Record Details

NHER Number:15363
Type of record:Monument
Name:Possible Mesolithic occupation site on edge of former Hockham Mere

Summary

Fieldwalking at this site between 1979 and 1992 recovered a notable number of Mesolithic worked flints. A Neolithic transverse arrowhead was also found. This site is one of several locations on the margins of what was formerly Hockham Mere to have produced Mesolithic material. These finds, coupled with charcoal evidence recovered from the former lake sediments, strongly suggest this was an area of significant Mesolithic occupation.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TL 9258 9328
Map Sheet:TL99SW
Parish:HOCKHAM, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK

Full description

1979. Fieldwalking.
South of former Cranberry Farm, on edge of former Hockham Mere. On top of slope, crest marked by track on (S1), which drops abruptly east. General spread of flint artefacts (Context 1), identified by [1] on surface freshly planted with young trees, west of track to former Cranberry Farm. Located finds included:

Context 2 at [2]:
An intense area of finds with many cores (only one collected).
1 Mesolithic flint micro-core, 3 backed micro-blades, 7 micro-blades, 7 small blades, 3 large flakes, 1 borer on blade end, 5 end scrapers, 1 scraper, 7 retouched pieces (including large pieces) and 1 'chunk'.

Context 3 at [3]:
1 Mesolithic flint tranchet axe and 1 ?tranchet axe fragment.

Context 4 at [4]:
1 Mesolithic small crude axe.

Context 5 at [5]:
3 Mesolithic retouched 'chunks'.

This material looks very similar to the industry from Micklehaugh Farm, Banham (NHER 2259) which has been assigned to the early Mesolithic.
Identified by A.J. Lawson (NAU), 12 October 1979 and compiled by A.J. Lawson (NAU), 15 October 1979.
Information from (S2). See distribution plan in file for NHERs 15359-15363 (S3). These finds were reported in (S3) and are also noted in (S4), although no additional information is given.
Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 22 April 2013.

Pre May 1981. Fieldwalking.
Further finds by Mr Rogers (who retains). Worked flints including:
1 Mesolithic fragmentary flint obliquely blunted point [microlith].
1 Neolithic transverse petit tranchet derivative flint arrowhead.
2 prehistoric flint scrapers, 1 ?utilised thermal flake and 1 miscellaneous retouched flake. Probably Mesolithic or Neolithic?
F. Healy (NAU), 29 May 1981. Information from (S2). These finds are also noted in (S5), although no additional information is given.
Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 22 April 2013.

1983.
In January 1983 a map was supplied by [1] showing the distribution of the finds that that been found at in the vicinity of Cranberry Rough prior to this date (S5). An accompanying letter stated that many of the finds had been given to the British Museum.
Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 18 April 2013.

Pre December 1992. Fieldwalking.
In December 1992 many worked flints from Hockham were donated to the Norwich Castle Museum by [1], including a number from this site. Although it is possible that these include some of the finds detailed aboove, the museum's records suggest that all of the objects in this collection were found in 1992 (many of the flints from other locations are definitely previously unreported finds).

Found at [6]:
1 ?Mesolithic backed flint blade and 1 pointed flake (NWHCM : 1998.407.3).

Found at [7]:
1 small flaked flint axe, 1 ?adze fragment, 1 blade core, 1 core, 1 retouched blade, 1 retouched flake, 1 utilised blade, 2 blades and 1 flake (NWHCM : 1998.407.5). All listed Mesolithic.

Information from museum records. Probably identified by P. Robins (NCM).
P. Watkins (HES), 25 September 2014.

This site is one of several concentrations of Mesolithic flint that have now been identified along the margins of Hockham Mere (which was drained in the late 18th century), suggesting this area saw significant occupation at this time. This assertion is supported by the analysis of microscopic charcoal fragments recovered from the former lake sediments. At Hockham charcoal has been found throughout a series of deposits radiocarbon dated to 7500-3000 BC (S6). Sediments in nearby Quidenham Mere were found to be lacking corresponding concentrations of charcoal (S7), suggesting the fragments at Hockham were from adjacent small fires rather than forest fires (the other potential source of such material and one which would be expected to spread particles over a much greater distance).
P. Watkins (HES), 18 April 2013.

Monument Types

  • FINDSPOT (Early Mesolithic to Late Neolithic - 10000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • OCCUPATION SITE (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)

Associated Finds

  • ADZE? (Mesolithic - 10000 BC? to 4001 BC?)
  • BACKED 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?)
  • BLADE? (Mesolithic - 10000 BC? to 4001 BC?)
  • BORER (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • CORE (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • CORE? (Mesolithic - 10000 BC? to 4001 BC?)
  • DEBITAGE (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • END SCRAPER (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • FLAKE (Early Mesolithic to Late Neolithic - 10000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • FLAKE (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)
  • FLAKED AXEHEAD (Mesolithic - 10000 BC? to 4001 BC?)
  • MICROLITH (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • MICROLITH (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • RETOUCHED BLADE? (Mesolithic - 10000 BC? to 4001 BC?)
  • RETOUCHED FLAKE (Early Mesolithic to Late Neolithic - 10000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • RETOUCHED FLAKE (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • RETOUCHED FLAKE? (Mesolithic - 10000 BC? to 4001 BC?)
  • SCRAPER (TOOL) (Early Mesolithic to Late Neolithic - 10000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • SCRAPER (TOOL) (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • TRANCHET AXEHEAD (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • TRANSVERSE ARROWHEAD (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Secondary File: Secondary file.
<S1>Map: Ordnance Survey, First Edition, 6 Inch. 1879-1886. Ordnance Survey 1st Edition 6 inch map..
<S2>Archive: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
<S3>Article in Serial: 1981. Archaeological Discoveries for 1979. CBA Group VI Bulletin. No 26 pp 19-30. p 23.
<S4>Archive: R. Jacobi. -. Jacobi Archive. 10220.
<S5>Map: Finder's Map..
<S6>Article in Serial: Wymer, J. J. 1991. Mesolithic Occupation around Hockham Mere. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLI Pt II pp 212-213.
<S7>Article in Serial: Bennett, K. D., Simonson, W. D. and Peglar, S. M. 1990. Fire and Man in Post-Glacial Woodlands of Eastern England. Journal of Archaeological Science. Vol 17 pp 635-642.

Related records - none

Norfolk County Council logo Heritage Lottery Fund logo

Powered by HBSMR-web and the HBSMR Gateway from exeGesIS SDM Ltd, and mojoPortal CMS
© 2007 - 2017 Norfolk Historic Environment Service