On fossil remains in Norfolk

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On fossil remains in Norfolk
by Thomas Browne

Source British Museum Sloane MS 1882

This bone was found, about 2 yeare past by Winterton, on the sea shore in Norfolk. The cliffe had been much broaken by high tides & the rage of the sea, many hundred loades falling downe as it often doth upon this coast, the cliffs being not rock butt earth. Upon the same coast, butt at some miles distance, divers great bones are sayd to have been found, & I have seen one side of a lower jawe containing very large teeth petrified, farre exceeding the teeth of the biggest ox. It was found after a great flood neere to the cliff, some thousand loades of earth being broaken downe by the rage of the sea. That it came not out of the sea it might bee conjectured because it was found so farre from it, & from the colour, for if out of the sea it would have been whiter. When the outward crust is taken of, it answereth the graine of the bones of whales & other cetaceous animals, comparing it with a peece of whales scull which I have by mee. This month in a grave of Earsham church yard were found sixteen large teeth, butt of a different bignesse, whereof this is one brought mee & taken for a Gyants tooth, butt it very well resembleth the tooth of an ox, as you may observe by comparing it.