Prehistoric remains uncovered by archaeologists in Bury St Edmunds

The Marham Park site on the outskirts of Bury St Edmunds. Picture: ORACLE PR

The Marham Park site on the outskirts of Bury St Edmunds. Picture: ORACLE PR - Credit: Archant

A team of archaeologists working in west Suffolk have unearthed artefacts going back 4,000 years which has shed new light on prehistoric activity in the area.

A Roman brooch discovered at Marham Park, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: ORACLE PR

A Roman brooch discovered at Marham Park, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: ORACLE PR - Credit: Archant

The new evidence of bronze age activity was uncovered by archaeologists working at the Marham Park housing development on the outskirts of Bury St Edmunds.

The most exciting findings during the investigation of the 15-hectare site were two burnt mounds from the bronze age, which are mounds of heated stones used to warm water in a pit, most likely for preparing animal skins.

Not usually found in Suffolk, the two found at the site bring the total number in the county from three to five.

The findings have puzzled archaeologists because unusually they were not situated next to a water source – but are evidence of more settlement of Suffolk three or four thousand years ago than was previously known about.

Thimble discovered at Marham Park, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: ORACLE PR

Thimble discovered at Marham Park, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: ORACLE PR - Credit: Archant


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Alex Fisher, from Suffolk Archaeology, said: “The findings give us more information about how the land was used at various periods in history but the bronze age discoveries are particularly exciting because they are surprising.

“The burnt mounds were unexpected in this region and the fact they do not follow the usual patterns also throws up yet more questions, which helps us discover more about the history of the area.”

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Other discoveries made during the four-year dig on the site span the iron age, Roman, medieval and more recent history.

The area was used as a firing range during the Second World War and bullets and ammunitions from this period were found.

Belt mount discovered at Marham Park, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: ORACLE PR

Belt mount discovered at Marham Park, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: ORACLE PR - Credit: Archant

Findings from the medieval era included small metal items such as coins, hooks, belt buckles and even a thimble, while evidence of Roman activity was in the shape of coins and brooches from the first and second century AD.

A large number of iron age pits were uncovered, which would have been used for storage of foodstuffs, as well as evidence of iron age farming in the crop marks and traces of animal bone, pottery and flint.

Andrew Carrington, strategic land director at Countryside, said: “The archaeological findings that have been skillfully uncovered by Suffolk Archeology give us a fuller picture of this site and its early history, which is fascinating.

“All of this feeds into the heritage of this location, helping create its unique sense of place as we embark on building the next chapter in history for this site.

“Arrangements are being put in place for the artefacts to be displayed at a local museum.”

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