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Mesolithic Site in Surrey


    AN important mesolithic site consisting of a group of pit-dwellings has been excavated by Dr. J. G. D. Clark near Farnham, Surrey. It was discovered by Mr. W. F. Rankine, a local archæologist, and has been described as "without any parallel in this country". (The Times, July 20.) The pits are circular and some three feet deep by about twelve feet across. One of the dwellings shows the site of a hearth, in which the blackening by fire can still be seen. Several hundred microlithic implements have been found, as well as a fine pointed-butt axe or pick, about five inches long. It is suggested that the settlement may be dated at about 3000 B.C., that is towards the close of the Mesolithic period, to which Dr. Clark in his studies of the Mesolithic period in Northern Europe has assigned a dating of from 8000 B.C. to 2500 B.C., when the full-fledged Neolithic culture takes its place. It would appear that this find gives an entirely new conception of the character of the mode of life of the Mesolithic peoples, which here at least would appear to have entered on a more or less settled stage. Other sites previously investigated afford little or no indications of permanent habitations, the inhabitants having lived in shelters, wind screens or skin tents as did the prehistoric inhabitants of North America and the less advanced of the recent Indians.

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