Evidence of a prehistoric causeway has been uncovered during
flood defence work on the marshes of Suffolk.
Contractors working on the Environment Agency's excavation of a
new dyke on Beccles town marshes found timber remains which had been
hand-sculpted. Archaeologists said the wooden causeway was used from the Bronze
Age in about 1000 BC, through the Iron Age, to Roman times and the
effective end of Roman administration in the late fourth century AD.
The site will now be analysed and dated with the results
published this year.
Archaeologists from the University of Birmingham and Suffolk
County Council Archaeological Field Services Team were called in to
investigate the find. Results suggest the more than 2,624ft (800m) long wooden
causeway may have run from dry land on the edge of Beccles, across a
swamp to a spot on the River Waveney.
A 98ft-long (30m) section of the causeway has been recorded with
more than 40 in-situ timber posts uncovered.
The 16ft-wide (5m) causeway would have carried carts and was the
Bronze Age equivalent of a motorway.
The wet conditions of the site mean that organic material such
as wood has been well preserved.