Record Details

NHER Number:4952
Type of record:Find Spot
Name:Palaeolithic, Late Upper Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic worked flints (Cranwich, marginal)

Summary

A large number of prehistoric worked flints were recovered by H. H. Halls and W. G. Clarke during the early 20th century at a site in Cranwich. The precise location of this site is not known, although it was probably somewhere on or near Cranwich Heath. The finds include at least one Palaeolithic handaxe and several Upper Palaeolithic worked flints, including a rare shouldered point, three long blade cores and a crested blade. The bulk of the material recovered appears to have been Neolithic, with the surviving pieces including flaked and polished axehead, adzes, chisels, knives, arrowheads, borers, awls and a range of other implements.

Images - none

Location

Parish:CRANWICH, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK

Full description

Many prehistoric worked flints recovered by H. H. Halls and W. G. Clarke at an unknown site in Cranwich.

THE SITE

In 1914 H. H. Halls reported having reported that between 1912 and 1914 he had recovered over 1260 worked flints at a site in Cranwich by H. H. Halls (S1). Unfortunately the location of this site (which he designated Site 16) is not entirely clear, being described by Halls simply as "…a small area of the parish..." (S1). It is however likely that this site lay somewhere on Cranwich Heath, with (S2) noting that it may have lain close to what is known as the Field Barn (TL 7714 9322). It possible that this is the site described by J. S. Warburton in (S3) as the "…part of the estate [in Cranwich] where the great majority of implements have been found". This location is noted as lying nearly two miles (3.2km) from the river, which would be consistant with a site somewhere in the vicinity of the Field Barn.

The flints recovered by Halls are summarised in (S1), although the terminology is somewhat archaic and the objects are divided primarily on the basis of their degree of patination, rather than form or possible date. See file for copies of photographs reproduced in this article (S4).

Halls was not the only collector to be working at this site during the early 20th century. According to (S2) and (S5) Halls' Site 16 is the same site as a location that W. G. Clarke designated his Site 28 (previously recorded as NHER 4955). In one of his published articles (S6) Clarke describes and illustrates objects found in Cranwich by both himself and H. H. Halls, confirming that the two were aware of each other's work. It is highly likely that the various references to "Cissbury" material from Cranwich refer to finds recovered by Halls and Clarke at this site (see for example (S18)).

It is also likely that at least some of the Cranwich finds described by J. S. Warburton in (S3) were from the same site as Clarke and Hall's finds. See NHER 4965 for details of Warburton's Cranwich finds; several of which appear to have been Mesolithic.

The Norwich Castle Museum holds a large number of artefacts from this site, including material donated by both Halls (NWHCM : 1924.83.16) and Clarke (NWHCM : 1926.32.28).

THE NORWICH CASTLE MUSEUM H. H. HALLS COLLECTION (NWHCM : 1924.83.16)

Although the bulk of the material from this site appears to be Neolithic, a number of earlier pieces were also recovered. In his article on the site (S1) Halls included a photograph of several objects that he considered to have Palaeolithic 'drift' affinities. The NCM collection includes a Palaeolithic handaxe, described by (S7) as a Group III handaxe. This is probably the object described by Haward (S1) as a "typical coup-de-poing". This handaxe is almost certainly one of the two handaxes from unknown locations in Cranwich listed in (S8). It is also probably one of the eight Cranwich handaxes in the NCM that are described by Wymer (S9), although which one is not clear. These handaxes are also noted in (S10) and (S11). The handaxe found by Halls is almost certainly the reason that Cranwich is listed in (S19) as one of the locations that had produced "Palaeolithic drift" implements prior to 1919.

In an early discussion of whether 'Mousterian' artefacts had been found in the county, W. G. Clarke (S6) also notes a grey flint side-scraper found at Cranwich and (at the time) in H. H. Halls' collection. This object was described as having "…stiking analogies with the Northfleet type of implement with the bulb trimmed, and may therefore be of Mousterial date". It is unclear whether the dating of this object was correct.

