Page:The Zoologist, 4th series, vol 3 (1899).djvu/42

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By W.G. Clarke.

The making of spurious flint implements is an industry by no means confined to the last few years. Practically as soon as it was found that the evidences of man's handiwork from the river gravels of England had a marketable value, men skilled in flint-knapping began to make imitations of them, "Flint Jack" especially obtaining notoriety for the skill with which he imitated prehistoric weapons. At a meeting of the Norfolk and Norwich Archæologists' Society in 1861, Mr. Pengelly stated that he knew there were some clever people in the neighbourhood of Caistor who could make ancient flint knives. And when the Suffolk Institute of Archæology met at Thetford in 1866, one of the workmen excavating gravel told the members that if they but gave him a few days' notice prior to their next visit he could procure as many implements for them as they wished. Need one doubt that he looked for assistance to the skilled knappers at Brandon? The natives of East Anglia do not as a rule try to sell spurious bronze or iron weapons to the unsuspecting archæologist: they limit their operations to imitations of flint implements. Rusty horse-shoe nails have, however, been offered me as iron spear-heads; and an egg-spoon that had been buried about ten years relegated to the Lake-dwellers. But in these cases the false descriptions were made through ignorance, and not of deliberate purpose as is the case with many of those who sell spurious flint implements. The district is so noted, and is visited by so many archæologists in search of flint implements, that there are unrivalled opportunities of foisting off forged specimens as genuine antiques. The Brandon knappers, with their marvellous inherited skill and constant practice in making gunflints, turn out specimens of prehistoric arrow-heads