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2.1 Hidden Heritage: discovering Geology and Archaeology

Introducing the geology, archaeology, geoarchaeology and palaeo-environments of the Fen edge and associated Brecks river valleys, from 500,000 years ago to the present day.

Delivery Lead Organisation: Norfolk Geodiversity Partnership

Aims/Objectives

To introduce participants to the geology, archaeology, geoarchaeology and palaeo-environments of the Fen edge and associated Brecks river valleys, from 500,000 years ago to the present day.

Drawing on a wealth of nationally important and lesser-known sites, we will use talks/ lectures, fields trips and artefact handling sessions to:

  • celebrate the history of prehistoric archaeological research and interpretation along the Fen edge and its tributary valleys;
  • explain the story of fluctuating environments and human settlement along the eastern margin of Fenland and its tributary valleys over the last 500,000 years;
  • explain to land managers the archaeological value of Fen edge peat and alluvial deposits so that they will understand and conserve it.

View the talk from Tim Holt-Wilson here:

Summary

Geology is often overlooked as the key influencing factor for landscape heritage. Recent projects demonstrated significant interest from communities and landowners to understand local geology and there exists an opportunity to raise awareness, influence land managers and decision makers through a variety of activities.

This project will deliver a linked set of three day-schools and a lecture series of associated talks covering the unique archaeology and geology in the Scheme area.

A variety of experts will be on hand in the day schools to raise awareness of and explain the complex lines of evidence which are woven into our understanding of the prehistoric settlement and landscape of the area.

1x Day School with introductory lectures and an artefact handling session, followed by a field trip visiting four or five sites of interest Aimed at land managers focusing on the prehistoric archaeology and geoarchaeology of the Brecks Fen edge and river valleys.

Drainage and deep ploughing have contributed to the increasing degradation and erosion of archaeological sites in the area, and we shall invite participants to consider what can be done about this crisis of preservation.

1x Day School with introductory lectures and an artefact handling session, followed by a field trip visiting four or five sites of interest explaining the story of prehistoric human occupation of the eastern Fen edge and Brecks valleys set against a story of environmental change over the last 10,000 years.

We shall introduce participants to the range of archaeological evidence and show how it relates to a variety of local environments and the subsistence opportunities they offered. Participants will be introduced to the factors that have woven human life and the natural world together along a wetland threshold.

1x Day School with introductory lectures and artefact handling session, followed by a field trip visiting four important sites explaining the contribution that the Brecks Fen edge and river valleys have made to our understanding of Paleolithic settlement in Britain over the last 500,000 years.

Following in the footsteps of workers such as J Prestwich, J Evans, SBJ Skertchly, TT Paterson and JJ Wymer, we shall discuss differing interpretations of the archaeological and environmental evidence in the field.

A linked series of 5x talks / lectures lasting one hour to local history, wildlife or other groups explaining the Earth heritage (deep history) dimension to landscape, archaeology and wildlife in the Brecks river valleys, wetlands and the Fen edge environment over the past 500,000 years.

If you’d like to get involved in this project contact us for more information or to be added to the project mailing¬†list:¬†bfer.admin@suffolk.gov.uk