An imported gunflint or strike-a-light recovered from late 19th-century Makala Kataa. Flint is a fine-grained stone that creates a spark when struck against iron. Gunflints were shaped pieces of stone placed into the hammer of a gun mechanism. Pulling the trigger released the hammer, causing the flint to strike a steel plate and creating sparks that lit the gun's powder. The flint's top face (bottom left view) has been beveled by the flint knapper and its side edges (top left) have been flaked or chipped. Its bottom surface is smooth (bottom right). Gunflints like these were made in large numbers in centers like Brandon, Suffolk, England and imported into West Africa in large quantities during the 18th and 19th centuries. These flints were also used to spark fires apart from their use in guns, giving rise to the name "strike-a-light." Photo scale in cm. Site Makala Kataa. 25 June, 1990.
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Makala Kataa, Station 10, Trench 1, Unit 2, Level 1