Record Details

NHER Number:5722
Type of record:Find Spot
Name:Unprovenanced Upper Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic finds (Thetford, marginal)

Summary

Various Upper Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic worked flints found during the the late 19th century and early 20th century in the Thetford area, but with no additional information regarding provenance. These early prehistoric finds include a rare Upper Palaeolithic 'penknife point'; a Late Upper Palaeolithic flint blade and Mesolithic blade cores, blades and various implements including mciroliths, core tools and an awl. Later prehistoric finds include an Early Neolithic leaf arrowhead and various Neolithic implements.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:Not displayed
Parish:THETFORD, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK

Full description

Various Mesolithic and Neolithic worked flints found during the the late 19th century and early 20th century in the Thetford area, but with no additional information regarding provenance.

Ante 1904.
'Neolithic' axe, spear, scraper.
See (S1).
R. R. Clarke (NCM).

FINDS IN THE NORWICH CASTLE MUSEUM

An uncomplete Late Upper Palaeolithic crested long blade has been identified in the T. H. Russell Collection held by the Norwich Castle Museum (either NWHCM : 1939.146 : A or NWHCM : 1940.62 : A). This blade is listed in (S6) and described in (S11) as a possible lame mâchurée ('bruised blade').

Unprovenanced Thetford finds in The NCM's main H. H. Halls collection (NWHCM : 1924.83) include:
1 Mesolithic flint blade core. Marked "Forty Acre, Thetford".

FINDS IN THE THETFORD MUSEUM

The Thetford Museum holds a number of prehistoric worked flints that were recovered by W. G. Clarke at unspecified locations in the Thetford area during the early 20th century:
1 Mesolithic awl (THEHM : 1979.130; A201) and 2 blade cores (THEHM : 1979.26; A.1247 and THEHM : 1979.136; A.1252). Described in (S11).
Various Neolithic/Bronze Age flints, including 2 cores (THEHM : 1979.26; A.1249 and THEHM : 1979.136; A.1251) and 2 borers (THEHM : 1979.130; A202-A203).

FINDS IN OTHER NORFOLK MUSEUMS

The King's Lynn Museum hold 1 Mesolithic flint microlith and 3 flakes that were found by Dr. T. Mathews during the 1950s or 1960s. These finds are noted in (S11).
Previously recorded as 15743
Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 23 July 2013.

FINDS IN THE BRITISH MUSEUM

The British Museum's Upper Palaeolithic/Mesolithic collections include a number of worked flints that are recorded as being from Thetford but are otherwise unprovenanced. These finds, the majority of which are noted on (S2), include:
5 Upper Palaeolithic/Mesolithic flint blades (1937,0405.2-6). Ex J. W. Flower Collection. One is described in (S11) as a 'talon en éperon': a blade with a distinct faceted butt, that results from a special core preparation technique associated with Creswellian industries (S12). It is noted on (S2) that "Hawkes say type indicates Wretham Heath" - most likely a reference to the Mesolithic site that had been identified on East Wretham Heath (NHER 5791). Previously recorded as NHER 5972.
1 "blade scraper" (1927,1109.17). Noted on (S2) but not listed in the museum's records as Upper Palaeolithic/Mesolithic. Previously recorded inder NHER 5801.
1 backed blade (1965,0209.461). Ex Trechmann. Information from museum records. Examined by R. Jacobi and recorded in (S11) as an Upper Palaeolithic 'penknife point'. Probably one of objects marked on a distribution map in (S13). See NHER 14951 for details of a similar 'penknife point' found at Weeting.
1 Mesolithic pick (1964,1206.915). Ex Trechmann. Described in (S11) as a Mesolithic tranchet axehead. It should be noted that the recorded provenance of this object is "Red Lodge, Thetford Norfolk 1880". There does not appear to be such a place in Thetford, although there is a village know as Red Lodge to the south-west, in Suffolk. Previously recorded under NHER 5801.

