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MONUMENT NO. 409154

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A series of rock shelters at the foot of the escarpment which forms the northern side of High Rocks hillfort (see TQ 53 NE 8), and which were probably used in the Mesolithic and Neolithic. The hillfort was first discovered in 1939, and flint implements were noted on the surface under the escarpment in the years following the end of the war. Excavations were undertaken at several locations in 1954-6, before attention moved back to the hillfort itself. Finds included predominantly Mesolithic flints plus a few of Neolithic date, as well as some Neolithic potsherds. Charcoal from a possible hearth and from another location yielded (uncalibrated) radiocarbon dates of 3700 +/- 150 bc and 3870 +/-150 bc, suggesting that they represent late Mesolithic activity. However, the samples were associated with Neolithic material. A possible explanation is that the wood was considerably older than the activity represented by the charcoal. Thermoluminescence dates on some of the potsherds were a few hundred years later, but in both cases the dating techniques were also in their infancy. The excavations also uncovered the odd Iron Age potsherd plus a small pit containing dark soil and bloomery cinders.

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