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25 June 2005
Dig's site in Northumberland reveals Iron Age life

An Iron Age settlement has been found in Northumberland (England), which reveals what life was like 2,000 years ago.
More than 250 pieces of pottery as well as the bones of sheep, cattle and pigs have been unearthed at the dig site, which is in Berwick. Artefacts include spindles, stones for processing cereal and large numbers of limpets and periwinkle shells.
     The excavation comprised the western third of a one hectare settlement surrounded by a large ditch and bank, either for protection or a show of status. Assistant County Archaeologist Karen Derham said: "Analysis of the finds is providing a fascinating insight into the lives and activities of some of the region's earlier inhabitants." Jenny Proctor, of Durham-based Pre-Construct Archaeology Ltd, who are overseeing the post-excavation analysis, added: "The pottery fragments come from the heavy, thick walled pottery vessels typical of the region. There are also several spindle whorls, used for spinning yarn. The quern stones, used for processing grain, suggest cereal cultivation."
     The excavation was carried out after Northumberland County Council's conservation team identified the site. The work was funded by the landowners Berwick Borough Council, who are now developing the site for industrial use.

Source: BBC News (25 June 2005)

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