It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Archeologists have unearthed an 8,000-year-old weapons factory

page: 1
15
<<   2 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Nov, 4 2009 @ 09:13 PM
link   
Ancien t weapons factory unearthed by University of Leicester team


Archeologists have unearthed an 8,000-year-old weapons factory.

The find, near Melton, is the biggest ever mid-Stone Age discovery in Leicestershire, with fingernail-sized flint pieces, burned animal bones and evidence of tents.

The bonus for the University of Leicester team is the site has not been churned up by ploughs, like most county land has.

It has remained undisturbed since the time before Britain became an island.

The dig took place prior to the construction of a new estate in Loughborough Road, Asfordby.

Developers Jelson called in the university team to remove any interesting artefacts from the site before building work started.

The dig has just come to an end and the team has revealed its findings.

Archaeologist Wayne Jarvis, who has led the dig, said: "What we've collected are a large number of very early flint artefacts. It's an incredibly rare find.

"We know from the shape of the flints that they are from the mesolithic period – about 8,000 years ago.

"We've collected about 5,000 pieces of flint in a small area and it seems to have been a site where the arrows were made. The pieces of flint are largely discarded flakes from when the arrowheads were shaped.

"However, there are some complete bits that were probably arrowheads, although it's possible they had other uses.

"We've found nothing like this before."

Mr Jarvis said flint was a rare commodity in Stone Age Leicestershire. The nearest good source of the hard, sharp stone, would have been in Lincolnshire – so flint from used arrows would probably be re-sharpened and recycled.

Also on the site are small boulders grouped together, which the archeologists think were probably used as prehistoric tent pegs to pin animal skin canopies to the ground for shelter.

There is also evidence of campfires, including burned animal bones.

In the mid-Stone Age, or mesolithic, period, Britain was still attached to the continent.

Hunter gatherers crossed into England and came to Leicestershire following migrating animals.

They lived nomadic lifestyles, hunting wild boar, deer and wild cattle. They used flint tools and fire but did not yet use pottery or metal. Patrick Clay, co-director of the University of Leicester archeological service, said: "It's very exciting we have surviving fossilised soil.

"Most mesolithic artefacts from Leicestershire are 'surface finds' which are bits of flint churned up by ploughs.

"It was a great surprise to find all this. We didn't know of any archaeology on the site when we started the dig.

"There's a lot of further work to be done in the lab and hopefully we can learn a lot more about how people lived 10,000 years ago.

"It's a period we know very little about."


Not much is known of this period in England's history, the Mesolithic period is also known as the Middle Stone Age (10,000 BCE to 4,000 BCE). Other Mesolithic finds are on display at the Ashmolean Museum.

In the earlier part of this period the sea level was lower than it is today. Britain was joined to Europe at this time, the English Channel and North Sea were once low lying plains, but as the ice melted they became submerged, and by about 6,000 we became an island. Trees began to appear and over the centuries the land became densely forested with hazel, birch, lime elm and oak (our native trees). Red and roe deer, elk and pig are our animals. The population lived in family groups, moving around, travelling across the land, also utilising the rivers and coastal waters. They survived by hunting and fishing, and collecting nuts, fruits and berries. They probably lived in temporary shelters made from wood and skins. Archaeological finds from this period include fine flint arrowheads and bone needles and fish hooks.


Example of Mesloithic arrowheads from this period found in this region:


Related find:
The Amesbury Archer




posted on Nov, 4 2009 @ 09:23 PM
link   
The archeological find is great and all that, but It is shameful that one of the last remaining original pieces of England has yet another housing estate on it. I mean untouched since before Britain was even an island, and they go and build houses on it? Says it all really. But at least we have some nice bits of flint to look at.



posted on Nov, 4 2009 @ 09:32 PM
link   
I agree. Who knows how much history has been lost beneath bulldozers and housing developments. Every time I see a bit of pristine land turned into another subdivision it just churns my soul.



posted on Nov, 4 2009 @ 09:41 PM
link   
For my mind this demonstrates once again that early people were much more advanced then we give them credit for. To organise, run and keep going a high productivity weapon site takes a lot of organisation and resources.

You need to feed the workers, care for their families and have enough "customers" to make it a worth while venture.

Indeed, far from being the dim witted, dragging their women by the hair type of Hollywood fashioned stone age people, I think early humans were very sophisticated and cleaver – just look at Stone Henge for goodness sake!

Great find OP! S & F



posted on Nov, 4 2009 @ 09:56 PM
link   
Ok, I have a question. How do we really know that this site wasa weapons factory? This could have been a fort or a defencive position, and the arrowheads could have benn the remnants of a few battles that took place there.



posted on Nov, 4 2009 @ 10:01 PM
link   
Most likely by the arrangement of the artifacts, as they weren't attached to shafts and were collected into small caches of arrowheads "ready to be assembled". This area is rich with history of stone-age bowmen.



posted on Nov, 4 2009 @ 10:19 PM
link   
Why is this labeled a weapons factory?

