View Full Version : Bronze Age Round Barrow in Norwich

Monday, September 18th, 2006, 09:38 PM
To the untrained eye it looks like a piece of rubble. For archaeologists however, this 4,000 year-old fragment is part of the one of the most significant discoveries in Norwich for more than 60 years.

It was unearthed at an excavation in Ber Street and is believed to come from a Bronze Age Round Barrow - also thought to be the first ever found in the heart of the city.

Giles Emery, project officer for NAU which is part of Norfolk Property Services (NPS), said: “The monument would have measured up to 20m in diameter, consisting of a central burial or cremation covered by a circular mound surrounded by a ditch and bank.

“Flint tools and sherds of Bronze Age pottery known as Beaker pottery have been recovered from the site.

“Beakers (drinking cups) mainly date to the Bronze Age and are finely crafted drinking vessels covered with geometrical designs.

“Such beakers are generally found in association with burials in eastern England and may have originally been used in the consumption of a drink similar to mead.”

A team of four archaeologists has been working at the site for two weeks but, because of the discovery, has been given an extra week to continue searching and recording.

It was only discovered because the Norwich Housing Society has applied to develop the site and, as part of planning permission, has to have an archaeological study.

Although much of the barrow, including the burial or cremation, has most likely been destroyed by previous development, the experienced team are thrilled with what they have been able to find. “The last time anyone found anything like it in Norwich was the 1940s; it is exciting,” said Mr Emery.

“Such barrows would have formed part of a sacred landscape and were placed as obvious landmarks on ridges surrounding valleys and are often discovered in groups within sight of each other.

“This particular barrow also lies within sight of the confluence of the Rivers Tas and Yare - an area known for its prehistoric activity including the Arminghall henge.”

Other discoveries at the site include evidence of a medieval building in the form of beamslots and postholes close to the street frontage and the remains of two small ovens or hearths dating from the early medieval period.

Although the finds belong to Norwich Housing Society they are normally signed over to the museum service.

Source (http://new.edp24.co.uk/content/News/story.aspx?brand=EDPOnline&category=News&tBrand=edponline&tCategory=news&itemid=NOED18%20Sep%202006%2008%3A17%3A4 1%3A213)