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Burnt Mounds and Bog Oaks – Archaeological Day School

The latest in our Hidden Histories archaeological day schools run by Tim Holt-Wilson, looking at heritage through landscape.

On a sunny Saturday in early May 2024, 31 people turned out to the second Burnt Mounds and Bog Oaks Day School to explore the prehistoric archaeology and environments of the Brecks fen edge and river valleys.

The morning started at Mildenhall Museum with Tim Holt-Wilson (the organiser of the day) and two guest speakers – David Robertson (Norfolk) and Edward Martin (Suffolk) giving an informative introduction to Holocene archaeology of the Brecks.

Through the power of images on screen we travelled through Norfolk and Suffolk sites as far back as the time of hunter gatherers using flint tools on sandhills and by rivers where the first farmers used pot boilers (made from heat affected flint).

FACT: There are over 300 sites on the Norfolk fen edge that have produced evidence of this!

We touched the edges of the palaeolithic bronze age, the iron age, Roman, and medieval. We explored antiquarian interest from the 17th to early 20th centuries and then came right back to the modern world, looking at fenland research and rescue archaeology.

The afternoon saw everyone getting aboard the coach for a field trip to visit four sites of interest.

One such site was Russell Farm at Lakenheath, where the farmer, Stephen Sizer had dug a hole to expose the shell marl of the now-lost Redmere Lake. He also gathered a trailer full of bog oaks and made a pile for all to see  – wow!

This day school was a fabulous treat of history revealed through artefacts and landscape.

If you want to learn more, you can see the presentations and resources for the day here: Burnt Mounds and Bog Oaks Resources

Find out more about our Hidden Heritage Project on the project page.