Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 12.djvu/76

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and also give the results of my own examination of the Hoxne district.

Mr. John Frere, so long ago as the first year of the present century, communicated to the Society of Antiquaries an "Account of Flint Weapons discovered at Hoxne, in Suffolk."[1] He stated that they were found in great numbers in a bed of gravel, which was overlaid by one foot of sand with shells, and containing the jawbone and teeth of an enormous animal; the sand being again covered by seven and a half feet of brick-clay. Mr. Frere noticed that the strata lay horizontally, and had been denuded to form the present valley, and therefore concluded that they belonged to a period when the configuration of the surface was different from what it is now, and he considered that their antiquity was possibly "even beyond that of the present world." The manner in which the flint implements lay, and their great abundance, led Mr. Frere to conclude that a manufactory of them had been carried on at the place where he found them.

The discovery does not appear to have excited any attention at the time, and for more than half a century remained unnoticed. In 1859, when the discovery of flint implements in the valley of the Somme, in France, in association with the remains of the mammoth and other extinct mammals, had at last aroused the attention of geologists, Mr. Frere's memoir was brought by Mr. John Evans before the notice of Mr. Prestwich, who had just returned from Amiens. He soon after visited Hoxne, and carefully examined into the facts of the case. He found that the bed of brick-clay was still being worked, and that flint implements were occasionally, though rarely, turned up; and on a subsequent visit with Mr. Evans they succeeded in disinterring one themselves.

The valleys of the Waveney and its tributaries are bounded by low hills of gravel and bowlder-clay. The bed-rock is not seen in any of the sections exposed, but it is supposed to be chalk. The gravels and sands (the middle glacial sands and gravels of Mr. Searles Wood, Jr.) are exposed in many gravel-pits on both sides of the Waveney. They are sometimes capped by the upper bowlder-clay; at others, by a more sandy bed with stones (the "trail" of Mr. Fisher), which in some of the sections graduates into the upper bowlder-clay, of which I believe it to be the modified representative. One of the deepest sections on the north bank of the Waveney is near the road from Diss to Harleston, at Billingford, where the series of beds shown in Fig. 1 are exposed.

Mr. Fisher some time ago called attention to the great importance of the upper bed, or "trail," in the study of the glacial beds,[2] but it has not yet received the notice it deserves. It is the most persistent of all the beds in the southeastern counties, and can be traced, in al-

  1. "Archæologia," 1800, vol. xiii., p. 206.
  2. Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, vol. xxii., p. 553.