. The point is sharpened on one side by a tranchet flake about 32 millimetres long and parallel with the sides. It is not, however, stained like the rest of the implement. The blunt end is quite flat.

This type of axe is popularly termed a "Thames Pick" having been found frequently in the Thames and its tributaries. It has also been found at many other sites in South-East England, especially at West Surrey mesolithic sites. It can only be dated very approximatey to about 6,500-6,000 BC, some time after Britain was separated from the Continent. It is possible that this heavy implement was developed to cope with the increasing forests.

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