Record Details

NHER Number:6859
Type of record:Find Spot
Name:Unprovenanced ?Palaeolithic flint handaxe and other potentially Palaeolithic worked flints, Mundesley foreshore (Mundesley, poorly located)

Summary

A number of potentially Palaeolithic worked flints were recovered from the cliffs and foreshore to the north-west of Mundesley between 1916 and 1919. The majority were though to have come from a deposit of gravel exposed in the cliffs. Although the majority of these flint are somewhat dubious artefacts, one has been identified as potentially a very rolled Palaeolithic handaxe.

Images - none

Location

Parish:MUNDESLEY, NORTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

September 1916. Stray Find.
Potentially Palaeolithic worked flint found on the shore by J. Reid Moir during visit to Mundesley. This "…very finely made and large flint flake of human manufacture..." was found "…in close proximity to an exposure of clay…referable to the Cromer Forest Bed series". Information from (S1).

It is possible that this find is the "chipped flint" from Mundesley that is held by the Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 1963.21). This object was originally donated to the Ipswich Museum by Reid Moir and is recorded as having been found "on beach near an exposure of the Cromer Forest Bed". Information from (S2).

1919. Stray Find.
Nearly three weeks spent by J. Reid Moir and others examining the cliffs and shore between Trimingham, to the north-west of Mundesley, and Bacton, to the south-east.

The finds from near Mundesley described and figured in (S1) include an unabrabed flint "scraper" (Fig 52 D) found near the brick-field close to the Clarence Hotel. This was recovered from a large mass of Chalky Loam that lay amongst the talus at the base of the cliff.

Further finds were recovered further up the coast, towards Trimingham. These included:
1 flake found on the shore beneath an exposure of "Boulder Gravel (Fig 54A).
1 flake found near to the first (Fig 52E).
1 small "Chellian implement (Fig 54B) found "…about three-quarters of a mile north-west of the spot where the last two flakes…were found...lying upon the shore immediately opposite to an exposure of Boulder Gravel"
1 "disc-like implement". Picked up "…a short distance from the spot where the last described implement was found" (Fig 54C).

Several other potentially worked flints were recovered in situ in the gravel. These included:
1 scraper found "in situ in Boulder Gravel exposed in the cliff about half a mile to the north of the Clarence Hotel" (Fig 54D).
1 side scraper in situ within the Boulder Gravel, in close proxity to the first scraper (Fig 55A).
1 scraper found in situ in the Boulder Gravel, close to where the side scraper was found (Fig 55B).

Many of the objects published by Reid Moir are now regarded as dubious artefacts and it is unlikely that many of those described above are actually genuine Palaeolithic worked flints. These discoveries are noted on (S3) and discussed by Wymer in (S4). Wymer notes that he doubts the 'scraper' from the 'Boulder Gravel' is a genuine artefact. He does however note in (S4) that the 'Chellian implement' may be a small, rolled handaxe (figure reference incorrectly given as 'E').
No other sources make reference to these objects.
Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 25 June 2014.

Monument Types

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

Associated Finds

  • FLAKE? (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC? to 40001 BC?)
  • FLAKE? (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC? to 40001 BC?)
  • FLAKE? (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC? to 40001 BC?)
  • HANDAXE? (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC? to 40001 BC?)
  • SCRAPER (TOOL)? (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC? to 40001 BC?)
  • SCRAPER (TOOL)? (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC? to 40001 BC?)
  • SCRAPER (TOOL)? (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC? to 40001 BC?)
  • SIDE SCRAPER? (Lower Palaeolithic to Middle Palaeolithic - 500000 BC? to 40001 BC?)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
<S1>Article in Serial: Moir, J. Reid. 1920. A Series of Humanly-Fashioned Flints found in the Cliffs and on the Shore at Mundesley, Norfolk. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society of East Anglia. Vol III Pt II (for 1919-20) pp 219-243. pp 219.
<S2>Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Miscellaneous Prehistoric.
<S3>Record Card: Wymer, J. J. Wymer Index Card - Palaeolithic. Mundesley.
<S4>Publication: Wymer, J. J. 1985. Palaeolithic Sites of East Anglia. p 32.

Related records - none

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