This NCM collection also includes several Upper Palaeolithic flints, the most notable of which is a shouldered point, which Jacobi and Martingell felt was (at the time at least), the only certainly Upper Palaeolithic artifact from Norfolk (S12). They saw this as being the same object as the tanged Upper Palaeolithic flake or arrowhead from Cranwich described by Clarke in 1960 (S13). This corrects Wymer's assertion (S5) that Clarke was referring to a flint collected by Newnam. Wymer (S5) also described and figured a potentially Upper Palaeolithic backed blade in the NCM collection from this site (a photograph of which was included in (S1)); which he saw as further evidence for the presence of a Late Upper Palaeolithic site in the parish. It should however be noted that Jacobi and Martingell (S12) described the objects selected by Wymer as not "…immediately convincing…" as Upper Palaeolithic finds.

The NCM collection from this site also includes 3 Late Upper Palaeolithic two-opposed platform long blade cores. These objects are listed in (S14) and described in R. Jacobi's records, which also list an Upper Palaeolithic crested blade in this collection (S15). It should be noted that a blade core of a similar type has been identified within the material collected by F. N. Haward around the same time and probably from much the same area (see NHER 11232).

It also appears that the surviving material from this site includes at least a small number of Mesolithic flints. Wymer (S5) notes that the NCM collection include an unpatinated flint microlith and 3 unpatinated blades of probable Mesolithic date. These may be amongst the unprovenanced finds from Cranwich listed in (S16) as comprising 3 blades/flakes and 2 microliths. Jacobi's records (S15) do however indicate that the microliths at least are from other sites.

The Neolithic implements in this collection are listed by F. Healy in (S17) as comprising:
1 Early Neolithic leaf-shaped arrowhead and 4 laurel leaves.
4 Neolithic transverse petit tranchet derivative arrowheads, 7 oblique petit tranchet derivative arrowheads, 1 projectile head, 2 long-pointed awls, 29 long-pointed piercers, 5 flaked discoidal knives, 1 polished discoidal knife, 1 unfinished discoidal knife, 2 single-piece sickles, 1 fragmentary single-piece sickle, 5 waisted core tools, 1 polished chisel, 4 end-polished chisels, 4 flaked flint axes, 6 fragmentary flint axes, 1 part-polished flint axe, 3 fragmentary part-polished flint axes, 3 fragmentary polished flint adzes, 7 flaked flint adzes (two of them of the type reported from Durrington Wells and Arreton Down), 5 fragmentary flaked flint adzes and 1 Y-shaped tool.
4 Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age barbed and tanged arrowheads, 1 plano-convex knife and 1 dagger.

THE NCM W. G. CLARKE COLLECTION (NWHCM : 1926.32.28)

There is no record of any Early Prehistoric material in this collection, which is recorded by the NCM as comprising "Neolithic flint implements, including a laurel leaf, piercers, axe and cores". The Neolithic implements in this collection are liste by F. Healy in (S17) as comprising:
1 Early Neolithic laurel leaf.
2 Neolithic long-pointed piercers, 3 waisted core tools, 1 tranchet tool, 1 end-polished waisted flint axe and 1 Y-shaped tool.
These finds were previously recorded under NHER 4960.

The Thetford Museum also holds a number of W. G. Clarke's Cranwich flints. Those marked as being from his Site 28 include:
- 1 fabricator (THEHM : 1976.4).
- 5 "Cissbury-type" scrapers, 1 labelled Site 28 (THEHM : 1978.535).
- 2 horseshoe scrapers, 1 labelled Site 28 (THEHM : 1978.545).
- 1 ?arrowhead/projectile point (THEHM : 1979.133.2).

Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 1 May 2013.

