Journal of Roman Studies (1924) - Review: Early Man in the District of Huddersfield

Review of Early Man in the District of Huddersfield (1924) by James A. Petch.

The following is a transcription of a historic article and may contain occasional errors.


By JAMES A. PETCH. County Borough of Huddersfield ; the Tolson Memorial Museum Publications, edited by T.W. Woodhead. Huddersfield, 1924. Pp. 95, figs. 45. 1s.

A section on "The Coming of the Romans" may be regarded as sufficient justification for directing attention here to this useful guide to the Stone, Bronze and Early Iron Ages as represented in the Huddersfield Museum. The Roman period proper in this district will form the subject of a later publication, but three coin-hoards which include both British and early Roman coins should perhaps be recognized as minor landmarks in the protracted conflict with the Brigantes during and before the time of Agricola. The hoards (Almondbury, Honley and Lightcliffe) are of course already known, but the guide provides a convenient illustrated summary, with notes on the historical possibilities. The outstanding feature of the guide, however, is a concise account of the microlithic flint industries which seem to indicate a fairly extensive occupation of the uplands around Huddersfield during the Tardenoisian or early neolithic period. These industries are on the whole more definite than are most of the British flake-industries which have been ascribed to this phase, and Mr. Petch has done a good service by presenting the facts in this accessible form, with a stratigraphical diagram and a descriptive list of sites. It would be inappropriate to discuss the contingent problems here, or to comment upon the general summaries which, in a deficiency of local evidence, largely fill the two phases between the Stone Age and the historical era. It may be noted in passing that the use of "upper palaeolithic" in the sense of "later palaeolithic" is the converse of the usual custom, and that occasional statements such as "nowhere in England are bronze arrowheads found" betray an incomplete knowledge of the material available. But, with the proviso that the framework is evidently the outcome of general reading rather than of detailed study, the main purpose of the guide is admirably fulfilled. The illustrations are adequate save those produced in half-tone, which are in a few cases useless and should be rigorously weeded out in the future editions that may be expected if the enterprise of Dr. T.W. Woodhead and the Huddersfield Museum authorities is fitly rewarded.