Tuesday, 13 March 2012

The First Teessiders (NZ611138)

© Copyright MichaelGraham and licensed for reuse under this Creative CommonsLicence.

Highcliffe Nab is a rocky outcrop of the Cleveland Hills, a spot which offers spectacular views in all directions – with its bare northern face staring down directly into the town of Guisborough a mile or so distant (as illustrated above). It rises to an impressive 310m above sea level – or 1,017 ft in old money – and is currently a highlight of the Cleveland Way long-distance footpath.

It is now known as the site where the very earliest traces of human activity have been uncovered across the whole of Teesside. And all as a result of the efforts of a couple of amateur archaeologists who, in the 1990s, uncovered more than 2,000 worked flints from the Nab dating from 6,000 to 3,200 years BC (Mesolithic). Norman and Patricia Harbord had the distinction of pushing the area’s traceable history back into the era of the hunter gatherer, when our ancestors required a lofty perch from which to observe the migration of herds of wild animals.

Subsequent poking about around the site has produced hundreds more similar finds, as well as the remains of fires – indicating that meat processing and temporary camps were to be found thereabouts; though no evidence has been found of permanent settlement. The Nab may also have been used as a beacon point.

As a further point of interest, the image above shows a rust-coloured seam of ironstone running vertically through the cliff. It is the proliferation of outcrops like Highcliffe Nab in this part of the world, of course, that gives the area – Cleveland, or ‘Cliff-land’ – its name.

468x60: I’m, your Nan

No comments:

Post a Comment