Pre-historic Flint Axes


Prehistoric hunters lived in Canterbury and East Kent from about 600,000 to 5,000 years ago. The only things that remain of these peoples are flint weapons and tools, used for cutting down trees and killing and butchering animals. Flints occur in great abundance in local chalk. Selecting the best flint and knapping it to make a range of tools or weapons for specific jobs required very great skill.

The skull of an Aurochs or giant ox, found at Milton gravel quarry, shows the size of ferocious beasts that were hunted for food and domesticated to become the ancestors of today’s cattle. The aurochs survived in Britain until about 2,200 years ago. They became extinct when the last one died near Warsaw, Poland, in 1627.


Pre-historic flint hand axe, on display at Canterbury Heritage Museum

Pre-historic flint hand axe. © Canterbury Museums and Galleries collection

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