Grimes Graves

Grimes Graves (also Grime 's Graves ) is a Neolithic flint mine in the Breckland of Norfolk in eastern England. It is located seven miles north west of Thetford on the A134 (OS Map 144; ref TL 818 898 ).


The name Grim goes back to the Anglo-Saxons. He is synonymous with the pagan god Odin. See also Grimsby, Grim's Dyke (for the Antonine Wall ), Grim's Ditch an earthwork, Grim's Mound grave hill in Lincolnshire Grimspound in Devon, Grims Lake Mire ( a stone box in the Grims lake mud ), Grimsbury place in Oxfordshire, Grimsthorpe Castle ( Grims village), Grimsay island of the Hebrides, Graemsay island of Orkney, Grimsetter ( Grims seat) of Orkney and Shetland, Grimshader ( Grims seat) on Lewis and Harris, as well as several places called Grimston. Grim's Grave is a Bronze Age stone box (also kistvaen ) in Dartmoor.


The mine dates back to the time of Grooved ware. The shaft inputs and the accompanying tailings are exceptionally well preserved, probably because of its location on the border between two parishes. Compared to the Sussex Downs Silexbergwerken as Cissbury, Church Hill, Black Patch, Harrow Hill and Martin's Clump and of Wessex ( Durrington, Easton Down) starts to degrade surprisingly late here.


The mines have been excavated in prehistoric times with deer antlers. The obtained raw material here (Brandon Flint) is very fine and homogeneous, characteristic of continuous black in color. It was only the so-called "floor stone" used, which provides particularly large and homogeneous raw tubers, while the overlying deposits ( topstone, wall stone) are often small and very eccentric shape.

433 bays are visible above ground on a site of 7.6 ha as wells. In the nearby Brandon was for guns recovered and processed from this material to the early 20th century flint.


William Camden described the locality in 1695 as a fortification, F. Blomefield she held in 1805 for an entrenched camp of the Danes. First excavations took place in 1852. 1868-1870 grub here the priest and antiquarian William Greenwell the first slot to the bottom of and explored the side gears ( Greenwell pit). The Prehistoric Society of East Anglia in 1914 dug two more manholes, investigations by A. Armstrong followed 1923-1939. The finds were handed over to the British Museum. In the excavations by Roger Mercer 1971-72 followed from 1972 to 1976 the researches of the British Museum under the direction of Ian Longworth and Gale Sieveking. The excavations themselves were carried out by a Dutch team that had already examined the mine of Rijckholt in Limburg.


The pottery found in the wells belongs to the Durrington Walls style Grooved on the goods. Both coarse pottery and decorated shells were found. In the shaft a 11.5 cm high anthropomorphic limestone figure of a goddess, who is regarded as earth mother and a phallus made ​​of limestone were found. The authenticity of the statue was doubted. For the filling of the wells also numerous animal bones come. Whether it is municipal waste or intentional depositions (structured deposition) is controversial.