Howick Haven

One of the many small sandy bays along this stretch of the Northumbrian coast between Boulmer and Caistor.

At the turn of this century, an amateur archaeologist spotted some worked flints protruding out of an eroded sandy cliff just beyond the far side of the bay. He reported the finds to Newcastle University who investigated further. It turned out they were from a Mesolithic encampment containing a large conical building which would have accommodated a family of about six people.

Habitation sites from the Mesolithic are very rare. This is that period of pre-history starting just after the last glacier melted about 10,000 B.C. before the earliest farmers began to have more settled lives in the Neolithic. Traditionally they’re the hunter gatherers but the excavations show they did use more permanent sites, perhaps on a seasonal basis. Radiocarbon dating shows the Howick site was occupied for over a hundred years.

During the Mesolithic period the coastline would have been a few hundred metres away and the area covered by a mixed woodland of oak, elm, pine and hazel.

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