Nature of Chalk Heath Soils


DR. R. M. S. PERRIN'S article on chalk heath soils1 does not fully explain the occurrences of these formations. His suggestion, that the chalk heaths may be formed on deposits of wind-blown loess-like material over flint pavements, perhaps in the Bronze Age, does not apply to Lullington Heath; for this area, in addition to being a fine example of chalk heath, shows also a very fine example of Celtic field patterns and has been illustrated under the name of Fore Down, Lullington2. It is probable that cultivation continued there during the Roman era, for the Britons in Sussex were not driven out or massacred by the Saxons until the third and fourth centuries A.D. Furthermore, traces of human influence are not confined merely to the field patterns; the lumps of iron slag seem to be relics of iron smelting about two thousand years ago, and the sandy patches seem to be relics of military training about fifteen years ago, for remains of the sandbags could be seen until recently.

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  1. 1

    Perrin, R. M. S., Nature, 178, 31 (1956).

  2. 2

    Curwen, E. C., “The Archæology of Sussex”, 212 (1954).

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THOMAS, A. Nature of Chalk Heath Soils. Nature 179, 545–546 (1957).

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