Re-working the Past: Evidence for Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Flint Extraction at the Early Neolithic Mines of Sussex
Keywords:mining, axes, lithics, Late Neolithic, Early Bronze Age, Sussex
This paper will summarise evidence for Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age flint extraction at the Southern English mines, beginning with a brief synopsis of their chronology and followed by a summary of mine lithics. It is argued that understanding later mining is equally important as examining its beginning, because the Neolithic is framed by the pursuit of flint from deep mines with significant episodes of extraction at its beginning and end. A focus is maintained on the flint mines located in the county of Sussex because these are the best researched of the English mines. This research represents a limited study of the Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age activity at the Early Neolithic mines, because it is far from exhaustive. Nonetheless, this paper will attempt to define the Late Neolithic and Bronze Age flint working activity at the mines and will question if this activity is associated with new episodes of shaft-mining or informal methods of extraction, such as quarrying or surface collection of earlier mine waste.
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