Scotlands History

Flint tools and knapping

The earliest prehistoric tools surviving in Scotland date from around 3000 BC. At this time people were learning how to fashion simple tools for cutting, scraping and throwing. Plentiful supplies of local hard stones - such as flint, whinstone and chert - were used.

‘To knap’ means to strike, knock or rap something sharply. Knapping is the skill of splitting, chipping and shaping stones to make a tool.

Knapdale in Argyll and the Knap of Howar in Orkney, a settlement dating from 3500 to 3100 BC, are names that tell us that there was a good local hard stone suitable for knapping.

  • Woman making tools 'flint knapping'

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