The Neolithic Flint Mines of England

BookThe Neolithic Flint Mines of England

The Neolithic Flint Mines of England

English Heritage


March 31st, 1999



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Only rarely in Europe do the surface remains of Neolithic flint mines remain so dramatically for all to see as those located along the South Downs and in the Breckland of England. Even within England they represent a diminishing resource and only ten sites have been recorded with any certainty. As examples of our earliest industrial heritage they represent archaeological sites of the first importance and have a special part to play in the history of technology.

However, despite a lengthy history of archaeological investigation, they have rarely been considered nationally as a class of monument. Although some sites such as Grime's Graves are well known through excavation campaigns, others are known only through obscure articles and unpublished archival material. Many of those that survive as earthworks or cropmarks have never been surveyed previously or accurately planned.

Consequently, English Heritage has compiled detailed plans of the surface areas of all of the known flint mines and investigated the sites of other potential examples. Using a combination of field survey, aerial photography and archival research, this volume looks at each site in its own right as a major and important complex and - for the first time - offers a synthesis of the evidence to date.

Author Information

Martyn Barber is a Senior Investigator, Aerial Survey & Investigation at English Heritage. He is the author of Bronze and the Bronze Age (2003), and co-author of The Neolithic Flint Mines of England (1999) and The Creation of Monuments (2001). Author, Downton.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Half-Title Page2
Title Page3
Copyright Page108
1. Introduction13
2. Previous research16
3. The use, nature and location of the raw material29
4. Obtaining the raw material43
5. The role of flint mines in Neolithic society65
6. Conclusions84
Appendix 1: Site Gazetteer86
Appendix 2: Radiocarbon dates from flint mines93
List of references95