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Flint clue to Daws Heath's hidden past
10:00pm Thursday 4th July 2013 in Local News
ARTEFACTS dating back 3,000 years have been unearthed in Daws Heath.
Apiece of worked front, which may date back to Neolithic times, was among items uncovered during a Cambridge University - led archaeological dig last month, aimed at revealing the area’s hidden history.
Archaeologist Paul Blinkhorn, from TV’s Time Team, has since appraised the finds and says the earliest pottery could date back to between 1100 and 1400AD.
The dig also unearthed pottery dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries and Victorian times, as well as clay pipe stems and animal bones.
However, the most important find was the ancient flint, found to the northFlint C of Daws Heath Road.
Experts think it could mean there was a settlement in that area in the late Neolithic or early Bronze Age.
Archaeologists are now hoping to return next year to carry out further digs, especially in the triangular area, bounded by Daws Heath Road, Western Road and Bramble Road.
Dr. Carenza Lewis, who is director of Archaeology at Cambridge University and a former Time Team presenter, wrote in an online blog: “Perhaps the most memorable find was an unusual worked flint flake from Test Pit 1, which had been retouched along its ventral, or concave side.
“Even more intriguingly, this was recovered from the top of a well-defined post hole, suggesting a structure of some sort was present in the late Neolithic or early Bronze Age.
“On the basis of the finds from the test pits so far, this may well have been the most substantial structure to be built in the area for the next three thousand years.
“None of the Daws Heath pits produced more than a single shred of high medieval pottery, which we would normally interpret as indicative of lowintensity use, such as arable manuring, rather than settlement.
“We will hope to return to Daws Heath next year to see whether pre-modern occupation is really as minimal as the 2013 test pits have indicated – or whether we have simply missed it so far.”
The dig also revealed people have lived at the old Haresland Farm as long ago as the 1500s – 200-300 years earlier than previously thought.
Families in Daws Heath are being asked to let the archaelogists dig on their lawns again next year.
Terry Barclay, local co-ordinator for the Hadleigh and Thundersley Archive, said: “There were a couple of oddities which came out of the dig, so we really would like them to come back to see what more they can uncover.
“We really would like to focus there, as that is where we know the earliest settlements were.
“We also want to find the old farm cottages of all the labourers we think were in Bramble Road, opposite St Michael’s field.”
For more information about the items found during the dig, visit hadleighhistory.org.uk
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