Palaeolithic 'Twydall' Clactonian Stone Age Tool
Flint, 55 grams, 78.26 mm. A "Clactonian" implement or tool used for smashing and cutting up animal carcases, from the known lower palaeolithic site of "Twydall" in Kent, collected circa 1912 - 1915. Old collection inscription in black: 1324 TWYDALL [reference by Rochester Museum]. This tool shows typical clactonian style manufacture and is in a pristine state of preservation with ink inscribed museum reference number and provenance history information supplied. The flint tools of the "Clactonian" are now accepted as contemporary with the "Acheaulian" industry, two seperate tribes of "Homo Heidelbergensis" living at the same time but adopting different methods of tool production c. 400,000 y ago. A nice provenanced tool in extremely fine condition. Provenance: found Twydall, Kent, England; ex Rochester Museum.
THE LOWER PALAEOLITHIC IMPLEMENTS OF TWYDALL – KENT
The collection was originally donated by a Mr Richard Jones of Welling in Kent to the Rochester Museum. During the period of 1912 - 1915. Mr George Payne of the Kent Archaeological Society also collected along with a Mr George Baker. During the year of 1902 "Sharpes Green Cement Works" was erected then the smallest cement works on record,using second hand equipment and the last to use Static Chamber Kilns. The processing site was situated on the south shore of the river Medway near Gillingham-Kent, on an island known locally as "Horrid Hill" just off the shore. Horrid Hill so named because French prisoners of the Napolianic war who attempted to escape the "Hulks" moored on the river were hanged here for their efforts. The raw material for the manufacture of cement i.e. Chalk was extracted from a local quarry in orchard grounds belonging to a Mr Walter Stunt of Lorrendon-Faversham, Kent,a place called Twydall between Chatham and Upchurch. During the removal of the chalk a infilled cavity was broken through on the eastern face of the quarry, which contained very rich lower Palaeolithic material.
To facilitate the removal of the extracted chalk from the quarry to the works on the river a trackway was constructed to allow a small horse drawn railway to carry wagon loads of chalk for processing. To transport the loads over the tidal saltmarsh from river bank to the island a causeway was built above the upper tidal limit to the works.The material used was the gravel extracted at the quarry which was useless for the manufacture of cement of which contained the implements. The subsequent erosion caused by the tidal flow of the river exposed the Palaeolithic implements along the stretch of the causeway, which during the period of 1912 to 1915 were collected from the surface. The majority of the material is made up of Flakes and Cores typical of the "Clactonian" style with also some Acheulian axes. The implements are well retouched and worked on thick,heavey hard-hammer flakes with high angle platforms-typical of the "Clactonian" industry. The tools are made from the same marbled north kent flint which was used at the Swanscombe Palaeolithic site, the ancient lower gravels of the Thames valley. This flint is a brown and yellow banded variety derivd from the Dark green skinned nodules of the "Bull Head" bed which underlies the Thanet sands.