Monument record BNH 002 - Barnham Number 1 pit (Old pit) (and River Pit?); Barnham Heath (Palaeolithic).
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|Grid reference||Centred TL 885 799 (461m by 545m) (Centred on)|
|Civil Parish||BARNHAM, ST EDMUNDSBURY, SUFFOLK|
Type and Period (1)
1947-1955: Working lifespan of the pit, 'One of the richest assemblages of palaeoliths in East Anglia' according to Wymer. See details in (S7).
1946-1948: The site lies in the loop of the Little Ouse river on Barnham Heath. The pit was operated by Messrs Allen Newport Limited and Basil Brown first heard of finds in January 1946 and monitored the site until 1948.
He visited the pit whilst work was in process and all the Palaeolithic artefacts came from this pit at a depth of 16 to 20 feet when a chalk layer was uncovered and the excavator did not go any deeper. Most of the artefacts came from the South and South East faces of the pit while they were being excavated and watched by Brown but many others were retrieved from the conveyor belt by workmen, but as the faces were being continually destroyed grid reference locations cannot be given. The pit was closed in 1948 and re-opened in 1952-1953 and extended North to the river, although there is no record of any Palaeolithic material coming from this new area. The enlarging of the pit in 1952 also covered the area at Barnham BNH 018, where Basil Brown found Iron Age and Roman hut sites and pottery from 1946-1948.
During the original excavations the small tumulus excavated in 1913 (BNH 016) was pushed into the pit which must have extended at least to the edge of it and possibly beyond. The extent of the 1948 workings cannot be defined as Basil Brown's map and information held by SAU is not specific (S1).
Basil Brown reported finding cores, scrapers, hand-axes and worked flakes in great number from this pit including Chellian and Acheulian artefacts. He also found a mammoth tooth and mammoth bones (S1).
Further palaeoliths in BSEMH including exceptional example "B107" (S6).
2017: Fieldwork was undertaken to investigate the fluvial terraces of the Little Ouse and their associated archaeology - sections were cut into Barnham Old Pit and River Pit. Ground penetrating radar survey was conducted and the cutting of four new sections, two in each pit, and a test pit. See S8 for further details (S8).
Hi proportion of Levallois suggests a broad Early Middle Palaeolithic date. But handaxes and mixed/derived nature indiacte that it would be unwise to be this specific. Wymer (S7) notes that some of the more refined flake made handaxes could be later examples, (S11). These are sketched in Ipswich Museum accession books (1947-207) alongside a stratigraphic drawing, (S4).
Clactonian element noted in 1950, but not by later authors (S10).
Material in Moyes Hall Museum (West Stow?), Sedgewick and MAA, Cambridge, Pitt Rovers Museum, Oxford, Birmingham Museum and Ipswich Museum, (S7, S12).
See also Neolithic & Bronze Age records.
No further details found in Ipswich Museum Accession registers September 2020.
- <S1> SSF50035 Unpublished document: Basil Brown. Basil Brown Archive. Brown B, map 1, card index 26, 28; VIII, 122 - 128, 132; X, 109, 120 - 122, 125, 127, 128; LXVII, 84.
- <S2> SSF19487 Unpublished document: Mowat, R.. 1976. SAU, Mowat R, Site report 1976. SAU, Mowat R, Site report 1976.
- <S3> SSF50032 Index: OS. OS Card. OS, cards TL87NE5, TL88SE1,.
- <S4> SSF50070 Index: Ipswich Museum. IPSMG card. IPSMG, cards 1946-136, 137; 1947-10, 66, 207; 1948-33, 34, 63, 265; 1951-275; 1952-2; 1976-134.
- <S5> SSF20693 Source Unchecked: Plouviez J. SAU, Plouviez J, SMR card,. SAU, Plouviez J, SMR card,.
- <S6> SSF2567 Source Unchecked: Moyses Hall Museum, Bury St Edmunds.. BSEMH, 6 inch record map, XIII SE, A R Edwardson entry, undated. BSEMH, 6 inch record map, XIII SE, A R Edwardson entry, undated.
- <S7> SSF50084 Bibliographic reference: Wymer, J.J.. 1985. Palaeolithic Sites of East Anglia. p123-7, ill.
- <S8> SSF58617 Article in serial: Minter, F. and Saunders, A.. 2018. Archaeology in Suffolk 2017, Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History.
- <S9> SSF59393 Unpublished document: Maynard, G.. 1950. RECENT ARCHAEOLOGICAL FIELD WORK . IN SUFFOLK.
- <S10> SSF50035 Unpublished document: Basil Brown. Basil Brown Archive. Basil Brown archive : volumes, map, card index.
- <S11> SSF59348 Personal Correspondence: Cutler, Hannah. 2019. Personal Observations as part of the Enhancement of the Suffolk HER for the Palaeolithic & Mesolithic Periods project.
- <S12> SSF59351 Digital archive: Wymer, J.J.. 1999. The Lower Palaeolithic Occupation of Britain (TERPs) The Lower Palaeolithic Occupation of Britain (TERPS). 22661.
- <S13> SSF59574 Unpublished document: Davis et al. 2017. The early Palaeolithic archaeology of the Breckland: current understanding and directions for future research.
- <S14> SSF59785 E-mail: Davis, R.. 2020. List of Breckland Palaeolithic Project Fieldwork.
- <S15> SSF59794 Digital archive: Historic England. National Record Of the Historic Environment.
- FSF49735: CHOPPER (MIS11 - 422000 BC? to 372000 BC?)
- FSF49736: POINTED HANDAXE (Acheulean - 531000 BC? to 298000 BC?)
- FSF49737: SUB CORDATE HANDAXE (Acheulean - 531000 BC? to 298000 BC?)
- FSF49738: OVATE HANDAXE (Acheulean - 531000 BC? to 298000 BC?)
- FSF49739: LEVALLOIS FLAKE (Early Middle Palaeolithic - 323000 BC? to 178000 BC?)
- FSF49740: LEVALLOIS CORE (Early Middle Palaeolithic - 323000 BC? to 178000 BC?)
- FSF49741: FLAKE? (MIS11 - 422000 BC? to 372000 BC?)
- FSF6481: HANDAXE (Acheulean - 531000 BC? to 298000 BC?)
- FSF6482: FLAT BUTTED CORDATE (BOUT COUPE) HANDAXE? (Late Middle Paleolithic - 52000 BC? to 42000 BC?)
- FSF6483: ANIMAL REMAINS (Pleistocene General - 2578000 BC? to 9700 BC?)
- None recorded
Related Monuments/Buildings (1)
Related Events/Activities (4)
- Event - Interpretation: Enhancement of the Suffolk HER for the Palaeolithic & Mesolithic Periods (ESF26899)
- Event - Intervention: Excavation and Borehole Survey, Barnham Heath (Ref: Breckland Palaeolithic Project) (ESF28325)
- Event - Intervention: Monitoring and Excavation, Barnham Number 1 pit (Old pit) (and River Pit?), (Palaeolithic). (Ref: Brown B) (ESF14980)
- Event - Intervention: Test Pitting and GPR Survey, Barnham Heath (Ref: Breckland Palaeolithic Project) (ESF26308)
Record last edited
Mar 16 2021 11:53AM