Record Details

NHER Number:2645
Type of record:Find Spot
Name:Unprovenanced Palaeolithic handaxes, probably actually from Swaffham Priory, Cambridgeshire (Swaffham, poorly located)


At least two Paleolithic handaxes marked as being from "Swaffham" are held by the Cambridge University Museum of Anthropology and Anthropology. Possibly from Swaffham Priory, Cambridgeshire.

Images - none



Full description

1888-1891. Stray Find?
It is noted on (S1) that the Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropoloy (CUMAA) holds two Acheulian ovate handaxes from "Swaffham". These are marked '21 March 1888' and '1891' and were apparently seen by R. R. Clarke (NCM) in 1934.

According to (S2) and (S3) the CUMAA actually holds 12 handaxes from "Swaffham". Miss M. Craster has however stated that all objects in this museum marked as being from Swaffham are in fact from Swaffham Prior, Cambridgeshire. Information from (S4). This is confirmed by an examination of the museum's current records, which list all object as being from either Swaffham Prior or Swaffham Fen in Cambridgeshire. No finds from Swaffham in Norfolk are listed in (S5).

It should however be noted that (S6) lists Swaffham as being amongst the places in Norfolk to have produced Lower Palaeolithic material by 1935.

E. Rose (NAU), 22 June 1982. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 3 June 2013.

Monument Types

  • FINDSPOT? (Palaeolithic - 1000000 BC to 10001 BC)

Associated Finds

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

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

<S1>Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Palaeolithic.
<S2>Record Card: Wymer, J. J. Wymer Index Card - Palaeolithic. Swaffham.
<S3>Publication: Wymer, J. J. 1985. Palaeolithic Sites of East Anglia. p 50.
<S4>Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
<S5>Monograph: Roe, D. A. 1968. A Gazetteer of British Lower and Middle Palaeolithic Sites. CBA Research Report. No 8.
<S6>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 63.

Related records - none

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