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A11 dig reveals Iron Age finds

Nick Pankhurst at the excavated A11 site

Nick Pankhurst at the excavated A11 site

Archaeological work on a major road development has revealed artefacts dating back more than 6,000 years.

Flint workings, primitive tools and clay ovens are among the finds unearthed on the Elveden Estate during the Highway Agency’s preliminary work to dual the A11.

Robert Gibson, project manager, said it was important that the area’s history is recorded and preserved.

“Dualling the last remaining single carriageway section on the A11 is all about boosting the economy, reducing congestion and improving road safety.

“However, in planning for the future, it’s important that we also consider the past which is why archaeological work is an integral part of what we do at the Highways Agency,” he said.

The 20 week survey has taken place on a stretch of land between How Hill Tumulus and Chalk Hall Farm.

Evidence of settlements dating back to 1,500BC, including timber dwellings, animal bones and pottery have been found.

Nick Pankhurst, from Pre-Construct Archaeology, said the work was enabling archaeologists to build an image of the area’s past.

“There’s not been much work done here on this scale and it gives us the opportunity to build a picture of a multi-purpose landscape,” he said.

Oysters, a metal lock and animal bones have also been found on the site.

Mr Pankhurst said human remains had been found in one pit, alongside the skeletons of two cows. The grave could be a ritualistic burial, he added.

The digs began in August and are due to end next month.

Once finished, the artefacts will be be scrutinised by scientists, with some being donated to local museums.

Main construction on the A11 dualling is due to begin in January, with completion expected by December 2014

A public exhibition on the works is being held at Elveden Village Hall today and tomorrow.

 

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