Record Details

NHER Number:26602
Type of record:Monument
Name:Palaeolithic flint scatter and multi-period finds/features at Norwich City Football Club, Carrow Road

Summary

During the period 2003-2006 this site was subject to archaeological investigations and excavations. The key findings of the excavation relate to in-situ scatters of worked flints dated to the Final Upper Palaeolithic period. The scatters consisted of cores, debitage and tools, including bruised blades. The survival of in-situ Upper Palaeolithic flint artefacts is an exceptional occurrence within Norfolk, the site representing a find of national importance. As well as these very early finds a selection of Mesolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Age worked flints, prehistoric pits and post holes and medieval and post-medieval features were identified.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 24078 07767
Map Sheet:TG20NW
Parish:NORWICH, NORWICH, NORFOLK

Full description

June 2001. Desk-based Assessment.
See report (S1) for details.
S. Howard (NLA), 21 July 2010.

April-September 2002. Trial Trenching and Building Survey.
Evaluation of proposed redevelopment site. Contexts 1-95 used.
Two of the five excavated trenches revealed worked flints of probable Early Prehistoric date, including, significantly, an in situ scatter on a former sand bar or island near the River Wensum. It was recognised that this material was likely to represent the earliest recorded occupation in Norwich. Although the general characteristics of the worked flint assemblage suggested an Early Prehistoric date, its exact age was difficult to determine due to the absence of diagnostic debitage or implements. It was suggested that the in situ concentration was potentially Mesolithic, although it was noted that at least some pieces in the assemblage may date to what would now be referred to as the Terminal Upper Palaeolithic. The environmental evidence also pointed towards a date in the Mesolithic (or earlier) for this material. Alder was absent in a pollen sample taken from a possible palaeosol above the main flint concentration, suggesting a pre-7000 BP date for its formation. The composition of the pollen assemblage was also consistent with that recovered from deposits of probable Mesolithic date elsewhere along the course of the river. Monolith samples taken during this work were analysed following the completion of subsequent fieldwork (see below).

The three trenches excavated closest to the river revealed a deep and widespread peat sequence. Environmental evidence from this and other sites at Riverside suggest that the earliest peat could be older than 7000 BP. These peat deposits were well-preserved and as a result there is the potential for the survival of prehistoric organic material. The peat sequence was sealed beneath dumped material of Victorian and later date. The remnants of the sand bar or island were sealed by much shallower modern makeup deposits. A number of worked flints were recovered from the peat deposits. Some are potentially residual Early Prehistoric pieces, whilst other are probably much later in date. More recent finds recovered included medieval and post-medieval pottery sherds and brick and tile fragments; a medieval horseshoe; post-medieval bottle and window glass and clay pipe fragments; a number of undatable animal bones and a small amount of iron slag. There was no evidence for structures associated the River Wensum, suggesting the site was some distance from activity linked to the post-Roman river frontage.

A record was also made of an early 19th century malt house and associated cottage that stand within the redevelopment area (NHER 38193). The malt-house is one of only two such buildings surviving in Norwich.

See reports (S2) and (S3) for further details. The results of this work are also summarised in (S4).
The associated archive has been deposited with the Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 2011.199).
J. Allen (NLA) 28 January 2003. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 27 April 2019.

Summer 2003. Excavation. Contexts 96-963.
Excavations undertaken prior to redevelopment at Norwich City Football Club. Two areas were selected for detailed excavation (Trenches 6 and 8) and two additional areas were investigated using a ‘Strip, Map and Record’ methodology (Trenches 7 and 9). The areas subject to detailed excavation were gridded out in 1m by 1m squares which were then excavated in narrow spits, with all material wet-sieved on site. The ‘Strip Map and Sample’ areas were gridded into 5m x 5m units, within each of which a single sondage measuring 1.25 x 1m was excavated. Worked flints associated with in situ clusters were recorded in three dimensions and individually bagged. Samples were taken for soil micromorphology and scientific dating.

Upper Palaeolithic worked flints:

Two in situ clusters of worked flints were identified during this phase of work, both of which were associated with sand deposits of probable Late Glacial/Early Holocene date. These sands overlay a cold climate soil (fragipan) that can be dated to the Younger Dryas Stadial (a pronounced cold period that interrupted the gradual warming that followed the peak of the Last Glacial Maximum). As suggested by the earlier evaluation it appears that at this time the site lay on a sand bar or island, approximately 50-100m from an active channel of the River Wensum. The Late Glacial river meandered across a wide flood plain and would therefore have been associated with many such channels. As the flow of water along the river reduced during the Early Holocene the previously observed peats deposits accumulated in the channel closest to the site, and, over time, the main river channel deepened and became fixed in its present position. Pollen evidence suggests that peat formation started at some time prior to 8,000 BP, but not until the Mesolithic, when mixed oak, pine and hazel woodland was present in the vicinity. It is likely that the flints themselves had been sealed by overbank flooding and the deposition of wind-blown sands, presumably relatively soon after they were deposited.

