Flint - a vital resource

Flint axe

Beautiful axes appear from the underground east of Rødbyhavn


Flint tools are the best known object type from the Stone Age, as flint is not destroyed by being buried in the ground for thousands of years. Often, the tools are even still sharp.


Flint tools

The variety of flint tools is great.


A multitude of different tools

The flake blade, which was used for many different purposes, is a long, slender knife, which is among the most common tools and well represented among the finds at the excavations by Rødbyhavn. Apart from the flake blade, which was used as a knife, Neolithic people made actual flint knives with a blade and a hilt.


Another very useful tool, which can have many different forms, is a flint drill, which was used for making holes in skins, wood, antlers and bones. A number of these have been found.


Flint scraper

Scraper found in the excavation


The scraper was used for working animal skins. Scrapers are round flint flakes that have been knapped to form a sharp edge that can be used for scraping animal skins clean.


Many transverse arrowheads have emerged from the excavations. These tiny, fine tips would have been mounted on arrow shafts, some of which have also been found in the excavation. They were probably mounted by means of tar and string


Flint axe

One of the beautiful axes from the hoard


The diversity of the axes

The axe is another frequently found object at excavations. Like pottery, it can help date archaeological finds, as its appearance changes from the Early Stone Age to the Late Stone Age. In the early part, a small flake axe and the flint-core axe were used, whereas axes in the Late Stone Age had undergone development, so that they were larger and slimmer than the flake axes, and they might also have been polished.
Normally, the axes were used for chopping timber and felling trees, but these large axes are also found buried together in a hoard, which may be a kind of offering. Such a hoard was found to the northeast of Rødbyhavn where two fine axes have been found buried.


Stone Age people mastered the skill of working flint into weapons and tools to perfection. Flint was the most important raw material, and it was of great significance to the survival of the population. Without flint axes, it was impossible to fell trees, chop timber or hollow out wood for dugouts. Without arrowheads made of polished flint, they were unable to hunt and fish.
Flint was easily accessible to the Danish Stone Age population who had access to the raw material, which could either be picked up from the ground or extracted from underground mines. However, the starting point was the same - all worked flint began with one large flint block.