As the ice sheets retreated, about 10,000 years ago, people started to move northwards. These were hunter-gatherers, continuously on the move, living close to nature, gathering their food from what nature provided. They travelled lightly, leaving little in the landscape for us to see today. Perhaps the only artifacts which can be found are the stone tools that they used – axe and arrow heads, and flint fragments from the fashioning of their tools.
One relic from this period is Corby Crags Rock Shelter.
As farming practices emerged, spreading from the continent, people started to settle on the land. Their tools remained stone-based, but were increasingly sophisticated.
There are no known neolithic sites in the area.
The arrival of improved farming techniques and metal tools increased the agricultural productivity. People started to live in small, family sized, settlements. Burials became more ritualised.
There are a few Bronze Age burial sites, as well as some general finds.
Settlements became larger and more defendable. There are quite a few such settlements in the Alnwick area.