The other unregistered finds in the British Museum's Upper Palaeolithic/Mesolithic collections include 1 blade and 1 flake in the Sturge Collection. The Sturge Collection also includes a small assemblage of 7 flints from Thetford/Thetford Warren (1 scraper, 1 microdenticulate, 1 "end modified piece", cores and debitage). The unregistered finds also include a collection of 13 flints (1 pick, 1 scraper, 1 retouched blade and debitage; doner unknown) from Abbey Heath, Thetford Warren and unspecified sites in Thetford. None of these unregistered finds are listed in either (S3) or (S11). These finds were previously recorded under NHER 5672. See NHER 2745 and NHER 5804 for further information on unprovenanced finds from Thetford Warren and Abbey Heath (respectively).

FINDS IN THE PITT RIVERS MUSEUM

The Pitt Rivers Museum holds a number of unprovenanced objects from Thetford. Early prehistoric finds include:
1 Late Upper Palaeolithic partially crested flint blade. Ex J. W. Flower Collection (probably 1892.67.305).
1 Mesolithic flint blade core. Ex J. W. Flower Collection.
These finds are described in (S11). According to (S3) the Pitt Rivers Museum holds 26 Mesolithic cores and 3 blades/flakes from Thetford (a pick noted on (S4) is a misreading of (S3)). It is however impossible to reconsile these totals with either (S11) or the museum's records. It is likely that the flints noted in (S3) are actually part of a collection of 100 worked flints from the Mesolithic site at Two Mile Bottom (1946.4.96 ex H. Dixon Hewitt) - see NHER 5738.
The finds listed in (S3) were previously recorded under NHER 5801.

Other prehistoric finds in this museum include:
1 undatable prehistoric flint flake (1884.133.165). Founding collection.
9 undatable prehistoric flint scrapers, 1 ?awl, 1 blade and 4 flakes (1892.67). Ex J. W. Flower.
1 Neolithic flint axehead (1884.123.41). Founding collection.
6 Neolithic flint axeheads (1892.67). Ex J. W. Flower.
1 Neolithic hollow-based flint arrowhead (1927.73.65). Ex S. G. Hewlett.
1 ?Neolithic flint borer (1913.70.32). Ex S. Warrington.
3 ?Neolithic flint implements (1884.125.90.17-19). Founding collection.
1 Neolithic/Bronze Age "dagger" (1914.63.1). Ex S. G. Hewlett.
1 Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age barbed and tanged flint arrowhead (1927.73.66). Ex S. G. Hewlett.

Later finds include:
1 Iron Age/Roman iron dagger (1884.121.7). Founding collection.

FINDS IN OTHER MUSEUMS

The Shrewsbury Museum holds a single Mesolithic pick from Thetford. Listed in (S3).

The Ashmolean holds a large tranchet axe from Thetford and two Mesolithic axes (one a tranchet axe) that are recorded as being from "near Thetford" (1927.3515; 1927.3521; 1927.2522). These were 19th-century discoveries, formerly in the possession of J. W. Flower and J. Evans. Information from (S3) and (S4). Previously recorded under NHER 5801.

The Stroud Museum is listed by (S3) as holding a single Mesolithic microlith from Thetford Heath. Although this find is listed with other Mesolithic flints from Thetford parish, the area known as Thetford Heath is actually part of Barnham parish, in Suffolk.

P. Watkins (HES), 24 July 2013.

FINDS IN THE J. J. WYMER COLLECTION

Pre 1959. Stray Find.
A Neolithic leaf-shaped arrowhead was found by B. O. Wymer at an unknown location in Thetford parish at some time during the first half of the 20th century. This object was given to his son, J. J. Wymer and is believed to now be part of the Wymer Collection held by Royal Holloway, University of London (W2473). Information from (S5).
P. Watkins (HES), 23 July 2013.

