|11 October 2003
Prehistoric finds at an US airbase in Suffolk
The skeleton of a muscular 30-year-old, who could have been an ancient Iceni warrior, was found buried face down in earth that was part of rich Fen lands (Suffolk, England) and now is behind the fortified fence of an American base.
These human remains are only one of five that have so far been unearthed during a dig that has produced remnants of buildings, pottery, animal bones and flint tools, dating to between 2500 BCE and 410 CE.
Archaeologists say finds made at the 25,000 sqm site at RAF Mildenhall reveal significant detail about how different peoples co-existed in the turbulent times of the late Iron Age and early Roman era, when the conquerors brought their new culture and religions into the country.
Suffolk County Council's archaeological service's senior project officer for the dig, Andrew Tester, said it was an important excavation. "It has been a settlement from pre-history; particularly, it was well-used through the Iron Age and Roman times. They used to herd cattle here through the Iron Age and Bronze Age," he said.
The team of 15 has found a pear-shaped corral and a watering hole, in which they found cattle bones. "We have excavated three burials - two were crouch burials, which are more traditional to Bronze Age and Iron Age. We found one that is a proper interment, and he was buried face down. According to our bone specialist, Sue Anderson, he was aged 30 and had a lot of muscle." said Andrew Tester.
"In the early Roman, late Iron, Age there were many changes in religious practice and ideas." added Mr Tester, "People were choosing to be buried in different ways. He was almost certainly Iceni and he could have been an Iceni warrior. This was an Iceni area and they were a traditional people. The Romans adapted and adopted other religions."
Within a few weeks, the dig will be over and work will start on turning the site into a baseball pitch for USAF servicemen.
Source: EDP24 News (10 October 2003)
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