Stone Age Artefacts from the Stokesley Area

Some years ago, a number of artefacts were discovered in a local peat deposit and examined by experts from Durham University. The owners are pleased to allow the Stokesley Heritage group to show photographs of some of these objects on this website.

The artefacts are made of stone and deer antler and date back to the stone age. Most of the photographs below, of the stone objects, are shown by permission of the photographer,
John Edwards.

Hand Axe

Length 10 cm approx


These pictures show both sides of the axe. Its rough finish probably indicates a relatively ancient stone implement. It was probably held in the hand, and used for chopping and cutting.


Length 5cm approx


Above, Left & Right
These photos show both surfaces of the tool. The curved edge sits in the cradle made by the forefinger and index finger, while the thumb fits comfortably into the hollow shown clearly in the left-hand image above.
The other edge is extremely sharp even after several thousand years, and would easily have sliced through meat!

This photograph by Keith Burton shows how the scraper/knife was held for use. Note the way it has been shaped to fit comfortably in the hand, and the clean and remarkably smooth cutting edge.

Hafted Stone Axe Head

Length 12cm approx


Again, both sides of this artefact are shown in the pictures. This much more sophisticated tool shows real craft in its careful shaping and in the regularity of the size and shape of the flakes removed from the sides to form its cutting edges.
The position of the long-disappeared haft is clear from the left-hand image where the pristine surface (unworked) on the side of the axe shows where the handle would have fitted. This would clearly have been a more efficient tool, and a great advance on the hand axe at the top of this page.

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