Saturday, 10 May 2008

East Sussex barrow dig yields mesolithic and neolithic material

From BBC news.

Archaeologists have found tools from prehistoric times at an ancient burial ground on cliffs in East Sussex.

Over the past two weeks a team of volunteers have found items from about 8,000 BC and a Neolithic period arrowhead at the site in Peacehaven.

Coastal erosion means the burial mound from the Bronze Age will be unsafe to access in the next few years.

The team hopes to record information about the round barrow before it collapses into the sea.

Animal hunters

The Brighton and Hove Archaeological Society and Mid Sussex Field Archaeological Team believe they have excavated only a quarter of the mound.

Between 19 April and 4 May a team of 30 diggers uncovered tools from the Mesolithic period when hunter-gather groups may have hunted animals and foraged for nuts and berries in the area.

They also unearthed a flint arrowhead from the late Neolithic period, about 4,000 years BC, when the first farmers settled the land.

Bronze Age pottery, and pottery and clay pipes from the 1700 and 1800s have also been found at the site, which is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

Round barrows were often built about 4,000 years ago to mark the burial of a local chief. Project leader Susan Birks said: "This mound has a complicated history spanning several thousand years BC right up to World War II.

"It's a complex story that will need careful unravelling, but we have gathered enough information to tell us its age and something about the people who built it."

Full story here.

No comments: