Monument record MNL 001 - Three Hills, Warren Hill, Mildenhall, (Palaeolithic)
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|Grid reference||Centred TL 743 742 (258m by 269m) (Approximate)|
|Civil Parish||MILDENHALL, FOREST HEATH, SUFFOLK|
Type and Period (1)
In terms of palaeolithic implements, Warren Hill is the richest site in East Anglia and it has produced more hand-axes (over 2000) than any other in Britain. A crude industry of stone-struck hand-axes in rolled condition and a highly refined industry of ovate and cordate hand-axes in much fresher condition. Bones of ox, horse, elephant, bison and elephas antiquus, primigenus and meridonalis listed, although rare.
The age of the handaxes has been discussed for over a century. The first interpretation suggested that the gravels were outwash from a major ice-sheet, however fieldwork in the 1990s noted the high proportion of quartz and quartzite pebbles in the gravel, which originally derive from the Midlands. This indicated that the gravels were part of a now extinct river (called the Bytham ) which flowed from the Midlands across East Anglia and out into the North Sea near Lowestoft. A later ice sheet (the Anglian Glaciation) destroyed the Bytham River valley and carved out the Wash Basin. This created the drainage pattern that we see today, with rivers flowing from west and east into the Fens.
The age of the Anglian Glaciation was circa 450,000 years ago, which means the handaxes found within the Bytham River gravels at Warren Hill are earlier, probably dating to the previous warm period, (MIS13) about 500,000 years ago. This makes Warren Hill not just one of the richest human sites in Britain, but also one of the oldest.
Mention of Levallois in Terps suspect
Twisted ovate handaxes are present, but in a low overall percentage of the sample.
C. 1864-early 20th Century: Formerly a road ballast pit in the 19th and early 20th Century, (S4).
1950: Visit by John Wymer. The pit was still open, (S4)
1956: Visit by John Wymer. Wired off and planted with conifers by Forestry Commission (S4).
1976: Visit by Edward Martin. nothing visible, area extensively disturbed by quarrying and afforested (S5). Now open (heathland re-creation site).
1964-2002: Fieldwalking by Terry Hardaker, (S19).
1991: Excavation by Quaternary research association, (S15, S16).
2002: Excavation by Rose (AHOB), (S15, S16).
2016: Test pitting as part of the Breckland Palaeolithic Project to date deposits, (S14).
2013: Flint flakes found whilst metal detecting, (S22).
Material in various museums. University of Edinburgh, Moyses Hall, MAA Cabridge, Ashmolean, Pitt-Rivers
Also note cleaver from nearby, MNL 215 (1986), and for handaxe see MNL 319, (1990). Also Scraper found 1990 see MNL 717.
See also Bronze Age, Roman and Saxon records.
No further details found in Ipswich Museum Accession registers September 2020.
- <S1> SSF54455 Bibliographic reference: 1911. Victoria County History, Suffolk (VCH). Sturge W A, 235-238 (ill).
- <S2> SSF50032 Index: OS. OS Card. OS, cards TL77SW4 & TL77SW45, (map).
- <S3> SSF50070 Index: Ipswich Museum. IPSMG card. IPSMG, card 1931-166,1931; 1920-77.1 & 13; 1948-72; 1921-1; 1926-68; 1927-82.36; 1931-160; 1931-148;.
- <S4> SSF50084 Bibliographic reference: Wymer, J.J.. 1985. Palaeolithic Sites of East Anglia.
- <S5> SSF19366 Unpublished document: Martin E. 1976. Site Visit Notes?. SAU, Martin E A, 1976.
- <S6> SSF50035 Unpublished document: Basil Brown. Basil Brown Archive. Brown B, XCVIII, 100, 1951.
- <S7> SSF22300 Personal Correspondence: University of Edinburgh. 1991. Dept of Archaeology, letter to SAU, 22 Oct 1991. University of Edinburgh, Dept of Arch, letter to SAU, 22 Oct 1991.
- <S8> SSF21387 Bibliographic reference: Smith, R.A. 1931. Sturge Collection.
- <S9> SSF17674 Bibliographic reference: Roe, Derek.. 1968. A Gazetteer of British Lower & Middle Palaeolithic sites.
- <S10> SSF11441 Bibliographic reference: Moir J R. 1927. The Antiquity of Man in East Anglia.
- <S11> SSF6117 Bibliographic reference: Evans, J.. 1897. The Ancient Stone implements, weapons and ornaments of Great Britain.
- <S12> SSF59351 Digital archive: Wymer, J.J.. 1999. The Lower Palaeolithic Occupation of Britain (TERPs) The Lower Palaeolithic Occupation of Britain (TERPS). 22867.
- <S13> SSF59573 E-mail: Ashton, N. 2012. To Richard Brook (FC) to Colin pendleton (SCCAS).
- <S14> SSF59574 Unpublished document: Davis et al. 2017. The early Palaeolithic archaeology of the Breckland: current understanding and directions for future research.
- <S15> SSF55365 Article in serial: Martin, E.A., Pendleton, C. & Plouviez, J.. 2003. Archaeology in Suffolk 2002. XXXX (3).
- <S16> SSF59575 Unpublished document: AHOB. 2003. Ancient Human Occupation of Britain Workshop Abstracts.
- <S17> SSF59576 Article in serial: Lewis et al. 2019. Human occupation of northern Europe in MIS 13: Happisburgh Site 1 (Norfolk, UK) and its European context.
