Could it be?
Could this object, nestled in the palm of my hand, have also nestled in the palm of another hand (probably a much hairier one) 12000 years ago or more?
Well, I don't know, but I've become mildly obsessed with this beautiful piece of flint I found in the garden and the idea that it might be a small Stone Age tool. A hand axe perhaps, or a scraper. It caught my eye ages ago and I kept it with the bird skulls, fragments of china, pieces of clay pipe and even a mummified baby rat amongst other random objects that comprise my personal little Garden Finds Museum (admission is free but please phone ahead). I kept it because I thought it looked lovely; there's something compelling about it aesthetically - you could say that it "spoke" to me when I first discovered it in the soil. It feels good too, it feels good in my hand. It was only recently when I stumbled across some images of Paleolithic tools that I suddenly thought about it differently and started to wonder if there had been some human intervention in its formation thousands of years ago.
My mild obsession has led me to numerous websites where I'm learning about things which might help identify whether or not that could be the case. I'm finding out about striking points, bulbs of percussion, negative flake scars, distal termination and ripples - all sorts of things that sound like progressive rock album titles. It's amazing what info you can absorb when you're interested and yet if you tried to teach me about managerial accounting or Coldplay's back catalogue I wouldn't remember a thing.
Perhaps it's more likely that this is just a flake of flint which was naturally battered by time and thermal changes and/or broken by the blades of a combine harvester, but I'd still like to fantasise that it came courtesy of a half naked man with strong, skilled hands and a pet mammoth called Brian*. Ok, that last part might be a bit far-fetched, but still, could it have a back story? I may try to find out more. I'm prepared for a disappointment on the history front but its beauty remains, regardless.
And to go with it, here's a piece of Jurassic beat, very sub-Crampsian and not quite as old as it sounds...
Eddie Angels: Caveman (1993)
* After my friend's cat - not our lovely blogging pal!