Record Details

NHER Number:3397
Type of record:Find Spot
Name:Unprovenanced Palaeolithic flint handaxe (East Winch, poorly located)


A Palaeolithic flint handaxe, found at some point before 1950 at an unknown location in East Winch parish. Recorded as being held by the King's Lynn Museum.

Images - none



Full description

Pre 1950. Stray Find.
A Palaeolithic handaxe from East Winch was described and figured by Baden-Powell in (S1).
Information from (S2).
This object was identified in the King's Lynn Museum's collections and was described in (S1) as "a well-shaped handaxe, probably well-enough worked to be considered Late Acheulian, though the edges are rather zig-zag owing to absence of edge work." Baden-Powell's description also notes a corticated butt and "basket work" patina.
This is probably one of the 2 unprovenanced East Winch handaxes that were listed by Roe (S3) as being held by the King's Lynn Museum. The other is most likely a handaxe found near the Cranberry Plantation (NHER 3434).

This handaxe was later seen by J. J. Wymer who described it on (S4) and in (S5) as a sub-cordate implement in sharp condition with dendritic patina. According to (S6) Wymer stated that "though Powell describes it as rather worn, it has incipient frost cracks and should not be dropped". This object is also noted in (S7) and (S8), although no additional information is given.

The present location of this object is uncertain as it does not appear to be amongst the handaxes in the KLM that are recorded as coming from East Winch. The most likely candidate is an unprovenanced piece which is apparently marked "SW" and "EW" (KILLM : 2001.575). This notation suggests it was probably found by C. B. Plowright's, who collected a range of objects in this area during the late 19th century (many of which are now in the KLM). The notes presumably stand for South Wootton and East Winch. The measurements listed for this handaxe match the dimensions indicated by Baden-Powell's illustration and it is recorded as having a corticated butt and "white network" patination, which would appear to be consistent with both his and Wymer's descriptions. The situation is however further complicated by the fact that Wymer's records (S4) suggest that this is the KLM handaxe he described in (S5) as being an unprovenanced find from West Winch (NHER 3350). This is difficult to reconcile with the markings on the object itself and the apparent degree of similarity to the handaxe described by Baden-Powell. It should also be noted that Roe (S3) lists no unprovenanced handaxes from West Winch in the KLM.

E. Rose (NAU) 19 August 1981 and 24 September 1997. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 29 November 2013.

Monument Types

  • FINDSPOT (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 1000000 BC to 40001 BC)

Associated Finds

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

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

<S1>Article in Serial: Baden-Powell, D. F. W. 1950. Palaeoliths from the Fen District. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. Vol XVI pp 29-41. p 39; Fig 15.
<S2>Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Palaeolithic.
<S3>Monograph: Roe, D. A. 1968. A Gazetteer of British Lower and Middle Palaeolithic Sites. CBA Research Report. No 8. p 230.
<S4>Record Card: Wymer, J. J. Wymer Index Card - Palaeolithic. East Winch.
<S5>Publication: Wymer, J. J. 1985. Palaeolithic Sites of East Anglia. p 41.
<S6>Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
<S7>Unpublished Contractor Report: 1996. The English Rivers Palaeolithic Project. Regions 9 (Great Ouse) and 12 (Yorkshire and the Lincolnshire Wolds). Wessex Archaeology. N&W-2, No. 9.
<S8>Website: TERPS online database. Site 23070.

Related records - none

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