Monument Types

  • FINDSPOT (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC to 40001 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC to 10001 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)

Associated Finds

  • HANDAXE (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC to 40001 BC)
  • SCRAPER (TOOL) (Palaeolithic - 500000 BC? to 10001 BC?)
  • BACKED BLADE (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC? to 10001 BC?)
  • BLADE CORE (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC to 10001 BC)
  • CRESTED BLADE (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC to 10001 BC)
  • POINT (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC to 10001 BC)
  • BLADE (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • MICROLITH (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • ADZE (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • ARROWHEAD? (Neolithic - 4000 BC? to 2351 BC?)
  • AWL (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • BORER (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • BORER (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • CHISEL (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • CORE (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • DISCOIDAL KNIFE (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • FABRICATOR (Neolithic - 4000 BC? to 2351 BC?)
  • FLAKED AXEHEAD (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • LAUREL LEAF (Early Neolithic - 4000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • LAUREL LEAF (Early Neolithic - 4000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • LEAF ARROWHEAD (Early Neolithic - 4000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • POLISHED AXEHEAD (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • POLISHED AXEHEAD (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • POLISHED KNIFE (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • PROJECTILE (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • SCRAPER (TOOL) (Neolithic - 4000 BC? to 2351 BC?)
  • SICKLE (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • SIDE AND END SCRAPER (Neolithic - 4000 BC? to 2351 BC?)
  • TRANSVERSE ARROWHEAD (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Archive: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Secondary File: Secondary file.
<S1>Article in Serial: Halls, H. H. 1914. Implements from a Station at Cranwich. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society of East Anglia. Vol I Pt IV (for 1913-14) pp 454-457. n.
<S2>Archive: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Neolithic.
<S3>Article in Serial: Warburton, J. S. 1914. Some Implements of 'Cissbury Type' found in Norfolk. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society of East Anglia. Vol I Pt IV (for 1913-14) pp 420-427. p 424.
<S4>Photograph: NLA. Finds Photograph.
<S5>Article in Serial: Wymer, J. J. 1971. A Possible Late Upper Palaeolithic Site at Cranwich, Norfolk. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XXXV Pt II pp 259-263.
<S6>Article in Serial: Clarke, W. G. 1913. Norfolk Implements of Palaeolithic "Cave" Types. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society of East Anglia. Vol I Pt III (for 1912-13) pp 338-345. p 338.
<S7>Archive: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Palaeolithic.
<S8>Monograph: Roe, D. A. 1968. A Gazetteer of British Lower and Middle Palaeolithic Sites. CBA Research Report. No 8. p 229.
<S9>Publication: Wymer, J. J. 1985. Palaeolithic Sites of East Anglia. p 52.
<S10>Unpublished Document: Wessex Archaeology. 1996. The English Rivers Palaeolithic Project. Regions 9 (Great Ouse) and 12 (Yorkshire and the Lincolnshire Wolds). LLO-3, No.24.
<S11>Website: TERPS online database. Site 22819.
<S12>Article in Serial: Jacobi, R. M. and Martingell, H. E. 1980. A Late-Glacial Shouldered Point from Cranwich, Norfolk. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XXXVII Pt III pp 312-314.
<S13>Monograph: Clarke, R. R. 1960. East Anglia. Ancient People and Places. 14. p 42.
<S14>Article in Serial: Robins, P. and Wymer, J. 2006. Late Upper Palaeolithic (Long Blade) Industries in Norfolk. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLV Pt I pp 86-95. p 93.
<S15>Archive: R. Jacobi. -. Jacobi Archive. 774; 203; 6943.
<S16>Monograph: Wymer, J. J. and Bonsall, C. J. (eds). 1977. Gazetteer of Mesolithic Sites in England and Wales with a Gazetteer of Upper Palaeolithic Sites in England and Wales. Council for British Archaeology Research Report. No. 20. p 205.
<S17>Thesis: Healy, F.. 1978. The Neolithic in Norfolk. pp 416-417.
<S18>Article in Monograph: Sainty, J. E. 1935. Norfolk Prehistory. Report of the Annual Meeting, 1935. Norwich, September 4-11. British Association for the Advancement of Science. Appendix pp 60-71. p 67.
<S19>Article in Serial: Clarke, W. G. 1919. The Distribution of Flint and Bronze Implements in Norfolk. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society of East Anglia. Vol III Pt I (for 1918-19) pp 147-149. p 148.

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