Ripple-flaked arrowhead

This arrowhead is unprovenanced but was probably found in Wigtownshire.  These distinctive 'ripple-flaked' arrowheads are often found at large late Neolithic (around 2500BC) enclosures and ceremonial sites.  They may have been made in Yorkshire and traded or exchanged into Galloway. It has a slightly hollow base and a bifacial 'ripple' retouch along one edge.   Neolithic flintworkers used more refined techniques than their mesolithic predecessors, often working over the surface of a blade to produce exactly the shape required for a particular purpose.   In previous centuries people thought that flint arrowheads such as these were the weapons of fairies or elves, and there were numerous superstitions surrounding them. In Ireland when cattle became sick they were sometimes diagnosed as having been struck by an "elf arrow". In Britain it was believed that you could not find one by searching for it, and that once found they should never be exposed to the sun or the fairies would recover them and work some mischief. Sometimes they were worn as charms, in parts of Africa they were considered good for the blood, and in parts of Italy they were believed to protect against lightning strikes.
Object no :
Collection :
Creator :
Place of Production :
possibly Yorkshire
Dimensions :
length 32mm, width 23mm
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Related site :
Accession number :
WIWMS 1999.23
Copyright :
Dumfries & Galloway Council
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