Friday, 15 March 2013

Leaf Shaped Arrowheads

Prehistorics reproductions of the wide variety of leaf blades style found in the UK.

Leaf Arrowheads are a diverse category of arrowheads which dominated the early Neolithic Era, are found in smaller numbers dating from the mid Neolithic and become quite scarce in late Neolithic. The decline most likely demonstrates their gradual replacement as more effective designs of arrowhead were created. 

Leaf Arrowheads can be divided into two broad types, oval and kite shapes, these can be both long and thin or short and wide. Some found can be very crude only basically shaped while others incredibly thin and delicate showing an immense amount of skill which were most likely status symbols as they were far to delicate to shoot. 

Left: Kite shaped arrowhead found in Wandsworth. Below: classic leaf design.

Lacking barbs leaf arrowheads are not as effective as later Neolithic designs but not being notched are easier to make. One suggestion is as the Neolithic farming evolution was taking place and knapping was changing from being a survival skill learnt to a basic level by everyone, to an artisan trade done by a specialists in a pastoral community, that the leaf arrowhead was a transitory arrowhead. As highly skilled knappers emerged the crude Mesolithic designs began to go out of fashion and the more aesthetic leaf arrowhead was introduced, being manufacturable in both cruder forms by basic knappers and highly skilled forms it fitted all for a period until knapping became entirely specialised.