It seems that utensils for hunting may have been produced there.

By labelling this site a weapons factory, does not do it justice in my opinion. It actually saddens me to feel that over 8,000 years, we still find a need to produce weapons, at all.

Hence we haven't advance much, in 8,000 years.



posted on Nov, 4 2009 @ 10:29 PM
link   
reply to post by Blanca Rose
 


Well, we have to find those pesky WMDs somewhere, right? [sarcasm]



S & F for the thread....how much is still buried that would blow our minds???



posted on Nov, 4 2009 @ 11:23 PM
link   
reply to post by Blackmarketeer
 


I do not want to be a party pooper Please show me some 8,000 year old tents! Post molds maybe but tents --not.
Most early dwelling in colder climates were earthen or tree bark huts.
There were no bows 8,000 years ago. So why would they have heads for arrows they couldn't shoot?
These are un -disciplined archeologists attempting anthropology.
Of course this is just salvage archeology.
8,000 year old flints may be old to Britain but folks have been using flaked flint tools since Koobi Fora in the Great Rift Valley for 3 million years.
Pull up a 11,000 year old Clovis point if you want to see some amazing flint work.

On the second link
Just start here wherever Mister archeologist says Britain was connected to the main land. Then he says the sea level rose making it an Island 6.000 years ago.
So don't you think there would already be all kinds of plants and animals there?
This flint find is 2,000 years earlier. What the heck were they eating from 8,000 to 6,000.
Any way Britain has an incredible rich archeological pre history that is diverse and exciting as well.



posted on Nov, 4 2009 @ 11:33 PM
link   
Here's a bit of context for these flint tools (from Worldtimelines.org.uk)

England: 500,000-8500 BC Palaeolithic

Some of the oldest and richest evidence for the presence of humans in northern Europe has been found in England. Stone tools, butchered bone and, in one case, human remains have been found at sites which date from at least 500,000 and possibly over 700,000 years ago. However, people did not live in England throughout the whole of the Palaeolithic period. This was because of marked changes in the environment and geography caused by a series of Ice Ages and warmer periods. The coldest periods were too extreme for humans, with much of Britain covered by polar ice. The other barrier to occupation was often the sea. It was only during cool periods that sea-level dropped and land linked eastern England to mainland Europe.

England 8500-4000 BC Mesolithic

The population of England at the end of the Palaeolithic period was probably quite sparse. As the ice sheets retreated and the climate warmed people returned to the area in larger numbers. At the beginning of the Mesolithic, Britain was still a peninsula of mainland Europe and people could arrive on foot. There seems to have been regular contact between southern England and northern France, shown by the similarity of the stone tools found in both areas. As sea levels rose towards the end of the Mesolithic period and Britain once more became an island, there is less evidence for human contact with mainland Europe.

Most of the evidence for how people lived during the Mesolithic period lies in the stone tools they left behind, in particular blades and modified blades called microliths (literally meaning ‘small stones’). These would have been mounted onto wooden handles, hafts and arrow shafts. Wooden objects have rarely survived in England, one exception being at the site of Star Carr in Yorkshire.

At some sites bone, teeth and antler have survived. These help to reconstruct the landscape and climate, and where there are cutmarks from butchery, show which animals were being hunted. Plant remains and in particular pollen can also help build a picture of the surrounding vegetation.

  • 8000 BC Aveline’s Hole in use
  • 8000 BC Evidence for people using site at Poulton, Cheshire, and exploiting the River Dee
  • 7700 BC Earliest evidence for Mesolithic tools found at Star Carr, Yorkshire
  • 7700 BC Around this time site at Thatcham, Berkshire, in use
  • 7700 BC Around this time site at Warcock Hill South, Derbyshire, in use
  • 7600 BC Circular building erected at Howick, Northumberland
  • 7500 BC Broomhill in Hampshire occupied
  • 7400 BC Around this time site at Deepcar, Sheffield, in use
  • 7400 BC Around this time site at Misterton Carr, Nottinghamshire, in use
  • 7400 BC Site at Dozmary Pool, Cornwall, in use
  • 7200 BC Around this time site at Warcock Hill North, Derbyshire, in use
  • 7100 BC Beginning of the use of Aveline’s Hole
  • 7000 BC Last land bridge connecting east England to mainland Europe covered by rising sea-levels
  • 7000 BC Site at Crandons Cross, Devon, in use
  • 7000 BC Around this time site at Longmoor, Hampshire, in use
  • 6800 BC Horsham point' tools being made at Longmoor, Hampshire
  • 6500 BC Britain becomes an island
  • 6210 BC Around this time site at Bart's Shelter, Cumbria, occupied
  • 6000 BC Dartmoor settled by hunter gatherers
  • 6000 BC Early settlement at Overton Farm near Manchester
  • 6000 BC From this time alder trees spread throughout the northern England
  • 5970 BC Around this time site at Monk Moors, Cumbria, occupied
  • 5500 BC Fairly open woodlands change to closed forests
  • 5473 BC Around this time site at Williamsons Moss, Cumbria, occupied
  • 5000 BC Over the next 1000 years the site at Westward Ho!, Devon, is in use
  • 5000 BC Sites at Ditton Brook valley used by small groups of hunters
  • 5000 BC Elm and hazel trees begin to spread across northern England
  • 4934 BC House structure built at Bowman's Farm, Hampshire
  • 4790 BC Date of human femur found at Staythorpe, Nottinghamshire
  • 4500 BC Oak and pine trees begin to spread across northern England
  • 4500 BC Croxteth Park used by groups of prehistoric hunter-gatherers


