Record Details

NHER Number:1399
Type of record:Find Spot
Name:Unprovenanced Palaeolithic flint handaxe and ?Neolithic flint laurel leaf, the beach (Heacham, poorly located)


A Palaeolithic handaxe and a flint laurel leaf point of probable Neolithic date were found at unknown locations on the beach at Heacham during the first half of the 20th century.

Images - none



Full description

Pre 1931. Stray Find.
It is recorded in (S1) that the Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (CUMAA) holds a handaxe that had been found on the beach at Heacham. Information from (S2).
The finder of this object is not recorded, although this museum does hold a number of other objects that were found by B. Lowerison (the headmaster of the local school and an amateur archaeologist and collector) during the early 20th century. There is however no mention of a handaxe in (S3), or any of Lowerison's other publications. Lewton-Brain was also unaware of such an object when he published (S4).

It is however likely that this is one of two leaf-shaped implements from Heacham described and illustrated in (S5). This implement is described as a "Solutrean [Upper Palaeolithic] laurel leaf point" that had probably washed out of the "Brown Boulder Clay". It is recorded as being in the collections of the CUMAA (30.30) and had been donated by "Mr B. Lowerison and his friends". It is also mentioned as a possible Late Palaeolithic implement in (S6) and (S7). It is however noted on (S8) that it is perhaps more likely to be a Neolithic laurel leaf.
This object was previously recorded as NHER 1419.

In (S9) Wymer states that the object described by Burkitt is probably the same object as the 'handaxe' recorded by Roe. This is supported by the fact that the second "leaf point" figured by Burkitt is also listed as a handaxe in (S1) and in this case a photo confirms that they are unquestionably the same object (NHER 1400).
Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 16 December 2013.

Monument Types

  • FINDSPOT (Lower Palaeolithic - 1000000 BC to 150001 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC? to 10001 BC?)
  • FINDSPOT (Neolithic - 4000 BC? to 2351 BC?)

Associated Finds

  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC? to 10001 BC?)
  • LAUREL LEAF (Neolithic - 4000 BC? to 2351 BC?)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TF 63 NE 62.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card. NHERs 1399 and 1419.
<S1>Monograph: Roe, D. A. 1968. A Gazetteer of British Lower and Middle Palaeolithic Sites. CBA Research Report. No 8. p 233.
<S2>Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Palaeolithic.
<S3>Publication: Lowerison, H. 1906. From Paleolith to Motor Car: or Heacham Tales.
<S4>Monograph: Lewton-Braine, C. H. 1967. The Archaeology of Heacham and the adjoining areas.
<S5>Article in Serial: Burkitt, M. C. 1931. Six interesting flint implements now in Cambridge. Antiquaries Journal. Vol XI No 1 pp 55-57. pp 55-56; No 4.
<S6>Publication: Kendrick, T. D. and Hawkes, C. F. C. 1932. Archaeology in England and Wales, 1914-1931. p 25. p 37.
<S7>Article in Monograph: Sainty, J. E. 1935. Norfolk Prehistory. Report of the Annual Meeting, 1935. Norwich, September 4-11. British Association for the Advancement of Science. Appendix pp 60-71. p 64.
<S8>Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Neolithic.
<S9>Publication: Wymer, J. J. 1985. Palaeolithic Sites of East Anglia. p 13.

Related records - none

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