- <S18> SSF59577 Article in serial: Gibbard et al. 2019. Comment: Human occupation of northern Europe in MIS 13: Happisburgh Site 1(Norfolk, UK) and its European context: A response to Lewis et al.(2019).
- <S19> SSF59578 Article in serial: Terry Hardaker. 2012. The artefacts from the present land surface at the Palaeolithic site of Warren Hill, Suffolk, England.
- <S20> SSF59579 Article in serial: Solomon, J. D.. 1933. The Implementiferous Gravels of Warren Hill.
- <S21> SSF59423 Article in serial: White, M.J. & Ashton, N; Bridgland.. 2019. Twisted Handaxes in Middle Pleistocene Britain and their Implications for Regional-scale Cultural Variation and the Deep History of Acheulean Hominin Groups.
- <S22> SSF50104 Digital archive: Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service. Portable Antiquities Database. SF-72D480, SF-72D074.
- <S23> SSF59794 Digital archive: Historic England. National Record Of the Historic Environment.
- <S24> SSF60053 Article in serial: Ashton, N. Davis, R. Kirsty E.H. Penkmane, G. Russell Coopef. 2021. Cultural Mosaics, Social Structure, and Identity: The Acheulean threshold in Europe.
- <S25> SSF60054 Article in serial: Davis et al. 2021. Palaeolithic archaeology of the Bytham River: Human Occupation of Britain during the Early Middle Pleistocene and its European Context.
- FSF21572: CLEAVER (MIS13 - 531000 BC? to 476000 BC?)
- FSF21573: ANIMAL REMAINS (Pleistocene General - 2578000 BC? to 9700 BC?)
- FSF21574: HANDAXE (MIS13 - 531000 BC? to 476000 BC?)
- FSF21575: CORE (MIS13 - 531000 BC? to 476000 BC?)
- FSF21576: POINTED HANDAXE (MIS13 - 531000 BC? to 476000 BC?)
- FSF21577: HAMMERSTONE (MIS13 - 531000 BC? to 476000 BC?)
- FSF50789: SUB CORDATE HANDAXE (MIS13 - 531000 BC? to 476000 BC?)
- FSF50790: CORDATE HANDAXE (MIS13 - 531000 BC? to 476000 BC?)
- FSF50791: OVATE HANDAXE (MIS13 - 531000 BC? to 476000 BC?)
- FSF50792: SCRAPER (TOOL) (MIS13 - 531000 BC? to 476000 BC?)
- FSF50793: END SCRAPER? (MIS13 - 531000 BC? to 476000 BC?)
- FSF50794: FLAKE? (MIS13 - 531000 BC? to 476000 BC?)
- FSF50795: RETOUCHED FLAKE? (MIS13 - 531000 BC? to 476000 BC?)
- FSF50797: TWISTED OVATE HANDAXE (MIS13 - 531000 BC? to 476000 BC?)
- None recorded
Related Monuments/Buildings (8)
- Part of: 19th-20th century quarrying pits, Compartment 1035, Mildenhall Woods (Monument) (MNL 795)
- Related to: Mildenhall General, (Pleistocene Fauna in Ipswich Museum) (Poorly Located Monument) (MNL 856)
- Related to: REVOKED, See MNL 001 (Palaeolithic). (Revoked Record) (MNL 781)
- Related to: Three Hills, Warren Hill, Mildenhall, (Mesolithic-Iron Age) (Find Spot) (MNL 001)
- Related to: Three Hills, Warren Hill, Mildenhall, (Palaeolithic). (Find Spot) (MNL 824)
- Related to: Three Hills, Warren Hill, Mildenhall, (Prehistoric) (Find Spot) (MNL 717)
- Related to: Warren Hill, Mildenhall, (Palaeolithic) (Find Spot) (MNL 319)
- Related to: Warren Hill, Mildenhall, (Palaeolithic). (Find Spot) (MNL 215)
Related Events/Activities (11)
- Event - Intervention: Casual Observation? Three Hills, Warren Hill, Mildenhall (Ref: J Wymer) (ESF27681)
- Event - Interpretation: Enhancement of the Suffolk HER for the Palaeolithic & Mesolithic Periods (ESF26899)
- Event - Intervention: Excavation, Three Hills, Warren Hill, Mildenhall (Ref: AHOB) (ESF27687)
- Event - Intervention: Excavation, Three Hills, Warren Hill, Mildenhall (Ref: Quaternary Research Association) (ESF27686)
- Event - Intervention: Field Visit, Three Hills, Warren Hill, Mildenhall (Ref: E Martin) (ESF27684)
- Event - Intervention: Field Visit, Three Hills, Warren Hill, Mildenhall (Ref: J Wymer) (ESF27682)
- Event - Intervention: Field Visit, Three Hills, Warren Hill, Mildenhall (Ref: J Wymer) (ESF27683)
- Event - Intervention: Geotechnical Test Pits, Three Hills, Warren Hill, Mildenhall (Ref: Breckland Palaeolithic Project) (ESF27688)
- Event - Intervention: Metal Detecting Use, Three Hills, Warren Hill, Mildenhall, (ESF28232)
- Event - Intervention: Research Project, Geological test pits at Warren Hill, Mildenhall (ESF24934)
- Event - Intervention: Systematic Fieldwalking Survey, Three Hills, Warren Hill, Mildenhall (Ref: T Hardaker) (ESF27685)
Record last edited
Jun 22 2021 1:12PM