Mesolithic Flint Tool (Microlith)
Approx 9,000 - 4000 BC
The most recent Ice Age ended some 11,000 years ago. This marks the transition from the Palaeolithic 'Old Stone Age' to the Mesolithic 'Middle Stone Age'; the period that lasted until around 6,000 years ago (4,000 BC). Mesolithic people appear to have lived a nomadic lifestyle, hunting game, fishing, and gathering plants.
We think that they lived in temporary homes similar to tents, which leave little or no trace in the archaeological record. They lived in an environment dominated by woodland, and would have used river valleys as routes through the forest.
The Wreake Valley is particularly rich in Mesolithic evidence. This evidence comes mainly in the form of flint tools, particularly small pieces called 'microliths' (literally small stones). These were fitted into wooden or bone shafts to form fishing spears, arrows and other weapons and tools.
This example is one of a group found near what is now the Police Station, Melton Mowbray.
Melton Carnegie Museum
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Page Last Updated: 13 May 2013