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Report on Excavations at Jaywick Sands, Essex (1934), with some observations on the Clactonian Industry, and on the Fauna and Geological significance of the Clacton Channel

  • Kenneth P. Oakley (a1) and Mary Leakey

The foreshore exposures of Pleistocene deposits at Clacton and at Lion Point, two miles to the south-west, mark cross-sections of an ancient river channel which now extends inland in a broad curve between these two localities. The deposits have become famous through the investigations of Mr S. Hazzledine Warren, who has for many years kept a careful watch on the exposures, and who has published a number of important papers on his discoveries (Warren, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1933, 1934).

The gravels in the Clacton channel have yielded a contemporary palaeolithic flake-industry which was recognised by the Abbé Breuil as identical in style with an industry represented in the Middle Pleistocene gravels of Mesvin, Belgium (Warren, 1922). Breuil (1929, p. 6) has since proposed the name of Clactonian for this industry in view of the fact that in the Mesvin deposits the implements in question are in a derived condition, and associated with other industries, whereas at Clacton there is no doubt as to their contemporaneity with the containing gravel. Industries of Clacton style have since been recognised in numerous localities, not only in this country, but also on the Continent (Breuil, 1932). They appear to represent a widespread cultural tradition, possibly of Asiatic origin, and very probably ancestral to the later Mousterian industries.

The industry of the type station—the Clacton-on-Sea district of Essex—represents neither the earliest nor the latest stage of evolution of the Clactonian culture, and importance attaches to establishing its exact position in the Lower Palaeolithic sequence.

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