Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Giant's Axe Uncovered in Norfolk, England

Giant's Axe Uncovered in Norfolk, England



Nature Magazine, June 1935 135, 963-965 (08 June 1935) | 
       Giant Hand-Axe from Sheringham, Norfolk. An altogether remarkable and gigantic hand-ax discovered embedded in the beach below Beeston Hill, Sheringham, by Mr. J. P. T. Burchell, has been figured and described by Mr. J. Reid Moir (Proc. Prehistoric Soc. East Anglia, 7, Pt. 3). The implement measures in its greatest length 151 inches, in greatest width 61 inches, in greatest thickness 5J inches. Its weight is approximately 14 lb. It was derived originally from the base of the Cromer Forest-bed, which rests upon the surface of the chalk. The implementiferous bed runs in beneath the Forest Bed strata and the glacial deposits which form the cliff, some 200 ft. in height. The material of the ax is of flint, the colour of the flaked surfaces being jet black. The ridges and outstanding parts are abraded, and it is striated in places. There is a small area of the cortex remaining, which shows a ferruginous staining. It is a specimen that is, rhomboidal in section in the anterior portion and showing the remains of both the dorsal and ventral planes or platforms of the rostro-carinate stage. . Hand-axes showing these characteristics have been discovered not only in England but also widely distributed over the earth's surface. The numerous specimens discovered in the basement bed, belonging to the early Pleistocene epoch, are as highly specialized as are those of any later prehistoric period and represent a very definite and necessary stage in implemental development. No adequate explanation of the purpose which the gigantic size of the Sheringham ax could serve has been offered.