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Polished Axe Head

North Kent is rich in stone tools – evidence of very early settlers and beautiful objects in themselves.


The New Stone Age polished flint axe head would have been fitted with a handle giving greater leverage. The polished surface would have allowed the axe head to penetrate a surface such as a tree trunk more smoothly and fully.

Guildhall Museum, Rochester

Guildhall Museum,
17 High St,
ME1 1PY,
United Kingdom


An important change, which takes place during the Mesolithic (or Middle Stone Age) is that axe heads start to be polished. This was probably achieved using water and sand. The advantage of having a smooth head is that it will sink deeper into any wood you chop. The final and fairly decisive change that takes place is the addition of a handle. These combined changes allow people to move on from their hunter-gatherer existence by letting them clear woods and farm the land.

Curriculum Links

  • KS1: Local History, Significant Events
  • KS2: Local History, Britain from Stone Age to Iron Age, Rocks, Materials and Their Properties
  • KS3: Local History, Britain Before 1066


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