MP Gallery - Warlingham, Surrey, England - OSO, Gate Dip, Gate Corner

Despite insecure dating, OriginsNet presents these Surrey materials--identified, collected and conserved by Ron Williams--because they have quite stunning artistic qualities.

Dating: Surrey sites are presented though their dating is problematic. OSO (Opposite Sline's Oak), Gate Dip and Gate Corner are surface sites in Warlingham, Surrey, England, on the North Downs. Based on artifacts, Ron Williams and Jan Evert Musch argue that the site is mixed Acheulian Traditions, possibly VOA, OA and/or MA, according to Ron Williams and Jan Evert Musch, and, I would add, possibly Middle Paleolithic of Acheulian Tradition.

A sample of tools from the Slines Oaks and Worms Heath areas west and north of HW/Pit Dip at the East Surrey Museum is catalogued in Field, D., Ketteringham, L., Nicolaysen, P., Waters, K. and Winser, K. (1990). Surrey Archaeological Collections 80:133-145. They note that an excavation at Slines Oak produced stratified Mesolithic flints. They examined over 1500 objects, which they identify as mostly Mesolithic or Neolithic flake and blade cores, flakes, blades and core tools. They illustrate some seventy core tools, primarily Mesolithic or Neolithic axes, adzes and preforms. They do acknowledge one biface (handaxe)(#75), "a remnant of an earlier epoch" with no further elaboration. They seem to have overlooked among the core tools illustrated what appear to be a typical Middle Paleolithic (Acheulian Tradition) bout coup biface (#16) and two other bifaces (#33, #54).

Photo © Ron Williams, collected by Ron Williams, or as otherwise noted. The site is documented in Williams, R. (1987). Beestachtig en Beregoed (II): Steentijdtradities en rituele vuursteenskulpturen van Surrey, Engeland door Ron Williams. Archaeologische Berichten 18:13-38 (Elst, NL).

Comment (James Harrod): In comparison to the previous Surrey HW gallery, predominantly Middle Paleolithic, we see Early Paleolithic symbol system elements, namely female birth giver, human head, animal, and geometric (biface, triangle form). Combinations of symbolic elements--are 'combis'--are typical of the late Acheulian and especially of the Middle Paleolithic (Mousterian of Acheulian Tradition). The emergence in the Middle Paleolithic of combination sculptures would appear to reflect the invention of a 'mother-of-animals' deity and mythology, which, implies corresponding shamanic healing practices.

a) msmammothoso b) femaleoso c) hoodedfemaleoso d) trifemvulvoso e) headoso
a) msmammothoso.jpg b) femaleoso.jpg c) hoodedfemaleo... d) trifemvulvoso... e) headoso.jpg
f) trancebearv1oso g) trancebearv2oso h) trancebearsidev1oso i) trancebearsidev2oso j) polymorphsab18oso
f) trancebearv1o... g) trancebearv2o... h) trancebearsid... i) trancebearsid... j) polymorphsab1...
k) handaxegatedip l) gatecorner m) doublprofilgatecorner n) beargatecorner o) obvzoomgatecorner
k) handaxegatedi... l) gatecorner.jpg m) doublprofilga... n) beargatecorne... o) obvzoomgateco...

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