In 1982, Mark Roberts went to the Boxgrove quarry, five miles east of Chichester, to investigate some Romano-British field systems. It was rather routine, so in his lunch hours he began wandering down into the quarry itself, wondering whether there might be anything of interest from the Palaeolithic.
He soon realised that the quarry fell into two distinct halves, sands and gravels, which were quarried separately. At the top were gravels, washed down from the South Downs in the cold conditions of one of the later Ice Ages. At the bottom was sand,
which was quarried in a separate operation. Between the two was a soil horizon; and in the soil horizon, there were flint flakes - and handaxes.
With the help of the quarry owner, Amey Roadstone Corporation, he began to investi-
gate further. There are in fact two quarries at
Boxgrove, side by side, and both have a very distinct northern edge. This northern edge is in fact the stump of the former foot of the
Above. View from the South Downs looking across the Sussex Plain with the quarry in the middle distance.
Inset right, the windmill on top of Halnaker Hill.
Below. Plan of quarries. a=beach section, b=flint scatter site, c= horse butchery site, d= hominid site
CURRENT ARCHAEOLOGY 153