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Monument record MDR5243 - Mesolithic occupation site, Hardhurst, Unstone

Type and Period (2)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

Mesolithic flints including cores, scrapers and microliths were recovered in 1923 "from a restricted area on high ground" above the River Drone at Unstone. (1) Armstrong found a flint core, 1ΒΌ" long (now in Sheffield City Museum), and microliths, cores, scrapers and hundreds of flakes, now lost. Further finds were made in 1976-7 by Mr P Caldwell and Mr C R Hart, including a scraper, an awl, a core, three core trimming flakes, two worked pieces and 35 waste fragments. These finds went to Sheffield City Museum. (2, 7) Rescue excavation of a Mesolithic industrial occupation site at Unstone (c. SK 372770) in advance of ploughing, was made on behalf of the Dept. of the Environment in 1977-78. A preliminary analysis of the flints has determined a stratigraphical separation of material types. (3-6) Unstone Site 1 is at about 440ft OD on a small spur, terminating in a cliff, which has uninterrupted views of the confluence of the River Drone and the Barlow and Sud brooks. As the site was being destroyed by intensive ploughing, a rescue excavation was conducted during the winters of 1977 and 1978. The surface scatter of flints broadly coincided with the buried distributions and structural features. Excavations revealed structural evidence of a sequence of Mesolithic occupation. The major features were a curvilinear ring of stakes of uncertain purpose and a complex group of irregular hollows and stake holes dug into the bedrock; these are also of unknown function. Several hearths were found and a radiocarbon determination is awaited. Based on the flint assemblage, however, the site belongs mainly to the Early Mesolithic. (7) A date of 1980 +/- 150 BP (Iron Age?) was recorded from radiocarbon dating of charcoal submitted in 1979 from a hearth close to postholes from which carbonised grain was recovered at Unstone. (8)

Sources/Archives (8)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Armstrong, A. 1923. Sheffield Daily Telegraph, April 4th.
  • <2> Index: North Derbyshire Archaeological Trust (NDAT). North Derbyshire Archaeological Trust Index. 1996, 1997.
  • <3> Bibliographic reference: Courtney, T (NDAC). 1977. A Stone Age Site in Unstone, Derbyshire.
  • <4> Article in serial: T. Courtney. PPS 44 1978.
  • <5> Article in serial: PPS 45 1979 339.
  • <6> Article in serial: PPS 46 1980 347.
  • <7> Bibliographic reference: Hart, C (NDAT). 1981. The North Derbyshire Archaeological Survey to AD 1500. pp 9-10, 29-31.
  • <8> *Internet Web Site: Council for British Archaeology (CBA). Archaeological Site Index to Radiocarbon Dates from Great Britain and Ireland. HAR-3339.



Grid reference Centred SK 372 769 (162m by 123m) (Centre)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

  • EDR1589
  • EDR3721
  • EDR1593

Please contact the HER for details.

External Links (0)

Record last edited

Dec 13 2016 10:32AM

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