High Weald

mesolithic landscape alanmarshall

Bone combs, antlers, pottery, flint axes, arrowheads and iron slag are just some of the artefacts children will find in the AONB Partnership's new handling boxes.  The boxes will help bring prehistoric residents to life as part of  themed primary school workshops and Welly Walks. For further information contact our Education Officer, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 01424 723013. 

View our historic timeline to find our more about how people have influenced the landscape we see today. 

Paleolithic box content

Handaxe  - A modern replica of a flint biface (two sided) handaxe discovered at Boxgrove in West Sussex where archaeological excavations in quarries since the 1980s have revealed a range of Ice Age deposits approximately 500,000 years old.

Antler  - a modern example of antlers that prehistoric people would have found after they were shed seasonally or recovered from hunted animals.

Skins - people used flint and bone tools to hunt animals for their skins and furs. Animal products would have been used for everything from clothes to bags and hut covers.

Long blades - modern reproductions of the types of tools that were being created in Sussex at the end of the Palaeolithic (and the end of the last Ice Age). These blades would have had many uses including for butchery and food preparation.

Charcoal - modern equivalents of the type of medium that would have been used by Palaeolithic people to draw and create paintings.

Mesolithic box content

Tranchet axe  - is a chisel-ended tool made from flint with a sharp, straight working edge produced by then removal of a flake at right angles to the main axis of the tool.

Core  - a piece of stone, in this case flint, from which blades and flakes have been removed by striking the core with another stone or piece of antler. Often the core is all that is left as a by-product of making tools.

Microlith  - a microlith is a very small tool made on a blade or a flake. They are often less than one centimetre long and come in geometric shapes such as triangles and trapezes.

Leather  - a modern piece of treated animal skin is an example of the type of natural material that prehistoric people would have used for a wide variety of uses from clothes and bags to tents and boats.

Neolithic box content 

Flint axe  -  made by striking flakes from a block of flint. This axe was made from flint that may have been mined from the chalk of the South Downs. Many deep complex tunnels of Neolithic flint mines have been discovered by archaeologists in Sussex.

Spear Point  - a  leaf-shaped spear point replica made of flint and is typical of the type made and used by people living in Sussex during the Neolithic over four thousand years ago.

Pottery - made from clay and crushed material such as flint to make it stronger, mixed with water.

Saddle Quern  - two replica objects are a half sized saddle quern and rubbing stone. A saddle & rubber quern is used for grinding grain or corn to make flour for cooking foods such as bread.

Bronze Age box content 

Bronze spear  - a replica and typical of the type of object that metal workers could produce during this period.

Wrist Guard  - a modern leather replica of a wrist guard or bracer that would have been worn by an archer on the arm with which he or she held the bow so that the string did not injure the wrist on release of the arrow.

Spindle Whorl  - a replica of a spindle whorl made of chalk. The spindle whorl is circular in form with a hole through the centre for a stick (the spindle).

Barbed-and-tanged arrowhead - one of the most distinctive archaeological objects and tells the archaeologist immediately that they are looking at an Early Bronze Age site or activity sometime between 2300BC and 1500BC.

Iron Age box content 

Coin  - a replica; the first time we seen money in a way that we can easily relate to in Britain.

Iron nails  -  humble iron nail tells an important story of how the development of iron radically altered how things were built in later prehistory.

Bone comb  - a replica decorated with simple designs suggestive of Celtic art. Bone combs found by archaeologists on Iron Age sites have been interpreted as evidence for personal hygiene and appearance.

Pottery  - Iron Age pottery from sites in Sussex. 

Iron slag - left over from iron being smelted in Sussex at the end of the Iron Age or in the early Roman period.