antler pick

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A type of tool found widely amongst the sites of Neolithic communities in northwestern Europe. They are formed from a red‐deer antler from which all but the brow tine has been removed; the beam forms the handle and the brow tine the ‘pick’. They were used for excavating soil and quarrying out stone and bedrock. The marks left by their use have been detected on the sides of ditches, pits, and shafts. Experiments suggest that they were used rather more like levers than the kind of pickaxe that is swung from over the shoulder.

Subjects: Archaeology.

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