January 30, 2011

SILEX, SILEX EVERYWHERE

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Silex is flint. Prehistoric man used it to make tools and weapons and in Le Grand-Pressigny there are tons of it everywhere.

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The fields are full of it and it has been used in the construction of lots of the buildings, including the château and our little house.

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Here it is, forming part of our old walls.

It is incredibly hard and it makes fixing anything to the walls extremely difficult.

 

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There is plenty of it in the walls of the château.

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And in numerous other walls around the village, especially near the château.

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This house on Grande Rue has arrowheads as decoration by the front door.

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We have spent hours scouring the fields for anything that looks like it might be an arrowhead, or something interesting. Apparently it is actually an offence if you don’t declare any significant findings to the authorities.

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So far we have not been lucky. And there’s such a lot of ground to cover.

 

We keep looking, though. There are often lots of interesting shapes to be found.silex10

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We got really excited when we found this.

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But we have come to the conclusion that centuries of farming must surely have turned up everything really important by now, so the best place to see an arrowhead, and the way they are made and everything you could possibly want to know about them is in our very own museum.

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10 comments:

  1. Oh yes I know just how difficult it is to fix anything to the walls :-( Diane

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  2. Oh, but the fun is in the hunt, especially if you've got nothing better to do.

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  3. Interesting post Jean.
    I love the colours in your banner photograph.

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  4. Jean,
    something has happened to your post.. the last four pictures [12,10,3and 8.... before the link to the museum one] are all jumbled up with 3 underlying 8!

    Silex three is part of a blade section [unfinished, so probably discarded when it broke on making!] But look out for these with some re-working along one edge... they are probably a rough and ready scraper that has been made from one of the throw-outs from the work site.

    The ten flints by the door on Silex 16 are "livres du beurre" and are the cores left when working the flint for the long blades that Grand-Pressigny is famous for... one of these cores made it as far as a site near Durham... probably in exchange for other goods... it shows how valuable the local flint was in the pre-history community.

    And don't overlook the very small 'micro-liths'... some of these might have been from a spear or an arrow.
    Take a look here at one I made earlier... well, not me, but the very interesting demonstrator at the museum this summer.
    It actually worked!
    Next time you are over well show you both some of the flints we've found at La Forge... out of context as they came from our fosse bed pile so un-dateable... but interesting nevertheless!

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  5. Hi Tim - I KNEW you would be able to tell me all about it! Thanks for that - we will definitely come and see your specimens next time we are over.

    Thanks for the tip about the jumbled up photos. I don't know why it should happen or what to do about it so sorry about that. It may be because I have started using Windows Live Writer to compose the posts before publishing and I was trying to do something clever with the photos - just because you can. I'll stick to boring centre of column photos in future so it can't happen again.
    Apologies to you or anyone else who can't see them properly.

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  6. We have river bed stones here, of all shapes and sizes, both in the house walls and in the ground. Paid quite a lot of money to buy similar stones for our ex-garden in the UK!

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  7. Jean, it isn't LiveWriter... I've had the same problem recently with some of our other posts; the one about the fishing at Le Louroux being one... I tried to make the post look visually interesting and it came out worse than yours... so it was picture [centered] two returns, and repeat for each picture. I had to delete them all first, too.

    The WV is "lenes".... so if Blogger can't make up its mind how to spell "lens" or "lenses", it might be the source of all the picture problems!!

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  8. Tim - it's so frustrating when you spend ages composing a post and see it all turn to mush when you click on "publish" !!

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  9. Hello Jean! I love the new header banner photo too! You seem to always be in the right place the right time...I tend to see the chateau through heavy eyelids on two wheels to pick up or drop off the girls :D

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  10. Hi Nic, glad you like the photo. We were just on our way back from a walk with Lulu one evening last October and as we rounded the corner into Rue du Château, the whole place was bathed in the most magnificent golden light. A few moments later it was gone. Luckily, I had my camera with me.

    Of course, I would really like to be there all the time as well as just the right time....but that's another issue !!!

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