THE CLACTON SPEAR TIP
The "Clacton spear tip" is the oldest wooden artifact ever found in Britain. Estimates of its age range from 300,000 to 450,000 years old. The original spear tip has warped and shrunk since its discovery. This picture shows an early cast of the artifact. The name comes from Clacton-On-Sea, England where it was found. The Clacton spear was discovered in interglacial deposits in 1911 by J. Hazzledine Warren. Experiments show that one of the most efficient ways the sharpened tip could be made was by using fire, grinding and scraping processes. Charring the tip of the shaft in fire then grinding off the burnt material on the ground and on a stone complete the initial manufacturing stage. Then the point was finished with a unifacial scraping tool. The total time using fire was 45 minutes compared with other manufacturing experiments that took one and a half to two hours to complete. The Clacton spear is made of yew wood and its earliest measurements, before it shrunk, are 15 1/4 inches (38.7 cm) long and 1 1/2 inches (3.8 cm) at its widest.