Hundreds take a chance to look into Bury’s past

Visitors get a guided tour of the site from the people doing to excavation  ANL-160919-074709009
Visitors get a guided tour of the site from the people doing to excavation ANL-160919-074709009
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About 390 people took the chance to see how our ancestors lived when Suffolk Archaeology held its second open day at its Marham Park housing site dig.

The dig on what will become an extension of Bury St Edmunds between the Howard Estate and Tut Hill, Fornham All Saints, has revealed evidence of more than 4,000 years of occupation with hints of even older use, including a late Mesolithic to Neolithic adze dropped by nomadic people about 10,000 years ago.

A late Mesolithic to Neolithic adze  ANL-160919-074935009

A late Mesolithic to Neolithic adze ANL-160919-074935009

Project manager Jo Caruth said: “The adze is a rare thing to find on an archaeological site because it’s so old and it’s whole.”

She said that about two thirds of Sunday’s visitors had not been to the first open day in April.

“We had really positive feedback,” said Jo. “They were pleased to see what was going on on their doorsteps. What people appreciated was being able to see the whole picture – not just seeing the finds, but meeting the people doing the digging.

“Quite a few commented on the scale of what we are doing.”

A copper alloy coin of Constantius, from between AD303-305 ANL-160919-074904009

A copper alloy coin of Constantius, from between AD303-305 ANL-160919-074904009

Among the things they were able to see was a 25 metre diameter Bronze Age working hollow, which has a cobbled area and contained burnt flints and about 100 flint scrapers.

Though they are found on a lot of Bronze Age sites, nobody is sure what they were used for.

Jo said that by the time they leave in about another ten days all the historic material will have been excavated and taken away, then the job begins of studying and analysing what they have found.

Bronze age pottery has helped to date the occupation of that part of the site while fourth century Roman coins help put a date to a Roman enclosure on part of the site.

A rim shard from a late Neolithic to early Bronze age food vessel ANL-160919-074920009

A rim shard from a late Neolithic to early Bronze age food vessel ANL-160919-074920009

A bronze age barbed and tanged arrow head ANL-160919-074947009

A bronze age barbed and tanged arrow head ANL-160919-074947009

Flat copper alloy lugged disc brooch. 2nd century ANL-160919-074837009

Flat copper alloy lugged disc brooch. 2nd century ANL-160919-074837009