The two clusters of worked flints recovered during the excavation appear to be examples of Terminal Upper Palaeolithic Long Blade industries, being associated with blades greater than 12cm in length and large pieces with distinctive crushed edges (so-called ‘bruised blades’). The first in situ group of worked flints (Cluster 1) was identified during the detailed excavation of Trench 8. In total 272 were considered to belong to this cluster, which had been partially disturbed by later features. These included:
1 bruised blade segments.
1 lightly bruised blade segment.
7 retouched/utilised blades and blade segments.
6 blade cores (2 large and 4 small).
3 flake cores.
5 core rejuvenation flakes.
9 crested blades/flakes (1 retouched/utilised).
82 blades and blade segments.
95 flakes and flake fragments.
63 chips and smalls.
A number of refits were identified within this cluster, including several blades that can be refitted onto the cores. No formal tools were present, although a small number of the blades showed signs of retouch/utilisation. One bruised blade and a lightly bruised blade were also identified.

Hand excavation in Trench 9 produced 170 worked flints, of which 97 appeared to form an in situ group (Cluster 2). These included:
2 notched blades.
2 retouched blade segments.
9 bruised blades (3 crested blades).
5 utilised blades/flakes.
2 core tablets.
3 crested blades/flakes.
24 blades and blade segments.
35 flakes and flake fragments.
15 spalls.
Although a number of fragments could be conjoined only one refitting group could be identified. The retouched blade segments both had conjoining blade fragments and in both cases the retouch had been applied after the blade had been deliberately snapped. There is a clear pattern to the bruised blades, with all but one having the bruising damage on their left edge and all of the incomplete pieces broken between the bruised area and the proximal end (suggesting use in a chopping action that eventually caused the blades to break towards their ‘handle’). It is possible that these blades had been used as hammers to adjust core platforms during knapping.

The worked flints recovered during the earlier evaluation were re-examined during the analysis of the excavation assemblage. The main group, (now referred to as Cluster 3) comprised a single bipolar and a number of blades and flakes. No refits onto the core were identified, although one was found between two of the blades. A notable component of the assemblage was a number of large flakes with cortical surfaces, suggesting that the primary reduction of flint nodules had occurred in the vicinity.

No refits were identified between any of the three clusters, suggesting that they represented discrete knapping events. The composition of the two main assemblages is notably different. Cluster 1 contained cores for the production of both long blades and smaller blades, although it appears that initial core preparation had taken place elsewhere. No significant retouched pieces were present. In contrast, cores were absent in Cluster 2, which did contains several retouched piece and a group of heavily bruised blades.

The Terminal Upper Palaeolithic ‘Long Blade’ industries are generally seen as being a Late Glacial/Early Post Glacial phenomena; that is, associated with activity immediately prior to and during the Early Holocene (the start of which is now taken to be around 11,500 BP +/-). This is consistent with the stratigraphic position of the Carrow Road clusters, with Cluster 1 lying on or in weathered Holocene deposits and both Cluster 2 and Cluster 3 overlying Late Glacial fragipans. The five successful OSL dates obtained appear to confirm that these assemblages resulted from activity during the Early Holocene (although inevitably they cannot be directly associated with the archaeological material). A sequence of three dates obtained for the deposit sequence in Trench 8 appears to provide a maximum age (terminus post quem) for Cluster 1 of 10,300 BP. An earlier date of 11,160 +/- 740 BP was obtained for material within Trench 9, although the relationship of the dated sediment to Cluster 2 was unclear. It does however raise the possibility that there was considerable temporal separation between Cluster 1 and Cluster 2. It is likely that all three clusters represent short-term visits to this location, which was probably a distance from campsites located on the higher ground. This would explain the notable absence of the scrapers, burin and borers that would be expected at a more domestic setting.

Evidence for Mesolithic and later activity:

The excavation also produced evidence for Mesolithic and later prehistoric activity, although this was largely restricted to unstratified worked flints. A number of Mesolithic flints were recovered during the excavation of Trench 6, including microlith fragments and small blade cores. All four of the excavated trenches also produced material of probable Neolithic and/or Bronze Age date, although no notable concentrations were identified. A group of possible intercutting pits in Trench 9 was tentatively identified as potentially Late Prehistoric, although they produced little in the way of convincing dating evidence. Burnt flints were also recovered in many of the 1m units excavated in Trench 6 and it is possible that these represented the remains of a burnt mound. A single Iron Age coin and a small number of Roman pottery sherds were also recovered.
In at least two of the trenches the various prehistoric deposits were sealed by a soils of probable medieval date. These deposits produced a range of medieval finds, including pottery, a silver ring and a group of coins; all potentially the result of the dispersal of night soil onto agricultural land or waste ground. The medieval and earlier deposits were sealed by between 0.5m and 2m of later, post-medieval and modern dump and make-up deposits. The post-medieval deposits contained ironworking debris. Pottery, glass and metalwork recovered from the lower deposits in Trench 6 suggested that these had been disturbed. A small number of post-Roman features were identified, including two parallel ditches of probably late medieval date that crossed Trench 8, partially disturbing the Upper Palaeolithic flint cluster. Three undated features were also excavated in Trench 7 (a pit, a post-hole and a probable natural feature).