This site is contemporary with another Mesolithic site, Star Carr. With the ice in retreat and England still connected to the mainland, hunter-gatherers were once again migrating into England, most likely following herds of animals. It might be too premature to claim the Melton site is a hunting camp, or these tools were signs of conflict between competing groups. Star Carr finds show how hunter-gatherers were adept at hunting - here is an image of a deer headdress designed to allow a human to approach deer without detection:


Star Carr Frontlet
"Made from the skull and antlers of a red deer, this headdress may have been worn with a deer-skin costume. It is believed that people used objects like this to help them look like and act like their prey, and thus become better hunters. This suggests a particularly porous boundary between human and animal."



posted on Nov, 5 2009 @ 03:25 AM
link   
That is so crazy I dont know what to say. I saw a program of tv and I know how hard it is to make stone arrowheads properly without shattering.

I believe 12,000-8000 bc Britian was covered in ice and start to recede in 8300-7000, but I may be mistaken, and even so ice is no hassle. Northmen have evidence as much as 200,000 years too.

The deer head dress you posted is beautiful too, but it looks more ceremonial to me than for hunting, but no doubt could help for that. I just dont see an instinctive deer being fooled by that.



posted on Nov, 5 2009 @ 06:43 AM
link   

Originally posted by The Killah29
Ok, I have a question. How do we really know that this site wasa weapons factory? This could have been a fort or a defencive position, and the arrowheads could have benn the remnants of a few battles that took place there.


Well to begin with none of the flints in these links are arrowheads.
This is a wide ranging miss conception. They are more likely spear points or knives. If they were just used for hunting I guess you can speak of them as weapons. The ones used as knives could also be called weapons if they were used on each other. I don't precisely know if there is evidence of warfare in Britain during this period.
There is little evidence world wide for the need of ware fare prior to the advent of agriculture and the use of alcohol.



posted on Nov, 5 2009 @ 07:06 AM
link   
reply to post by Blackmarketeer
 


This period in time I am quite familiar with. But mostly in the USA.
We call it the Archaic Period, divided into early mid and late. The earlier human period here is the Paleo. It encompasses the first Americans.
The northern parts of America and southern parts of Canada are similar to England at this time.
The hardy adventuresome humans were just beginning to occupy these regions for the first time.
Can you give a quick description of what has been found prior to the last Ice Age in England?
We have tons of Mega Fauna remains here state side but lack human remains prior to 12.000 years ago.
Star and flag



posted on Nov, 5 2009 @ 08:11 AM
link   

Originally posted by Donny 4 million
Well to begin with none of the flints in these links are arrowheads.
This is a wide ranging miss conception. They are more likely spear points or knives. If they were just used for hunting I guess you can speak of them as weapons. The ones used as knives could also be called weapons if they were used on each other.


Consider that the difference between a knife and a spear is the length of the stick. Did the ancient Brits use the atl-atl? Weapons do not need to reflect warfare...one uses weapons to hunt.

Also, the OP mentions that there was a lot of flint debris on site "debitage" ...that shows there was a lithics industry going on.

To those who lament the development of the site for housing, you can take small comfort that it would have been excavated anyway...archaeology destroys its database. This seems to be a case where the site is better off found and studied than left in the ground. It would appear to have a story to tell.



posted on Nov, 5 2009 @ 08:40 AM
link   

Originally posted by Ridhya
The deer head dress you posted is beautiful too, but it looks more ceremonial to me than for hunting, but no doubt could help for that. I just dont see an instinctive deer being fooled by that.


I agree - the first thought that popped into my head when looking at the deer mask was that it looks a lot like the shaman from the cave painting from Caverne des Trois Freres in France.

