Neolithic flint axe
An excavation at Cissbury in West Sussex in 1867-8 was one of the first field projects directed by Pitt-Rivers, and was one of the first modern scientifically recorded archaeological excavation. This Neolithic flint axe offers some textual evidence to support this claim. Attached to it is a pre-printed label, completed by hand: “CISSBURY PIT NO. 22 FEB 4 1868 ALF”. The label is a very early example of the recording of archaeological features or contexts from which objects were recovered. This modest 150-year-old label is just as significant as the Stone Age axe to which it is glued – perhaps more so. The letters “ALF” stand for Augustus Lane Fox – as the fieldwork was undertaken before the General took his full name, Augustus Lane Fox Pitt-Rivers. (Pitt Rivers Museum Accession Number 1884.125.153).