We are pleased to announce the commencement of our latest project for Summer 2021: The West Suffolk Prehistoric Landscape Project, on a journey to discover more of Britain during the Bronze Age.
Delving into Britain’s Bronze Age, often deemed the ‘great period of change’, we are working to provide further evidence and research into discovering how prehistoric people lived and how they evolved through time.
Beginning around 2500 BC, many elements of how we live today were greatly influenced by materials mechanisms used in ancient agricultural practices. The use of bronze (a copper alloy) provided the prehistoric people with sturdier tools and increased trade (encouraging alliances and obligatory behaviour
between primitive societies), whilst also sparking a further ideology of reuse, hinting towards our current repertoire for recycling, seen across a variety of materials and objects. Whilst metal tools were becoming increasingly popular, stone tools were very much still in use, though made more refined, for example flint arrowheads would be made smaller in finer detail.
Burials became both more elaborate and on a larger scale, in similar fashion to cemeteries we have today. Round barrows began formation during the Bronze Age, built alongside Neolithic long barrows, covering either single or multiple burials, located on their own, or grouped as a cemetery. ‘Bowl barrows’ are the most commonly found form of round barrow, and many can be seen whilst driving around the British landscape. As well as round barrows, round cairns are also a common sight. The Beaker People, their name derived from the bell-shaped beaker drinking vessel of the time, often cremated their dead, burying them in communal tombs, sometimes with offerings placed in beakers. These burials and ritualistic landscapes suggest an increase in ceremonial practices, all of these factors leading to an extensive amount of prehistoric archaeology to uncover.
Our project sets out to encourage community involvement, promoting further research into the Bronze Age, all the while giving back to the history in the local area. Our research area contains an abundance of prehistoric enclosures, ring ditches and later Roman forts ready for uncovering.
This project is an exciting opportunity for all budding archaeologists to try their hand at excavation, analysis and recording tasks, on a five-day experience. Our field school program entails archaeological activities, with additional weekly lectures and opportunity for training in prehistoric flint working.
For more information of what the Past to Present Archaeology Field School is offering, follow the link below.