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In search of the mammoth: North Norfolk fossil-hunters reveal more fascinating finds

Amateur archaeologists Dan Chamberlain and Russell Yeomans discovered what is believed to be a mammoth tibia on the beach at West Runton earlier this year. Mr Yeoman's website can be found at www.flint-paramoudra.com. Picture: Ally McGilvray

Amateur archaeologists Dan Chamberlain and Russell Yeomans discovered what is believed to be a mammoth tibia on the beach at West Runton earlier this year. Mr Yeoman's website can be found at www.flint-paramoudra.com. Picture: Ally McGilvray

Archant

As North Norfolk basks in one of the hottest weeks of the year, an amateur archaeologist believes he may have unearthed the site of a Stone Age barbecue.

What is believed to be part of an axe, has been unearthed. What is believed to be part of an axe, has been unearthed.

Flint expert Russell Yeomans, from Gunton, revealed he has found what could be “a huge fire site” in West Runton - where one of the most complete skeletons of a mammoth ever discovered was unearthed in 1990.

He was on the beach when Dan Chamberlain, from Long Stratton, made the discovery of what is believed to be a lower leg of a mammoth in April this year.

Since then, the pair have made a series of fascinating finds - including flint tools, an iron age quern-stone for grinding corn and an axe, which could date back hundreds of thousands of years - as well as other pieces of what is suspected to be mammoth.

Mr Yeomans said: “I don’t think there’s a limit to what we can find along this coast, we’ve found evidence of hyena, rhino, deer, hippo, and mammoth so far. It all depends on what the tide uncovers. When we found the mammoth tibia it was just pure luck and coincidence.

A corn grinding stone discovered at West Runton. Picture: Russell Yeoman A corn grinding stone discovered at West Runton. Picture: Russell Yeoman

“We’ve found two other pieces of mammoth bone, just a few feet away from where we found the tibia.”

The fossil-hunter has called for the coastline to be renamed the Stone Age Coast in a bid to attract would-be cave men and women to explore the area.

His suggestion comes at North Norfolk District Council continues to explore plans to rebrand a stretch of coastline between Weybourne and Cart Gap the Deep History Coast in recognition of the finds.

Mr Yeomans said: “Recently I’ve found an amazing axe which could date back to one and a half million years ago.

Flint tools discovered by Russell Yeoman. Picture: Russell Yeoman Flint tools discovered by Russell Yeoman. Picture: Russell Yeoman

“I’ve also found flint tools which suggest that Norfolk has been a home to farming settlers since the Stone Age. I found two stones used for corn grinding, one of which was a quern-stone which would have been more expensive in those days.

“I also found a grinding stone with a flat base. This would have again be used to grind corn to flour, or would have been to stamp out hides for leather.

“What’s amazing is that on one of the corn grinding stones you can see where the person has held it, you can see the ball of their hand and the tip of their thumb ingrained into the stone. It’s amazing when you find these things.”

For more information, Mr Yeoman’s website can be found here.

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