See full report (S5) and assessment report (S6) for further details. See also press cuttings (S7).
The associated archive has been deposited with the Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 2011.199).
P. Watkins (HES), 30 March 2015. Amended 27 April 2019.

July-August 2004. Watching Brief. Contexts 1001-1002.
Monitoring of piling operation for residential development at Carrow Bridge.
No features of archaeological interest were observed.
See report (S8) for further details.
J. Allen (NLA) 2 October 2006.

July 2006. Watching Brief. From Context 1100.
Monitoring of stripping for residential development in area between Norwich City Football Club ground and northern bank of River Wensum.
Approximately 1m of modern rubble was removed, crushed and relaid. The remains of a flint and brick wall were revealed towards the south-eastern corner of the area. The wall consisted of dressed stone blocks, undressed flint and occasional red brick, and was orientated north-south. The Mordant map of 1837 shows the wall to lie in the same area and on the same alignment as the wherry canal which joined the malthouse to the Wensum. From its composition it seems likely that the wall is one of the sides of the wherry canal. The southern half of the wall was angled fractionally towards the south-west and sloped at an angle of 45 degrees. The slope could indicate that the wall ended or dropped at the point where it connected to the Wensum.
See report (S9) for further information. The results of this work are also summarised in (S10).
The associated archive has been deposited with the Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 2016.74).
H. White (NLA), 11 November 2008. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 30 March 2015 and 27 April 2019.

December 2011. Trial Trench.
Evaluation of proposed development site at Norwich Heights, adjacent to Carrow Road.
The trial trench excavated demonstrated that this area did not contain any evidence of the sand bar seen during previous excavations (S2) at the adjacent Norwich City Football Ground, and that the sand bar or 'island' described above did not extend this far, but the site was within a relict, peat-filled palaeochannel of the River Wensum.
See report (S11) for further details.
E. Bales (HES), 11th June 2012. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 30 March 2015.

