Record Details

NHER Number:7137
Type of record:Find Spot
Name:Palaeolithic quartzite handaxe


In 1965 a quartzite Palaeolithic handaxe was found during the installation of a septic tank. Quartzite objects are rare in Norfolk and material adhering to this example suggests it had probably been transported from the Midlands by glacial action.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TF 9818 2824
Map Sheet:TF92NE

Full description

1965. Stray Find.
Found by [1] during during installation of new septic tank:
1 Palaeolithic quartzite handaxe. See drawing (S1).

It appears that the date of this object was initially uncertain, being recorded by (S2) as a Neolithic stone axehead roughout in a ferruginous sandstone (Petrology No N276). It was subsequently identified by A. Lawson (NAU) as a heavily rolled (probably derived) pointed handaxe of quartzitic sandstone (S3). See short report in file. It was later donated to the Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 1986.90).

It was confirmed as a "rare quartzite hand-axe" by Wymer (S4), at the time the only one known in Norfolk. Wymer also notes that a patch of angular quartz gravel adhers to one face - a type which does not occur in Norfolk but is common in the Midlands, from where this handaxe was probably transported. The handaxe is illustrated in (S4) and also described and illustrated in (S5). It is also listed in (S6) and (S7), although no additional information is given.
Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 2 July 2014.

Monument Types

  • FINDSPOT (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC to 40001 BC)

Associated Finds

  • HANDAXE (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC to 40001 BC)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Secondary File: Secondary file.
---Slide: Various. Slide.
<S1>Illustration: [Norwich Castle Museum staff]. 1965. Drawing of a Palaeolithic quartzitic sandstone handaxe from Stibbard. Card. 1:1.
<S2>Archive: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Neolithic. Stibbard.
<S3>Archive: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
<S4>Publication: Wymer, J. J. 1985. Palaeolithic Sites of East Anglia. p 21.
<S5>Article in monograph: Wymer, J. J. 1988. A reassessment of the geographical range of Lower Palaeolithic activity in Britain. Non-flint Stone Tools and the Palaeolithic Occupation of Britain. Macrae, R. J and Moloney, N. (eds). BAR (British Series) No 189 pp 11-23. p 21.
<S6>Unpublished document: Wessex Archaeology. 1997. The English Rivers Palaeolithic Project. Region 8 (East Anglian Rivers) and 11 (Trent Drainage). W&Y-1, No.3.
<S7>Website: TERPS online database. Site 22572.

Related records - none

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