Pitt-Rivers in the Isle of Thanet

Image: Photograph (2013) and illustration (1869) of the flints excavated and collected from the Isle of Thanet (Kent, England) by General Pitt-Rivers.
The Excavating Pitt-Rivers team is currently working on the material that the General collected and excavated during his time in Kent. Whilst looking at material from the Isle of Thanet we found a number of lithics, previously unrecorded, that match illustrations in one of Lane Foxs earliest publications (Lane-Fox 1869), as shown in the photograph above, which is reproduced alongside the 1869 illustration.

In this 1869 publication, he described his ‘examination’ of the Isle of Thanet. Pitt-Rivers explored an area stretching from ‘a mile north of Margate to Broadstairs and Ramsgate, and to a distance of a mile or two inland from those places’. The paper described his methods of identifying ancient flints:
there is no real difficulty in detecting the ancient from the modern flakes; dark flakes with a dull surface must be rejected as modern, those of ancient date are of a light blue colour on their fractured surfaces.” (Lane-Fox 1869: 6-7)
The paper also discussed the sourcing of raw materials and the importance of understanding this. He compared his finds of flint objects in Oxfordshire to those found on the Isle of Thanet, contrasting the lack of available flint sources in Oxfordshire with their relative abundance in Kent.
Keep an eye out in the upcoming weeks for more exciting finds from Kent, as our documentation process continues.

Lane-Fox, A. 1869. 'On some flint implements found associated with Roman remains in Oxfordshire and the Isle of Thanet.' Journal of the Ethnological Society of London (1869-1870), 1.1: 1-12.

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