Description: A good-sized bifacially flaked flint celt, possibly a rough-out, with dense dirty grey/off-white patination. An area of cortex remaining on one side and some minor surface wear, but overall condition good, with an old provenance label attached. From Cissbury, Sussex, and possibly from the flint mines at Cissbury Rings.
Size: 148 mm/5.8 ins. in length
Culture: Early Neolithic
Date: c. 4th Millennium B.C.
Provenance: From the collection of Sir Lucas White King (1865-1925).
Background: Sir Lucas White King was an Anglo-Irish colonial administrator in India before becoming Professor of Oriental Languages at Trinity College, Dublin, from 1905-1922, after which he lived in London. He was knighted in 1919.
Notes: The Neolithic flint mines at Cissbury Rings, Sussex, were one of the earliest flint mines in Britain and form the most important network of flint mining tunnels in Sussex, being exploited for about 900 years. Shafts up to 12 m deep were dug to mine higher quality flint than could be found on the surface. Up to eight galleries extended outwards from the bottom of the shafts, often interconnecting with one another. Axes were produced on the site as roughouts and traded over considerable distances, with Cissbury flint being found as far away as Italy.
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