Talk: The Tarradale Tools [North Kessock]
18 July 2019, Starts: 19:30
The Tarradale Tools
Talk by Ben Elliott
North Kessock Hall. Organised by NoSAS. Cost: £2. Coffee, tea and cakes provided. Open to all.
The North of Scotland Archaeological Society’s Tarradale Through Time project is delighted to hold a special summer talk by Ben Elliott. Ben is THE expert on antler T axes and will talk about his work and reflect on the importance of the two antler axes found during the TTT excavation of 2017.
During the fifth millennium cal. BC, Northwestern Europe was home to a rich tapestry of diverse and dynamic hunter-gatherer communities. These groups produced and used a wide range of axe tools from a variety of different raw materials, which form an important part of the region's archaeological record. Yet. historically, the ways in which these axes have been studied has been heavily influenced by their classification as "Mesolithic" material culture. Many of the approaches and questions which have produced such rich understandings of social life in the Neolithic are yet to be applied to the material of the proceeding millennium. This lecture will touch on case studies which challenge the conventional view that the start of farming heralds the birth of the prehistoric axe as a complex symbol. It will present a series of "alternative axe narratives", using examples of Nøstvet adzes, Lihult axes, red deer antler T-axes, and Irish polished shale axes. These case studies produce important new insights into the hunter-gatherer groups of Northwestern Europe in the 5th millennium BC, and form a vital context for understanding the subsequent adoption of agricultural practices in this region.