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Flint mines on Bow Hill

List Entry Summary

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Flint mines on Bow Hill

List entry Number: 1008378

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: West Sussex

District: Chichester

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Lavant

County: West Sussex

District: Chichester

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Stoughton

National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 16-Sep-1994

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 24397

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Flint mines are found where, during Neolithic and Early Bronze Age times (c.3500-1200 BC), nodules of flint were extracted from underground seams within chalk deposits. There is no pattern or regular form to the arrangement of mine sites as the shafts, pits or open-cast workings are closely related to the underlying supplies of flint rather than an overall scheme of how the mine should be organised. In general, however, the shafts, pits and spoil heaps are closely packed together and sometimes even abut one another. In overall size, flint mines range from single shafts and associated works covering less than 1ha, to large mines of several hundred shafts spread over an extensive area. Flint mines provided high quality flint for implement manufacture in the millennia before the widespread availability of metal; the discovery of ceremonial deposits, including carved objects, in some shafts indicates the importance ascribed to them by early prehistoric communities. The workings were excavated by hand with antler picks and a selection of specialist bone, antler, wood and flint tools. Extensive flint knapping floors, areas where the mined flint was worked, are sometimes found within and around the mine area, along with hearths and traces of timber buildings. Evidence of secondary uses of abandoned flint mines is fairly common, and human burials dating from Neolithic times onwards are regularly found in the upper fills of pits and shafts. The hollows left in the tops of infilled shafts also provided suitable areas for occupation long after the mines themselves had gone out of use. The distribution of flint mines is largely dictated by the extent of the Upper Chalk, which is the geological band in which seams of flint occur. Flint mines are known in most areas of Upper Chalk outcrops and generally occur on the tops of hills or ridges, or along their flanking slopes, from Norfolk to Dorset. The earliest sites, dating to the Early and Middle Neolithic period, are clustered on the Sussex Downs. Flint mines are a rare monument type, with only around 20 examples known nationally. One of relatively few classes of monuments dating to all phases of the Neolithic period, they contain evidence relating to technology and work organisation in the period and represent the source of the most commonly used and widespread material available for making edged tools and implements. All well-preserved examples are considered to be of national importance.

Despite some damage caused by occasional trees and shrubs, and ground disturbance caused by rabbits and ants, the flint mines on Bow Hill are known from partial excavation to survive well and contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. The mines lie just to the south of a group of three round barrows. These monuments are broadly contemporary and their close association will therefore provide evidence for the relationship between flint extraction and funerary practice during the period of their construction and use.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

The monument includes an area of prehistoric flint mines situated just off the summit of a ridge of the Sussex Downs. The flint mines are an area of irregular, hummocky ground covering c.0.5ha, made up of a series of roughly circular hollows up to 16m in diameter and surviving to a depth of between 2m and 3m. These are the partially infilled remains of pits dug into the ground to reach the underground seams of flint. The circular hollows are surrounded by overlapping spoil heaps surviving to a height of up to 1m. One of the hollows was excavated in 1933, when it was found to contain a sub-rectangular pit 4m by 3m wide and 2.75m deep. Prehistoric pottery sherds, nodules of worked flint and blocks of chalk with pick marks hacked into them were discovered in the pit.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Hamilton, B C, 'Sussex Notes and Queries' in Suspected Flint Mines on Bow Hill, , Vol. 4, (1933), 246-247

National Grid Reference: SU 82436 10865

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1008378 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 13-Dec-2017 at 08:48:00.

End of official listing