Record Details

NHER Number:20054
Type of record:Monument
Name:Mesolithic lithic working site and probable Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age occupation site, Decoy Fen

Summary

Fieldwalking undertaken as part of the Fenland Project identified an extensive scatter of prehistoric finds on a sandhill at this location. A subsequent much more detailed gridded fieldwalking survey recovered a large number of finds including pottery, 'pot boilers', animal bone and over 1400 worked flints. These finds indicate successive episodes of prehistoric activity in the Mesolithic/Early Neolithic, the Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age and possibly also the later Bronze Age.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TL 6578 8553
Map Sheet:TL68NE
Parish:HOCKWOLD CUM WILTON, WEST NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

8 February 1984. Fenland Project fieldwalking.
Site HCW 18.
Tributary roddon of Little Ouse rodham, consisting of sandy silt. From its emergence from the peat until its confluence with the main roddon sand this sand ridge had a regular scatter of flints and fire cracked flints along its length. Max dimensions 165m x 20m maximum.
Approximately 250 pieces of struck flint were recovered, this multi-period assemblage including cores, blades and flakes. A single sherd of indet. prehistoric pottery and three fragments of fired clay were also found.
See notes in file for details of concentrations identified.
R. Silvester (NAU) 9 February 1984.

March 1985. Fenland Project fieldwalking (gridded collection).
More systematical, gridded collection undertaken in order to provide a more object assessment of spatial and chronological variations in the flint scatter. Although it was originally intended that the site would be revisited on subsequent occasions this was not possible.

The survey recovered a large number of additional worked flints (1492). Twenty sherds of pottery, a sandstone rubber, 30 fragments of fired clay, several concentrations of 'pot boilers' and considerable quantities of animal bone were also found. These finds, along with those from the earlier work represent activity during several different periods:

Mesolithic/Early Neolithic
It is likely that many of the blade cores and blades recovered and several serrated blades were associated with Mesolithic and/or Early Neolithic activity. Mesolithic activity was evidenced by two tranchet axes (found during the initial survey) and four microliths, with the recovery of a single micro burin indicating the latter were being producted at this site.

Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age.
Most of the pottery recovered and a significant proportion of the flint assemblage (including flake cores and many hard-hammer struck pieces) appear to represent LNEBA activity. Later Neolithic activity was represented by a single sherd of Grooved Ware, a single chisel arrowhead and two Levallois cores (the latter found during the initial survey. Beaker-period/Early Bronze Age activity was represent by 6 sherds of Beaker pottery, 1 ?Food Vessel sherd and several scale-flaked knifes. The LNEBA finds were concentrated at the NE end of the sandhill. It is possible that the fired clay recovered was primarily associated with this phase of activity as it was concentrated in the area where most of the LNEBA pottery was found.

Later Bronze Age.
The presence of what are probably later Bronze Age urn sherds suggests at least a degree of activity during this period. It is possible that some of the cruder flint debitage was of this date.

For further details see project archive (S1) and the final publication (S2). The results of the gridded collection were initially reported in (S3). The finds are now held by the Norwich Castle Museum.
E. Rose (NAU) 11 August 1986. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 4 September 2013.

1989 to 1990. Further fieldwork during Fenland Evaluation Project
Auger traverse across site and into surrounding peat. Samples of peat, both waterlogged and dry were collected by auger. Site clearly eroded by the wind.
Dossier prepared for HBMC, see copy in file (S4).
M.D. Leah (NAU) August 1990.

Monument Types

  • BURNT MOUND (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Early Mesolithic to Early Neolithic - 10000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • LITHIC WORKING SITE (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • OCCUPATION SITE (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Late Neolithic - 3000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age - 3000 BC to 1501 BC)
  • OCCUPATION SITE (Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age - 3000 BC to 1501 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Middle Bronze Age to Late Bronze Age - 1600 BC to 701 BC)

Associated Finds

  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Unknown date)
  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Unknown date)
  • BLADE (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • CORE (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • DENTICULATE (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • END SCRAPER (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • FABRICATOR (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • FLAKE (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • POLISHER (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • POT BOILER (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • POT BOILER (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • RETOUCHED BLADE (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • RETOUCHED FLAKE (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • SCRAPER (TOOL) (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • SCRAPER (TOOL) (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • SERRATED BLADE (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • SIDE SCRAPER (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • BLADE (Early Mesolithic to Early Neolithic - 10000 BC? to 3001 BC?)
  • BLADE CORE (Early Mesolithic to Early Neolithic - 10000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • BLADE CORE (Early Mesolithic to Early Neolithic - 10000 BC? to 3001 BC?)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Early Mesolithic to Early Neolithic - 10000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • MICROBURIN (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • MICROLITH (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • SERRATED BLADE (Early Mesolithic to Early Neolithic - 10000 BC? to 3001 BC?)
  • TRANCHET AXEHEAD (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • AXEHEAD (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • CORE (Late Prehistoric - 4000 BC to 42 AD)
  • FLAKE (Late Prehistoric - 4000 BC to 42 AD)
  • LEVALLOIS FLAKE (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • LEVALLOIS FLAKE (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Early Neolithic - 4000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • POT (Late Prehistoric - 4000 BC to 42 AD)
  • POT (Late Prehistoric - 4000 BC to 42 AD)
  • KNIFE (Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age - 3000 BC to 1501 BC)
  • LEVALLOIS CORE (Late Neolithic - 3000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age - 3000 BC to 1501 BC)
  • POT (Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age - 3000 BC to 1501 BC)
  • TRANSVERSE ARROWHEAD (Late Neolithic - 3000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • POT (Early Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 1501 BC)
  • POT (Beaker - 2300 BC to 1700 BC)
  • BORER (Middle Bronze Age to Late Bronze Age - 1600 BC to 701 BC)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Middle Bronze Age to Late Bronze Age - 1600 BC to 701 BC)
  • POT (Middle Bronze Age to Late Bronze Age - 1600 BC? to 701 BC?)

Protected Status

  • SHINE

Sources and further reading

---Archive: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Secondary File: Secondary file.
<S1>Archive: Fenland Folders.
<S2>Monograph: Silvester, R. J. 1991. The Fenland Project, Number 4: The Wissey Embayment and the Fen Causeway, Norfolk. East Anglian Archaeology. No 52.
<S3>Article in serial: Healy, F. and Silvester, R. J. 1986. The Decoy Farm Sandhill. Fenland Research. 3.
<S4>Unpublished document: Leah, M. D. (NAU) and Mathews, M. (NAU). 1990. Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission Dossier.

Related records - none

Find out more...

Norfolk County Council logo Heritage Lottery Fund logo

Powered by HBSMR-web and the HBSMR Gateway from exeGesIS SDM Ltd, and mojoPortal CMS
© 2007 - 2018 Norfolk Historic Environment Service