July 24 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Urn contains human remains and is being examined by archaeological experts
Archaeologists have unearthed a ‘significant’ find under the route of a planned new road in King’s Lynn.
A Bronze Age pot containing human remains has been discovered and is currently undergoing close examination by experts.
The complete collared-urn, which could be up to 5,000 years old, was used to house remains after cremation on a funeral pyre, and to find an example so well preserved is deemed unusual.
Dr Ken Hamilton, senior historic environment officer, said the pot dated from around 2,500 BCE and was a “significant find” for the area.
“At the moment it is in a laboratory where the inside is being examined to try and discover the number of individuals involved,” said Dr Hamilton.
Bone fragments and any teeth are being sorted and counted before the contents are archived and a report published.
It is hoped that when experts have completed detailing the pot, it will be available to go on display at a local museum.
Archaeologists had made an evaluation of the site in 2009, prior to work starting on a link from Lynn’s Hardwick Road to the A149 coast road, and had expected to find evidence of Iron Age material.
“Bronze Age items are a bonus,” said Dr Hamilton.
The recent discovery follows the excavation of timber posts in the same area which almost certainly date back more than 2,000 years.
Archaeologists do not believe the Iron Age timbers to be as significant as the Seahenge monument, discovered near Hunstanton in the late 1990s.
The line of posts was first located in 2005, during an exploratory dig off part of the A149 King’s Lynn bypass.
Now more extensive research is under way, on the land earmarked for the new road.
“There’s a line of posts going down a hill into what was once fen. They’re very roughly cut. They’re posts where someone’s just chopped a point and pushed them into the ground,” said Dr Hamilton.
“They could be a fish trap or something to do with hunting. It’s not a timber track going across.”
The timbers have now been lifted and catalogued.
There were angry protests when the timber monument which became known as Seahenge was removed from the beach at Holme, in 1999. The wooden circle and its central stump are now on display at Lynn Museum.