Monument Types

  • PIT (Unknown date)
  • POST HOLE (Unknown date)
  • FINDSPOT (Prehistoric - 1000000 BC to 42 AD)
  • PIT (Prehistoric - 1000000 BC? to 42 AD?)
  • FINDSPOT (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC to 10001 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Upper Palaeolithic to Late Mesolithic - 40000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Early Mesolithic to Early Neolithic - 10000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Early Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 701 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • DITCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • DITCH (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • WALL (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Unknown date)
  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Unknown date)
  • METAL WORKING DEBRIS (Unknown date)
  • NAIL (Unknown date)
  • POT (Unknown date)
  • SAMPLE (Unknown date)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Unknown date)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Unknown date)
  • WASTE (Unknown date)
  • BLADE (Lower Palaeolithic to Late Iron Age - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • BLADE CORE (Lower Palaeolithic to Late Iron Age - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • BLADE CORE (Lower Palaeolithic to Late Iron Age - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • BURNT FLINT (Lower Palaeolithic to Late Iron Age - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • BURNT FLINT (Lower Palaeolithic to Late Iron Age - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • CORE (Lower Palaeolithic to Late Iron Age - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • DEBITAGE (Lower Palaeolithic to Late Iron Age - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • DEBITAGE (Lower Palaeolithic to Late Iron Age - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • FLAKE (Lower Palaeolithic to Late Iron Age - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • FLAKE (Lower Palaeolithic to Late Iron Age - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • FLAKE (Lower Palaeolithic to Late Iron Age - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • FLAKE (Lower Palaeolithic to Late Iron Age - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • HAMMERSTONE (Lower Palaeolithic to Late Iron Age - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • NOTCHED FLAKE (Lower Palaeolithic to Late Iron Age - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • RETOUCHED FLAKE (Lower Palaeolithic to Late Iron Age - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • SCRAPER (TOOL) (Lower Palaeolithic to Late Iron Age - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • BLADE (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC to 10001 BC)
  • BLADE (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC to 10001 BC)
  • BLADE (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC to 10001 BC)
  • BLADE (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC to 10001 BC)
  • BLADE (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC to 10001 BC)
  • BLADE (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC? to 10001 BC?)
  • BLADE (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC? to 10001 BC?)
  • BLADE (Upper Palaeolithic to Late Mesolithic - 40000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • BLADE CORE (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC to 10001 BC)
  • BLADE CORE (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC? to 10001 BC?)
  • BLADE CORE (Upper Palaeolithic to Late Mesolithic - 40000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • BLADE CORE (Upper Palaeolithic to Late Mesolithic - 40000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • CORE (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC to 10001 BC)
  • CORE (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC to 10001 BC)
  • CRESTED BLADE (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC to 10001 BC)
  • CRESTED BLADE (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC to 10001 BC)
  • DEBITAGE (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC to 10001 BC)
  • DEBITAGE (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC to 10001 BC)
  • DEBITAGE (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC to 10001 BC)
  • DEBITAGE (Upper Palaeolithic to Late Mesolithic - 40000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • FLAKE (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC to 10001 BC)
  • FLAKE (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC to 10001 BC)
  • FLAKE (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC to 10001 BC)
  • FLAKE (Upper Palaeolithic to Late Mesolithic - 40000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC to 10001 BC)
  • NOTCHED BLADE (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC to 10001 BC)
  • RETOUCHED BLADE (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC to 10001 BC)
  • RETOUCHED BLADE (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC to 10001 BC)
  • RETOUCHED BLADE (Upper Palaeolithic to Late Mesolithic - 40000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • BLADE (Early Mesolithic to Early Neolithic - 10000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • BLADE (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • BLADE (Mesolithic - 10000 BC? to 4001 BC?)
  • BLADE CORE (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • BLADE CORE (Mesolithic - 10000 BC? to 4001 BC?)
  • BURNT FLINT (Early Mesolithic to Early Neolithic - 10000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • END SCRAPER (Mesolithic - 10000 BC? to 4001 BC?)
  • FLAKE (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Early Mesolithic to Early Neolithic - 10000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • MICROLITH (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • RETOUCHED FLAKE (Early Mesolithic to Early Neolithic - 10000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • END SCRAPER (Late Prehistoric - 4000 BC to 42 AD)
  • FLAKE (Late Prehistoric - 4000 BC to 42 AD)
  • SCRAPER (TOOL) (Late Prehistoric - 4000 BC to 42 AD)
  • SCRAPER (TOOL) (Neolithic - 4000 BC? to 2351 BC?)
  • WORKED OBJECT (Early Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 701 BC)
  • COIN (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BEAD (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • BRICK (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • BUILDING MATERIAL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • COIN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FINGER RING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HORSESHOE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POT (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • ROOF TILE (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • BOTTLE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • BOTTLE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • BUCKLE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • BUILDING MATERIAL (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • CLOTH SEAL (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • COIN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • METAL WORKING DEBRIS (Post Medieval - 1540 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • TOBACCO PIPE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • TOBACCO PIPE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • WINDOW (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • WINDOW GLASS (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Photograph: KRT.
---Photograph: Adams, D.. 2006-7. MWN-MWT.
---Photograph: NAU. 2006. LXW.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Slide: Various. Slide.
<S1>Unpublished Contractor Report: Hawkins, D. 2001. An Archaeological Desk-based Assessment of land at Norwich City Football Club, Carrow Road, Norwich, Norfolk. CgMs Consulting.
<S2>Unpublished Contractor Report: Adams, D. 2002. Interim Report on an Archaeological Evaluation at Norwich City Football Club, Carrow Road, Norwich, Norfolk. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 753.
<S3>Unpublished Contractor Report: Adams, D. 2003. An Archaeological Evaluation and Building Survey at Norwich City Football Club, Carrow Road, Norwich. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 791.
<S4>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. (eds). 2003. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk, 2002. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLIV Pt II pp 368-384. p 376.
<S5>Unpublished Contractor Report: Adams, D. 2009. An Archaeological Excavation at Norwich City Football Club, Carrow Road, Norwich. NAU Archaeology. 1447.
<S6>Unpublished Contractor Report: Adams, D. 2004. An Archaeological Excavation, Watching Brief and Building Survey at Norwich City Football Club, Carrow Road, Norwich, Norfolk. Assessment report and updated project design. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 948 (amended).
<S7>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2003-2005. [Articles on the work undertaken at Carrow Road in 2003].
<S8>Unpublished Contractor Report: Tatler, S. 2004. An Archaeological Watching Brief at Carrow Road, Norwich, Norfolk. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 985.
<S9>Unpublished Contractor Report: Ratcliff, M. 2008. An Archaeological Watching Brief at Carrow Road, Norwich. NAU Archaeology. 1349.
<S10>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. (ed.). 2007. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk in 2006. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLV Pt II pp 261-273. p 269.
<S11>Unpublished Contractor Report: Hinham, M. 2011. An Archaeological Evaluation at Norwich Heights, Carrow Road, Norwich, Norfolk. Pre-Construct Archaeology. R11145.

Related records - none

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