Page:VCH Warwickshire 1.djvu/256

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A HISTORY OF WARWICKSHIRE investigated, should give abundant proofs of the presence of palaeolithic man. The implements of the palaeolithic age, like those of the neolithic, appear to have been shaped by means of chipping the nodule of flint, into shape. In the case of the neolithic implements however greater degree of finish and more thorough precision of form have been attained by a grinding process which has removed much and sometimes all of the marks of the conchoidal fractures which resulted from chipping. Both neolithic and palaeolithic implements however were produced without the aid of metal tools, for such tools belong to a period when metals and the methods of working them were equally unknown. The imple- ments may be briefly described as follows : (1) Method of Manufacture. Palaeolithic implements have been boldly shaped by a comparatively few blows, which have produced ovoid or pointed forms, whilst neolithic implements bear evidence of many blows and not infrequently grinding. (2) Superficial or Structural Change. Flint implements which have been much exposed to drift action or the influences of the weather bear evidence of it in the loss of that horny appearance usually found in a newly broken chalk flint. This alteration is found to extend some- times only a little way below the surface and sometimes entirely through the flint. In addition to this many of the drift-worn flints have acquired a superficial colouring which varies from a pale straw colour to a rich ochreous brown or even dark brown. These are some of the marks of palaeolithic implements. Neolithic implements rarely show any deep structural alteration or deep colouring, but are usually flint-coloured, milky white or pure white upon the surface. (3) Positions in which the Implements are found. Palaeolithic imple- ments are sometimes found several feet deep in river-drift gravel. Neo- lithic implements are never so found. They occur either in alluvial deposits or on or near the surface of the ground. The points of difference here described may at first sight appear to be trivial, but as aids to the reconstruction of that remote period of the past of which we have no written story, their importance is by no means inconsiderable. One of the most promising fields to which one might turn in the hope of finding palaeolithic implements is the drift deposit in the valley of the river Avon, and as long ago as the year 1867 the Rev. P. B. Brodie ' wrote : ' The later deposits of this kind are to be found along the valley of the Avon, and consist of the usual finer sands and gravels with mammalian remains ; but I have not yet heard of any flint imple- ments having been detected with them, though I do not think they have been so diligently searched after in the neighbourhood of Warwick, Stratford and elsewhere in the county as they have been in other places ; and they may turn up at any time.' It is interesting to find that this 1 ' Remarks on the Drift in a part ot Warwickshire, and on the Evidence of Glacial Action which it Affords,' Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, xxiii. 208. 214