OTHER FINDS

1910. Stray Find.
In 1910 a flint 'pygmy' from Thetford was exhibited at a meeting of the Prehistoric Society of East Anglia. This object had been found (presumably not long before) by J. S. Warburton and is described in (S7) as having been white-patinated and "similar in form to the 'pygmies' from the Hastings kitchen-middens". It was apparently one of the first such implements to be identified in the county. This probable Mesolithic microlith is mentioned in (S8), although Sainty mistakenly describes it as coming from Methwold - a place mentioned in (S7) but only as the home of Warburton. Healy (S9) has suggested that this was probably a Late Mesolithic geometric microlith.
This find is almost certainly the reason that Thetford is listing in (S10) as one of the locations that had produced "pygmies" prior to 1919 (recorded as found by Warburton in 1910).
Previously recorded as NHER 4842.c

Monument Types

  • FINDSPOT (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC? to 10001 BC?)
  • FINDSPOT (Upper Palaeolithic to Late Mesolithic - 40000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Early Neolithic - 4000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)

Associated Finds

  • BLADE (Upper Palaeolithic to Late Mesolithic - 40000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • CRESTED BLADE (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC to 10001 BC)
  • CRESTED BLADE (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC to 10001 BC)
  • POINT (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC to 10001 BC)
  • AWL (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)
  • BLADE CORE (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • BLADE CORE (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • CORE (Mesolithic - 10000 BC? to 4001 BC?)
  • DEBITAGE (Mesolithic - 10000 BC? to 4001 BC?)
  • DEBITAGE? (Mesolithic - 10000 BC? to 4001 BC?)
  • FLAKE (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • FLAKE (Mesolithic - 10000 BC? to 4001 BC?)
  • FLAKED AXEHEAD (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • MICROLITH (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • MICROLITH (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • PICK (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • PICK (Mesolithic - 10000 BC? to 4001 BC?)
  • RETOUCHED BLADE (Mesolithic - 10000 BC? to 4001 BC?)
  • RETOUCHED BLADE? (Mesolithic - 10000 BC? to 4001 BC?)
  • SCRAPER (TOOL) (Mesolithic - 10000 BC? to 4001 BC?)
  • SCRAPER (TOOL) (Mesolithic - 10000 BC? to 4001 BC?)
  • SCRAPER (TOOL) (Mesolithic - 10000 BC? to 4001 BC?)
  • SERRATED IMPLEMENT (Mesolithic - 10000 BC? to 4001 BC?)
  • TRANCHET AXEHEAD (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • TRANCHET AXEHEAD (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • AXEHEAD (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • BORER (Early Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 701 BC)
  • CORE (Early Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 701 BC)
  • CORE (Early Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 701 BC)
  • LEAF ARROWHEAD (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • SCRAPER (TOOL) (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • SPEAR (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Archive: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Neolithic. Thetford.
<S1>Publication: Clarke, W.G.. MSS 126.
<S2>Archive: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Mesolithic.
<S3>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 213.
<S4>Archive: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
<S5>Unpublished Document: Wymer, J. J. Journal. Vol 3. p 305.
<S6>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 95.
<S7>Article in Serial: 1912. Summary of Proceedings. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society of East Anglia. Vol I Pt II (for 1910-11 and 1911-12) pp 233-241. p 234.
<S8>Article in Serial: Sainty, J. E. 1945. Mesolithic Sites in Norfolk. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XXVIII Pt IV pp 234-237. p 235.
<S9>Monograph: Healy, F. 1996. The Fenland Project, Number 11: The Wissey Embayment: Evidence for pre-Iron Age Occupation. East Anglian Archaeology. No 78. Microfiche.
<S10>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 149.
<S11>Archive: R. Jacobi. -. Jacobi Archive. 237; 777; 10374; 10377; 10378.
<S12>Article in Monograph: Barton, N. 2009. The Lateglacial or Latest Palaeolithic occupation in Britain. The Archaeology of Britain: An Introduction from Earliest Times to the Twenty-first Century. Hunter, J. and Ralston, I. (eds). pp 18-52. p 28.
<S13>Article in Monograph: Jacobi, R. 1991. The Creswellian, Creswell and Cheddar. The Late Glacial in North-West Europe. Council for British Archaeology Research Report No 77. Barton, N., Roberts, A. J. and Roe, D. A. (eds). pp 128-140. Fig 13.3.

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