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  THE STORY OF SHOREHAM                  
                  A STONE-AGE " SHEFFIELD "  
                     
With these tools shafts were sunk and the whole hillside honeycombed with tunnels in the work of excavating the copious material found in the chalk. Some of the actual tools used in these mining operations are now in the British Museum, while flint implements from Cissbury are to be seen in the Museums of Brighton and Lewes.                
      The secret of the manufacture of bronze was probably first discovered in Asia, where tin and copper were most workable, and thence spread to Europe, where it was quickly adopted by the Aryan Celts. Having learnt the use of bronze certain great improvements followed, notably amongst others an immense advance in the art of boat-building.   The men of the Bronze Age soon constructed vessels which enabled them to cross the narrow seas and invade Britain. Their superior weapons gave them an enormous advantage over the natives, armed only with their polished flint hatchets, and in a very short time they over
No one can tell us the duration of this industry at Cissbury, but the large number of implements found point to long and continued operations and its occupation as a factory.Some say that it must have lasted several thousand years.It was the Sheffield of the flint industry in Neolithic times.      
               
Another race threw up the great hill-fort and in so doing cut the imposing ditch of their citadel through the filled-in shafts of the older mines.                
        Picture
If you have not already visited Cissbury, do so. You may follow the track over Lancing Downs and beyond, and will tread much the same path by which the primitive yet cunning artizan made his way up from the river of " running waters " to the flint factory on the hill-top. The place cannot fail to impress you. It was once teeming with a busy industry, the evidence of which is to be found in the countless flint chips and flakes scattered broadcast over the whole hill-side. When the Romans came stone weapons had long been superseded by bronze and iron, and still to-day this monument, sublime in its solitary grandeur, remains to speak to us of a people and a period so remote from our own time, as to make the Roman invasion of Britain appear in comparison as an event of yesterday.        
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At the time that this flint factory was in full swing we may reasonably conclude that the coast district from the Chichester marshland to Pevensey was not consolidated under a single rule, but that there existed chieftainships over several villages, confined for the most part to single river valleys. Such a principality in the fertile valley of the Adur and the coast strip from Worthing to Brighton would roughly correspond to the modern Rape of Bramber, possessing its own boundary of forest and its own camp of refuge on the hill-top.        
               
      ran nearly the whole island. This great invasion is said to have taken place some 1,000 or 1,500 years before the Christian era.
               
      Thus the people of Britain came in two great waves. First the short dark Iberian (who mined for flints at Cissbury) and then the mighty Celt who conquered him. Thence forward the two peoples existed side by side, for the Celts did not exterminate those whom they had conquered, but made slaves of them, and these slaves learned the tongue of their masters.
Now the flint-workers of Cissbury knew nothing of metals ; the iron ore in the almost inaccessible Weald was of no use to them. If aware of its existence they were totally ignorant of its possibilities. Copper and tin were alike unknown to them and therefore they could not manufacture bronze.      
               
          At the date of the first Roman invasion these two distinct
               

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Copyright © Martin Snow 2002 All rights reserved
Revised 27 February 2002