Suffolk Archaeology is having a busy autumn, with several large rural excavations in progress across Suffolk that are, coincidentally, investigating areas of Iron Age activity and occupation…
At Wangford with Henham we have been working at Wangford quarry since 2007, excavating and recording archaeological remains in advance of gravel extraction. These works have previously recorded a diverse range of archaeological deposits dating from a broad range of periods. This is perhaps not too surprising given the site’s location on a free-draining, south-facing gravel terrace overlooking the River Wang and highlights from previous years include the discovery of eight flat graves belonging to the Beaker period (c.2500 BC), a Middle Bronze Age urned cremation cemetery (c.1200 BC) and a medieval enclosure of the 14th century containing a free-standing kitchen building, a large bread oven and a possible barn.
Our latest excavation is revealing evidence for Middle Iron Age settlement of between 400 and 100 BC. A small roundhouse has been identified (close to two larger structures previously recorded), with at least ten four-post structures in the vicinity. These small, square structures are normally interpreted as granaries but could have fulfilled a variety of other purposes. A series of clay-lined pits, filled with heat-altered stones, have been found in close association with the buildings. Future excavations are likely to extend the known area of the Iron Age settlement and move towards known locations of Roman and Early Neolithic deposits.
At another quarry in Hadleigh, Suffolk, we are currently excavating a Middle/Late Iron Age site, with evidence consisting of ditched enclosures, pits and possible post-built structures.
At Moreton Hall, Rougham, Bury St Edmunds we are working in tandem with the construction of a new high school and have again identified evidence of Iron Age occupation, with a series of widely distributed shallow hearth pits, a substantial boundary or enclosure ditch and the traces of three small 4-poster buildings. This adds to the already known scattered evidence for Bronze Age, Roman and medieval activity previously seen in the vicinity and is likely to be followed up by further excavations in the near future where archaeological trial evaluation has identified similar deposits on the line of the proposed eastern relief road.
At RAF Lakenheath, ahead of road repair works adjacent to the site of our 2014 community project,our latest excavation has been finding yet more evidence of the extensive Late Iron Age/Roman landscape known around the spring of Caudle Head.