Shaman Cave Painting



posted on Nov, 5 2009 @ 10:43 AM
link   

Originally posted by JohnnyCanuck

Originally posted by Donny 4 million
Well to begin with none of the flints in these links are arrowheads.
This is a wide ranging miss conception. They are more likely spear points or knives. If they were just used for hunting I guess you can speak of them as weapons. The ones used as knives could also be called weapons if they were used on each other.


Consider that the difference between a knife and a spear is the length of the stick. Did the ancient Brits use the atl-atl? Weapons do not need to reflect warfare...one uses weapons to hunt.

Also, the OP mentions that there was a lot of flint debris on site "debitage" ...that shows there was a lithics industry going on.

To those who lament the development of the site for housing, you can take small comfort that it would have been excavated anyway...archaeology destroys its database. This seems to be a case where the site is better off found and studied than left in the ground. It would appear to have a story to tell.


This is quite true. I have made many neat spear points, knives and daggers from flint. Some from English flint found where the British dumped their ballast to take on furs and tobacco.
Some push here in the states to do seismic Archeology to keep the area untouched. Don't help much if your gonna build a mall though.
I perfer to see it done by ladies in cut offs and halter tops.
The English flints are coveted by knappers world wide.
Supposed to be the only true flint.



posted on Nov, 5 2009 @ 10:48 AM
link   
reply to post by Blanca Rose
 


It could also be to protect the wives and kids from these guys.

From theTelegraph.co.uk

Giant lions once roamed Britain
Huge lions once roamed Britain alongside tigers and jaguars, scientists have discovered.

Published: 4:09PM BST 30 Mar 2009

Huge lions once roamed Britain alongside tigers and jaguars. By comparing their skulls, scientists revealed that British lions would have weighed up to 50 stone (317kg) ? the equivalent of a small car ? compared to African lions which weigh up to 39 ston Photo: OXFORD UNIVERSITY
The wild animals were 25 per cent bigger than their modern day counterparts and hunted in vast prides during the Ice Age.

The discovery that tigers and jaguars were not the only big cats to inhabit Britain came after an analysis of fossils found in Yorkshire, Devon and London.

Scientists found the DNA of those remains matched known specimens of giant lions unearthed in Siberia and Germany

By comparing their skulls, scientists revealed that British lions would have weighed up to 50 stone (317kg) – the equivalent of a small car – compared to African lions which weigh up to 39 stone (250kg).

Dr Ross Barnett, who led the research at the University's Zoology Department, said: "These ancient lions were like a super-sized version of today's lions.

"They were up to 25 per cent bigger than those we know today and, in the Americas, with longer legs adapted for endurance running.

"What our genetic evidence shows is that these ancient extinct lions and the lions of today were very closely related.

"Meanwhile, cave art suggests that they formed prides, although the males appear not to have had manes."

The findings – published this week in science journal Molecular Ecology – suggests the lions existed during the Pleistocene era which occurred in Europe between 1.8 million and 10,000 years ago.

Dr Barnett also found the lions split into two main groups with some living in Europe and Alaska and the other living in North America.

He said the lions found in North America were even bigger than the British ones – evolving with longer legs and wider skulls to increase their hunting power.

Dr Barnett added: "This unusual distribution is explained by Ice Age geography when a land bridge linked Siberia and Alaska, enabling ancient lions to cross from Eurasia into North America.

"At some point the North American ice sheets would have interrupted this migration route – creating these two genetically distinct groups of animals."

The British and European lions would have lived in a similar environment to that found in Siberia today and hunted mammoth and giant deer until they all became extinct 13,000 years ago.

Dr Nobby Yamaguchi, co-author of the study, said: "We still don't know what caused this mass extinction, although it is likely that early humans were involved in one way or another."



posted on Nov, 5 2009 @ 10:55 AM
link   
wow i didn't realize they did mass productions of weapons 8000 years ago!



posted on Nov, 5 2009 @ 11:30 AM
link   

Originally posted by RichyW
wow i didn't realize they did mass productions of weapons 8000 years ago!

When you think about it...it's easier to make the tools on site than carry the raw flint around with them. Though often they'd carry away 'spalls' that could be further reduced to create the weapons/tools needed. These would also be cached at intervals on their seasonal rounds...again, to reduce the schlepp factor. Mind you, this is the North American practice, but I'd doubt it differed much 'over 'ome'.



posted on Nov, 5 2009 @ 01:03 PM
link   
Oh my- I think I had to much ATS lately, when I saw the title I immediatly thought of some sort of nuclear artifact or mecha factory ! Anyway, great find. These archaic humans were not that archaic, it seems !



new topics

top topics



 
15
<<   2 >>

log in

join