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26 September 2006
Bronze Age round barrow found in Norwich

An excavation in Ber Street unearthed findings of the one of the most significant discoveries in Norwich (England) for more than 60 years. They are believed to come from a 4,000 year-old 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. 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. "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," said Mr Emery.

Source: EDP24 (18 September 2006)

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