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19 October 2008
Bronze Age long pin found at gravel site

Another significant Bronze Age find has been unearthed at the Kingsmead Quarry in Horton near Windsor in Berkshire (England) Archaeologists believe that the item, known as a Picardy pin, dates back to around the 11th century BCE and was originally used as a costume or hair pin. The 20cm long pin was discovered as a result of an archaeological dig conducted by a building materials provider, CEMAX UK, prior to mineral extraction of sand and gravel on the site. Previous finds on the site have included arrowheads, flint tools, broken pottery and a bronze and leather working tool.
     Andrew Fitzpatrick of Wessex Archaeology, explained: "These finds are key to enhancing our knowledge and understanding of the history around the rivers Colne and Thames, to the benefit of local communities and historians." Evidence of a field system and the burnt remains of crops found during the course of digging have led to claims that the Bronze Age inhabitants of the area were farmers. The most important find at the Kingsmead Quarry to date was the discovery in July of an extremely rare example of the site of a Neolithic house.
     Experts estimated the remains to be more than 5,000 years old and declared that the site was one of the best examples ever found in the UK. Further investigations at Kingsmead have now shown that people have inhabited the site for the past 14,000, a period dating back to the last Ice Age. It is thought that the river Thames may once have flowed through the area. This may help to explain why people occupied the site for so many years as rivers have traditionally been crucial for early settlement. Archaeological investigations will continue at Kingsmead for the next ten years as mineral extraction on the site progresses.

Source: Building Talk (10 October 2008), The Royal Borough Observer (19 October 2008)

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