Shoe-last celt

Shoe-last celt

A Shoe-last celt is a long thin stone tool characteristic of the early Neolithic Linearbandkeramik and Hinkelstein cultures, also called Danubian I in the older literature. See also celt.


The tools are square in profile with a rounded top, which is why they are compared with shoe makers' lasts. The preferred material is amphibolite; basalt is also used.


Shape and wear show that they were used as adzes to fell trees and to work wood. Some blades have traces of hafting as well. The finds from the wells of Kückhoven and Eythra in Germany demonstrate a high standard of carpentry. Shoe-last celts have also been used as weapons, as attested by smashed skulls from Schletz (Austria) and Talheim, Neckar (Germany). An older theory suggests their use as hoes, but there are no wear traces to support this.

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